Three Types of Outdoor Lighting
The three commonly used types of outdoor lighting are mains powered, low voltage, and solar. In some industrial applications, eg building sites, a voltage between mains and 12V is used. In the UK, where the normal mains is 240V, this is commonly 110V. The reasons for this are mainly that it is less dangerous in risky areas, while still giving reasonably strong lighting. There is also the advantage that theft of bulbs and other equipment is deteriorated, since they do not work properly off normal mains.
Mains Powered Outdoor Lighting
This gives the bright light, and is almost always used for security lighting, or where bright light is needed outside. However, because mains cable is needed to power the lights, it must be well protected. If the light is wall mounted and the cable comes straight out of the wall this is no problem. If the cable is to be buried underground, armored cable must be used, as a spade could easily go through ordinary mains cable. (Armored cable is three or four core cable, with good insulation, and covered with strong steel strands wrapped around. Because the protection is stranded, it can be cut with normal cable cutters.Three core cable – live, neutral and earth – is used In most domestic installations, four core is used when a three phase supply is in use.) All light fittings must be suitable for outdour use, ie protected against water, and earthed, without made all of plastic or rubber.
Domestic mains powered light fittings can vary from 40 watts up to at least 1000 watts floodlamps. The latter are only used if a very large area is needed to be lit up like daylight. Most gardens will be amply illuminated by a maximum of 500 watts for security and 40 to 100 watts for lighting up a small area such as a doorway. Low energy bulbs can be used in many outdoor lights, and are certainly advisable if the light is to be left on for any length of time. Specialist low energy bulbs, such as the…