Outdoor Lighting Plans When Building or Remodeling

Image Credit: Raptor Alpha via Flickr licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

by Lani Furbank

When you’re building a new house or having remodeling work done on your existing home, it seems like there are a million and one things to consider. From tile choices and paint colors to ceiling heights and window placement, it’s easy to get caught up in the seemingly endless list of decisions. But, there’s one important detail you could be forgetting…outdoor lighting.

Even if you’re unsure whether you want to install outdoor lighting right away, you should think ahead and plan for the lighting work while you’re in the construction phases. Having a contingency plan will save you time and money in the long run. Trust us, you’ll be grateful if and when you decide to add lighting!

Here are five tasks that homeowners should do when they’re building or remodeling.

What homeowners need to do during the construction phase, to save money on outdoor lighting.

Plan Ahead For Outdoor Lighting: 5 Things You Need To Do When Building or Remodeling Your Home

1. Plan for electricity outside.

This one seems rather basic, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t consider this crucial step. In many new homes, there is only one outlet in the garage. Building code requires just one, and most people don’t think they’ll need more than one. After all, one outlet is typically enough for a fridge, freezer, or work station.

However, for outdoor lighting, you’ll need a dedicated outlet. You should ideally run an additional outlet in an unobtrusive space, such as on an outside wall. This will also be useful for any irrigation needs.

Image Credit: Roger Mommaerts via Flickr licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

2. Have a controlled outlet.

After planning a dedicated outlet, you also need to think about whether or not you want your landscape lights on a switch. If you do, you’ll need a controlled outlet. It’s much easier and less expensive to put this in while you’re building or remodeling, rather than after the construction is finished. Place the outlet in a hidden location, because you don’t want a transformer exposed on the front of the house or on the deck where you’ll be spending a lot of time.

3. Plan ahead for wiring under pavement.

Digging under pavement to run wire is challenging and time-consuming. Anytime you’re laying or repairing a walkway or driveway, have a couple of PVC pipes put in to act as sleeves for future wiring. Place them in an easy to find spot – line them up with memorable landmark or stationary feature of the house, such as the corner of the house or by the front walkway – and then take pictures documenting where they are located for future use. These sleeves will save you money on the cost of installing landscape lights by eliminating the costly step of having your lighting contractor rent a boring machine in order to dig under the pavement.

4. Think about how to integrate lighting into your existing automation system.

It’s a growing trend that more homes have automation systems these days, whether they are control4, DIY, or something set up through your security company. If you have an automation system, make a plan to integrate your new lighting. This means you’ll want to place the transformer in a location where the signal is strong. Otherwise, you could have to deal with glitches in your lighting automation.

Image credit: Jesus Rodriguez via Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0

5. Consider how to incorporate lighting into masonry work.

Adding lighting into masonry work after it is built is not an easy feat. To save you and your lighting contractor a whole lot of trouble, plan your lighting while the stone work and building is being done. When installing lighting into stone or concrete, make sure you choose high-quality, long-lasting lighting fixtures, like our solid brass Sterling Lighting line. Cheap aluminum fixtures will quickly degrade in concrete. Your stonework is built to last, so your lighting should be, too.

If you’re unsure of how to plan for outdoor lighting on your property, give Enlightened Lighting a call and we can help answer your questions! We want to help make the process of installing lighting as easy and affordable as possible.