Build your Own. . .
Landscape Lighting System
Step-by-Step Instructions for the Novice*

Create a Complete System in a Single Sitting

*Before you begin - while low voltage lighting installation is safe and straightforward, it requires some learning and the use of a few simple tools. If in doubt, consider one of our excellent Landscape Lighting Kits or contact a lighting professional. Get Started

Do It Yourself!

Build Your Own System

STEPS

Begin by selecting an option

  1. 1. Get Started
  2. 2. Spotlights
  3. 3. Pathlights
  4. 4. Deck/Step/Hardscape Lights
  5. 5. Specialty Fixtures
  6. 6. Wiring
  7. 7. Transformers
  8. 8. Tools
  9. 9. Final Check
  10. 10. Review

GET STARTED

To move from one step to the next, use left-hand menu or button at the bottom right of each page. Select only the sections you need for your project.

In each section you will learn the basics of how to select products that will do the job.

You simply add the products to your cart or click on links for more information.

This tool remains open in your browser, even when you leave this page. Just click on the tool's browser tab to return to the tool.

Questions?

Call one of our lighting specialists – available 7 days a week (M-F 8-8, S-S 10-6 EST). They can’t design your whole system, but they will help you with specific questions.

Where to Use Spotlights

Uplighting your House. Use spotlights mounted in the ground (about 1 ft. from the structure) to project onto the sidings of your house. Put one spotlight between each set of windows, and one at each corner.

Uplighting Columns, Gazebos, and Pergolas. Use one spotlight (mounted in the ground about 1 ft. out) for each column or support post (on garden structures).

Uplighting Trees and Large Plants. Position 1 or 2 spotlights (mounted in the ground) for each tree or plant. Choose the best fixture locations to cast light on both trunks and canopies. Ideally, you want to reveal the entire shape of the tree or plant with light.

Go ahead and select from the most popular spotlights to the right.

For more advanced info, check out the topics below.

Select the Best Light Output

This refers to how much light is projected from the fixture. The higher the output, the brighter the illuminated object appears. Most spotlights (or their bulbs) are available in three outputs - low, medium, and high. (Though you won't see them labeled in this way - instead you need to check the wattage or lumens).

When you browse through our fixtures and bulbs, select the lowest wattage (or fixture lumens) to illuminate objects that very close to the light (such as a small bush), or very light colored (such as a white or yellow house siding).

Pick the highest wattage or lumens for objects that are far (such as the top of a very tall tree) or are very dark colored (such as a red brick wall).

Select medium wattage or lumen sources for objects that are between the two extremes.

As a general guide, select lower ouput fixtures and bulbs whenever possible. The light will be more subtle and energy efficient.

Select the Best Beam Angle

This describes the light beam’s width. If you think of slices in a pie, each slice is a portion that can be measured in degrees. The whole pie is 360º. Divide that pie into 6 pieces and you get 60º pieces. Each 60º slice is similar in shape to a 60º beam of light. Spotlights (or their bulbs) are available in beam angles of 60º and less. Anything greater than 60º is considered a floodlight.

The most popular beam angle for spotlights is 60º. That's great for lighting house sidings and most trees.

Use smaller beam angles (35º, 24º, or 12º) only for very tall, thin objects such as columns, palm trees, and flag poles.

Where to Use Path & Area Lights

Along Paths. Light the path from beginning to end - using about 1 light every 12 ft. in a staggered pattern (from one side of the path to the other). Short narrow paths look best with path lights with smaller hats. Long wide paths are best served with larger hats. Also consider the style - Classic, Decorative, Bollards, or Specialty - to match the style of your home and property.

In Garden and Landscape Areas. Put path or area lights at the boundary (or inside) of garden beds, and at the edges of decks, patios, seating areas and stairs.

Along Driveways. Install path or area lights along the edges and entrances of driveways. Use fixtures with the widest beam spreads.

Go ahead and select from the most popular path and area lights to the right.

For more advanced info, check out the topic below.

How to Space Path and Area Lights

Coverage. Their are two approaches to lighting coverage when using path and area lights - continuous illumination and pools of light.

Continuous illumination describes a pattern where the light from one fixture overlaps the light from another fixture. This is the best approach when your path is uneven, or there is no ambient light present, or if elderly people will be using the path.

Pools of light are achieved when you space the fixtures farther apart. This allows you to use fewer fixtures and can result in very beautiful illumination. But you should only use this approach if there is some ambient light present, and if the path has a fairly even surface, and use by the elderly is not a concern.

You will find specific spacing suggestions for both approaches in the product details for every path and area light.

Where to Use Deck, Step, & Hardscape Lights

Along Decks. Deck lights are perfect to install on posts and walls surrounding a deck. They are typically mounted just under the level of the handrail - about 30" to 36" from the surface of the deck. They are spaced 4 to 8 ft. apart.

Along Stairs. Deck lights are installed on posts, railings, or walls along the side of stairs or steps. They are spaced to ensure that every stair tread is illuminated. Very wide stairs may require lights on both sides.

Step lights are also ideal for stairs. They are designed to be installed in each vertical stair riser on a set of stairs. This also applies to regions of decks that may change elevation (forming a wide single step). Use 1 step light for every 5 ft. width of stairs.

Hardscape Lights - When the Light Needs to be Hidden Under Overhangs, Railings or Benches. These are fixtures that fit under capstones on retaining walls, under railings, in outdoor kitchens, and under benches. We have two types: integrated LED and those that accept lamps.

Go ahead and select from the most popular deck and step lights to the right.

Specialty Fixtures

Floodlights - For Wide Coverage. Floodlights are like spotlights but their beams are much wider. Most often use to light retaining walls, garden beds, and bushes. Our flood lights can be used to illuminate whole stands of trees and their canopies - a great money saver, since fewer fixtures are needed.

Well Lights - When the Light Needs to be at Ground Level. These are ideal when you need to mount fixtures in turf areas since mowers can go over them. Also perfect for mounting the light in paving stones and decks.

Underwater Lights - For Ponds, Streams, and Statuary. These are lights specifically designed for underwater use.

Tiki Lights - For Polynesian Lifestyle. A very unique fixture that stands over 5 ft. tall. It features an oil-filled reservoir topped with a long wick (for a real torch flame) - and a lamp beneath the cone-shaped top that provides a wide circle of soft-edged light.

Downlighting Gardens, Seating Areas, and Driveways. Mount downlights in trees or from the sides of your house to simulate moonlight. While not essential, best affects are achieved when the light projects through branches and leaves.

Go ahead and select from the most popular of these specialty lights to the right.

Wiring & Connectors

1. Complete your Sketch. If you made a sketch of your lighting plan, go ahead and complete it by indicating where all the fixtures will go. Also include each fixture wattage (a number you'll find on each fixture detail page). If your plan is simple and you are comfortable estimating the amount of wire you need, then go to Step. 4.

2. Set Transformer Location(s). Add your transformer location(s) to your sketch. Best to put transformers near the side of the house in a hidden location. It's also best to locate the transformer near the majority of the fixtures. If your lights are spread out (for example - front yard and back yard) use two transformers.

3. Set Wire Runs. Draw lines that connect the transformer to each individual fixture or groups of fixtures. Assuming that all your lights are LEDs, go ahead and connect up to 10 fixtures on a single wire. More fixtures than that, add additional wire runs from the transformer.

4. Estimate Wire Run Distances. Estimate the distance for each wire run, then add the runs together. Add an extra 10% - 20% to make sure you don't run short - this will be your total wire length.

5. Select Wire Gauge. Using the longest individual wire run, use this guide to pick a wire gauge.

  • 30-150 ft. = #12/2 Wire
  • 150-250 ft. = #10/2 Wire

Wire Connectors. There are two main types - those used to connect one wire to another wire; and hub connectors that are designed to connect multiple wires. Use the single connector type when you connect one fixture to the next. Use the hub type when you bring several fixture wires together to a single splice location.

Refer to your sketch and count the number of connectors needed to complete your system. Remember, when you have multiple fixtures in a region, the hub type is preferred.

Go ahead and select the wire for your job to the right.

Transformers

1. Estimate total fixture wattage for each transformer. Refer to your sketch and add all fixture wattages on each transformer. Wattage values can be found on each product's detail page.

2. Select Transformer Capacity. Use the below guide to select the appropriate transformer capacity. (Based on fixture watts not to exceed 80% capacity.)

  • Less than 80 Fixture Watts = 100W Transformer
  • Less than 120 Fixture Watts = 150W Transformer
  • Less than 240 Fixture Watts = 300W Transformer
  • Less than 480 Fixture Watts = 600W Transformer

Keep in mind that you may wish to add lights to your system at a later time - ordering a larger transformer is a good investment.

Transformer Controls. When you add a transformer to your cart, you will be given options to select timers and photocells. Be sure to select one of each so you can control the ON/OFF time of your system.

Transformer Accessories. These include timers and photocells that control ON/OFF times for your system. They are options you select when you add the transformer to your cart.

If you already added a timer and photocell for every transformer, then no action needed to complete your system.

Go ahead and select the transformer(s) for your job.

Tools

Tools. Essential wiring tools include a wire cutter, stripper, and crimper. To dig narrow trenches for wires, a trenching tool (or narrow shovel) is needed. A flat-head and phillips-head screwdriver may be needed for the transformer. A volt meter is not essential, but is very useful - especially for larger systems.

If you don't have the essential tools, add them to your cart.

Go ahead and select the remaining products you need to complete your system.

Quick Tips for Building Your Own System

Set Goals. Start by listing your goals. What are you trying to accomplish with your lights? Security? Safety? Beauty? Specific lighting for areas or activities?

Make a Sketch. Walk around your property with a sketch pad and make rough drawings of each area you want to light. Use a measuring tape and note distances.

Get Ideas. Check our project gallery or articles for ideas. Use the "Filters" button to see a list of landscape and architectural features.

Seek Help. Don't hesitate to call our office with any kind of technical or ordering question.

Have Fun! Building your own system means you can always change it. Experiment with different fixture locations, aiming, and lighting effects. You will find myriad ways to light every object, and have a lot of fun doing it!

  • VOLT® Max Spread Brass Path & Area Light
    Compare at : $ 79.99
    Seasonal Price Reduction : $49.97 $ 39.97

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    Our most popular path/area light - solid brass with antique bronze finish - available with LED bulbs. Perfect for pathways, driveways, flower bed lighting, etc.

    Substantially proportioned for wider and longer paths, the large shade with a shallow angle and tall post all equate to wider regions of illumination. The Max Spread Area Path light can save you money by reducing the number of lights needed. Includes Volt's® Hammer Stake. Various mounting options available. 16 foot diameter beam spread.

    Add To Wishlist
  • VOLT® China Hat 7" Shade Brass Path & Area Light
    Compare at : $ 74.99
    Seasonal Price Reduction : $49.97 $ 39.97

    You save:

    A popular and classic style, this solid brass path/area light looks good in any landscape.

    The fixture provides a generous spread of soft-edged illumination ideal for all types of paths and landscape features. Easy to assemble and install, the shade position can be adjusted to control brightness. Various mounting options available. 12 foot spread of light.

    Add To Wishlist
  • VOLT® Brass Lifetime LED Landscape Lighting Kit | (6) Path Kit
    Compare at : $ 1557.99
    Price : $ 519.97

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    VOLT® Brass Lifetime LED Landscape Lighting Kit

    Complete, high-quality & easy-to-install. Includes 6 path lights - ideal for lighting entries to paths or entryways, bushes, and architectural features. Bundled at a reduced price for additional savings!

    Kit includes:
    • (6) Max Spread Path & Area Lights with 3w 2700K G4 LED Bipin's & 4' lead wire & VOLT® The Hammer™ 10" ground stakes
    • Includes high-quality LED bulbs (or integrated LEDs), wire, connectors, and transformer - all components needed for a complete high-performance lighting system
    • Lifetime Warranty
    Add To Wishlist

  • VOLT® Brass Bunker Louvered Step Light
    Compare at : $ 139.99
    Price : $ 46.97

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    Pro quality step light with durable face and back box - both constructed with solid cast brass. Faceplate is frosted glass with louvers for glare control.

    Ultra heavyweight outdoor lighting step light. Faceplate consists of solid cast brass frame with louvers and frosted glass. The back box is constructed of solid cast brass impervious to physical damage - suitable for concrete pour applications. Completely sealed and water tight. Accepts a single G4 Bi-Pin lamp. You won't find a more durable step light.

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  • VOLT® Deck Light (Cast Brass, Antique Bronze Finish)
    Compare at : $ 54.99
    Price : $ 29.97

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    Solid cast brass deck light. Easy to install - lifetime quality.

    Available with low voltage Bi-Pin LED bulbs. Perfect for mounting on decks, docks, patios, posts and railings. Professional quality internal components make for a fixture that will last a lifetime, even when exposed to harsh outdoor elements.

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  • VOLT® 12" LED Hardscape Light | Bronze
    Compare at : $ 99.99
    Price : $ 40.97

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    The VOLT series of Integrated LED Hardscape Lights are here! Best hardscape illumination available anywhere.

    Durable, low profile, linear fixtures designed to be easily concealed. Perfect for a variety of applications. They are easy to install and produce an evenly dispersed illumination.

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  • VOLT® Brass Lifetime LED Deck & Step Light Kit | (6) Deck Lights (2) Step Lights
    Compare at : $ 959.99
    Price : $ 593.97

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    VOLT® Brass Lifetime LED Deck & Step Light Kit | (6) Deck Lights & (2) Step Lights

    Complete, high-quality & easy-to-install. Includes 6 deck lights, 2 step lights, and 8 LED bulbs - ideal for lighting stairs, steps, decks, docks, and patios. Bundled at a reduced price for additional savings!

    Kit includes:
    • (6) Solid Brass Deck Lights with 4' lead wire
    • (2) "Brass Bunker" Louvered Step Lights with 4' lead wire
    • (8) Large G4 LED (20w Equivalent) Bi-Pin 2700K
    • Includes wire, connectors, timer, and transformer - all components needed for a complete high-performance deck lighting system
    • Lifetime Warranty
    Add To Wishlist

  • VOLT® Cast Brass Round Wall Wash
    Compare at : $ 99.99
    Price : $ 39.97

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    Great for wide spread applications or wall washing

    The compact and durable VOLT Round Wall Wash landscape light features an adjustable knuckle and frosted lens to create an extra-wide highly diffuse beam with soft edges. Ideal for widespread illumination on walls and plants. Solid brass construction.

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  • VOLT® Salty Dog MR16 Well Light
    Price : $ 69.97

    Introducing our most advanced, fully submersible, lamp-ready well light.

    The VOLT® Salty Dog MR16 Well Light is a low voltage outdoor professional-grade well light. Great for up lighting on trees, columns, walls, and anything where a low profile outdoor well light fixture is desired. Featuring an adjustable lamp-ready internal housing that can move up, down and give you a directional angle for precise aiming. Cold forged brass with a reinforced PVC canister. Completely waterproof.

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  • VOLT® Salty Dog MR16 Underwater Light
    Compare at : $ 129.99
    Price : $ 59.97

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    The most advanced lamp-ready underwater light in the industry!

    We've redesigned this underwater light from the ground up and enhanced all the features to make the best underwater light possible - starting with a cold forged brass body which is less porous than cast brass and better suited for water-related conditions. Pressure fit gaskets ensure a tight seal that will keep water out of the internal housing. Our newly designed wire glands ensure that water cannot get into the fixture from one of the most common points of failure. The newly designed mount is more stable than ever before resisting light currents without the use of hardware. New brass thumbscrews are more durable and built to stand the test of time. Lamp-ready for use with our wide array of LED MR16 lamps.

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  • VOLT® 2-in-1 Tiki-Brass Torch Light
    Compare at : $ 149.99
    Price : $ 114.97

    You save:

    Two-in-One Tiki Torch with Flame and Low Voltage Area Light.

    Solid brass modern Polynesian-style fixture with flame and LED bulb make this a multi-functional light. Perfect for decks and docks, these tropical fixtures create a festive easy-going atmosphere while providing area lighting for safety and security.

    Add To Wishlist
  • VOLT® Woodsman II Lamp-Ready Cast Brass Downlight
    Compare at : $ 129.99
    Price : $ 49.97

    You save:

    Introducing the next generation lamp-ready LED downlight. Features a 40ft lead wire, thicker knuckle and tool-less adjustability.

    This advanced landscape lighting downlight (successor to the Top Dog Downlight) incorporates advanced thermal management for LED and halogen MR16 lamps. Features offset quick-connect mount, safer installation - no tools needed for adjustment, ultra-secure locking knuckle, 40-foot lead wire, zero water egress points when fixture is aimed downward, and heavy duty solid cast brass construction.

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  • VOLT® 12/2 - 250' Cable
    Compare at : $ 197.99
    Price : $ 92.97

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    VOLT's® premium direct burial (DBR) cable is specifically designed for low voltage landscape lighting. The insulation is of high quality polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Sunlight resistant, perfect for outdoor lighting applications.

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  • VOLT® 10/2 - 250' Cable
    Compare at : $ 197.99
    Price : $ 149.97

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    VOLT's® premium direct burial (DBR) cable is specifically designed for low voltage landscape lighting. 10/2 is a heavier gauge wire, and is primarily for longer runs and/or heavier loads (total wattage). The insulation is of high quality polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Sunlight resistant, perfect for outdoor lighting applications.

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  • VOLT® Pro Nano-Junction Direct Burial Connector 3-Way | 2-Pack
    Compare at : $ 14.99
    Price : $ 4.97

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    Exclusive VOLT® Innovation! Smaller version of our Micro-Junction for connecting one or two fixtures to a main low voltage line.

    Smaller hub-style connector designed to connect one or two fixtures to a home run wire back to the transformer. Locking clamps secure leads for a strong connection. Silicone grease-filled to ensure a waterproof connection that be secure year after year.

    A Landscape Lighting Innovation, Designed & Engineered Exclusively by VOLT®.

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  • VOLT® Pro Junction Hub
    Compare at : $ 39.99
    Price : $ 19.97

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    The easiest, quickest, most flexible way to connect multiple landscape lighting wires - designed and engineered exclusively by VOLT®.

    This groundbreaking junction box is a significant improvement over all other hub connectors. Using a robust system of rail-mounted clamp-type connectors, wires are simply inserted and clamped into the block. Wires may be connected or disconnected after installation. Patent pending.

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  • VOLT® Digital Voltmeter
    Compare at : $ 29.99
    Price : $ 14.97

    You save:

    This Digital Voltmeter is extremely handy when it comes to determining whether the electrical characteristics of a fixture are in parameter. Use this as a measurement tool of voltage level. Optimizing your system to proper voltage levels at the fixture can maximize the efficiency and life of your low voltage landscape lighting system. This is a must-have to keep your system in check!

    Add To Wishlist
  • VOLT® Comfort Squeeze Wire & Crimp Tool
    Compare at : $ 29.99
    Price : $ 19.97

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    Featuring a handle lock for closure and safety. Ergonomic comfort squeeze handle eases hand fatigue and provides non-slip grip. AWG and metric wire sizes ensure you will always have the right tool with you. Wire strippers also have crimp tool built right in.

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  • VOLT® Wire Stripper w/Handle Lock
    Compare at : $ 17.99
    Price : $ 12.97

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    Heavy duty wire strippers feature a handle lock and non-slip comfort grip for safety. AWG and metric wires sizes ensure you have the right tool every time. Heat treated steel pivot bushings and automatic spring return ensure construction quality.

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  • VOLT® Foot Stomper Stake Installer
    Compare at : $ 24.99
    Price : $ 11.97

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    Pro tool for fast and easy stake-mounted fixture installation

    VOLT experts designed this tool to save time and labor for landscape lighting installations. With stainless steel construction and a unique design, stakes can be pushed into the ground with a minimal physical effort.

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  • VOLT® Dual Lock Nut Wrench 1/2" and 3/4"
    Compare at : $ 19.99
    Price : $ 4.97

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    A Landscape Lighting Innovation, Designed & Engineered Exclusively by VOLT™
    This Lock Nut Wrench is made of tempered steel, which keeps it from bending or warping over time. With its solid and simple design, there aren’t any parts that could possibly wear out. This is most commonly used for adjusting fixture locknuts in the field; it also works well with the locknut on the transformer conduit. It also functions as a normal wrench for use with any 1/2" or 3/4" nut.

    Add To Wishlist

FINAL CHECK

Did you Satisfy your Lighting Goals? Were you able to find fixtures suited for the illumination you had in mind? If not, go back to the relevant fixture categories and browse through the popular fixtures on the right. Or, click on the link to view all fixtures in that category. When you go to a fixture category page, there will also be resources to help you select among the products.

Did you include all the wire and connectors needed in your system? We understand this can be a little confusing. Don't hesitate to call with questions. 813-978-3700.

Did you select one or more transformers? Again, don't be put off by the calculations. Give us a call if you're stuck.

Did you add a Timer and Photocell for Each Transformer? If not, you can click on the transformer(s) in your cart and edit the options.

Thanks for Building Your Own Landscape Lighting System!

Questions? CALL CUSTOMER SUPPORT (813) 978-3700
Questions? CALL CUSTOMER SUPPORT (813) 978-3700