- I may want to extend my garden lights at a later stage, but for now I want to start with a small system. Is this ok?
Perfectly fine. This is why this system is so good. You can add on at a later stage very easily, just remember, it may be better to initially buy a larger transformer and the SPT-3 cables. This will give you much more scope in the future to extend
- Is a 12v, low voltage system dimmer than a 240v system?
No definitely not. Light is measured in Lumens not Watts and 12 volt LEDs perform exactly the same as 240v versions, only safer.
- Common Questions on our SPT2 Flex Cable System
We get asked a lot regarding how the SPT2 Flex Deluxe system goes together, so we thought we would answer all these questions here.
Question - Can I move a female connector on the main cable?
Answer - Yes simply unclip it and move it to where you want it to go and plug the light back in. Removing the female connector will leave small puncture holes in the cable insulation, but these will close up and pose no problem to the working of the system in any way.
Question - How do I make a "branch" off the main cable?
Answer - Simply clamp on a female connector on the main cable where you want to branch off and plug another cable in. If you have an off cut of cable you will need to put a male connector on the end of the cable off cut to enable it to plug into the female connector. The same applies if you are looking to extend your existing run of cable. i.e clamp a female connector near the end of your exisiting cable and simply plug in another SPT2 cable.
Question - Can I cut the SPT2 cable to length?
Answer - Yes it is better to cut it to length, than trying to coil up excess or hide it.
Question - What is the maximum amount of cable I can use?
Answer - Generally we say 60-80mtr from the transformer to the furthest light in the system. We may be able to go further, but we will have to help plan the system with you.
Question - Can we mix SPT2, SPT3 and SPT1 cable in the system?
Answer - Yes but we advise that you should always start with the larger size cables and leave the smaller SPT1 cables towards the end of the system to avoid the chance of Volt Drop. This does not include the cable that comes with the lights. This is generally SPT1 cable and only needs to be the smaller cable as it is only a short length of cable.
Question - Can I use the 3 way splitter on the SPT2 plain cable?
Answer - Yes no problem. It will plug into a SPT2 female connector and enable upto three lights to plug in. Please bear in mind that 2x female connectors are cheaper than one 3 way splitter.
Question - What happens to the ends of the SPT2 cables?
Answer - You use the black caps that are included with every SPT2 cable pack to cap off the ends of the cable. Simply seperate the two conductors approximately 10mm and place the end caps over the two conductors. Repeat this for all bare ends of cable. The 10mtr and 25mtr SPT2 cable packs come with one pair of end caps. The 50mtr pack comes with 5 pairs. You can purchase more caps from us here
Question - Will all the lights in your range fit onto the SPT2 cable?
Answer - Yes all male plugs and female sockets are the same across all lights and all cables. This applies to the Lightpro range as well.
- How important is it to get my outside lights in the right position and what happens when my plants grow and block out the lights?
The beauty of this Plug & Play system is that you can easily unplug the lights, move or re-position them at any stage. So don’t worry they will never permanently be in the way.
- Are your lights rated for Coastal Areas?
No sadly not. Although some our fittings that are stainless steel construction will do a good job, none are tested or guaranteed for coastal areas. Using a plastic based fitting will not corrode in the same manner, so try looking at our Alder spotlight, Laurus or Larix post light.
- I don’t have an outside socket to plug the system into, is this a problem?
Please remember, you can plug this system into any 13amp UK standard socket, so if you have one accessible in the garage or shed, that will be fine. Alternatively, we sell a range of good quality exterior rated sockets that is worth considering. I am sure a local electrician would not charge much to install one for you. You may wish to consider the RCD protected version. This will also cover you from potential electrical shocks when using any outside power devices such as lawn mowers.
- Do you carry spare components for the system?
Yes we keep lots of spare items going back years. There is every chance that we can get the right item for you to save wasting a fitting. Whether it is a replacement LED or spike, we can help.
- Do the cables need to be buried in the flower beds?
No, you can leave the cable on the surface, clipped to the fence or dig them in. If you decide to dig them in (only needs to be approx 50mm below the surface) , please place the cables towards the back of the border and be careful not to damage them later with gardening tools. As the system is a safe low voltage you will not harm yourself if you do accidentally damage a cable.
- Are the LEDs replaceable in the lights?
Yes approx 98% of the lights in the Garden Lights range all have replaceable LEDs. The range has designed this way to maximise the life of the fitting. Why replace the whole fitting if just a component can be replaced?
- The 12v timer & dark light sensor look good, but can I put it in the shed next to the plug socket?
No, the sensor in it needs to be located outside for it to work properly as it senses the amount of daylight present and when it get dark it switches the lighting system on and then switches it off automatically after a customer pre-set time of between 1-9 hours.
- What distance will the system go?
Great question and one that we get asked all the time. As a general rule the system will go 60-80m from the transformer to the last light. To achieve this it is better to go with our largest 150w transformer and the larger grade SPT2 plain cable and this all helps avoid "Volt Drop". Volt drop is where the further you go from the transformer the voltage starts to drop away. The transformer produces 12v output but this gradually decreases as you go further away. The reason that Techmar have managed to go further with their system over the few other makes on the market is all down to the clever technology in the LEDs. They are all optimsed to run at 8-9 volts and still achieve the exact same light output. Cheaper LEDs available elsewhere will only work to say 11 volts and then stop.
- I am not totally sure that I am ordering the right transformers and cables. Is there any help?
All orders will be checked by our technical team to make sure the items ordered will work and the correct transformer and cables are purchased. So do not worry, we will call you to discuss if needed.
- What is the difference between Standard cables and the Deluxe SPT2 Plain cables?
Ok the standard cables have pre-moulded connectors (sockets) on at pre-determinded intervals, generally 2mtr spacing after an initial 4 or 5mtr plain start to each standard cable. This type of cable generally comes in the lighter weight SPT1 cable (max 120w rated) and will suffice for most simple garden lighting apllications. The Deluxe SPT2 plain cable is as it suggests, a plain heavier duty cable that does not have the pre-moulded connectors on. Therefore we offer SPT2 female clamp on connectors that clamp onto the cable anywhere you want to place a light. It is 100% reliable and even easier to plan and install compared with the standard cables. Being plain cable it also means you can pull the cable through small ducting and even fits nicely across paths if you remove the mortar gap. The plain cable will also cut to length, again making it easier to install.
- I have a plug socket in my shed, is it ok for us to use this to run our plug & play garden lights?
Yes it is fine, just order a longer extension cable if needed to get you to the start of your lights. If you are using our Standard cabling with moulded connectors, look at either the 6m SPT1 or 10m SPT3 extension cables. The extension lead should be the same type as your main cable i.e SPT1 10mtr 6007011 cable plus a SPT1 6mtr 6005011 extension cable. If you are using our SPT2 plain cable system, this is even easier as you can take the plain cable straight into the shed.
A recommended maximum cable length of 60-80mtr from the transformer to the last light.