Outdoor lights improve home security and allow you to make the most of your garden by highlighting features and providing light for evening barbecues and outdoor get-togethers. Install only weatherproof lights suitable for outdoor use. You require some electrical and DIY skills to install outdoor lights, and you should always focus on electrical safety when carrying out this type of work. You can install exterior lights on the outside wall of your house or in your garden.
Outdoor Light Installation Safety Information
If you are uncomfortable with or inexperienced in working with electricity, leave lighting installation to a professional electrician. Ensure that your installation complies with council regulations. When installing new circuits outside, inform your local council before you carry out the installation. Bear in mind that you have to arrange and pay for testing and installation once you have installed the lights. Switch off the power supply at the consumer unit or fuse box before you begin. Either turn off the miniature circuit breaker for the appropriate circuit and cover the switch with red insulation tape to prevent accidental reconnection or turn off the mains and remove the circuit fuse. Make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions when installing exterior lights.
Installing an Outdoor Light on a House Wall
Choose a practical location for the light, and use a drill fitted with a masonry bit to drill through the exterior wall where you want to fit the outside light. Drill slightly upwards from the outside to prevent water leaks in wet weather. Pass the electrical cable through the wall from the inside to connect it to the junction box. Lead the section of cable inside the house to the connection point and connect it using an indoor lighting circuit or a ring main circuit fused spur. Attach the light fitting by holding the outdoor light over the cable on the outside of the wall and marking the screw sites. Drill the required holes, fit rawl plugs, and install the light. Work the cable through the baseplate of the light and connect it as per the manufacturer's instructions.
Installing Outdoor Garden Lights
Create a lighting scheme in your garden using functional and accent lights. You need to install a separate electric circuit for this type of lighting and the circuit must contain a high-sensitivity residual current device and double pole isolating switch. Once you have decided on the positions of your lights, mark the routes for the cables and prepare trenches for the cables. Trenches under patios and paths must be at least 450 millimetres deep and those under flowerbeds and lawns should be at least 750 millimetres deep. Use steel wire armoured cable and attach this to weatherproof junction boxes using rubber-sheathed 3-core flexible cable.