Lights/power in garden from one feed?

18 Apr 2007
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United Kingdom
I am looking at running some lights/power to the patio outside via multi-core SWA.
I want to switch the various lights on/off from within the house so I was going to run a spur off the ring main via a 13A RCD FCU & following that a switch (for the light circuits only) down a 5 core SWA cable. The cores would therefore be as follows:
Core 1- Switched live(Wall lights)
Core 2 - Switched live(Deck Lights)
Core 3 - Permanent Live (Outdoor power socket)
Core 4 - Neutral
Core 5 - Earth

Is it permitted to share the neutral/earth between the light/power circuit in the same cable?
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Were the answers on the Screwfix forum not any good?

There are no doubt plenty of people who don't frequent the Screwfix forum but do here and vice-versa.
Its always good to get other opinions, as an example jj4091 on here says its not allowed but a recent post on Screwfix says it is so definitely a difference of opinion!
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Might be worth getting an opinion in the House of Lords.

What about running one feed out to the mains socket and using remote switches for the rest?

I reckon I'd split it into two cables, one for the socket and one for the lights

I suppose you could do it the way you want to do it, but it would mean both light and socket would have to be fed from the same 13A FCU, If you can find lightswitches rated at 13A or greater I suppose you could do it, plus you couldn't use any SBC or EBS lamp fittings (and also check what the maker of any other fittings says wrt to fusing)

Personally I'd take an switched FCU (fused at 13A) off the rfc and have it feed the socket (through 2.5² 2/3 core) and a second FCU (unswitched and fused at 3A) and then take that to a switch and have that feed two lighting banks through 1.5mm² 3/4 core

5 Core SWA isn't often used (read as probably expensive) I reckon it won't cost anymore to run two amoureds and do the job in a more logical way ;)
5 core SWA is likely to be rare and expensive, you could use 4 core though as long as the armour is a suitable earth (for the kind of sizes we are dealing with it almost certainly will be)

i tend to agree that the rcd fcu followed by unswitched fcu for protecting lights followed by dual lightswitch is the smart way to do this. I'd mount the unswitched FCU and the lightswitches on a dual box so you can make all the SWA connections easilly within one enclosure.

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