Can You Wire Outdoor Lights To A Plug?

Wiring Outdoor Lights for your Maryland, DC, or Northern Virginia home

Wire It Out Then Plug It In

Where do the wires go when you wire outdoor lights? Most lights need electricity, even outdoor ones. This means wires. Don't worry, they won't end up all over the place ruining your yard and home's look. Outdoor lights usually have underground wiring to keep the cables safe and hide them from view. Even when they come above ground they're usually hard to spot, such as with the wiring for pendant lights. So, can you wire outdoor lights to a plug? Keep reading to find out!

See the different types of outdoor lighting >>

Exterior light wall sconce for entryways

How Will You Wire Outdoor Lights?

Depends on the situation. You may want to wire outdoor lights differently depending on the area, such as pathway lighting has a different look than driveway lighting. Here are some of your options:

Transformers- Timers In Disguise

When you wire outdoor lights to a transformer they don't turn into robots, they just power your lights. You'll end up wiring each light fixture to the transformer, with the wires either laying on or under the ground. The transformer, in turn, goes into an exterior outlet. Let's go a little into how they work.

Transformers operate your lights with either a timer or a photocell. Timer-based transformers turn the lights on or off at times you specify, so they'll work at your pleasure. Photocell transformers turn on and off with the sun! The photocell turns on the lights when it starts to get dark outside and turn them off when it gets bright. They even work for pond lighting! Read about wiring exterior lights to light switches.

*Note- when choosing a transformer, pick one that has more watts than the combined wattage of the lights*

transformer for when you wire outdoor lights

A Flick Of A Switch

It's a great feeling. Flipping a light switch and watching your yard brighten that is! You too can have this feeling if you wire outdoor lights to an interior light switch. There are two wiring options. One is to hardwire the lights to the switch itself. The other is wire it to an exterior outlet with a transformer. The switch would turn on the outlet which would activate the transformer. You'll have all the power at your fingertips. Or, you can leave it to the sun. Read on to find out what that means.

See our guide for installing outdoor lights >>

light switch you can wire outdoor lights to

Solar Powered Lights

These lights love to suntan, and the more sun they get, the better they shine. There's no need to wire outdoor lights when you have these. Most solar-power lights are made with LED's, which are better than halogens because they are the most energy-efficient bulbs possible. Combine this with an endless energy supply and BAM! You've got light forever. Well, as long as you change the bulbs when they burn out.

Nothing this awesome can be perfect, right?

Unfortunately, most homeowners hesitate to get solar power lights. This is because they hear they aren't as bright as wired lights. The main reason for this is placement. If the lights don't get a lot of sunlight, they won't work well, so make sure to put them in sunny spots.

Whichever you choose, adding exterior lighting is a great choice for any property!

solar powered light in grass so you don't need to wire outdoor lights

You Can And You...Will?

Landscape lighting is great, but not for everyone. Many homeowners think if they install outdoor lights their home will end up looking like Disneyworld. This can be true if done incorrectly. Outdoor lighting needs to be more subtle, highlighting only necessary areas and focal points. If you want to see for yourself, check out the job Premier Lighting did on the McAuliffe home in Alexandria.

See Premier Lighting at work on the McAuliffe home in Alexandria >>

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