How to Install Outdoor Lighting
Now that the weather is warming up, homeowners are starting to spend more time outside relaxing with their families and hosting summer parties. As an electrician, this means they’ll also want you to install their outdoor lighting to set the perfect mood. Here are a few tips that will help you to know how to install outdoor lighting for different projects.
Outlets and Switches
First of all, one of the most common requests that you might have for outdoor electrical work is the installation of outdoor outlets and light switches. This is a pretty basic need for homeowners when it comes to lighting up their backyard, porch, or front yard. It is good to have this type of task mastered since it will likely come up a lot. Homeowners need outlets to plug in all sorts of outdoor appliances for their summer parties, and light switches will make outdoor lighting easy. Outdoor outlets and light switches usually have waterproof covers that protect the outlet from exposure to water which could cause electrocution. When you’re installing an outdoor outlet, remember to plan a location that can be wired easily, and to turn off the power. If you’re going to place an outdoor outlet parallel to an indoor outlet, remove the indoor outlet and drill through to the exterior. This will then allow you to cut out the space for the outlet and mount the outdoor outlet box. Run the cable through the indoor electrical box and hook it up to the electrical box. Match up the wires correctly, push it carefully into the box, and screw the mounting tabs and cover the gasket securely. Then, make sure to test your outlet to see that it works!
If a homeowner has requested that you install some landscape lighting to highlight their trees, plants, or yard, you have a couple of options. If their landscape is far from their house and will be difficult to wire, opt for battery powered lighting that can be inserted into the ground. Some of these wireless lights can even be solar powered. If the lights are going to be located close enough to the house to be wired, you’ll likely have to dig some small trenches to bury the wiring in the ground. Just make sure to leave some wire unburied at the end so you can make necessary adjustments once you have connected it to your transformer and main systems.
Motion Sensor Lighting
Some homeowners like to have motion sensor lighting around their home because it can brighten up the exterior when necessary, like when their kids are running around playing outside at night time. Most motion sensor lights are installed directly onto the side of the house, so you can use the wiring that already exists within the walls. Simply locate the wiring, choose the optimal lighting location, and drill to run new wires through or connect to existing wires.
Exterior decorative lighting can add a great finishing touch to any home. Similar to motion sensor lighting, most decorative lighting, like lanterns or pendants, are mounted directly onto the home. You can follow similar steps to access the internal wiring and install exterior decorative lighting. If the homeowner that you’re working for wants to add some temporary decorative lighting, such as string lights, you’ll just want to make sure that you have access to a waterproof exterior outlet. Use the previous steps to install one if you don’t have one at the optimal location. Then you’ll be able to easily plug and unplug the string lights when needed.
Next time you have a project requested to install some outdoor lighting, remember to keep this article in mind. From outdoor outlets and switches to landscape lighting to motion sensor lighting to decorative lighting, there are all sorts of electrical needs that you’ll be able to help out with. If you know how to successfully complete these types of outdoor projects, you’ll keep your customers happy and asking for more.
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