Lighting paver sidewalk

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Drew Gemma, Nov 30, 2006.

  1. Drew Gemma

    Drew Gemma LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,508

    what is the best method to run wire to the fixtures that are going to be lighting up my walk. At what point should I run them and should I use conduit I would like to put them under the walk in the base if that is possible? Any suggestions.
  2. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Kingsland, Texas
    Messages: 2,214

    National electrical code requires all wires to be in conduit and 18" below sidewalks.
  3. Allure

    Allure LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 426

    Paul - even for low voltage lighting?
  4. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Kingsland, Texas
    Messages: 2,214

    The code does not discriminate, it says "all" wire. The one thing about the NEC is that it leaves no wiggle room. I don't know anyone though that actually goes 18" down to run low voltage wires under sidewalks, but that IS the code for all electrical wiring.
  5. Allure

    Allure LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 426

    great - thanks for the info
  6. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    we go as deep as we possibly can and ALWAYS deep enough an edger wont tear it up. as Paul stated 18 inches is the code but there could of possibly been 1 or 2 of ours that were a hair shy of the foot and a half mark :laughing:
  7. Drew Gemma

    Drew Gemma LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,508

    Thanks thats good info to know also what are your thoughts on those paver or brick lights that go right into your walk.
  8. niteliters

    niteliters LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 537

    would never use them
  9. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,406

    Drew, those paver lights shine up, not giving your walkway any real lighting. The plastic also yellows and cracks over time. You would be much better off with some ornamental area lights at key points in your walkway. Always light up any step areas well, curves or points of interest along the walk, and try to resist the temptation for the runway effect. Lights on one or both sides evenly spaced. Good lighting should provide safety, security and aesthetics, unless you are lighting a 24 hour brothel, then as much light as possible would be the rule.

    Always use conduit chases under sidewalks or driveways, best if installed during construction. Pvc pipe is cheap, convenient and a good safeguard. If you are designing or building the hardscaping, include pipe chases at both ends of the hardscaping, and if a long run, one or more in the middle. I would recommend including chases for irrigation, low voltage and often times, high voltage as none should be mixed in the same pipe to avoid confusion or hazards.

  10. steveparrott

    steveparrott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,276


    Actually, there is a separate code (NEC article 300.5) for burial depth of low voltage wiring. Here's a summary:

    -All locations not specified below - 6 inches
    -In trench below minimum 2" thick concrete - 6 inches
    -Under a building - In raceway only
    -Under roads, alleys, public driveways and parking lots - 24 inches
    -Under one- and two-family dwelling driveways and outdoor parking areas and used only for dwelling-related purposes - 18 inches
    In or under airport runways, including adjacent areas where trespassing is prohibited - 18 inches

    Note: Conduits are not required for any of the outdoor applications as long as UL-listed direct burial wire is used. Also note that sidewalks are not specified, although the '2" thick concrete' clause probably applies - 6" - measured from top of wire to top surface of paving. As for driveways, I would suggest adhering to the 18" depth - you never know when an inspector might decide to get picky. Imagine having to re-do such a wire run after installation!

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