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Low-voltage outdoor lighting systems use a transformer to convert 120-volt household alternating current (AC) to 12-volt direct current (DC), so they are safe and easy to install without help from an electrician. Another low-voltage advantage is that new lights can be installed while the power is on. This is especially helpful when you're positioning lights after dark.
The transformer, which simply plugs into any electrical outlet, also controls a built-in timer that allows you to preset schedules to turn the lights on and off. Typically, timers can be set for 4, 6 or 8 hour schedules. Some systems include a light sensor that turns the lights on at night and off in the daytime.
Follow the programming steps provided by your system’s manufacturer. You may have to disable or cover the light sensor to do this in the daylight.
Because these systems are designed for homeowners to install, they are easy to assemble and set up. Start by inserting a light bulb (Image 1) into each lamp and attach the protective covers (Image 2).
Run the low-voltage power cable where lights are to be placed. Some lighting systems have fixtures with feeder wires that clamp to the power cable, while others have lights that attach directly to the cable. Metal teeth in the clamp pierce the insulation on the cable and tap into the wiring (Image 1).
In the system shown, the power lines are routed through channels inside the ground stake (Image 2).
After you've connected a light and attached its stake, press the unit into place. Plastic parts can break if you have to apply too much pressure, so use a tool to first open a hole in hard or stony ground.
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