Falling or tilting outdoor lighting can be frustrating and lead to damage. Thankfully, there are simple solutions you can implement to keep your landscape lights firmly in place.
Use Heavy-Duty Stakes
The stakes that come with most landscape lighting kits are flimsy and inadequate. Invest in metal or wooden stakes to provide lasting stability.
The plastic stakes included with landscape lights are often only 6 to 8 inches long and made of thin plastic that breaks easily. Instead, opt for:
- Metal stakes at least 1/4 inch thick and 12 to 18 inches long
- Wooden dowels or stakes made from pressure-treated lumber
The extra weight and length of these stakes will anchor your lights more securely.
Drive the stakes at an angle into the ground, aiming the top of the stake toward the light. This slight angle helps counterbalance the weight of the light fixture and resist tilting forces.
Drive the Stakes Deep
Get the most secure installation possible by driving your landscape light stakes as far into the ground as feasible.
Aim for at least 12 inches of stake submerged in the soil for basic lights and up to 18 to 24 inches for heavier path lighting.
As you insert each stake, firmly tamp down the soil around it to eliminate any air gaps. This will maximize contact between the stake and ground for better grip.
Use Expanding Foam
Expanding foam spray provides a simple solution for keeping lights steady:
- Drill a hole in the soil for the stake, slightly wider than the stake’s diameter
- Insert the stake into the hole
- Spray expanding foam into the hole, filling all gaps between the stake and soil
The rigid foam will expand to form a snug fit around the stake, locking it firmly in place. Let the foam cure fully before installing the light fixture.
Expanding foam creates a rugged, weatherproof anchor to keep your lights from tilting over time.
How to Keep Landscape Lights From Tilting
##Use Light Fixers
Light fixers are adjustable accessories that stabilize landscape lights and keep them level. They’re an inexpensive, simple way to prevent tilting.
Light fixers attach to the stakes that come with your lights using a pivot ball and clamp. This design allows for:
- Horizontal leveling of the light fixture
- Vertical angle adjustment
- Limited movement to accommodate thermal expansion and contraction
To install a light fixer:
- Slide the clamp around the mounting stake
- Insert the pivot ball into the clamp
- Hand-tighten the clamp bolts to hold it in place
- Level the light fixture and tighten the bolts securely
The adjustable pivot ball and clamp create a sturdy but flexible connection that helps keep your landscape lights from tilting over time.
Check the Levelness
Even with heavy-duty stakes and fixers, your landscape lights may tilt slightly after installation. Regular checks can catch any issues early.
Use a simple bubble level to ensure:
- The body of each light is perfectly horizontal
- All lights in the same area are level with each other
If you notice any tilting:
- Check that all nuts and bolts are tightly fastened
- Tighten the light fixer clamps
- For severe tilting, remove the entire fixture and reinstall the stakes deeper or use expanding foam before mounting the light again.
Regular checks catch small problems before they become majortilting issues. Inspect your landscape lighting at least twice per year and after major weather events.
I’d Stake My Light on It: Landscape Lighting Tip
With a few easy fixes, you can keep your outdoor lighting secure and stable for years. Invest in higher-quality stakes, drive the stakes deep into the ground, and use accessories like expanding foam and light fixers. Regularly checking the levelness of your lights will also help catch any potential issues.
Why do my landscape lights keep falling over?
The most common reasons lights tilt over are:
- Using flimsy plastic stakes that come with the lights
- Not driving the stakes deep enough into the ground
- Uneven ground that causes the lights to lean at an angle
Are there any products to keep landscape lights from tilting?
Yes! Light fixers, expanding foam filler for stakes, and heavyweight duty stakes can all help secure landscape lights.
How can I secure path lights permanently?
The most secure installation methods for path lights are:
- Driving metal stakes at least 18 inches deep into the ground
- Adding ties or cables that attach the light to a stationary object
- Pouring a gravel base for the lights that locks them securely in place.
With a few simple fixes and regular maintenance checks, you can keep your landscape lights standing tall for many years. With the right stakes, accessories, and installation techniques, tilting lights don’t have to be a frustrating issue in your yard.