Outdoor lights with two switches - confused
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panthercap
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Outdoor lights with two switches - confused

by panthercap » Tue Oct 10, 2023 9:05 pm

Hi,

I'm trying to work out the wiring for 5 outdoor lights I want to run along my garden wall. I'm not an electrician so my efforts so far are based on google. I want to run an SWA cable to my shed from a 32A fuse inside the consumer unit in the house, and then run cable in conduit from the shed to the 5 lights. I want a switch in the shed and another switch on the wall near the house.

I've based by wiring on this approach http://www.lightwiring.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/two-way-switching-wiring-diagram.jpg though I'm not entirely sure I've interpreted it correctly.

In the attached image I've done a diagram of the wiring.

I'm most confused by the way lights 2-5 are linked to light 1. It looks to me as though I'd be able to use 3 core and earth on the lighting supply, using the third core (the yellow line in my diagram) to connect the switching terminals in each of the lighting junctions.

It feels like a lot of wiring and an unholy mess on the back of the wall. I must be missing something?

Please help.

Many thanks

Panthercap
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ericmark
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Re: Outdoor lights with two switches - confused

by ericmark » Tue Oct 10, 2023 10:29 pm

I think to do what you want would need 5 cores. May be easier to use smart stuff, be it smart switches or smart bulbs.

Mr White
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Re: Outdoor lights with two switches - confused

by Mr White » Tue Oct 10, 2023 11:50 pm

Your first link does not work.

Your wiring diagram is wrong. Specifically lights 2 & 3
You will also have to "fight" to get that many cables in/out of each light
There is no Fused connection unit

You could consider powering it all from the house end and use kinetic switches. (no wiring at all at the switches)

If you can not see your wiring error, I would suggest you get an electrician to do the job for you.

You could also consider (as has been suggested) smart lamps

panthercap
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Re: Outdoor lights with two switches - confused

by panthercap » Wed Oct 11, 2023 11:10 am

Eric, thanks for the suggestion, I must admit smart lights are starting to seem a whole lot more appealing.

Mr White, thanks for pointing out the issues. I've attached a version showing the fuse-board (this forum only allows 1000px wide images, so struggling to get the who thing on).

When you say problem with light 2&3, this was my question really. It seemed to me that light 1 works with the two switches (as far as I can tell) but there needed to be a feed to the switching terminal in light 2&3, which is why I thought maybe use 3 core and earth. But, are you saying lights 2&3 need to be wired to the switches like light 1 is? If so, then that's even more cabling than I thought!

I am genuinely interested in how this might work and will use an electrician if i'm in any doubt.

Thanks again both for your input.
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Mr White
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Re: Outdoor lights with two switches - confused

by Mr White » Fri Oct 13, 2023 11:06 am

Adding another drawing, of what I enquired about does not change the fact that the original drawing is wrong.
If you can not see / do not understand the error in the original drawing, then it is clear you do not understand what you are trying to do. Whilst I appreciate you are trying to learn, it has to be done safely. Often in this industry I get told "Well it works, so you must be wrong" Just because something works, does not mean it is safe, and in your case, it has an error, I can only suggest you need to employ the services of an electrician.

panthercap
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Re: Outdoor lights with two switches - confused

by panthercap » Fri Oct 13, 2023 11:17 am

Mr White, you're a legend, thanks for the advice. I'm gonna mock this up on a breadboard and work it out. Then, I'll come back to you :-)

panthercap
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Re: Outdoor lights with two switches - confused

by panthercap » Fri Oct 13, 2023 8:40 pm

As promised, I worked it out on a breadboard. I realise my error now, I needed three lemons - doh! Oh, and I needed to connect the additional lights back to the switch, in my original the lights were always on - doh!
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Mr White
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Re: Outdoor lights with two switches - confused

by Mr White » Fri Oct 13, 2023 10:25 pm

But your lights are not on breadboard, you have still not found/corrected your error, so for the last time.

mr White wrote: I can only suggest you need to employ the services of an electrician.

ericmark
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Re: Outdoor lights with two switches - confused

by ericmark » Sun Oct 15, 2023 3:20 pm

I also needed outside lights, the Part L building regulations require the lights to auto switch off at dawn, so there needs to be a method to do that.

I took the easy option, I use TP-Link (Tapo) switches and socket adaptors plus some smart lamps so I can set the lamps to switch off at dawn, the other method is to include a PIR which as well as the movement detection also incorporates a light sensor so they switch off in the day.

I have found the PIR rather a problem, either they fail to light, or switch off at most inappropriate moment, or switch on when not required, and when my neighbour also fitted one they switched each other on/off all night so like having a Belisha beacon in the back yard.

The problem is with smart stuff some bits are done in the bulb/switch and some in the software so getting a unit which has dusk to dawn is not easy. TP-Link has it, and TCP bulbs but not the light strips, it is called Biorhythm but until you buy the bulb, switch, socket adaptor one does not know if it has the option.

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