Are you looking for professional information about how to install landscape lighting? You have come to the right place. Dolce Electric Company provides an in-office electrician in Mesa AZ that you can call and consult with free of charge about your outdoor landscape lighting installation in Mesa AZ. Voted best electrician Mesa AZ, he will answer all of your “how to” questions about landscape lights and provide you with the information that you are looking for. He is available to take your call today, Tuesday, July 16th, 2019, from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Give him a call; you will be happy you did!
Need some design help?
You can schedule our local Mesa electricians to provide you with a free professional outdoor low voltage lighting design (as described below) and an estimate for doing the job. We encourage you to upload up to 6 pictures of your landscaping before scheduling.
Need a second opinion?
At Dolce Electric Company we always recommend getting a second and even third estimate before having any work done. If you would like another estimate for your project just upload the drawings and our electricians in Mesa will provide you with a competitive bid.
Landscape Lighting Installed In Mesa AZ
At Dolce Electric Company your 100% satisfaction is our primary goal. We understand that you have a good idea of what you want to accomplish but you probably do not know how to install landscape lights like us professional electricians. For this reason, we use a simple three-step plan that will ensure that your goals are met while delivering the lifetime quality that you deserve.
Step 1: Free Initial Consultation
The purpose of this meeting is to gather your ideas, present you with options and to create a working blueprint of your project. This free service ensures that all of your needs are met and it gives us a clear picture of the project so we can provide you with an exact cost to complete the project.
There are 7 simple but very important items to address in this first step.
A. Gather all of your ideas
Every home is different and each person has their own unique taste. The more we understand about what you would like to accomplish the more we can help you. If you just have a general idea of what you want to accomplish, that is okay too. Our experts can advise you on what works best and what to stay away from.
- Note: If you are planning on using LED landscape lighting we strongly suggest getting a whole house surge protector installed. Visit our pages about LED lighting and whole house surge protection for more information.
B: Make a simple drawing of your property as if you were looking straight down at it.
- We start with the shape of your home and include your pool, shed or any other structure on your property as applicable.
- We indicate where the main power panel is located and include where each outdoor power receptacle is located.
- We draw in your driveway, walkways, patio and all other cement, cool decking and paver areas.
- We then add and identify all trees, bushes and other landscaping in the appropriate location (palm tree, hedged, bush, bolder…).
This is your working blueprint for your lighting installation. Together, we will use it to experiment with some different landscape lighting ideas until we come up with the perfect solution for your home.
C: Start installing landscape light fixtures on blueprint.
- Together, we place your landscape lights on the blueprint for the desired effect and include the wattage of each fixture. Choices include spot lights, flood lights, path lights, area lights and well lights.
- Refer to the different lighting techniques section on our landscape lighting design page for further help.
- We strongly recommend using LED landscape lighting opposed to halogen type low voltage landscape lighting. LED landscape lighting will last much longer and use 80% less electricity when compared to traditional low voltage outdoor lighting.
D: Determine where you would like to place your transformers.
Every home is different but all landscape lighting transformers require a source of electricity, typically a GFCI outlet.
Here are some points to consider for placing transformers.
- The closer the transformer is placed to the designated lighting the better. A system with a transformer that is far away from the lights will have to account for greater voltage drop.
- It is best to keep the transformers out of direct sight. Mechanical areas, like around the pool equipment or near the main power panel, are often good. Transformers can be placed inside garages and sheds too.
- Most homes will have a minimum of two transformers, one for the front yard and one for the back. Depending on the size of your property, the number of lights and location of your lights, additional transformers may be required.
- In some cases it will be better and more cost effective to install an additional 120 volt GFCI power outlet for a new transformer location, opposed to running excessive lengths of cable. See our page about GFCI outlet installation.
E: Group light fixtures into zones.
- Each zone should consist of fixtures that are all a similar distance from the transformer. Limit each zone to a maximum of 100 watts of combined fixture wattage.
Note: If we have a zone with more than 100 watts, it is best to break it up into 2 separate zones. A zone can be a combination of low voltage garden lights, flood lights, well lights or any combination. The main thing to remember is a similar distance and under 100 watts.
- Draw a line connecting all of the lights in each zone together.
- At the midway point number the zone and write in the total zone wattage.
Group fixtures 10 to 30 feet from the transformer into one zone, fixture 30 to 50 feet away into another zone, fixtures 50 to 70 feet away into another zone and so on. The goal is to have all of the fixtures on the zone’s main cable run to have the same amount of voltage drop. In doing this, voltage can be adjusted at the transformer for each individual zone.
- Why is this important?
If you were to put a group of lights about 25 feet from the transformer on the same cable run as a group of lights 90 feet from the transformer, you would clearly see that the closer group looks fine and the group further away looks very dim. This is because of voltage drop, and because they are sharing the same cable run, voltage adjustments cannot be made without effecting both groups. The group that is further away will also have a much shorter life expectancy due to the incorrect voltage.
F: Figure the length and required size of your main cable runs.
- We physically measure the distance of each main cable run from the center of each zone to its designated transformer location.
- These lines get drawn onto your blueprint (connecting the center of each individual zone to its transformer).
- We write the footage under the zone number and total zone wattage.
- We now multiply the zone’s total fixture wattage and total cable run length (in feet). A sum of 10,000 or less requires a #12 cable, a sum of 10,001 to 15,000 requires a #10 cable and a sum of 15,001 to 25,000 requires a #8 cable.
- We write the correct cable size below the number of feet.
A zone with a total of 75 watts, having a cable run of 130 feet, would require a #12 cable because 75 watts X 130 feet = 9750.
G: How to size your transformers.
- We write the zone number and total wattage of each zone at its assigned transformer.
- Add together the total wattage of all the zone cable runs going to that transformer and multiply by 1.25 for the minimum required size.
Zone cable runs 1, 2 and 3 have a wattage of 60 watts, 50 watts and 75 watts for a total load of 185 watts. A 200 watt transformer might seem like to correct choice, but it is too small. According to the National Electric Code a transformer must be rated at 125% of the load.
- Quick Reference:
A 100 watt transformer is good for 80 watts, 200 watts transformers are good for 160 watts and 300 watt transformers are good for 240 watts.
Now that your blueprint has been created, we both know exactly what will be required for your project and you will be presented with an exact price to complete the project. Upon your approval, your parts will be ordered and delivered. This process takes between 3 to 5 business days.
Step 2: Installation
All of our systems are guaranteed parts and labor for life.
Before beginning our local Mesa AZ electricians will walk the entire job with you, review the blueprints with you and answer any questions that you may have.
Our experts take pride in every job they do. You can expect each fixture to be square and level, each transformer to be securely mounted and every wire to be firmly anchored beneath the ground. They do a thorough clean up and show you how to operate your new system before leaving. They have been voted best electricians Mesa AZ and are sure to deliver the finest workmanship available anywhere.
Step 3: Fine Tuning
After your system is operational you may have the need for a few minor adjustments. This is common because the initial installation was made in the daytime and true perfection can only be achieved when the lights are on at night.
We typically schedule all fine tuning 2 to 3 days after the initial installation. This will give you time to make notes of any areas that need a little extra attention. This appointment must be scheduled after the sun goes down for precision.