Low Voltage Plain Cable Vs Standard Cables
In mainland Europe 12-volt garden lighting systems have been the standard way of lighting outside spaces at home. Well, in fact they think us British are a little strange for putting 240v mains steel wire armoured cable around the garden and ending up with a lighting system that is totally inflexible. If you want to add another light you need to get the electrician back, if the garden changes it is much harder to adjust a 240v mains system to meet the changing space.
The Techmar 12 volt AC plug and play garden lighting system is totally flexible and can easily be changed, added too and even removed if you move home. You also have the added benefit that it can be installed by anyone with just a few basic tools and
Most of the questions we receive is about the cables on our systems and how they work. If I am honest, they are the hardest part of the system. For this reason, we created a few years ago many bundles/kits that contain everything you need to get you started on the path to lighting your garden.
Low voltage systems came into the UK market 15+ years ago and we based on a very flimsy cable piercing connector. This clamped onto the main cable and two thin blades of metal pierced the cable and made electrical contact with the conductors running through the main cable. This was fine providing the cable was not too hard, due to cold weather and the thin blades did not corrode.
For many years we have been supplying the standard Techmar cables that come is a variety of lengths and sizes. Each "main" cable has a number of pre-moulded connectors that will accept lights, extension cables or 3-way dividers. Getting the cabling right and having the connectors where you want a light was always the trickiest part. Sometimes our design team would scratch their head for ages trying to find the right cable to go in the right position to allow the lights to be plugged in. At the same time trying not to over do the amount of cable on the project, which also leads to increased costs to the client. We do it every day and still struggle sometimes to get it exactly right, especially on the more complex gardens.
We wanted another option to be able to offer. That was the next step up, even easier to install and simpler to plan and design. Therefore, we now offer a SPT2 plain cable system (available in our Deluxe Bundles). This is a great new system that is even easier to install as the cable is plain and can easily be feed through ducting, in between paving stone gaps and laid across lawns. Once the cable is laid, it can be cut to length, capped off and a heavy-duty female connector clamped on where you want a light to plug in. Available in 10, 25 & 50mtr drums with male and female connectors. It is fully interchangeable with the standard Garden lights range of lights, and accessories. Fully compatible with all the Garden Lights range of lights (Techmar) as it uses the same plug and socket type. So, the SPT2 cable is easy to design, plan, install and extend. It really is best overall option. It is initially slightly more expensive than the standard moulded cable range, but when you start adding in extension cables, screw connectors and 3-way dividers it gets very close in price. Plus, there is no excess cable to coil up and hide away, and it will fit through underground ducting (minimum 20mm internal diameter is recommended) to negotiate under pathways and patios. A problem for the standard cables as the moulded socket requires approx. 40mm clearance. The plain cable system is a slightly heavier duty cable, so this adds even more protection to the cable. Why not look at our new range of split conduit for adding that extra layer of protection if needed.
Please see our recent Blog regarding the different low voltage cable types we offer by clicking here.
If in doubt, please take advantage of our FREE cable design service or call us to discuss your requirements on 01276 903 228