Article : Landscape Light Rope Edging System

The owners of a home in an upscale residential community in the heart of Oro Valley, Arizona (northwest of Tucson) wanted to achieve further ambience with minimal disruption of their present landscaping. They decided to go with the retrofit attributes of Lighted DURATUBE.

Before beginning the lighting transformation our team met with the homeowners to discuss their detailed needs and survey the grounds. They were looking for low maintenance landscape lighting that improved safety and visibility while creating warmth and elegance. As the homeowners are avid animal lovers, it was imperative we use an edging with a safe rounded edge in order to protect household pets from sharp edges generally associated with landscape edging. Ideal for high traffic pedestrian areas, this product was the safest way to edge their specific landscaping needs with a little piece of mind.

Since the area being lit bordered grass we used a heavy-duty 20 gauge, galvanized steel landscape edging that has been specifically designed to encase and protect Light Rope from maintenance equipment (lawn mowers, trimmers, etc.) and the sun’s damaging UV rays. Not wanting to detract from the natural beauty of the indigenous Southern Arizona desert backdrop, an unobtrusive powder painted brown edging with clear lights was used to set the stage for their own desert oasis.

Let the Installation Begin

Safe round edges protect the homeowner’s pets while adding character to their landscape with minimal disruption. Twenty-gauge, galvanized steel landscape edging was used to protect the Light Rope from lawn mowers, trimmers and other lawn maintenance equipment. It also protects the rope from ultra violet rays.

In order to begin we needed to determine a location to mount the low voltage transformer that powers the tube. The transformer must be permanently connected to an outlet on a GFI protected circuit, near the area being lit, which we located on the patio. Each 30 foot section of Light Rope requires only 50.4 watts, enabling it to be easily incorporated as a single fixture. We were installing approximately 83 lineal feet, which uses less than 150 watts. However, we purchased an oversized 12 volt transformer with a maximum wattage output of 300 watts because the homeowner spoke of incorporating a few accent lights in addition to the lighted border. We used a 12 gauge trunkline wire, which we ran underground via a "slit" trench from the wall mounted transformer to vicinity of edging being installed where it then ran in the trench along side the edging.

For the installation we used a small garden spade to dig a trench (3 inches deep) and just wide enough to accept the edging, being careful not to disturb the well manicured lawn. Meanwhile, each 5 foot section of steel edging was pre-bent and laid out following the various curves in the project. This unique system of bendable steel edging has strategically positioned holes, spaced every 2 inches (center-to-center) along both sides of the tubular portion, which serve multiple functions. They allow the edging to become bendable while permitting light to shine through, casting a subtle glow. Once the first section was set in the trench, we fed the entire 30 foot length of Light Rope through stopping when the first bulb lined up with the first hole in the edging.

In order to keep with the well manicured look of the yard, the trunkline was concealed by laying it in the same trench that was used for the edging. Every 30 feet that the lighting was fed, it was reconnected to the trunkline and the lights were tested before the installation was to proceed.

We connected the rope to our trunkline using the pre-attached pierce point connector system by Intermatic and tested the lights at this point. In order to maintain a well manicured look, we decided to conceal the trunkline by laying it in the same trench dug for the edging.

The Light Rope was fed through each succeeding section, one at a time, as it was placed in the trench. Every 30 feet we reconnected to our trunkline and tested the lights before proceeding with the install. The edging was anchored by placing one 11 gauge "J" stake at the center of a 5 foot section and one over adjoining pieces (two sections of edging butted together). Once driven into the ground the underside of the "J" rests over the top of the edging firmly securing it in position. When the project was completed the result was an aesthetically pleasing, lighted border which accented scenery previously lost at nightfall.

Accessorize Properly

Steel landscape edging and accessories provided a comprehensive approach to the landscaping needs while assuring a quality professional landscape project. The bendable steel edging comes in 15 foot kits that include (3) 5-foot sections of 20ga galvanized steel edging, (7) J-stakes, (2) PVC "domed" end caps & (3) connectors (for use without Light Rope). The tube is offered in galvanized finish or powder painted with your choice of black, brown and green. These finishes are designed to resist rust and corrosion for many years. Low voltage (12-volt) light rope is available in 15 and 30 foot lengths and comes complete with a pre-attached trunkline connector system. The rope is available in a variety of vivid colors including clear, blue, green and red. Accessories include PVC Flex Corners available in either 90° (with a flexibility range of 75-105°) or 120° (105-135°) angles. Corners snap over the tube creating sharp finished angles throughout. Also available are rope Connector Kits, which contain everything needed to connect a "left-over" or cut section of rope to the trunkline. For example, when we finished the above project we had a 7 foot piece of rope "left-over" from a 23 foot installation. We later utilized a connector kit (a standard accessory) and the 7 foot section to create a tree ring - or any other lighting accent you may think of. The possibilities are endless . . . with a little vision.

Summer L. Waid is the Director of Marketing for the J.D. Russell Company. She can be reached via email at

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July 2, 2016, 3:22 am EST

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