For the next few weeks, I am going to write about a garden lighting subject that I get asked about all the time. 12v vs 240v outdoor lights, which is the better option.
This question in my experience only has one correct answer – 12v lighting. Over the next 3 blogs, I am going to list my reasons why I think 12v outdoor lights are a superior option.
Part 1 – Safety
12volt/ 24volt or extra low voltage landscape lighting is a much safer option then 240volt outdoor lights, as the chance of shock is completely negated. This is by far the most important aspect to remember. In my 18 years of experience in installing outdoor lighting, I’ve come across at least 30 garden lighting installations that had either no existing RCD or had an exposed live cable that had been chewed through. All of these could have lead to serious injury or even death.
For example, in early 2019, a local UK farmer was electrocuted when he was fixing his pond pump using 240v cables. Water and electrics don’t mix. Therefore, safety has to be the top priority when installing outdoor lighting. When you are carrying out outdoor lighting or just maintaining your garden lighting, choosing an extra low voltage system will dramatically decrease the chances of serious injury.
Part 2 – Flexibility
Moreover, another aspect of an extra low voltage lighting system that is often over looked, is that due to the high standards of regulations, much more can be done with outdoor lighting then when using a 240v system. For example you can run cables up drainpipes, guttering or chased out pointing. Furthermore, you can run cable at any depth, however at least 7 inches in protective conduit would be our recommendation. You can even rejuvenate old systems by running 12volt through an old failed systems SWA and just convert all the fittings to extra low voltage. This has worked for us countless times and always produces fantastic results in outdoor lighting reliability which will be the subject of part 2 of our Blog.
See you then and in the meantime happy outdoor lighting, lets hope we get a better summer soon!