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Outdoor Lighting question (before I get ripped off)

Postby Wacko » Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:13 am

Hiya all,

The wife recently purchased 3 outdoor lights to go around the carport where we are replacing the existing lights.

She called a sparky over to quote on installation and the price for 3 lights was absurd. He started quoting wiring issues etc and the time it would take. The sparky was saying he needed to fit a box to each light etc and the price was over $200 to fit.

Before I get another sparky over I would like some facts , so my question is this:

The existing lights have 3 wires (green/yellow red black)
The new lights only have 2 wires (blue black)

How does the wiring relate (what goes where) and is there special things that need be done?


p.s - yes, when it comes to electrics, I am a bit vague on the whole thing. :oops: Give me a computer and I will have it running in no time at all. :lol:
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Simply Build It

Postby ericmark » Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:37 pm

Well £200 may be a far figure. I of course have not seen your lights but many only have a single gland hole so can’t be daisy chained and as your electrician said will required junction box/boxes of some type.
You don’t say how big the lights are and requirements to run 3 x 2D bulk head lamps would be very different to 3 x 500 watt quartz halogen lamps both physical and current wise as total for first is ¼ amp and second is 6 amp the latter would need it’s own feed.
There are also two issues as to regulations first is may be regarded as Part P notifiable and in July this year BS7671:2001 was replaced with BS7671:2008 and the latter requires earth leakage trips on most domestic supplies.
So by time you remove the price of parts, cable, junction boxes, switches, RCD, and MCB’s the guy may only be getting £15 an hour if it takes him 4 hours i.e. half a day.
And for installing routers and cat 5 cable how much do you charge and how many of your customers realise the difference between a hub and a switch so your first electrician may be fitting equivalent of switches all round and you may find a cheaper guy would will be fitting the equivalent of hubs all around.
If you get someone cheaper you may find they have missed bits out.
Maybe some of the others will also answer this post but would be better is a little more information is given.

Postby Wacko » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:31 am

Hiya Ericmark,

The lights are standard fitting, standard globe lights. Run off 240v power and the only restriction is no more than a 60watt globe. I have since also discovered that on the light fitting itself there is a screw with the earth symbol on it, so I would take it the light earths out on itself, the other 2 wires then would go into the globe housing itself. I still can't see the need for boxes etc to be fitted.

As for me installing hubs and switches etc, I would give the customewr the option and explain what is needed and what are the options, not try to baffle them with about what they need.
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Postby greengrass » Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:06 am

There should be wiring instruction with the lights and a reminder about part P regulation even though you are replacing existing.

Can't comment on the sparks price

Earth sybol on light fitting! the light fitting must be metal so that does need earthing as with most if not all outside lighting.
Part P does two things 1. Stops you getting electrocuted if you don't know what you are doing and
2. Give sparks cart blanche to charge exorbitant prices like one who wanted £820 to change a fuse box. No extending tails required just chang box wire back in all existing wires. I'm getting Wylex plug in MCB for around £80 what a saving and my mate who is a bonafide electrical testing engineer and capable of installations for an insurance company but is not Part P reg is going to do it. But not all are stitch up merchants .
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