In my question about running a circuit to my backyard shed, a discussion arose in the comments about whether I should use a GFCI breaker or have the convenience outlet be a GFCI. Instead of debating it in comments, I thought I'd ask a new question where the answer will be more obvious and findable for future generations.
To recap the situation: I'm running a single circuit out of my sub-panel to my backyard shed for lighting and 1 convenience outlet. This is a storage shed, not a workshop, so there will be only the 1 outlet and loads will be minimal.
My plan was to use a GFCI breaker which will allow me to run conduit with only 12" of cover according to
Row 1, Column 4 of table 300.5.
However, it was suggested that I not use the GFCI breaker since that would put all the lighting under GFCI protection. Instead, as I understand it, the recommendation is to use a standard breaker and use a GFCI outlet for the convenience outlet. As I understand it that would put me in
Row 1, Column 3 of table 300.5 and require 18" of cover over my conduit. I'm not certain that this suggestion was made with the full recognition that the lights are plug-in, not hard-wired or if that would make a difference.
Obviously, less digging is better than more digging, so I'm all about needing only 12" of cover over my conduit. I'm pretty sure a GFCI receptacle is cheaper than a GFCI breaker and saving cash isn't a bad thing either. However, if there are repercussions of running the lights with GFCI protection that I'm not aware of, the extra work and money saved is worth it.
Bearing in mind that the lights I'm planning on using are plug-in and are not hard-wired, the question is:
What is the reason for not running the lighting in the shed off of a GFCI breaker?
If the reason is simply "that's what code states" then I'll meet code. If there are preferences, concerns, and considerations but lighting on GFCI protection is allowed, I'd like to know what things I need to consider before I determine which route to take.
Note, I'm looking for reasons for/against, code implications, general concerns, etc. i.e., it appears that I can spend a few extra bucks to do less digging and that would be my preference, but if there are significant concerns, I'll dig a deeper trench and throw the few bucks at the kid to have him put his back into it.