Residential, Cook Electric
Written by Larry Cook

Outdoor Lighting & Outlet Electrical Codes – Part 2

Part 2 will discuss Outdoor Lighting Requirements and Outdoor Power. Work with an experienced and licensed electrician for safety and the best results.

Outdoor Lighting Requirements

Since exterior light fixtures will undergo exposure to climate conditions, they are engineered to withstand hail, rain, sleet, snow, and wind. Typically, outdoor light fixtures are designed with protective covers to keep functioning in bad weather.

Home outdoor lighting requirements are focused on easing access to walkways and ensuring safety. The majority of homes have more lights than is required by the NEC.

At least one lighting outlet is required on the exterior side of each door at the grade level (first floor). This does not apply to a garage door that provides access to a vehicle. However, a lighting outlet is required at every garage exit door.

The transformer used for a low-voltage lighting system must stay accessible. Plug-in-type transformers have to be inserted into an approved GFCI-protected receptacle with an “in-use” cover that is rated for wet locations.

An outdoor lighting fixture located in a damp location (protected from rainfall) is required to be rated for a damp location or wet location.

An outdoor lighting fixture in a wet location (unprotected from rainfall) is required to be rated for wet locations.

Outdoor Power

A circuit cable servicing wall-mounted outdoor light fixtures and receptacles may be run through a wall using standard NM (nonmetallic) cable if the cable is installed in a dry location and has protection from moisture and damage. Outdoor light fixtures and receptacles installed away from the home are typically supplied by an underground circuit cable.

A cable located underground or in a wet area must utilize the UF-B (Underground Feeder) type. It must be buried at a minimum depth of two feet to be direct-buried (without a conduit). However, one-foot depth is permitted for 20-amp or lesser-capacity circuits equipped with GFCI protection.

Electrical Peace of Mind

Providing professional electricians since 1988 in Maryland, Cook Electric is the company you can rely on for all your electrical service needs, including:

• Commercial & Residential Electrical Installations
• Marina & Residential Pier Wiring
• Electrical Service & Repair
• Specialty Electrical Services

For knowledgeable, fair, honest, reliable, and conscientious service, call Cook Electric today at (410) 266-9040. We will be very glad to help you.