Lighting Installation

Making the Lighting Plan a Reality

After a design plan is decided upon, the next step is installation. The installation process for landscapes is best done after all landscaping is complete. The installation process for low voltage lighting is minimally invasive and will not disturb the landscape since no trenching is required. Outdoor lighting to be installed on hardscape fixtures should be integrated into the hardscape feature build. Lighting can be installed on a pre-existing hardscape feature, but for the most seamless installation, an integrated installation is best, allowing for wires to be hidden into the structure. Southern Lights uses the highest quality, USA made fixtures with life-time guarantees. Once all fixtures are in place, you’re given a night or two to sleep on it. The night review allows the customer to make revisions prior to burying wires and capping connections. After revisions are complete, the install is finalized. Below is a quick view of the install process.

Our Process

  • The Consultation

  • Planning Guide

  • Establish a Budget

  • The Design

  • Material Selection

  • Installation


  • Mount Transformer

  • Install Fixtures

  • Run Wire Above Ground

Night Adjustment

  • Walk Through w/ Client

  • Ensure Proper Effects

  • Add Necessary Fixtures

  • Adjust Beam Angles

  • Fine Tune Wattages

Final Install

  • Finalize Connections

  • Permanently Install

  • Bury Wire

  • Repair Landscape

  • Clean Jobsite

  • Explain Details of System

  • Low voltage outdoor lighting installation procedures should not damage the existing landscape. No digging or trenching is required. Minimal disruption is best achieved by installing after the landscaping is finished. This avoids the necessity of relocating the lighting if the finished landscaping deviates from the original landscape plan. It also avoids the possibility of damaging equipment put in place during landscaping installation.

  • An unswitched 120v outdoor receptacle is the usual power source. Since the lighting transformer will be permanently plugged into the outdoor receptacle this receptacle or the circuit breaker at the electrical panel must incorporate a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) device. Recent NEC (National Electrical Code) rules stipulate that a raintight-in-use cover must also be fitted to allow the receptacle cover to close over the transformer cord plug.

  • The transformer is solidly mounted close to the receptacle; an extension cord is not used. Fixture locations are marked and the main low voltage supply cable is laid on the ground to within 3 feet of each fixture. The fixtures are mounted onto a stake (supplied with the fixture or available as an accessory) and connected to the main supply cable by a lighter gauge wire using pierce-point attachments. Pierce-point attachment allows connection to the main cable without cutting and splicing. This method allows the fixtures to be moved during the fine-tuning of the lighting effects without compromising the integrity of the main supply cable.

  • Deteriorating splices become major maintenance problems over time.

  • After fixtures are assembled, lamped, mounted and connected to the main cable the transformer is switched on. With all fixtures operating the voltage at selected points is checked, recorded and adjusted as necessary. Transformer controls for client-specified hours of operation are then programmed for automatic function.

  • Prior to finalizing the installation at least one after dark critique of the lighting effects is necessary. This ensures that the lighting meets the needs and expectations of the client. This critique should be scheduled for an evening a few days after the lighting has been in operation. This allows the client the opportunity to experience the lighting and to make note of any changes, additions or deletions needed to conform to site-specific requirements.

  • After final approval of the lighting effects the exposed wiring is covered by mulch, hidden in ground cover or tamped into a slit in turf. Project details are recorded to aid future service needs.