Electrical Considerations When Installing Landscape Lighting
Installing Landscape Lighting: I would like to add landscape lighting to up light some trees behind a water feature by our pool.
GFCI Protection for Landscape Lighting
Electrical Question: I would like to add landscape lighting to up light some trees behind a water feature by our pool.
- I’ve picked up a low voltage (12v) landscape lighting kit with transformer, cable and 6 spot lights from Lowe’s (Portfolio is the brand). I’ve had a quick look at the instructions and the transformer says not to be used within 5 feet of a pool (should be ok) and the spotlights say no cabling within 10 feet of the pool (most likely a problem).
- I have attached a photo to give you a better idea. It’s the 3 palm trees behind the rock waterfall that I’m hoping to up light. The existing outlet is against the fence just behind that deck box.
- What I’m wondering is does the rock wall in between where the lights would be and the pool make it ok to use what I have? Will getting a pool rated transformer make it ok? Or do I really need to go all out and use a submersible kit like those used in a pond?
- I would also like to put some submersible lights in the waterfall. Would pond lights be safe to use there since the water runs into the pool? Or is this whole thing not really a DIY project?
Dave, Thank you for taking the time to create this website and share your experience.
Thank you for your time,
This electrical question came from: Darren, from Rescue, California.
See more about Home Wiring for California
Thanks for your electrical question Darren.
Wiring Landscape Lighting Projects
Application: Electrical Wiring for Landscape Lighting.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a licensed electrician..
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, hole saw and drill motor, drop cloth, a Voltage Tester and a fiberglass ladder.
Materials: Type NM Cable or same type and gauge cable as the existing light circuit cable, staples for securing the cable, light fixture cut in box or required well supported fixture box for the specific light fixture, wire connectors.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools, access to the circuit wiring and project area, and experience working with light circuit wiring.
Precaution: Identify the panel lighting circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Modifying or installing additional electrical wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
Installing Landscape Lighting
- GFCI Protection
- When installing electrical power that will be used for outdoor devices the circuit should always be protected by a GFCI Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter.
- Fountain Light Fixtures
- If a light fixture will be submerged then the fixture should be UL rated as such to eliminate shock hazards.
- Swimming Pool Lights
- When installing electrical devices within proximity of swimming pools then there are several Electrical Codes that would have to be addressed, as you have seen this stated on the fixtures that have been purchased.
- Safe Landscape Installation
- As stated in this question, and due to the location of the pool and the lighting, this landscape lighting project may be best turned over to a local electrical contractor who can see the complete project and make the best recommendations and installation.
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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.