Inside the Innovation House

We pulled out all the stops to bring the latest home tech features to our Innovation Home. See the 16 coolest things from the home and be amazed by how smart one home can be.

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Bathroom Countertop Ideas

Good-looking countertops -- whether made of marble, limestone, or concrete -- create high-functioning bathrooms that spill over with style. These popular countertop materials are sure to inspire a bathroom remodel.

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Find Your Dream Backyard

Whether you dream of sunning by a state-of-the-art pool or strolling through a simple cottage garden, there's an outdoor oasis with your name written all over it. Take this quiz to find out where you really belong.

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DIY Patio Ideas

Want to boost the beauty and usefulness of your outdoor spaces? Put one of these inspiring DIY patio ideas to work in your landscape.

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Easy Fireplace Upgrades

Does your fireplace need a facelift? Check out these 20 ideas for updating your fireplace with easy-to-apply embellishments and simple-to-make constructions.

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8 Cutting-Edge Exterior Features

The wow-factor of the Innovation Home starts with great curb appeal. See the eight things that make the home's exterior stand out.

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Budget Curb Appeal

Be the best home on the block for less. These budget curb appeal updates will show you how.

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How To Install Low-Voltage Lighting

Install low-voltage outdoor lighting to add security to your home and keep backyard parties going long after the sun goes down.


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    • Low-Voltage Lighting

      Increase your home's safety by installing low-voltage lighting, which is a simple -- and safe -- project for do-it-yourselfers. Why is it safe to install? Because the power comes from a transformer, which lowers standard 120-volt household wattage to 12 volts. Grab a shovel and follow this step-by-step guide for installing low-voltage outdoor lighting.

    • Install the Transformer

      First, find a transformer that accommodates multiple cable connections. Mount the transformer on a post or stake or on the exterior of your house. Make sure the transformer is at least one foot about ground and within one foot of the ground-fault circuit-interrupter (GFCI) outlet. If the transformer contains a photocell, place it where it can receive direct sunlight. Make sure the transformer is turned off or unplugged while installing. Apply a waterproof cover over the outlet for added weather protection.

    • Attach the Cable

      Check the manufacturer's instructions that came with the lighting fixtures to determine the size (or gauge) of cable you need. To attach the cable to the transformer, remove 5/8 to 3/4 inches of insulation from the cable wires. Then slide the stripped wires under the terminal screws on the bottom of the transformer.

    • Arrange Light Fixtures

      Place the first fixture in your run at least 10 feet from the transformer. Next, determine the placement of each light. For even illumination, leave 8 to 10 feet between fixtures.

    • Bury Cables

      Bury cables in a 3- to 6-inch-deep trench, leaving a small amount of slack at each light juncture to connect the fixtures. Leave a small amount of cable sticking out of the soil at each fixture location.

    • Assemble Fixtures and Attach Cables

      Follow the manufacturer's instructions for attaching lights to the cable. Most lights attach to a cable with a two-part connector that pierces and locks into place. Turn on the transformer to make sure the connection is successful.

    • Install Light Fixtures

      Attach each fixture to a ground stake. The top of each stake should be flush with the ground. Do a final check at night to make sure the fixtures are upright and producing the right amount of light. Once the lights are installed and working properly, push the cable and connectors under the soil about 2 inches.

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      Next Slideshow Outdoor Christmas Lights

      Outdoor Christmas Lights

      Christmas lights are sure to illuminate your holiday spirit! Decorate your home this season with our creative and classic outdoor lighting solutions that can only be described as magical.
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