Driveway lighting – Derbyshire

We were delighted to receive an enquiry from Mr H who lives on the outskirts of Sheffield.
He asked for our advice and a quotation to install lighting up the driveway from the entrance to his property  down to his house, a run of around 70m.
We arranged an appointment at a convenient time and met with Mr H to evaluate the landscape and discuss the best method for installation with consideration given to spacing of the lighting, laying of the cables for the supply and how to control the lighting.
Mr H went for a very contemporary external fitting, complete with energy efficient LED lamps. The fittings, manufactured by Collingwood are made from top quality external grade wood which ages naturally over time.

At the meeting, we decided that spacings of 5m between the fittings would offer a good balance of adequate lighting for the driveway, whilst not being so bright as to not adversely affect the natural environment with any light pollution.

The best location for the electricity supply was from an outbuilding located adjacent to the property and we decided to run the cables under the driveway and across to the fittings.
We suggested that we could have a special custom made panel built for the control of the lighting installation. This panel gives the option of the lighting to be controlled in 2 ways:

  • Through a sensor at either end of the driveway to sense the movement of a vehicle or person, this would only operate when the light level drops below a certain level.
  • Using a photocell and timer combination which allows the lights to stay on between programmed times and when the light levels drop below a set level.

Mr H was very impressed with our suggestions and after accepting our quotation, we agreed a start date for the project.
After careful consideration, we decided to have some custom brackets made to accomodate the base-plates for the lights. These were manufactured in Sheffield and ensured that the fittings would remain secure in the ground for a very long time.

On the day of the install, the Nilec team arrived promptly and set to work. The biggest part of the job was to dig a 300mm wide channel with a depth of 600mm to allow the cable to be laid safely away from danger. After removing the top layer of grass along the entireity of the run, we set to work. All along the channel was covered with tarpaulin to minimise any damage to the surrounding grass. Most of the channel was dug with a mini digger, however due to the lie of the land, some had to be done by hand, which was a challenge but great fun and tested the fitness of the boys!

When the channel was completed, we then set to work installing the custom made brackets using postcrete. These were mounted equidistantly along the run, with precise attention paid to ensure that each post was mounted exactly the same distance from the adjoining kerbstones along the driveway.

After the postcrete had set, we got to work on laying the cable into the channel and making the connections to each of the fittings. When all the connections were completed, it was time to back fill the channel and re-lay the turf. We briefly considered changing the name of the company to Nilec Electrical and Gardening Services as we enjoyed working outside and made such a good job of the channel – you couldn’t tell we had been there!

The last section of the job involved the installation of 2 sensors, one at the entrance from the main road and one adjacent to the house, and the connection of the custom panel along with a photocell to measure the light levels.

When the panel was fully connected, it was time to  carry out the neccessary safety checks on the installation. Everything went to plan and the lights worked perfectly!

We all agreed that Mr H had made an excellent choice for his drivelights and choosing Nilec electrical to carry out the installation.

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