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Any garden lighting brands to recommend?

Discussion in 'In the Garden' started by justigator, 12 Sep 2021.

  1. justigator

    justigator

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    There don't seem to be any recent posts on this. I'm considering a variety of 12v or 24v LED lights for my long thin garden: downlighters on fences, an uplighter under a tree, maybe some lights on pillars. Ideally would like 230v but that would mean either unwieldy SWA or NYY-J cabling needing physical protection. I want good quality kit. The web has too many choices. Does anyone have a recommendation?
     
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  3. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    Most of the brands that Lyco stock are brands that produce good quality and reliable items.

    https://www.lyco.co.uk/
     
  4. justigator

    justigator

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    Thank you; that's helpful.
     
  5. Deryck Tintagel

    Deryck Tintagel

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    SWA splicin' and SELV garden lighting - YouTube

    The sparky on here recommends 12V spike lights - see the links in the description below the video. I have bought some from amazon and given them a quick try using some LED lamps from screwfix. They seem quite well made but time will tell. You will need an LED driver (i used a bench power supply for my quick test) but they do look good. I will probably get some more at some point

    I have wanted SELV lighting for a while and LED seems to be the best option for me
     
  6. SFK

    SFK

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    Justigator

    Sorry not a recomendation for 'quality', but this 12V system has worked well for me, and shows all the items I used.
    I copied this with some updates from what I wrote to this OP: https://www.diynot.com/diy/threads/decking-lighting-advice.466740/#ixzz77JC3Btvy



    What I did was as follows:

    1) Selected 12V lights from amazon with search "12V led garden lights". Made a note of number needed and their Wattage to find total wattage (eg 10lights x 3W each = 30W)
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=12V+led+garden+lights&rh=i:aps,k:12V+led+garden+lights

    2) Selected LED power supply from amazon with search "LED Driver 12V".
    This has to be s 'Constant Voltage 12V' driver, not a Constant Amperage driver.

    selected one that had a Wattage greater (say 25%) than that needed for the lights (so 10lights x 3W each = 30W x 125% = >38W)
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=LED+driver&rh=i:aps,k:LED+driver

    3) I selected a flat 12V Power Supply/Driver, and put a Short Mains Cable and Plug on it, and put it into a waterproof box with two Cable Gland Clamps in the bottom two holes, one for the Incoming Mains Cable and one for the Outgoing 12V cable. Not sure if this could cause overheating for bigger wattage power supplies so keep eye on this. Drilled a 3mm hole in the Drain hole of water poof box to allow any condensation to exit.
    http://www.screwfix.com/p/british-general-ip55-enclosure-grey-150-x-53-x-85mm/35121
    http://www.screwfix.com/p/ip55-enclosure-grey-180-x-110-x-100mm/96153
    http://www.screwfix.com/p/tower-male-comp-gland-black-20mm-pack-of-2/80851

    3) My 12V Cable run was 22meters, so I was very conscious of Voltage drop with this site showing significant voltage drop for me when using 0.75mm2 cable. But I found that 1.5mm2 cable was difficult to get into the small connections of my 12V Power Supply/Driver, so I went with 0.75mm2 cable and crossed my fingers. For me the LEDs worked perfectly okay and I am happy with the brightness, but it should be noted that I cannot tell if they are significantly dimmer as I never made a comparison. And you might notice this more as you have a string of lights one after the other.
    So I used 0.75mm2 Black 'rubber' cable as more durable and less noticeable on fence (where I attached it). For the 12V cable I did not use the Earth lead.
    http://www.screwfix.com/search?search=Tough+Flexible+Cable
    http://www.screwfix.com/p/tower-co-axial-cable-clip-7-0mm-black-pack-of-100/14161

    4) Joining 12V Cable to lights. I used ebays "T cable connector". Power cable in and out. And the T used to send power cable to the light.
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_sacat=0&_nkw=IP66+box&_sop=12

    5) Switches
    To control the lights outside I used outdoor switches. So the Driver is not on all the time I put 240V into this swict and then out to the box with the LED driver in it. The cable goes in and out using cable compression glads.
    http://www.screwfix.com/p/bg-1-gang-2-way-single-pole-slim-weatherproof-switch/42402
    http://www.screwfix.com/p/tower-male-comp-gland-black-20mm-pack-of-2/80851

    5) Notes
    Big issue.... you are messing around with both 240V and 12V. Make sure you keep them separate. Make sure you are not complacent when handling the 240V cable after you have been handling the 12V cable.
    Don't do this if you are not in any way happy with handling electricity.


    7) question to you, Is your 240V power supply properly protected (does it have correct MCB / RCD etc protection)


    sfk
     
    Last edited: 23 Sep 2021
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  8. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    Check that the power supply output is a constant Voltage and NOT a constant Current device.

    LED elements need to be driven by a controlled current from an LED driver,

    LED lamps have integral drivers to control the current through the LED element(s) in the lamps
     
  9. SFK

    SFK

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    Bernard
    Good point and good reminder.
    'Constant Voltage, 12V'
    Edited text above to reference this.
    Thanks SFK
     
  10. justigator

    justigator

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    Belated thanks, SFK. Very helpful. Yes the 230V supply is properly protected. A few months ago I had some electricians replace my consumer unit with an all-RCBO one and replace the existing feed to garage, and extend the latter to a garden room beyond. Garage feed is 10mm SWA off a 40A RCBO, feeding a small CU in the garage (where a 32A MCB feeds 6mm SWA to the garden room and a second small CU there also with MCBs, alongside 6A and 20A MCBs for garage lights and sockets respectively). Voltage drop at the furthest point some 35 metres from the CU with a 3kW load is only 2%. I will probably supply the lights from the garage but could easily do so instead from the garden room.
     
  11. SFK

    SFK

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    Sounds good.
    Note that the voltage drop I was highlighting was along the cable carrying the 12 V. The effect can be more noticeable. Especially as the 12 V LEDs have a non linear output (ie they can quickly get dimmer as voltage drops). But I did not find any issues over my 30m length of 12V cable.
     
    Last edited: 26 Sep 2021
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