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Quick tips for installing ground recessed luminaires

April 2020

Eye-catching displays of colour and light enhance many of the world’s most impressive monuments, buildings, and landmarks. They are a great tool for achieving lighting effects. With an array of colours, static or dynamic, they provide accents and guidance, defining the architectural landscape.

However, in-ground lighting products have developed somewhat of a bad reputation, through no fault of their own. Products mainly fail due to water ingress, which can be caused by poor product design (tip here – to select a reputable manufacturer and a high IP rated product) but more often than not - incorrect installation.

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To help avoid some of the most common pitfalls when installing ground recessed luminaires here are our application team’s quick tips:

Getting the right position

  • As a starting point, from the chosen fixture position, choose the most suitable beam angle. Note, beam angles cannot be changed or adjusted; however, some products have features that enable the beam to be tilted +/- 10˚. This should be adjusted by a professional following the manufacturer’s installation guide
    • The Kios range features a 10-degree tilt option making on-site adjustment by installers simpler, but the product will still need to be opened. Alternatively, our LuxEos range offers a unique magnetic beam tilt, especially for post-install updates without having to open the luminaire
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  • Additional accessories are available to create your desired effect
  • Ensure the installer positions the sleeve and luminaire in the correct orientation, otherwise, the beam may not point in the right direction: even slightly misaligned luminaires can ruin the desired effect
  • If lighting a feature wall, it is wise to first check the environment around the install site for the ambient light levels, as this will have an impact on the perceived performance of the light fixture
  • Glare: in public spaces, try to position the lamp to ensure minimum glare, either directly, if people are to walk over the fixture, or, from a distance
  • Close-offset positions near large trees can be difficult. Locate the luminaire without cutting through large roots, as this could kill the tree
  • Final positioning is best achieved at night while the luminaires are illuminated, magnetic adjustment can really help with this
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Ensuring performance and safety


  • Due consideration should be given to surface glass temperatures – select a luminaire and lamp combination that offers an acceptable temperature for the intended application. This is typically < 70 degrees in a public space
  • IP67 ground recessed luminaires, must not be installed in a hollow where water can stand. Correct installation, with adequate drainage around and below the luminaire, is crucial
  • Furthermore, the space around the product should be filled with gravel, coarse at the bottom and finer at the top, to allow water to soak away into the ground beneath
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  • Choose products that do not allow water to sit on top of the diffuser by ensuring that the glass diffuser is flush to the bezel or, is slightly convex, to allow water to run off the surface
  • Cabling should be pre-installed in ducting, adhering to local electrical regulations
  • All seals/gaskets must be hand tightened using torque tools. This ensures the equipment is not damaged or overtightened
  • Check that the ambient temperature is suitable for your environment.
  • Lastly, it is very important to read and follow the installation guidelines provided for your chosen product


If you need further guidance on installing ground recessed luminaires, then please contact one of our team, who will be happy to talk through your requirements. If you are looking for a ground recessed luminaire for your next project, please see our recommended products below.

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