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Recently, a customer contacted Access Fixtures regarding the installation of bollard lighting around their lakefront dock. They were interested to learn what the benefits are of bolting the bollards in place at installation, rather than burying them directly in the ground.

There are two acceptable methods of installing bollard lights. For any bollard, a four- to six-foot hole will need to be dug, and wires will need to be run underground to supply electricity. With the bolted method, a sonotube is placed in the hole with the electrical wires at the center. Cement is poured into the tube and a set of metal anchor bolts are set into the concrete before it hardens. Once the cement dries, the bollard is screwed into place. The second method forgoes the sonotube, cement, and anchor screws. Instead, the bollard is inserted into the hole and held in place by the surrounding earth.

Access Fixtures will always recommend the anchor bolt installation method. Bollards installed in this fashion are more resistant to vandalism, strong weather, or accidents. They are less likely to shift or become dislodged due expansion and contraction of the ground during cold or hot seasons. In wet areas, such as a lakefront, the surrounding earth could potentially become too moist to properly hold the fixture in place.

In addition, direct burial bollards tend to be one piece. This would mean that any damage to the unit would require replacing the entire fixture. Corrosion also becomes a concern, as the direct burial bollards are exposed to more moisture where they come into contact with the earth holding them in place. In wet areas, such as a dock, this becomes an issue if you are considering direct burial bollards as an option.

Our specialist, Stephanie Derby, suggested a 15w USA LED round dome top bollard with aluminum cone, rated for wet locations. This anchor-bolt option would be long lasting and more corrosion resistant based on it’s construction and installation method. A great choice for lighting a family dock.