Switch It Up

You met the homeowner, discussed their project, and shared a beautiful vision for lighting their outside living spaces and landscape.  Then comes the question. The client wants to be able to turn on and off a portion of the lighting system at will. Maybe overhead lights near a grill, patio lights near a dining area or even an awesome new product we’re releasing soon. But that’s so much more complicated, right?

Maybe it’s easier than you think.

Here’s an extremely effective and simple (also inexpensive) way to give your customer a straightforward switch control for any part of their system!

Get the pieces together:

You’ll need just a few things to complete the project like a pro.  these are some of our favorite brands but feel free to swap them out for yours:




1.  An electrical wire stripping and crimping tool. Use combination pliers or single-duty tools. There are many ways to strip and crimp. Be prepared for both!

2. One multi-bit screwdriver. Depending on the screw head on the switch device, you’ll need a #2 Philips or slotted tip.

3. One wet location outlet box. We like the Red Dot, Three Hole, ¾” type.

4. One wet location switch cover and device kit. Again, we like Red Dot because we know it integrates perfectly with the outlet box. You might even find all three pieces in a single kit – take a look!

5. Two fork terminals. This example is for 12 gauge wire (12 AWG) but make sure you match you terminal to your wire gauge.

Build the switch into the system:

We've broken the steps down into several parts.  You'll want to confirm location details with the customer before proceeding.

1. Determine which fixtures will be controlled and confirm they can all be on the same home run.

2. Determine the best location of the outlet box.  We recommend a spot out of eyesight but still accessible.  Typically the center of the switch is located 48 inches above the finished floor or grade.


3. After mounting the outlet box, pull wire from the transformer up into the box (leave 6-8 inch loop to work with) then back out of the box to the fixture connection(s).






4. Select only one of the two insulated wires, detach it from the other by peeling it away, and cut only that one wire.  This is important.






5. Strip the cut wire to 3/4" and then crimp the 2 fork terminals onto the ends of the stripped wire.





6.Fasten both fork terminals to the switch device using the screws provided - one terminal for each mounting screw.





7. Attach the switch device cover, and then the switch cover to the outlet box.




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8. Eureka!  You're a pro!




Of course, feel free to give us a call or send an email.  We'd love to hear from you!

Oh, and that new product we're releasing -- stay tuned for our email next week.  You won't want to miss it.  We promise!  Can't stand to wait?  Give us a call and we'll give you the scoop.

Have a great weekend!

Here to help you thrive!

The Sterling Lighting Team