Installing Driveway Lights

 Installing Driveway Lights

 

Installing driveway lights need not be as complicated an affair as you think. Exactly how complicated does depend on the layout of your drive, its construction and streetlights knowledge

how you would like the streetlights distributed along the drive.

The first thing to do when installing driveway lights is to produce a survey drawing. To do this you need a tape, pencil and paper. The finished drawing does not need to be overly-detailed but it does need to show the drive to scale. A simple sheet of A4 showing the shape of your driveway on a scale of 1:50 is perfect.

On the drawing you need to mark where the electrical supply is going to come from – presumably your mains box although you might choose to take it from a secondary source like a garage. If in doubt, ask an electrician for advice about whether your chosen source can supply sufficient current.

Next, mark on where you want the streetlighting. This is an art form and not a science although there are some rules which you need to follow:

For a typical double-headed, 3 metre high streetlighting system, you should aim to have lights every 6 to 10 metres along the drive.

Keeping the streetlights on one side of the drive will save money since every time you cross the driveway, you will need to encase the cable in ducts which, in turn, will probably need to be surrounded with concrete.

Every streetlight will need a junction box – a simple precast manhole about 60cm deep – which can be purchased from a builder’s merchants. Assemble them on a bed of concrete about 100mm thick. These want to be located a metre or so away from the streetlight it controls and laid in a line. There also needs to be a junction box at either side of a ducted drive crossing.

Now you are ready to start work on installing driveway lights. You may want to hire in a digger or perhaps you feel able to dig it by hand yourself.

Excavate a trench to take the ducts (these are plastic, about 5 cm in diameter and come in rolls) – this needs to be about 45 to 60 cm deep and about 30 cm wide. Lay the ducts (and the drawcord inside them) on a bed of sand and cover it with more sand to a depth of about 10 cm above the cable. Backfill the rest of the trench with soil.

Excavate any trenches across the driveway but aim to be at least 60 cm deep (and preferably more) bedding on and surrounding the ducts with concrete to a depth of 10 to 15 cm. Backfill the trench with graded stone taking care to compact it thoroughly (use concrete if the quantity is small or if this presents a problem). Reinstate the surface of the driveway.

Install the junction boxes on a bed of concrete and lay a short length of duct to th

 

 

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