Fusion Electric Blog

A Step by Step Guide to Installing Permanent Outdoor Lighting

When you install lighting outside of your home, do you just grab an extension cord and plug it in? If so, you may be creating an electrical hazard and not even know it.

The fact is, there is much more to installing permanent outdoor lighting than you may think. After all, if you are installing a permanent lighting fixture, you need to make sure it is installed in an attractive, stable and safe manner.

Keep in mind, since this installation work involves wiring the new cord into your house and installing a switch, you should hire an electrician to ensure it is done properly.

Step 1: Choose the Type of Fixtures You Want to Install

The first step is the most fun part of the entire process. This is when you need to determine what type of fixtures you want to install.

There are outdoor lighting fixtures for all sorts of purposes, including highlighting your landscape plants, for security and to mark walkways. In some situations, your lights can serve two or three of these purposes.

Step 2: Figure Out How You Want to Control the Lights

After you have chosen the fixture you want to install, you will have to decide how you want to control them. A standard switch-operated lights will come on when someone flips the switch and stay that way until someone turns them off. This is a good option for lights that are only used once in a while. For example, you may only turn on your walkway or porch lights when you are expecting someone or need to see someone outside.

If you are installing lights that should come on each night and then stay on for a certain amount of time, there are two (better) solutions than opting for manual control.

  1. Put the lights on a timer. This is a good option if you want your lights to turn on at night and then go off at a certain time.
  2. Use a light sensor. The sensor is the best option if you want the lights to remain on from dust until dawn.

Step 3: Call an Electrician

Once you know the type of lights you want to install and how you are going to control the lights, you need to call an electrician. They will wire in your lights to a circuit, which will include the control mechanism you have chosen. For a simple grouping of light, you can likely put them all on one circuit; however, for a more complex grouping, you may need several.

If you are installing remote fixtures outside your home, then you will have to bury the electrical cable underground to protect it from the elements and to keep it from being a trip hazard. An electrician can provide assistance with this, as well.

If you are ready to have exterior lights installed for your home, then call the professionals at Fusion Electric to set up an appointment. They can ensure the job is done right, the first time.