The wirenuts i was planning to use were waterproof...they were filled with a gel that hardens when you use them, but anyway...
Thanks for all the info. A few more follow-up questions.
1. What about rigid PVC conduit? Easy to put together, cheap, light....is that still 6" depth?
2. The outlet that was being used for the lamp is not a GFCI outlet...I assume I should put one of those in instead?
3. Ground wire....it should be wrapped around a scre connected to the lamppost, and then wired to the ground on the fixture?
4. What's the best way to protect the wire as it exits the conduit and enters the lamp? Would just running UF cable through the conduit solve this problem?
5. I'm not familiar with different types of wire....the current wire is #12 Underground rated cable, which is attached to a plug. I guess it does make sense to get rid of the current outlet, replace it with a switch on a J-box, and route the THHN wires right into it. If those wires are too rigid to get around the switch, I can put some wire nuts and connect it to some of that #14 cord you mentioned, then to the switch. Is that what you meant?
I did think about using a timer, but the photo sensor makes so much more sense to me since I never have to adjust it for change of sunset/sunrise or daylight savings.
I think that's it, for now. I'll probably have more questions, but I am getting pretty clear on this. Thanks so much for the advice.
I was only quoting code because I thought it would be helpful, and rather than just making a statement, since I have a copy of the 2005 code I looked it up.
As far as type of conduit, the particular code I quoted made mention only of Rigid Metal Conduit.
I will look further if it will be of any help to you. You can also DL a copy of the current code for your locality on the web. That's where I got mine. Free, and searchable.
You are not required to have this circuit protected by a GFCI, unless there is a receptacle outdoors.
The only reason I stated the GFCI is that code allows type NM (UF) cable to be buried with less cover if it is GFCI protected and on 20A or lower breaker.
As for the wire-nuts you are talking about;
My point was that I believe the entire splice, including wire nuts, exposed wire should be covered with a sleeve that will protect it from the soil.
Perhaps the wire nuts alone are OK for outdoor wiring that is not buried, but I cannot imagine just allowing a buried splice with the outer jacket missing, and wires just buried directly with wire nuts, whether the nuts are approved for the purpose or not.
The splice kit I was referring to consists of wire nuts plus heat-shrinkable tubing which is itself rated for direct burial.
This splice type is however NOT permitted inside walls, ceilings, etc. In that case you would need a junction box.
The difference being that heat generated by the underground splice will not likely result in a fire, just loss of voltage, where in the walls, fire is much more likely.
I hope that I have not completely confused you. My intentions in this and every other forum I belong to are always based on attempting to help, not to create confusion or disagreeance.