Tips For Powering Electrical Landscape Features

Lights and electrical components can help take your landscape design to the next level, but no one wants a lawn criss-crossed by electrical cords. Fortunately, you have options when it comes to using electrical-powered additions in the landscape.

Consider Solar

Solar is by far the simplest way to add lights and other extras to the yard without worrying about electrical power. Solar lights are the most common solar-powered landscape addition, but you can also purchase solar-powered fountains and pond pumps.

The main caveat with solar is that the area where you place the lights or equipment needs to receive more than four hours of direct sunlight daily. In the case of heavier equipment, such as pumps, the panels may need even more daily sun hours to produce sufficient power.

Many solar-powered landscape lights can still collect power during light cloud cover, but heavy cloud cover may result in weak or non-operational lights that evening.

Exterior Outlets

Increasing the number of exterior outlets may be a viable option if you don't want to hardwire in the specific components. Outlets are usually a better choice for items like pond pumps, which you may need to disconnect and overwinter indoors and out of the elements. If you hardwire a pump, it will be permanently set in place so can undergo freeze damage during the winter. Replacement of outdoor electronics is also easier if you only need to simply unplug it to replace it.

Outlets don't have to be placed on a wall. An electrician can run the wires underground to the desired location of the outlet. The outlet is then placed on a short pole and is protected by a weather-proof box. For example, you can place the pole right next to the pond and pond pump, but camouflage it behind a tall plant or landscape rock.

Hardwired Permanent Features

Hardwiring is usually used for landscaping lighting, whether it's a single lamp post or a row of pathway-lining landscape lights. By hardwiring, there are no visible cords above ground to cause a tripping hazard or an eyesore.

Generally, the electrician will mount an exterior outlet or electrical box that contains a timer or switch on the wall of your home or in the garage. They will then run the electrical wiring for the lights underground to this outlet or box. The lights are connected to the electrical line at the desired placement.

The depth of the buried electrical line depends on several factors. The electrician may bury the line shallowly in mulched areas to make any future repairs more accessible. In lawn areas or heavily tilled beds, the lines are usually installed much deeper so they aren't mechanically damaged by gardening or spring lawn aeration.

If your landscape includes several electrical features, you may want to consider using a variety of different power methods so each component is getting electricity from the optimum source. For assistance, talk to a professional like Crown Electric Ltd.