Can Low Voltage Landscape Lighting Cause A Fire?

Household owners seldom think about the possible landscape lighting hazards since things never go wrong most of the time. However, the consequences of doing so can be disastrous. No low-voltage cable is entirely immune to lighting hazards, and if there are multiple things in contact when something goes wrong, it can produce flames, explosions, and shocks under the correct conditions. Such as electricity and lightning spikes, or when the inside system is watered, etc.

Even while landscaping lights are low-voltage, they can still generate considerable fire to ignite mulch if there isn’t enough air space around them to dissipate the heat. That air area can catch fire if it’s clogged with leaves and litter.

Is it also possible that low voltage is dangerous? Resistance is against the stream and makes good resistance an excellent shock protection measure. Any voltage greater than 30 volts is thought to be capable of producing lethal shock currents. Even if the voltage is too low to induce shock damage, it can still be harmful.

Likewise, can 12v spark a fire?

12 volts can also spark a fire. This is generated, particularly if the connection keeps closing and opening. Every high-current short blows before anything dangerous happens because you are fused. Your 12V power source very certainly has a current restriction, and.

If you have a low voltage conductor that is exposed, it can easily be damaged if it is in contact with a high voltage conductor, for example, 120V.

If an exposed conductor of a low-voltage wire comes, you risk crossing the voltage line into the low voltage cable, which may also create fire when running the line or low voltage cable in the same place. Low voltage wiring is divided into 3 classes in the NEC National Electrical Code:

Class I, class II and class III

  • Class I wiring is required to ensure that a piece of equipment works correctly, like a furnace or a boiler in security and on important circuits.
  • Class II cables are mostly used indoors and are meant to reduce fires and shocks, such as burglar door alarms, energy control fire alarms, etc.
  • Outdoor cable class III comprises outdoor lighting and signaling, which is also designed to minimize fires and restrict electricity shock. However, no low-tension cable is entirely immune to it. When multiple things go wrong, it may create flames, explosions, and shocks in the appropriate conditions.

The wire used in landscape lighting is stranded. When stripping wire for excellent safe connections, avoid severing strands.

Weak connections will overburden the limited connectivity available and produce heat. A substantial quantity of heat will be created if the connection is poor enough and the load demand is high enough. This heat might melt the wire insulation or ignite combustible materials nearby.

Importance of outdoor lighting

When people install outdoor lighting, this is because they either want to improve or provide some sort of security. But here are some of the importance of outdoor lighting:

  1. To increase the home value
  2. To create a relaxing atmosphere
  3. Create a whole new look for the garden and patio
  4. Providing clear pathways and footing to visitors to improve the security of your home
  5. Detar nightcrawlers and predators
  6. Create a home presence but can also notify predators of your absence

Are there any landscape lighting hazards I should be aware of?

Fortunately, the risks are minimal, thanks to significant improvements in landscape lighting over the years.

Lighting in the low voltage landscape could pose risks.

It has 120-volt electricity running between home and light, which could threaten the security of family and friends as well as animals if the low-voltage cable is exposed and the weather factors strike the exposed cables. To lower the voltage electricity to 12 volts, a transformer must be installed. The risk decreases if the cables are exposed to the weather as the voltage decreases. But the lower the voltage, there is a disadvantage; the farther away from the transformer, the lights might get dimmed. There are solutions to avoid this, such as utilizing thicker cables or installing a larger transformer. Your family and pets will still be protected, and the landscape lights will pose no threat.

There is no worrying risk associated with LED landscape lighting.

The LEDs have no glass elements and are therefore extremely susceptible. They don’t contain any toxic substances and are 100% reusable. LED landscape lighting is also more energy-efficient, requires less wiring to install, and draws fewer insects to your outdoor environment. Outdoor illumination draws mosquitoes but LED lighting draws fewer mosquitoes, making it safer for you, your family, and your pets.

Landscape lighting poses very minor risks.

If your landscape lighting poses a risk to your house, family, or pets, an expert landscaping contractor should be able to tell you. All of the risks of landscape lighting may be reduced by using alternative wiring, reducing the power, or even installing a higher transformer.

There are more benefits of landscape lighting than negatives.

The lights will illuminate your home while also providing sufficient light for a safe stroll. Landscape lighting is both decorative and functional. It will enhance the appearance of your home while also ensuring protection.

5 Mistakes to avoid when installing landscape lighting

1. Not using a voltmeter

— with the emergence of LED landscape lighting, the necessity for a voltmeter has decreased because the permissible voltage range has expanded. For installations with more than 10 lights or cable runs greater than 100 feet, however, having this equipment on standby is still necessary. It’s also an essential tool for maintenance and troubleshooting.

2. Not utilizing waterproof direct burial splice

— because landscape lighting wire is installed below, it is critical to use the proper splice. Corrosion and electrical resistance are avoided using high-quality direct burial connections.

proper wire splice
Proper Wire Splice: Image Credit –

3. Excessive voltage drop

– 12V currents easily experience excessive voltage drops, unlike 20V currents. Since landscape lighting uses low voltage, when too many lights are run on a particular wire, they will lose voltage. Therefore, make sure to use a maximum wire of 100 feet in length for every 100 watts. A voltmeter should also be used for checking the fixture’s voltage.

4. Placing lights in the wrong spot

— installing landscape lighting lights across your grass will make lawn upkeep harder. Fertilizers, lawnmowers, and weed trimmers are all capable of causing harm to the fixtures. Landscape lights should be installed in beds, and in-ground lights should be used in the yard. Furthermore, ensure your spotlights and floodlights are hidden when deciding where to place them. When the sources of landscape lighting are hidden, it appears more attractive.

5. Using low-quality fixtures

Another common mistake that people make when installing landscape fixtures is using fixtures of low quality. Make sure to use fixtures that are of good quality so that they can last a long time. You can use fixtures made of copper or brass since they last a very long time. Other fixtures made of aluminum may be cheap, but they won’t last long. They rust sooner; therefore, simply use professional quality fixtures to achieve quality results.

Landscape Lighting – How to Avoid a Fire Hazard

Fire dangers exist in a variety of shapes and sizes, but irresponsibility is frequently to blame. Electrical equipment, in particular, necessitates specific attention to avoid fire threats. Nevertheless, this should not discourage you from putting a lighting system because the risk of using the right care and methods is minimal — another incentive for you to engage a certificated landscape lighting professional. Some of the measures needed to prevent a fire threat on your landscape are listed below:

  • Install, maintain, and repair your outdoor lighting system with the help of a certified lighting specialist.
  • Develop pest management measures to avoid harm to rodents in electric cables and machinery.
  • Use LED lamps: This is without a doubt one of the most cost-effective purchases you can make in your landscape lighting systems. These lamps last significantly longer, consume less energy, and, more importantly, burn extremely cool. LED lights are not sufficient enough to trap the warmth that can illuminate a fire.
  • Take proper care of your landscape lights: Handling landscape lighting must be done with caution to avoid fire hazards. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GCFI) breaker must be used to safeguard all exterior outlets, lighting fixtures, and bulbs. In addition to that, they also need to be weatherproof. Your trained landscape lighting specialist is well-versed in all the necessary measures.
  • When using flammable substances or liquids like gasoline and solvents, you should make sure to use caution. This is because when these fall on leaves and other debris connected to your landscape lighting, they may cause a fire hazard.

The following are some of the ways you can prevent such hazards from occurring:

The debris should be cleared: Make sure to get rid of the debris from all your fixtures. This means that your fixtures should be cleared of any pine needles, leaves, mulch as well as other scraps. Your fixtures should be checked regularly, specifically those fixtures that are on the ground or up-lights. This helps to ensure that there is no overheating on your fixtures, therefore, giving you the ideal lighting effect. The lighting landscape expert can come in handy at this point, helping you minimize the risks.

Your in-ground fixtures should be installed together with the covers: You can use a plastic cover or grass to ensure that the debris is kept away and does not rest on your bulb. Adding another protection layer to the lighting is also a very good idea. Your landscape lighting experts can also help you with this.


Low voltage landscape lights may create or spark a fire. The likelihood of this occurring is relatively small, though, thanks to various advances. You can prevent fires caused by low-voltage landscape lighting if you take care of it properly and correctly. Make sure you’re safe and that the mulch is removed, transformers installed appropriately, and the necessary voltmeters are used.


Charles is a freelance writer whose areas of expertise include home renovation, gardening, and design. A graduate with a degree in Digital Marketing and Business Management. Charles is currently a freelance writer. Charles is always typing away on his laptop or tackling his newest home improvement project. He likes to spend quality time with his family, riding, and working out at the gym.

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