Can You Bury Landscape Lighting?
Can You Bury Landscape Lighting?
Strategically-placed lights can light up any environment, especially a beautiful and well-thought-out landscape. Landscape lighting is gaining popularity among homeowners for its ability to bring new life into their yards, set the mood, protect the property, and not to mention boost the value and curb appeal of their properties.
But when installing outdoor lighting, there’s one thing that can cause headaches among homeowners — those ugly wires that droop down and ruin the aesthetics of a lighting design. True enough, the wiring systems that are required to implement landscape lights can be an eyesore. Luckily, there is a way you can hide them from sight.
Most landscape wires can be buried underground to prevent them from ruining the aesthetic appeal of the lights. However, before you decide to dig through your soil and hide your lighting wires, you need to consider some factors and determine if it’s suitable for underground burying.
Landscape Lighting Wires Suitable for Underground Burying
To determine if wiring systems can be buried underground, you need to identify their rating. Ideally, only wires that are direct burial-rated are safe to bury because of their thick protective jacket that keeps moisture, fungus, and sunlight away from the wiring system. They can withstand both wet and dry underground environments without the need for extra piping, protective layers, or sheathing.
Other cables not made with protective jackets, despite being water-resistant, may not be suitable for direct burying. But you can supplement them with trunking or conduits for added protection.
Another thing to consider is your landscape lighting’s power supply. The best solution is to make use of a transformer to connect and run your landscape lighting system. You should also choose low-voltage wiring with a thicker gauge.
10-gauge wires, which are the thickest options in the market, can supply electricity from further distances while reducing the risk of voltage drops. On the other hand, 16-gauge thin wires cannot carry current over more than 100 feet.
The thickness of the wires you should choose would depend on how many lights you’re looking to install in your landscape. If you are considering 20 LED bulbs, for example, a 12-gauge wire can work suitably. This thickness level allows the wiring to carry current to a distance of up to 300 feet with each light bulb consuming four to eight watts of electricity.
How Deep Can You Bury Landscape Lighting Wires?
When burying landscape lighting wire systems, you will need to dig a 6-inch deep trench into the soil or mulch. To do this, you can use a thin and sharp spade, which will allow you to create an angled trench more quickly and seal it more tightly.
While six inches is the most secure depth for burying your wires, your local authorities may have specific regulations that set forth a minimum depth for digging into the ground. Make sure to do your due diligence and contact your local authorities so that you’re not violating any electrical codes.
Tips to Protect Buried Landscape Lighting Wires
Keep in mind that buried wiring systems require extra precaution to protect them from being pulled out, cut during gardening, or damage caused by pests and rodents. You may add a protective conduit for extra safety measures, ideally one made of metal or plastic. Also, consider sealing the area where you buried the wires with steel wool, insulating foams, or duct seals.
Adequate and timely maintenance can also go a long way in keeping the quality of your underground wires in check. Every now and then, inspect your wires and look for any chewed areas, damages from rain or flooding, etc. If you identify any cause of concern, engage an electrician to check on the wiring system. More often than not, damaged wires will need to be replaced.
Bury Your Landscape Lighting
If you are thinking about burying your landscape lighting wiring systems, it’s best to seek the help of professional landscape service. Contact American Landscapes today!