Unless you are a qualified electrician, installing your own garden lights can seem like an incredibly daunting task, one that is beyond the skill set of most of us. Once upon a time this might have indeed been true, especially when all outdoor lighting was 240V. Which let’s be honest, is more than a little scary.
When looking through catalogues and the web you see thousands of outdoors lights, but do the lights you like work together? Will they all need separate transformers? Will you need ducting run all round your garden? Who knows? Who cares? It’s all just too difficult. I have a theory this is why solar garden lighting is so popular. Mainly because I can’t think of any other reason you would use it (personal rant over).
But what if there was an easy, completely safe, low voltage, professional 12volt outdoor lighting system where everything worked together and anybody could install it themselves? Well there is….
The Lightpro outdoor lighting system is a complete garden lighting solution designed to be installed by anyone without any electrical knowledge. Literally zero…honest.
The Lightpro system consists of three mains factors:
All items in the Lightpro range are 100% compatible with each other. This means you can select any outdoor light from the range and not have to worry about about if it’s compatible or not, which is great.
So what is plug and play lighting? Plug and play simply means there is no wiring. The cable plugs into the transformer and the lights simply connect to the cable using Lightpro’s award winning cable connector. The completed project simply plugs into a standard 240v three pin household socket.
When plug & play garden lighting first hit the scene eight or so years ago, not many people had heard of it as a concept and there was very little choice. The fact that back then all garden lighting was still halogen, meant it was difficult to put together any outdoor lighting system that consisted of more than a handful of lights. This is because the wattage involved meant you couldn’t fit them all on one transformer. Although it was a great innovation, it was still in its teething stages.
The advancement of LED technology has meant that this is no longer the case. Not only do LED outdoor lights have the edge when it comes to maintenance. They can also be used in greater numbers on one transformer due to their low wattage. They are also much cheaper to run due to very energy efficient transformers and LED light sources. Real running costs are a few pennies per month.
The system is based on the award winning Lightpro connector. This award winning connector is what makes the Lightpro system, in our view, better than any other plug & and play system presently available.
Other plug & play systems generally have cabling with fixed socket positions along the length of their cables. This means that when designing the lighting for your garden you have to spend time measuring your garden to make sure your lights can reach one of these connectors. But let’s be honest, life’s too short.
The Lightpro system allows you to simply run your cabling around the garden and then put the connector exactly where you need it. No measuring, no ordering or waiting for extra cable you had to order because you made a mistake. Just simply get the job done. It also means you need less cable, making the overall job much neater.
All of the lights in the Lightpro system come with a 5 year warranty as standard. Which is great as other plug & play lighting systems generally offer 3 years or less.
Installing your outdoor lights really doesn’t get any easier than Lightpro. A whole lighting system that can be installed in minutes. Obviously if you are installing decking lights it will take a little longer preparing the holes.
If you go for a fixed wired in lighting solution, once your lights are installed that’s it, that’s where they are going to stay. But that isn’t really flexible. If you’re anything like me and love spending time outdoors you will know that functionality can change from season to season as well as year to year. For example, in the summer I have my barbeque out and bench next to it. So in summer months I would like this area lit more than I would in the winter when these items are back in the garage.
Also as gardens matures plants get bigger. So that beautiful post light that was once in front of your conifer will one day probably be buried within it.
While with normal garden lights, you would either have to live with it or call the electrician to come back and move it for you (at more expense). With the Lightpro system you can just unplug it and move it. All you would need is another connector and a cap for the existing one.
If you’re anything like me, you have probably sat in the garden with a cup of tea picking holes in your garden. You know the usual things of wishing your planting was different, the deck was bigger / smaller, you get the idea. Well with Lightpro wishing you had ordered another light will never be one of them! Just order it, put the connector on the cable where you need it (did I mention it was award winning) and plug your light in. Job done. No getting an electrician, pulling more cable through conduit or any of that hassle. Just sit back and admire your handy work.
Hopefully you can now see the benefits of plug & play garden lighting over other forms of more permanent outdoor lighting but not all plug and play lighting systems are equal.
Other garden plug & play systems generally have the same issues. Either they don’t offer you a complete solution, and by that I mean they don’t offer deck lights, wall lighting, spiked spotlights, post lights and submersible pond lights. Their system isn’t extendable without another transformer or (and this is the most common) their cables have pre-formed connectors, limiting or at least making it more difficult, to position your lights where you want them.
Issues you won’t have with Lightpro.
There are currently at time of writing 29 lights available in the Lightpro range with new lights in production for 2018. Every light in the Lightpro collection comes with a connector.
The range consists of:
The IP44 Lightpro transformers are available in 60W and 100W. More than just a quality 12V transformer, they also include a built in photo cell and timer. Something that other lighting systems often have as separate units. This means that the Lightpro system only has one unit to install so is compact and neat, leaving less unsightly boxes to hide. The transformers also have a built in circuit breaker, protecting your transformer from overload or short circuit.
Selecting the correct transformer for your project is as simple as adding the total wattage of the lights you are using and selecting a transformer that has a higher capacity.
For example, if the lights chosen were:
|4 x Barite Post Lights 3W||Total 12W|
|2 x Juno 2 Spotlights 2W||Total 4W|
|5 x Castor 4 Spotlights 4W||Total 20W|
|1 x Avior 16w Floodlight 16W||Total 16W|
|8 x Onyx 60 Decking Lights 1W||Total 8W|
|1 x Deco 2 Ball Light 3W||Total 3W|
You would have a total wattage of 79W which means you would select the 100W transformer as the 60W transformer wouldn’t have enough capacity and therefore be too small.
When choosing a transformer it is also a good idea to leave extra capacity as if the transformer is running close too or too full capacity it really will reduce the life of your transformer. Leaving extra capacity also leaves the door open to adding more lighting at a later date.
Installing a Lightpro outdoor lighting transformer is extremely simple. Position the transformer approximately 0.5m from the floor on any wall or fence in daylight. This is important because any shadows that fall on the photocell may result in the lighting being switched on prematurely. Connecting your cabling to the transformer can be done by either using 143A transformer connector or by simply crimping cable lugs (included) onto the cable and connecting directly. This in my view, though less convenient because you will need a crimping tool, is a cosmetically neater option as well as a slightly cheaper one.
The Transformers have built in photo cells and rotary timers. These not only control when your lighting comes on, but also how long your lights stay on for.
Timer Options Include:
Off Overrides the photocell, manually turning off your lighting.
On Overrides the photocell, manually turning on your lighting.
These two options are obviously very useful when installing and testing your lights. As otherwise you would have to wait until it was dark.
Auto Turns your lights on at dusk and off at dawn.
4H Turns your lights on at dusk and off after 4 hours.
6H Turns your lights on at dusk and off after 6 hours.
8H Turns your lights on at dusk and off after 8 hours.
While some systems use a set and forget style of control. The ease of use of this rotary system makes it simple to change timing settings as nights get longer in winter and shorter in summer.
It should be noted. That if you have indeed tripped the circuit breaker to reset it (after correcting the issue whether it be overload or short circuit) you will need to wait a minimum of 4 minutes before being able to reset the circuit breaker by pressing the reset button.
We have already talked about the award winning Lightpro connector, but what about the Lightpro cable itself.
Lightpro cable is extremely simple to use. Most plug & play lighting systems have pre-formed (fixed) sockets within the cable itself at set lengths. While making it simple to use, having the position of your lights dictated to you can be really annoying and time consuming. Especially when it comes to working out how to get the cable to where you want your lights. It also means that generally you have to over compensate, leaving you with extra cabling that needs hiding. Not ideal.
However, with the Lightpro system you won’t have any such problems. Simply measure the perimeter of your garden, add on any extra cable you might need for lights to reach the perimeter (remembering that all the post and spot lights comes with a 1 metre lead and wall lights a 3 metre lead) and you’re done. If you have under measured, then simply add another connector and some more cable. It really is that quick and simple.
If you are trade customer, you don’t even have to measure. As long as your total length isn’t over 80 metres (the recommended total length of each run to protect from voltage drop) you can just purchase one of the larger drums and keep any left over for your next job.
Lightpro cabling is available in 25, 50, 100 and 200 meter drums or alternatively we have a per metre service where you can just order the cable you need.
While not entirely needed, extension cables are extremely useful. Available in 3m and 1m these cables simply have a male Lightpro connector on each end. Mainly used for a quick solution to a light being further then the length of its own cable away from the main perimeter cable you laid.
The Lightpro System also includes a few accessories to make life simpler. These include the aforementioned transformer connector (Ref 143A) and Male Connector (Ref 138A). The male connector allows you to create a tee piece type connection, allowing you to branch your cable off in a completely new direction.
Even though the system quality means it’s pretty full proof. We wanted to add to this Lightpro guide this small section of how basically to trouble shoot what’s not working when things go wrong.
It very rarely happens, but let’s be honest, your goods have travelled from where they were manufactured to Lightpro in Holland. Then from Lightpro to us at Lightpro Trade in the UK. Then from us to you. That’s quite a window of opportunity for damage from a dropped box to occur.
So let’s quickly go through how we would trouble shoot any problems with the Lightpro garden lighting system.
Having the rotary timer set to Auto is generally what catches people out. If no lights come on your issue is going to be either with the transformer or your outdoor socket. Perhaps the cable hasn’t been connected properly. If you have a problem with your transformer, call our team and we will arrange to have it replaced.
So there you have it. Whether you are wanting to add garden installation to your business model or if you are wishing to install your own garden lighting, Lightpro could be the answer. I am not a professional copywriter (oh you could tell) but I hope this guide is helpful to you deciding whether Lightpro is the garden lighting solution for you.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via the website or give me or the team call on 020 8326 0145