Meta Description: Have you ever wondered how to power your garden lights? Can it be dangerous? How should you do it in the safest way? Click here and see how to do it!
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How to power garden lights
How do you power your garden lights? Can it be dangerous? Is voltage important? How to do it in the safest way then? Which way will give the best result? This article will show you how to plan, install and power lighting at your place.
Why should you install garden lights?
There are some very practical reasons for outdoor lighting. Many entertaining things happen in your garden in the evening, such as outdoor cinema, grilling with friends, or family meetings. Thanks to outdoor lighting it is much safer to walk there.
Well-placed lighting will create an amazing atmosphere in your garden. You can enjoy it long after the sun goes down. An outdoor lighting setup does not have to cost you a lot. You will be surprised how easy it is to put in and to power it.
Different ways to power outdoor lighting
There are a few ways to power your LED garden lights. The first option is using existing external outlets. The second one is using solar power and the third one is using battery power. The one with external outlets is the quickest way to power your lights. However, there are a few more suggestions – let’s find out!
Using external existing outlets
When preparing to set your outdoor lights up, pay attention to the existing electrical outlets outside. There is no better place to plug your lights in. If you don’t have such outlets, no worries – you might use a light socket just by using an adapter which screws into your porch light fixture. Moreover, you can connect your outdoor lighting by power circuits or by spurs from your existing lighting.
Running an extension cord from inside the home
If there’s no outlet to plug into outside, you could use a long and durable extension cord. If you don’t have electrical outlets and porch lights, you could still run an exterior grade extension cord from the garage or from inside your home through a window. Run the light supply cable to a suitable place for cutting into a main lighting circuit cable back inside the house.
The heavy duty extension cords are better than regular extension cords because they can handle the actual amount of electricity which is needed to pass long distances. With them, everything becomes easier. Bear in mind that there are some extension cords made specifically for outdoor lighting. They are different in that they have multiple sockets with plugs that are impervious to water built into them.
You can pair your heavy duty power extension with a waterproof power stake. Sometimes power stakes have built-in timers and photocells. Thanks to them, it becomes possible to turn on your outdoor lights as soon as it gets dark and turn them off anytime you want.
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Using solar panels or solar garden lights
This is the best possible option to take advantage of solar, if you want to decorate but at the same time you’re not necessarily willing to pay for power bills. There is a huge range of beautiful solar powered outdoor lights available on the market. With solar panel kits and LED lights you can create many creative ideas.
Even more so that such lights often have pattern flash modes and colour settings. Their additional advantage is that they sometimes can connect to Bluetooth. Imagine they dance to the music downloaded from an app. That sounds good! A portable power system (solar generator, solar power etc.) may interest you if you need more power. It could be useful especially in emergencies but also while camping.
Using batteries to power garden lighting
Outdoor lights can be powered with batteries. There are some light displays which are pre-installed with batteries. You can use them especially at times of celebration such as Christmas. You can easily use fairy lights in any colour and size. You can also decorate moving objects such as sleds and cars with the use of battery operated lights.
Using 12V batteries (to power Christmas lights)
Another option is using a 12V battery and an inverter. Use rechargeable 12V lithium batteries or, if you want to, use a car battery. Then, connect the chosen battery with the cables and plug your lights into the outlets of the inverter. Such a combination will make Christmas lights shine.
You ought to be cautious every single time you work with electricity. This is particularly important in the case of outdoor lighting, taking into account the potential of snow and rain. Using electricity outdoors may be associated with electrical shock (poorly grounded cord might shock an animal or a person), fire and even with death.
Prevention = the best precaution
Prevention is always the best precaution – remember these simple but significant words. If you decide to go with extension cords – use only waterproof, heavy duty extension cords. Although they are bulky, they are well insulated. This basically means that they can tolerate much higher voltage through them and they do not heat up.
Less is more
What’s more, you better use low wattage and low voltage garden lights. Also, pay attention not to overload your electrical outlets. Keep in mind that placing cords where they can be damaged is not the best idea. Remember that RCD protection is compulsory for some of the electrical devices – check if your lights have an RCD fitted.
Finally, install and power all the products in accordance with local Building Regulations (all new modified installations must comply with the latest IEE Wiring Regulations). Do not hesitate to use the services of a qualified electrician.
If you have wondered about how to power garden lights, now you have learned some useful ways to do it. Use external existing outlets, run an extension cord from inside the house, use solar or use batteries. Respect all the safety rules. Powering garden lights have never been easier!