In today’s blog we will be looking at connecting garden lighting to cables and which method is the best.
For connecting extra low voltage outdoor lightings you have a few choices;
1) Junction boxes
2) Heat shrink and crimps
3) quick connectors (often used on plug and play systems)
4) Wire nuts (mainly used in the U.S)
5) Plug and play systems
We will look at the first three points in this blog and the last two in part two of the blog.
1) Iprated Junction boxes are a good way to connect the garden light fitting to the supply. These can be used for both 240v and extra low voltage lights. We would always recommend you mount them above ground on a strong structure or mounting stake. I would generally only recommend gel filling or resin filling iprated junction boxes, if they are to be left on the ground or buried underground. If you fill them, swapping out faulty items can become very time consuming and messy. Always use compression glands and external armoured glands depending on the cables you are using.
2) Crimping and heat shrink is the most common way to install outdoor lights especially extra low voltage garden lighting. I would not use it personally for mains voltage (240v) outdoor lighting. This method is very quick and and gives a good sturdy connection.
3) Quick connectors are often used on the American style Systems where the connector uses a combinations of spikes that connect the light to the supply cable. This system is ok and and is very quick to use. My only issue is that the connections tend to rust over time and stop working. Having worked with many different systems from the U.S and the Netherlands, over the long term between 4-6 years they do tend to fail. Extra low voltage only.
Part 2 of the blog will cover wire nuts / plug and play systems.