Just a few outdoor lights can transform a garden. Spotlights or floodlighting can be used to emphasise particularly attractive features, at the same time providing functional lighting for pathways and steps.
Some types of garden light fitting are connected directly to the mains supply. However, there are also very efficient systems that draw low-voltage transformer. Position the transformer close in a garage or workshop, and connect it to the socket by an ordinary square-pin plug. The flex-which is normally supplied with the light fitting – is connected to the two 12v outlet terminals on the transformer.
If you are fitting your own carry out the connections to the accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
Unless the maker states otherwise, extra-low-voltage flex supplying garden lights can be run along the ground without further protection – but inspect it regularly pump water through a plastic tube to the and don’t let it trail over stone steps or other sharp edges likely to damage the PVC insulation if someone steps on it. If you have to extend the flex, use a purpose-made waterproof connector.
Pool lights are normally submerged so as to have at least 18mm (EAin) of water above the lens. Some are designed to float unless they’re held down below the surface by smooth stones, carefully placed on the flex.
Submerged lights get covered by the particles of debris that float in all ponds. To clean the lenses without removing the lights from the water, simply direct a gentle hose over connectors.
You will find that occasionally you have to remove a light and wash the lens thoroughly in warm soapy water. Always disconnect the power supply before you handle the lights or take them out of the pond.
We run the flex for pool lighting around edging stones via a drain made from corrugated plastic sheeting. The entire length of the flex can be protected from adverse weather by being run through a length of ordinary garden hose. Take the safest route to the power supply, anchoring the flex gently in convenient spots – but don’t cover through the flex with a spade or fork. Join lengths of low-voltage cable with waterproof connectors.
Electric pumps can be used in garden pools to create fountains and waterfalls. A combination unit will send an adjustable jet up into the air and at the same time pump water through a plastic tube to the top of a rockery to trickle back into the pool.
Some pumps run directly from the mains supply, but there are also extra-low-voltage pumps that connect to a transformer shielded from the weather. So you can disconnect the pump without disturbing the extra-low-voltage wiring to the transformer, we would join two lengths of cable with a waterproof connector. Concealing the connector under a stone or gravel beside the pool.
Most manufacturers recommend you take a pump from the water at the end of teach season and clean it thoroughly. Then return it to the water immediately. To avoid corrosion, don’t leave it out of the water for very long without cleaning and drying it. Remember to never service a pump without first disconnecting it from the power supply. During the winter run the pump for at least an hour every week, to keep it in good working order.
* Connected kits
You do not have to notify your Building Control Officer if you are installing a complete ready-connected lighting kit or pump that is CE approved and that is not part of the fixed wiring of the house. However you may not have the confidence to do so, in that case call a qualified electrician.
Strictly speaking, this is the correct term to describe equipment that runs on 50v or less. However, suppliers and manufacturers often use the term low-voltage to describe equipment of this kind.
* Waterproof cable connector
You can obtain suitable cable connectors from pump and lighting suppliers.
If you are considering adding lighting to your garden and you live in and around the Chelmsford area why not give First Call Electrician a call. We can help you to design and install beautiful garden lighting that will add mood and wow every single day of the year.
Give First Call Electrician a call today on 01245 330428.