Following on from part 1, we were discussing the importance of outdoor lighting reliability.
Reducing RCD tripping
With low voltage systems (12 volt outdoor lights) being used for landscape lighting, the chances of a RCD (residual current devices) tripping is greatly reduced. Only when drivers or the transformers get damaged / develop a fault, does the low voltage system trip a RCD. Moreover, if you a carrying out a lot of outdoor lighting installations, you will end up losing money and time if you have to keep going back to fix a tripping system. Also, having to deal with an unhappy customer is never easy! In 18 years of being in the garden lighting profession, carrying out 2-3 outdoor lighting installations a week, 48 weeks a year, we are looking at around 2500 installations! For your garden lighting installer, it would not be possible to maintain all those installations unless they were on a 12 volt lighting system.
12 volt system reliability
Another point to remember is that with 240v outdoor lighting, every aspect is susceptible to tripping the RCD or RCBO. From the lights to the junction boxes to the cable – it’s all a potential threat to reliability. An interesting observation that I would like to share, is if an outdoor light stops working on a low voltage system, ie due to a faulty lamp or a corroded lamp holder – most clients will waiting until there is a problem with maybe a few other garden lights before contacting the landscape lighting installer. However, on a 240v lighting system, if the RCD goes you will generally get a call straight away even if it’s on its own RCBO as the whole system goes down, which to the general public means there is a BIG PROBLEM!!!!!
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Next time we will talk about how LED’s have transformed the old dreaded voltage drop….. till next time keep the outdoor lights shining!