It’s hard to give you an exact figure for the cost of installing outdoor lighting. Most homeowners in the U.S. spend between $3,500 and $20,000 on the installation, which covers everything from materials to labor.

That should give you a sense of the cost of an outdoor lighting installation. The remainder of this guide will take a closer look at the many variables impacting costs. You can use this information to help budget your upcoming project. Let’s dive straight into the guide.

What Impacts the Cost of a Project

The main factors that impact the cost of landscape lighting installation are: 

  • The size of your yard—As you can imagine, a bigger outdoor space will require more wiring and lighting fixtures. This will naturally drive the lighting installation cost upward.
  • The complexity of the project—A simple lighting project will always be cheaper than a complex one, where professionals are required to ensure every intricate detail is taken care of.
  • The quality of the fixtures—High-quality lighting fixtures tend to cost more. It may be tempting to go for the cheapest option, but it’s better to invest more and think long-term. Durable fixtures, like our CAST Classic or Craftsman outdoor lights, can last a lifetime.
  • The labor costs—Finally, you have the labor costs. You can try to save money by managing the costs yourself or pay a premium to have an experienced professional do the work.

These are the main variables that impact your outdoor lighting installation costs. We’ll now look at the costs, plus the pros and cons, of getting a lighting professional to manage your project, doing the work yourself, or hiring a general contractor.

Cost of a Professional Outdoor Lighting Installation

Hiring professionals for your landscape lighting project is the most expensive option. Experts ensure the job is done correctly, though. Getting things done right the first time can be a cost and time saver. They can also suggest what fixtures to get and even purchase them for you.

We sell our CAST Classic lighting fixtures, like the CAST Classic Mini China Hat Path Light shown above, to lighting professionals via distribution and directly through our online store. All of our sand-cast bronze fixtures come with a lifetime warranty.

To give you a sense of the cost of a professionally managed project, a simple landscape lighting setup can start at around $20 to $30 per square yard. Complex projects using multiple types of landscape lighting could easily double or triple the baseline, pushing costs to upwards of $60 to $90 per square yard. That excludes the cost of your outdoor lighting plan.

Getting help from an experienced professional is more than just paying for the installation; it’s an investment in efficiency, quality, and peace of mind. Of course, you might want to do the job yourself or hire someone with a less specialized skill set for the job.

Cost of a DIY Outdoor Lighting Installation

If you plan to install your outdoor lighting system independently, budget $100 to $300 per installed lighting fixture. Alongside the lighting fixtures, you’ll need to buy a low-wattage transformer and timer. These will cost around $150-$300. Then there are the wiring and connectors. Expect to pay $200-$300 for these.

So, hypothetically, a high-end outdoor lighting system with 10 lights for a small yard could cost:

  • Lighting fixtures (10) = $3,000
  • Transformer and timer (1) = $300
  • Wiring and connectors = $300
  • Total cost: $3,600

That is simple back-of-the-napkin math for estimating the cost of a project. The actual cost will vary based on the lighting fixtures you choose.

Venturing into DIY territory for outdoor lighting installations can come with challenges and risks. One primary concern is the potential for making lighting mistakes. It’s easy to underestimate the complexity of the installation process. Missteps can range from incorrectly installed fixtures that lead to poor lighting to, worse, short circuits that could jeopardize the safety of your home.

Moreover, dealing with electrical circuits involves a significant risk, especially outdoors. Electricity demands respect. A small oversight can have serious consequences, including electric shocks or fire hazards. 

You need to ensure components are correctly connected and protected against the elements. Professionals can navigate these complexities safely, adhering to all safety codes and standards.

Cost of a Non-Specialty Contractor

A non-specialty contractor is the middle ground between professional lighting installation and the DIY method. Expect to pay $90 or more an hour for an experienced general contractor to manage your lighting installation project.

If you hire a non-specialty contractor, do your due diligence. Get a detailed quote before they start the work. This quote should break down all costs, including labor, materials, and any additional expenses that may arise during the project.

You also need to check past work. Request a portfolio of previous work. Visit old projects in person and talk to people they worked with. That is the best way to guarantee you’re hiring the right person.

How to Find a Contractor for Your Lighting Project

Start your search for a contractor online. Look at home improvement sites for pros in landscape lighting. Read their reviews and check ratings. Also, ask friends and family for recommendations. Personal experiences can guide you to the right person.

Next, ask for quotes from your list of potential contractors. That will give you a chance to see how well they communicate. Request photos of their past work. Their responses will show if they’re a good fit for your project and if they understand your vision. Ideally, you should also follow up with previous clients directly.

Finally, check the contractor’s licenses, insurance, and required permits. Ask about warranties on their work and the products used. That ensures you’re hiring someone legally and gives you peace of mind about the project’s quality and safety.

Wrapping Up

Understanding outdoor lighting installation costs is something to consider before starting a project. The cost of outdoor lighting for your home varies from a few hundred to over $20,000. Factors like yard size, design complexity, fixture quality, and installer expertise affect the price. This guide helps you plan and budget your lighting project.

Choosing the right contractor is crucial. Vet them carefully, ask for quotes, and check their past work. The right choice ensures your project’s success.