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Outdoor stairs lighting

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Burgy

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Though the season is about over, we are adding on to our home which includes adding outdoor stairs from our patio to the lower garage. The stairs will be situated behind a privacy fence. Has anyone added lighting to stairs that has worked well? The yard is graded so that it runs down hill and parallel to the stairs. My first thought is to just get some solar yard lights (spot light style) and place them and space them down the hill next to steps. On the other hand, is there anything that can be placed directly on the steps out of the way (like an LED strip) that would work? Even a motion light as an option.

Thank you.
 

Burgy

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Hi Jeff. The digging just started. Nothing built yet. I am trying to keep a head of everything and if I need to run wiring and so on, to be able to do that before it is constructed. Basically we will have a concrete patio with a vinyl privacy fence surrounding it. The fence will have a gate that leads to the stairs. I can always provide pictures when it is being constructed.
 

Snoonyb

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If you have plans that have elevations, a photo of the elevation depicting the ladder-way would help.

Low voltage system are easily hidden.
 

Johnboy555

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If it were me I would run some low voltage wiring when they are landscaping so it can be used for lighting where needed later. Even if you aren't sure what you want yet. That way it can be run under walkways and such. Run a line down each side of the stairs so it will be there when you need it. You can thank me later
 

Jeff Handy

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Good idea.

You can also run it and bury it in half inch pvc, just so it does not get chopped to bits from planting or construction.

Or use plastic flex conduit, like for a/c condenser.
 

Snoonyb

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You can also run it inside handrail, stringers, newel posts and stanchions.

The limit is your creative imagination.
 

Johnboy555

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Good idea.

You can also run it and bury it in half inch pvc, just so it does not get chopped to bits from planting or construction.

Or use plastic flex conduit, like for a/c condenser.
The idea of running it before you are ready to use it is that you aren't exactly sure where it will be used. If you run it in pipe then you effectively limit where you can splice into it.
 

Johnboy555

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If by any chance you don't want to run the wire ahead of time... If there's sidewalks lay a length of 3/4" PVC extending 6" to 12" beyond the sides of the sidewalk, AND REMEMBER WHERE THEY ARE. You can slip a cap over each end, or even a couple pieces of duct tape, so they don't fill up with mud. Then you can just dig down to the pipe and run the wire through the pipe.
 

Snoonyb

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Sometimes reading between the lines indicates Identical intent and use, as in PVC. You see I've pre-positioned, drilled under sidewalks, patio slab and driveways in the context of the 30+ LV projects in the LA/OC/PALM DESERT area's. All had multiple runs of simultaneously and individually switched architectural lighting.

Your imagination, is your limit.
 

Jeff Handy

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The idea of running it before you are ready to use it is that you aren't exactly sure where it will be used. If you run it in pipe then you effectively limit where you can splice into it.

I disagree.

You can easily cut out a short section of the conduit at the chosen tap location.

I never run landscape lighting wire in conduit anyway, but in this case I thought it might help to avoid the wire being destroyed by construction digging or landscape planting.

Low voltage wiring is typically run after construction and planting is finished.

I have spent many hours hunting for the breaks in those wires after clients have had some new plants or shrubs planted in their gardens.

The landscapers never ever alert anyone that they have encountered and chopped into the wires, and sometimes they don’t even know they did.

And full disclosure I am a landscaper also, but I fix the wires that I occasionally cut by accident.
Lighting, cable, internet, phone, pet fence.
Sometimes even 120 volt romex buried only a few inches deep and with no board over it.
 
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Jeff Handy

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I am too lazy and self-centered to watch the whole neighborhood.

I can barely keep my pants up and walk to the bathroom, no patrols for me, haha.
 

Burgy

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Great ideas everyone. Endless possibilities. I will take it from here. Stay safe
 

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