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DIY : Tips for the 12 Volt Lighting System

One advantage with low voltage systems such as a 12 volt or 24 volt system is that it is considered not to be as dangerous as a 230V system and hence a licensed electrician may not be required.


  • When installing low voltage lighting, it is important that cable size is chosen carefully according to load and distance.
  • Total voltage drop estimated should not exceed 0.5 volts
  • For best results refer to the cable voltage drop chart below
  • Bute Lighting will not be responsible for equipment damaged or faulty performance if incorrectly installed.



Load in Watts Distance in Meters – 4.6 mm Distance in Meters – 10mm
20 80 160
40 40 80
50 32 64
60 26 52
70 22 44
80 20 40
90 18 36
100 16 32
120 14 28
140 12 24
160 10 20
180 8 16
200 6 12


Weatherproof, above ground and direct burial model transformers convert 240 volt current to 12 volt and are available from 50 watt (VA) to 200 watt (VA).  For maximum performance and lamp life it is important that the Transformer selected should match total load in Watts of the lamps.


For a complete seal and maximum corrosion resistance, thermal fit cable connectors are available in three sizes to suit cable sizes – 3mm,  4.8mm & 10mm.


Low voltage underground fixed cable should be insulated in a PVC sheath and is available in two sizes – 4.6 mm and 10 mm.

For efficient balancing of the 12 Volt lighting system, it is important not to overload a circuit, also the length of cable runs must be limited to avoid “voltage drop”.

If installing a 12 volt lighting system as part of a new landscape, lay conduit under any proposed pathways or patios before landscaping beings and if possible, lay cable prior to any lawn being sown.  You can safely lay low voltage cable in garden beds, hidden underground or under lawns.

If you have any further questions and require help, please call Bute Lighting on 03 8307 0242 or email us on  We are more than happy to help and assist you.










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