Guys, It's coming around to that time of year here when people are getting out in the backyard and having BBQ's and other sorts of outdoor gatherings. In the last few months, I've done the odd "Foreigner" (ie: work during the weekend, paid in cash), setting up Outdoor lighting Installations for friends. Must of the time they just want a few lights installed to light the BBQ area or so forth. But, there is a real move here to have your entire garden bathed in various shades of light!. In your country, how would the regulations and rules affect your Installation methods and materials used?. I mean it's all very well to string up some lights in some trees, but how do you reticulate a power supply to it?. Also, is outdoor lighting restricted to Extra-Low Voltage(ie:12,24V), where you are?. Just wondering how this is done overseas!.
Garden lighting has certainly taken off here in recent years. All the big DIY stores carry low-voltage garden lighting kits, usually with around 4 to 8 lights in a pack along with a transformer and cable. The lights are the type on a plastic spike so that you can just push them into the ground where needed.
Outdoor lighting here can be run on normal mains 240V so long as all the appropriate Regs. are followed.
Paul, That's actually what I meant. I was just looking to "compare notes" with you guys on how you would effect an installation in the Outdoors like this. I'm also interested to know how your Regulations guide the type of materials that you would use and how these would be installed. Sorry about the vague question, will post my ideas below. BTW, I'd love some input from our Australian members on this one, as they are the BBQ kings, over there!
[This message has been edited by Trumpy (edited 01-23-2004).]
OK, Usually here, most people just want a few 150W PAR-38 lamps to illuminate a few trees and other features of thier gardens. Our Regs and ECP's here require that an RCD be fitted to any circuit that extends beyond the boundary of the house, it's been that way since the '92 Regs came in. Generally, all outdoor wiring is required to be wired in 1.5mm2, regardless of length of run and a 10A RCBO protecting it. With respect to installation methods, I like to install ground-mounted Dichroics with the integral Transformer. These should be IP67 units though. I really feel guilty about ripping up a new lawn to install the conduit and Signal Strip that goes with these systems and also the fact that the excavator is none too kind to the other parts of the lawn either!. But, what is the best type of Outdoor fitting that you guys have installed recently? I find the 150W PAR-38 fitting OK, but I also hear lots of complaints about the Glare from them. Final question, what would be your "dream" lighting system?
Last time I did outdoor lighting it was for a mini Golf Course that someone had put in their back yard. Putting the lights (small Halogens) up in the trees to shine down gives a nice effect. These were put on dimmers that could be controlled from the house.
As far as Garden lighting goes I like the low voltage stuff. (metal, not plastic fixtures). They have a lot of nice looking styles and it's very easy to change and move fixtures around.
Re: Garden Lighting?#140075 01/24/0403:33 AM01/24/0403:33 AM
Bill, I wouldn't personally use plastic around a 50W Dichroic lamp, have you seen how hot them lamps get?. Yes, I'd go for the minimalistic approach with outdoor lighting too!. While keeping in mind basic safety lighting. But there is nothing worse than a garden that is lit up way beyond what is decent to the people that own the place and the neighbours. Them in-ground Dichroics that I was talking about above,have quite a profound effect. All in all, it really depends on what sort of effect your customer is after, I suppose.
Re: Garden Lighting?#140076 01/24/0406:31 AM01/24/0406:31 AM
Other than LV decorative sets, I'd say the most common form of outdoor lighting here is the quartz halogen floodlight. Every other house seems to have one (or more) of these 500W monsters shining down on its grounds these days as a security measure, generally the PIR detector type.
Where 240V is run underground to garden lights, I'd say the SWA cable is by far the most common method for residential. That's the proper way of course -- I see many DIY efforts which involve threading flex through garden hose or sometimes just burying regular "twin & erath" cable.
Re: Garden Lighting?#140077 01/24/0406:36 AM01/24/0406:36 AM
Hey Guys, Sorry to bring this one back up again but there is a bit of a feud going on down the road from me here. Neighbour A lives at No 42 on my street. Nieghbour B lives at No 44, next to Nieghbour A. OK,lets put this into perspective, NA installs (DIY) 2 Twin PAR-38 Security light Fittings and never set the sensors or the lamps up properly. NA's cat sets the sensor off and one of the lamps shines into NB's bedroom. Now seems I have been off work lately, NB is a Grandfather of an Apprentice Electrician at my EC job, so NB comes down to my house to sort this thing out. NB installed a 400W Metal-Halide fitting to spite NA. I told them to both get real, I have a broken leg and a very short temper. I mean when two grown up men can't agree on something, we are sadly lacking here. I offered to sort the whole thing out when I get my cast off. At least I'll be able to kick somebody then!!.
Re: Garden Lighting?#140079 05/21/0403:59 AM05/21/0403:59 AM
Darn, What I meant to say in all that was, ask the question: Is the Twin PAR-38 Security sensor light unit a DIY thing where you come from?. Do you install these professionally?. What are your set-up parameters? Lux levels? Scan area?.