How to Power Outdoor Lights

Beautiful wooden deck and patio lit up at night.

Whether you’re hanging some bistro lights to liven up your grilling area or adding security lights around your shed, outdoor lighting adds fun and function to just about any outdoor space. However, getting power to outdoor lights can be a tricky prospect for a homeowner to figure out. Luckily, there are multiple ways to light up your yard.

Related Topic: Lighting Options to Create the Perfect Outdoor Setting

Plug In Outdoor Lights

The easiest way to get lights to your yard is to just plug strands into exterior outlets. Most building codes require a certain number of exterior outlets—usually at least one by the front and rear doors of your home. Take advantage of them with a combination of lights and extension cords. With splitters or remote plug-ins, you’ll be able to control multiple strands of lights at one time.

One major drawback of this method is that extension cords can pose a trip hazard for members of your family. Also, animals and children can be seriously injured when they misuse light strings or extension cords.

Related Topic: How to Protect Outdoor Outlets

How To Power Outdoor Lights Without an Outlet

Although external outlets are required by most building codes, there’s a chance your home might not have exterior outlets. You can still get power to outdoor lighting without an outlet with these options:

Solar Outdoor Lights: With a variety of choices ranging from floodlights to path lights, solar is a good way to light your home without having to worry about cords or outlets or adding to your electric bill.

A downside of this option is that you’ll need to make sure your lights are in a place where they can get adequate sunlight to store power for later usage. You’ll also be impacted by days of overcast weather reducing the amount of sunlight your receptors can gather. On the other hand, solar lights can be placed anywhere, increasing your options for lighting.

Use a Generator for Outdoor Lighting: If you don’t have outlets available outside, or if you’re trying to light an area too far away from your outlets, a small portable generator can provide power right where you need it. Unlike solar lights, you won’t be as affected by weather. But you’ll need to provide fuel for the generator, usually gas, which can add costs in other ways. Generators can also be quite noisy. Alternatively, rechargeable battery packs provide portable, silent power for outdoor lights.

Wiring Outdoor Lights: Hardwiring outdoor lighting to a dedicated circuit gives you the most consistent power source. Although this option is convenient in the long run, getting hardwired lighting to sheds, patio areas, or other outdoor locations will be difficult and will require a licensed electrician to make sure the job is completed safely and properly.

A Safer, More Reliable Option

Outdoor lighting can have a significant impact on how much quality time you spend outdoors. It not only increases your usable space, it also provides a level of security for you and your family.

One of the safest and more reliable ways to power up your property is to contact a licensed electrician. The local pros at Mr. Electric can help with recommendations and installation. We experts at helping homeowners with their electrical needs, from whole home generators to interior and exterior lighting installation. To learn more, or to get started, give us a call at (844) 866-1367 or schedule an appointment online today.