How to fit lighting on a garden slope and steps

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how to illuminate steps on a sloping garden

A sloping garden is best illuminated from the bottom up, especially where steps or ramps are installed, Lighting placed at the top of a terrace or sloping garden will throw shadows and will not illuminate the lower steps.
When lighting up steps, you need to position the up-light so that it will light the bottom step and "stretch" the light beam up towards the top of the steps. This will need some experimentation before final installation.
Steps or ramps on a sloping garden need special landscaping attention to make your garden look good, and at the same time to be safe to navigate to the bottom or top of the slope.
Garden steps on a slope or even from terrace to terrace can be dangerous, especially without railings or a handrail. When you or your landscaper design your sloping or terraced garden, be sure to include good lighting for the steps that clearly define the stepped area. 
If you plan landscape lighting features at the same time as you are planning the terracing or planting on the slope, stand at the bottom of the slope and think about the best place for the lights to provide garden illumination and to light the steps. Some types of lights can be positioned directly on the steps as long as they don't become a trip hazard or incorporated into the rise of the step to illuminate each step. Larger types of flood lights can be positioned to illuminate the plants, garden steps and pathways all at the same time.
To highlight steps, pathways and ramps during daylight, plant brightly coloured flowers or plants alongside and at junctions. My page plants for pathways   lists plants to plant alongside pathways for flowers and scent.

Laying electricity cables for outdoor garden lights

Most garden lighting works at 12 volts, so you will need to plan in advance where the wiring and  transformers will be located in the garden and use flexible low voltage cable from the transformer to the garden lights themselves.
Keep low voltage cable runs as short as possible to optimise the performance of your garden lights.

The best ground burial low voltage cable to use is a round, double-insulated rubber type with a tough outer sheath impervious to moisture and salts in the soil. The round shape seals well through cable glands or membranes into junction boxes to avoid moisture getting in.

The cable is usually run under ground but can also be laid under bark or gravel. Your electrician will be able to advice you on the safest way to lay garden lighting cable.

Special care should be taken when laying cable for garden lighting to illuminate a slope or terracing, avoiding trip hazards.

 Always plan to lay the cables for your garden lights whilst the landscape work is in progress especially if the cables are being laid below the surface. 

Otherwise you will find yourself taking up slabs or even footings. 

Protective conduit should be used where cable might be vulnerable, for example where it crosses under a grass path where lawn edging during maintenance might damage the cable.


And finally, be considerate to neighbours who will almost certainly not want their garden illuminated by your garden lights.