I'm considering Philips Hue low-voltage outdoor lighting for my front lawn. The challenge is the outdoor 120V outlet and the yard / landscaping is separated by a concrete walkway. How do I run the line from the outlet across the walkway while still protecting the line and not creating a fall hazard?

My first idea was a drop over cable protector over the base step next to the driveway but I'm interested in what the DIY community thinks.

This is a photo of the walkway. The 120V outlet is behind the green bushes next to the stairs in the right of the photo.


Here is a closer look at the stairs: Stairs-close

This is the bottom of the concrete stairs from the driveway: Stairs-vertical

P.S. We're not really interested in a mains powered lighting as an alternative. Although this alternative would have the similar challenge with the concrete walkway.

  • 1
    AC mains lighting would have a worse challenge because the safety codes are much more strict. Apr 23, 2022 at 0:59
  • 1
    Have you considered a garden arch to take it over the walkway? If you went that route, you might want to choose a plant that doesn't drop large sticky flowers like magnolia does. Apr 23, 2022 at 8:08
  • @AndrewMorton, a garden arch isn't something we considered but will now. Not sure yet how it fit with the landscaping in the front yard, but we'll looking into an arch at the top of the stairs near the driveway Apr 23, 2022 at 12:46
  • If lighting is all you need then one alternative is to have a battery and a solar panel to keep it charged. You can keep these outdoors and avoid much of the cabling trouble.
    – UmH
    Apr 23, 2022 at 18:01
  • @UmH, solar isn't a great option for landscaping in my location Apr 24, 2022 at 20:06

2 Answers 2


Your best bet is to install a conduit under the walk. There are various ways to do this. Dig a trench on each side of the walk and hammer a piece of 3/4" pipe with caps on each end under the walk. If soil conditions permit, you can use a pipe without the caps. Hammer the pipe in a ways, remove the pipe, clean out the dirt, insert it back in the hole, hammer, remove clean.. and so on. Lastly, get a piece of 1" PVC lined up in your trench. Stick a garden hose all the way into the pipe and turn on the water. Force the pipe under the walk while jetting the water against the dirt. The water and dirt should back flow out the pipe as you move the pipe forward.

  • 3
    If the soil happens to be sticky (moist clay for example) then greasing the pipe helps tremendously. I've driven a 2 inch steel pipe through 4 feet of what felt like pottery clay by driving 4-6 inches at a time and using nonstick cooking spray to lubricate the pipe inside and out. Twisting while pulling can help the process of pulling the pipe out.
    – Greg Hill
    Apr 22, 2022 at 21:02
  • @GregHill I once used Ideal cable pulling compound..... I like the idea of the cooking spray.
    – JACK
    Apr 22, 2022 at 22:04
  • 2
    At the depths we're talking about, how worried should I be able understand pipes? I'm assuming, not very worried? Apr 22, 2022 at 23:35
  • 1
    @Elpezmuerto We're only talking about 4 to 6 inches so you shouldn't run into, I mean dig into, any pipes.
    – JACK
    Apr 23, 2022 at 0:09
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    @Elpezmuerto, if you are in a area with free locates of under ground utility like 811, just call because repairs are really expensive and code for barred telephone is only under dirt.
    – hildred
    Apr 23, 2022 at 20:10

I would remove a 12" square of sod from either side of the walkway and dig down to force a tube from one side to the other.

When we had the drive tarmaced, I put a tube under just in case. Came in handy 3 years later…

And if you know the piping people, they have a hydraulic mole that will put a pipe about 18" below the surface over 20 feet. And that was how they put a new water supply pipe to our house across the road and garden.

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