Outdoor living before the sun goes down is lovely. But add a little landscape lighting and moonlight to the mix and you’ve got an enchanting backdrop for all your outside celebrations!
If you’d like to add some DIY landscape lighting to your outdoor living area, I’d love to show you how we did ours!
Adding DIY Landscaping Lights
First, decide on a plan- Consider what you’d like to accent.
Some questions to get you started…
- What part of your yard, flower beds, water features or trees would you like illuminated?
- Do you want a light mounted in a tree shining down onto a particular area? (These give a moonlight effect and are so pretty when shining onto a garden area.)
- Do you have a space (eating area, fire pit) that would benefit from string lights?
We decided to uplight a few trees and add lighting to the garden area surrounding our water feature. We also added a giant criss-cross of string lights over the fire pit.
Let’s start with the up-lights…
Assemble the lights according to the directions.
Place the lights in the locations that you’ve chosen in your plan.
Find an outdoor electrical outlet close to the space you’re working on, and mount the power pack close to the outlet. We used cement anchors for brick, but you can use wood screws for mounting to the side of your house.
DO NOT PLUG POWER PACK INTO POWER SOURCE YET.
Take one end of your wire and lay it at the farthest light from the power pack. Now, lay the wire from light to light until you make your way to the power pack-don’t pull the wire tight. (Keep in mind you’ll want to bury or cover the wire later, so keep the wire in pine/mulch islands or around the perimeter of your lawn.)
Connect wire to the power pack by taking the power pack off the wall …
Using wire strippers, strip the wires as shown.
Attach the stripped wires to the terminals on the back of the power pack.
Now put your power pack back on the wall.
Connect the wires at each light location according to your instructions.
Stick your lights back into the ground!
Plug the power pack into power source and set automatic timer according to instructions.
Go back through your yard and cover the electrical wire with pine straw or mulch if it’s located in a bed, or you can dig a shallow trench to bury the wire.
Once your lights are working, wait till dusk and make sure your lights are pointing in the right direction. Adjust as necessary!
Adding String Lights
Now for another layer of ambiance using string lights!
Materials needed to add string lights
If you haven’t done so already, now’s the time to decide where you want your string lights. Also consider exactly where you’ll attach them. We decided to attach ours onto our decking and a few trees, creating a criss-cross pattern over the fire pit and waterfall.
If you don’t have trees or decking available, you could easily install poles or for a temporary solution…like maybe if you’ll be throwing a bunch of parties this summer, you could put poles into weighted buckets!
When you decide on where and how you’ll hang your lights, add screw eyes and connect the cable to the eye.
Secure with the wire rope clip.
Tighten the nuts.
Take the other end of the cable to the corresponding tree or pole you’re using to attach your lights.
Extend the turn buckle by spinning the center and run the cable through the eye. Place the wire rope clip on the cable but don’t tighten.
Attach the hook end of the turn buckle to the eye you put in the tree or pole, then pull the slack out of the cable to tighten. Secure the wire rope clip.
The turn buckle can now be adjusted to tighten the entire length of the cable. (Ours was 70 feet, so we needed extra tension to keep the lights from sagging in the center.)
Now it’s time to hang your lights!
Plug the first set of string lights into your extension cord to test and begin hanging the lights on the cable with zip ties. Continue to connect your lights and hang them with the zip ties. Remember, don’t connect more than the recommended number of strings.
I like them even in the daylight, but when the sun starts to go down…
…these little string lights…
…add a whole lot of atmosphere!
Adding another easy layer of outdoor lighting can be fun, like these beautiful lanterns from Home Depot.
(When you use a battery operated candle, the candle can be set to come on at the same time your landscape lights flicker on!)
It’s easy to give your outdoor space a soft inviting glow that will keep you spending your nights under the stars right up until that first freeze!