Installing Garden Lights

Garden lights situated on paths and steps are not only functional and provide safe access in the darkness, but they can also provide an attractive backdrop for summer evening barbecues and parties.

Low-voltage garden lights can be powered directly from the mains electricity of your house, but you should always hire a professional, qualified electrician to install these for you - don't try to DIY. You can, however, install lighting that connects to a low-voltage transformer. There is a wide range of attractive lights and lanterns connected by low-voltage flex that can run along the surface of the ground. The flex can be a trip hazard, so it is advised that these lights are considered 'temporary installations' and removed and stored after use.

Ecologically friendly solar lights are now available for use in gardens. These don't require any wiring as they are powered directly by sunlight, so there is no further cost after the initial expenditure on the lights.

• Outdoors, use only proper outdoor light fittings.
• Protect all outside installations with residual current circuit breakers (RCCBs) to ensure instantaneous response to earth-leakage faults.
• Low-voltage garden lights powered by mains electricity should only be installed outdoors by a qualified professional electrician.

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