Electrical Question

Outdoor lighting options

I want to put in lights in my garden but we don't have an external electrical socket. Wondering if it's acceptable to run outdoor lighting from an internal electricity source. What are the regulations for outdoor lighting?

13 Answers

Best Answer

You can run outside lights from an internal source as long as a) the source you are intending to use is protected by an RCD b) is capable of the load you intend to use and is correctly fused c) is installed correctly to current requirements.

There a few other things to consider which may be a factor as in current consumer unit and earthing arrangements. A local contractor should be able to advise you on the requirements based on what you have.

Answered 17th Feb 2011

KKB Building Services

Member since 14 Feb 2011

yes you can run outside lights from an internal electrical source as long as the circuit it protected by an Rcd and capable of the extra load you are putting on that circuit. If you are putting in feature lights in various location of your garden, i would advise you to run a new supply from your fuseboard, because that way if there was any electrical problems from the outside lighting it would not affect any internal circuits which could coase you some incovenience.

Answered 17th Feb 2011

LNE electrical

Member since 9 Nov 2010

regs require armoured cable back to the board

Answered 17th Feb 2011


Member since 7 Jun 2008

All the answers above are relative, i would suggest a quick no obligation survey from a registered part P installer. Good Luck

Answered 17th Feb 2011

Inspire Northwest ltd

Member since 10 Jan 2011

Outside sockets should be RCD protected anyway and providing you use IP rated light fittings you can use them and plug into the socket. Contray to popular belief outside lights are reffered to as ''fixed equipment'' (not portable or mobile appliances) which do not actually have to be RCD protected, NOR DOES THE CABLE HAVE TO BE SWA unless it is being buried. So according to the regs BS7671 you can actually run it on a normal switch to outside.

The answer to your question is NO you dont need an RCD to protect your lights. If it is Class 1 equipment (exposed metal parts) then they must be earthed.

Although if the earting system is a TT then RCD protection is required as for the rest of the installation

Answered 19th Feb 2011


Member since 25 Nov 2010

No feedback

you can spur off of any socket in your house and fit an RCB (residual current circuit breaker) you can buy one that fits in a single socket box called a spur rcb
also you need to have a spur with a down rated fuse to 5 amp as your mains ring sockets will be rated at 30 amp in your consumer unit, and lights only need 5 amps, also the wireing for sockets is 2.5 mm and lights will be 1.5 mm
if you are a diyer its worth getting a part p registered electrician, shouldnt cost much and at least it will be legal. good luck and hope this helps

Answered 17th Feb 2011

Family Builders

Member since 21 Feb 2011

No feedback

Minimum requirements: 30mA RCD protected socket outlet, water-proof lights( IP56 ideal), if wired in flex this should be in the ground protected by damage, or clipped on the fence --- not on the grass... a nice summer job for a electrician :) Cristian

Answered 17th Feb 2011

Christian V Electrical LTD

Member since 22 May 2009

Most of the answers above are correct except one. I cant understand why anybody wound advise anybody to fit any outside electrical accessories from any point of the house without RCD Protection.

Answered 24th Feb 2011

Plumber UK

Member since 31 Aug 2010

supplying outside lights from internal db is totally fine , suggest that the circuit should be independent of all other circuits and be protected by RCD. also lights should be wired with steel wire armour (swa) usually 1.5mm 3 core each light should also have its own connection box and should be of waterproof type as water or condensation will cause RCD to trip leaving you with no garden lights, simple enough job as long as you hire someone fully qualified who knows what they are doing

regards G.W.Electrics

Answered 17th Feb 2011

GW Electrics

Member since 18 Feb 2010

hi the best way to do outside lighting is to use an outdoor rcd socket mounted outside as mentioned by other electricians and by a outdoor low voltage transformer and run your lights of that once you have had the socket installed by an electrician the rest can be done yourself and its easier to put lv lights where ever you want

Answered 23rd Feb 2011

Assured Electrical Ltd

Member since 27 May 2010

There are some very good solar lights including spot lights, plus points are its free to run too, if you can use a drill you can do it yourself, No regs to worry about

Answered 17th Feb 2011

Odd job Rog

Member since 30 May 2008

If it's protected by an RCD it's fine.

Answered 30th Apr 2016

TEL Electrical

Member since 31 Mar 2016

An ideal way of doing the job is installing extra low voltage lighting outdoor usually a pack of 10 the plug and play type, which will require a single socket or double if you wish to use for other equipment, connected to a supply from an existing circuit, where is safe to do so, has RCD protection fused down correctly etc which would require inspection and testing for this circuit that is intended to be being used. An independent circuit will be the better option as if this ever has a problem over time, you can isolate this circuit and not interrupt your main circuits in the house, if you can easily wire back to the consumer unit, which also must conform to the most up to date wiring regulations.

Answered 20th Nov 2018

RD Electrical Services

Member since 14 Nov 2018

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