How to Install Low Voltage Landscape Lighting

DIY tips, tricks and instructions on how to install a low voltage landscape lighting project. 

I changed my mind, install it for me.

Where to start?

It’s important to start by visualizing your lighting project. What would you like to light up? Search our (Gallery) for images that catch your eye. Do you have columns on the front your home? Large beautiful trees that need accenting? Perhaps a pathway that is too dark at night? A little bit of everything?  We offer free visual lighting plans if you need some help deciding what you want! We are more than happy to give you ideas custom to your home. Just email us a picture here:  

Once you have a general idea of what you want lit up, let’s think about placement. Be mindful of windows that lights will shine in or neighbors that are close to the area being illuminated.  How much light are you going to want? That will help determine spacing and quantities.  Once you have a general idea of what you want to light up, it’s time to pick out your fixtures

Step 2- Pick out your fixtures.


Now that you’ve got your general lighting design we need to decide what fixtures you are going to use.  TouchStone has a HUGE variety of fixtures to choose from. Each customizable to your needs.  Custom colors, heights and mounting options.  We can help you choose items within your budget, style needs or help you color match to your current landscape design. We offer packages for easy, all inclusive options for easy install process, or we can create a package tailored to your needs. Once you have the amount of fixtures you will be using, pick our your tranformer that will power your lighting.


There is more information about how to choose the right transformer here: TRANSFORMERS


Step 3- Map out your cable path and dig.

Once you have your lighting picked out and you are ready to get started, it’s important to check with your utility company and check for underground wires or pipes.  When you know their locations, lets map out where you are going to run your cables and start trenching! Low Voltage cabling only needs to go down about 4-6 inches (just make sure it’s below arration) pu no need to tear up your yard to install this lighting. If you are going under mulch, there is no need to dig unless you have a lot of critters, they like to chew wires, so less visable is the best.


Step 4- Mount the transformer.


Mount your transformer to where it will be located. We offer heavy duty transformer stands so there is no need to mount the transformer to your home, or wood posts that rot out.

 Things to keep in mind;  the transformer should be semi easily accessible area for future service, timer resets and troubleshooting for future problems if they arise.

 Are you planning on using a photocell or a timer? If you are using a photocell, your transformer needs access to the morning sun and should stay in daylight for the majority of the day, if it is in an overly shaded area in the afternoon your lights may turn on too early.


Step 5- Connect the lights.

Before connecting the lights to the transformer we are going to connect all our lights individually in the ground. Lay all your lights out where they will be located and start running your cable from the transformer box area to each fixture, connect with silicone connectors or for a no cut application use clamp connectors to attach the fixtures to the main cable.  If you have two separate areas you are lighting, run two separate lines of cable to each section. You can then daisy chain each fixture together. There are two cables coming out of your fixture, they should be connected each individually to the connection cable, not together. Please see the instructions page on how each fixture connects to the main cable. They are located on each product page.

Step 6- Hook into the transformer.

Now that all of our lights are attached to each other, let’s hook it into our transformer.  There are multiple taps on your transformer. You are going to connect one end of the two coming off the long cable into the ground connection (COMM 1) and the other one into the 12V tap. If you are going a long distance (over 200 feet) We will then move into the 13v tap instead. If you have two sections you can double (even triple) up in each TAP! Flip the switch and see if all of your lights come on. If they do, you are ready to bury and properly install the lighting. (please note, if you are running hardscape lighting, you will likely need to install the lights as you go, and not wait until the end to attach them)

Step 7- Trouble shoot then Install the lights.

Pathway, walkway and garden lighting will need to be installed using a PVC  piping that you hammer into the ground, then using a circular motion you will open the hole up big enough for the stake and the riser boot to be buried. Stand your pathway light upright, then start packing dirt AROUND the stake and packing it in. DO NOT HIT THE FIXTURE FROM THE TOP TO POUND IT IN.   A properly installed fixture should be standing firmly upright and not give with a little pressure. Going in the full length of the stake and up the boot a bit will ensure its stability and durability.  For flood lighting, you will use this same technique while adjusting the lights where you want them to aim at the same time.  For hardscape lighting, there are instructions for installation on each product page. Please call for any extra help you may need.

Step 8- Bury the cable.

Time to start burying your cable. Your trenches should be all along where your lights are, simply lay the cable in there and then bury it. If you have lighting in your mulch, simply cover it up. There is really no wrong way to bury your cable. Just make sure it is below an aerator depth or out of sight of critters.  If you are installing hardscape lighting, running it along cracks in the concrete or under pavers is the best way to hide the wires.

Step 9- Sit back and enjoy the view!

CONGRATULATIONS!  You DID IT! At this point, you should be able to just sit back and enjoy your landscape lighting. Go out after dark and adjust any lights that are shining in windows, or not properly angling towards trees or sculptures. Adjusting the lights should be quick and painless. 

Then, prepare to add more lighting. Because once you start, there is no going back!



Why Touchstone?

We are a 25 year manufacturer of PREMIUM landscape lighting built right in Minnesota. We have a no hassle, no problems approach to lighting up your home. Offering DIY projects straight from the warehouse to your door.

Looking for something different? Check out these package options. Or see all of them here

The Hardscaper

This package is great for illuminating the hardscape in your landscaping. Light up walls, columns, monuments and more.


More Info

The Gardener

Great for small to larger gardens, walkways or pathways. Featuring our simple, sleek, #1 selling fixture the Coppertino!

More Info

Pergola Lighting

The Pergola Package is perfect for outdoor pergolas, gazebos, columns, walls or fences.  Great for the ultimate outdoor lighting experience

More Info


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