1) Is Easy Connect safe?
Yes, it certainly is. Safety is our No.1 priority!
Easy Connect is one of the best selling garden lighting products in Europe and it certainly couldn’t be considered as this if it was not safe.
Many people are concerned with the thought of mains within the garden or an outdoor environment however they should be, bearing in mind that many household appliances are used outside every day such as lawnmowers, hedge trimmers to name a few.
For a safe easy connect installation you must start at an outdoor plug socket with an integrated RCD. If you don’t already have one, its nothing complicated, any qualified electrician will come out and fit one at an affordable price. We have spoken to several electrician and it has been suggested it would cost around £60-£130 for a socket installation.
Once you have the correct outdoor socket, the Easy Connect installation is simple, straight forward and can be completed by any competent person by using the Easy Connect plug and play connection solution. Simply… Connect, Push and Twist!
The connection was invented in 2004 and holds over 30 european/asian patents.
The connection is IP67 which is a waterproof rating and means that the connectors can sit in water, upto 1m deep.
The connections are constantly tested, in-house and independently and meet all European standards including CE and RoHS, some products are also tested in TUV standard.
If the connection sits in water, just be extra sure that the connections are secure.
2) What is an RCD, and how does it work?
Write something basic using this as a reference. Nothing in depth. Just something which a general person will understand and be re-assured by.
In addition to this, we should write a separate article about general RCD maintenance and testing.
3) Why mains voltage?
Simple – It’s the least restrictive. You can reach runs of 300m long and 3600 watts by using mains voltage.
To give you an idea of how many lights you can run on Easy Connect:
180,000 decking lights (Example code)
900 x 4w spike lights (Example Code)
450 x 8w bollard lights (Example Code)
You really cannot achieve this with any other system other than Easy Connect from 1 plug socket!
4) Wouldn’t it be better to use Low voltage lighting?
No, in our opinion it wouldn’t.
Low voltage has huge downsides. You are restricted to the maximum run of cable and you are restricted to the maximum wattage.
As an example our main competitors are both low voltage solutions. They both require Transformers to run, which converts the operating voltage down to 12v.
There are several mains problems with this:
• Transformers are expensive.
• Transformers regularly breakdown and require replacing.
• Transformers severely restrict the number of lights you can run on one installation.
• Transformers severely limit the number of metres of cable to 30-50m long so are not suitable for medium to large sized gardens. Longer runs of cables cause something called voltage drop.
5) What is voltage drop?
Voltage drop is when over long runs of cable the voltage drops. So as an example on a low voltage garden lighting solution you start at metre 1 with 12v, by the time you get to metre 30 you may only have 8v. Because the voltage has dropped the brightness of the lighting will be reduced across the run.
Easy Connect solves this problem!
Because it is run on 230v mains, you don’t tend to ever get voltage drop. This is simply because the maximum run is 300 metres long. 300m will cover the vast majority of installations with plenty of space to expand.
6) I am worried that I might put a space through the cable.
That’s absolutely understandable. This is why it is very important to ensure you use an outdoor socket with a RCD, the RCD will eliminate all risk to you and your loved ones.
At the first sign of a spade going through the cable, the RCD will trip within the socket and immediately stop all danger.
Its then a very simple job of un-plugging the plug from the socket, replacing the damaged cable and switching your lights back on.
7) Should I bury the cable?
Every one is different and it does divide opinion. However, we suggest not too.
This may surprise many people, however it keeps things simple not to. Imagine a typical installation of a few spike lights, decking lights and a couple of decorative lights.
Starting at a plug socket, you can clip the cable onto the wall/fence and then using various T-Connectors branch off the clipped cable to the lights amongst the tree/shrub’s. In addition to that the cable can live safely under the decking and safely around trees flower beds etc.
It can be considered safer to do this, then to bury the cable. As the cable is than within eye sight and you won’t pop a spade through it.
The only times we feel that you should bury your cable is when you are going across an area of the garden, like from one side to the other or if you are going connecting across a driveway or paved area.
If you need to bury the cable its nothing complicated and we sell a range of certified protective casings and access panels to allow a simple, no hassle burial.
8) What if my child was to un-screw a connector?
Don’t be concerned, nothing bad!
Easy Connect’s connectors are made up of 2 parts, Live and Not Live.
The Live connectors sit 6mm back within the connector which meets European and british regulations. Therefore if your child was to touch the live Easy Connect socket there would be no risk of electrocution.
An addition concern to this would be that you may not no your child has done this. Imagine it then rained and water got into the connection. Your outdoor socket’s RCD would simply kick in and cut off again protecting against any risk.
9) I am concerned that my pet may chew the cable.
If this were to happen, the RCD would shut off the electrical supply, therefore protecting your Pet against any serious risk.
When you consider the risk in-side your home. There is equally nothing stopping your Pet chewing cables behind your TV, or your child putting there finger into plug sockets.
Your home should also be protected by an RCD as standard from your main electrical consumer unit.
10) Is the cable you use suitable for All-Weather outdoor use?
Yes, absolutely. We use Class 2 double insulation All-Weather rubber cable. The technical name for the cable use is 2 Core x HO7RN-F.
11) Why is there no earth?
Simple – There doesn’t need to be!
Think of all general household outdoor tools. The very large percentage of modern lawnmowers, henge cutters, strimmers etc all do not have an earth cable.
Class 2 cable is the modern route to wiring. All cables are double insulated.
12) Does Part P Apply?
No, Part P only applies to fixed installations going back to your main consumer unit. Because this installation is designed to be plugged into your outdoor plug socket it is deemed a portable appliance because it technically could be un-plugged or moved into a different location.
13) Do I need an electrician to complete the install?
No – You may need an electrician to install an outdoor plug socket (With RCD) but outside of this you can, or your landscape gardener can install yourself. No electrician is needed.
Therefore Easy connect seriously saves you a lot of money when installing outdoor garden lighting as there are no nasty bills at the end of the installation. We believe the average garden lighting installation when not using Easy Connect is estimated to be around £550 and takes between 1 to 2 days.
14) Do I need to inform the local authority that I have installed my garden lighting?
No you do not, because Part P does not apply because Easy Connect is classed as a portable appliance as per question 12.