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Winter is Coming… When I Install Outdoor Electrics, what will I need?

Updated: Nov 19, 2023

  • A plastic bag? NO!

  • A box sealed up with sellotape? NO!

  • A box sealed up with sellotape and in a plastic bag taped up with sellotape? NOPE!

Covering the electrical connections with a plastic bag will only keep the water and damp out for so long, and not that long, believe me! I have seen this a few times. You need dedicated outdoor junction boxes, and accessories, to help you achieve the appropriate IP Rating (weatherproofing basically)!!

When it comes to Outdoor Electrics, why is IP Rating factors important?

‘IP’ stands for Ingress Protection and there are various levels of protection, for example, to try and explain this I am going to start with your own Consumer Unit (Fusebox) and sockets in your home… the sides and bottom of the Consumer Unit casing/covers (including sockets) should be no more than IP2X; and what does this mean I hear you ask?

This image explains what IP2X means, and explains how you can meet the rating of Ingress Protection and what is epxected. IP2X protects against a finger entering the enclosure!
What is IP2X?

In the image above an IP rating of IP2X protects against objects such as a finger penetrating what’s inside, so in the case of a Consumer Unit it will mean that you cannot go poking your finger into it, this is one of the first visual checks I undertake when completing an EICR - if you can poke your finger into it, so can a child and it will mean there are exposed live parts.

The top of the Consumer Unit however, needs to be IP4X!

This image explains what IP4X means, and explains how you can meet the rating of Ingress Protection and what is expected. IP4X protects against a solid object entering the enclosure!
What is IP4X?

So, what IP rating should we be looking to achieve in your garden? For junction boxes on walls, the connections that I make to connect up your new outdoor fittings, I will always aim for a minimum of IP65 (however I am usually installing junction boxes with a rating of IP66)… but for junction boxes that are to be buried or are far more exposed a minimum of IP68 will be achieved! Below is a description of IP65!

This image explains what IP65 means, and explains how you can meet the rating of Ingress Protection and what is expected. IP65 protects against dust entering the enclosure and jets of water!
What is IP65?

Now, most junction boxes do not come with that all hallowed IP68! But, you can use a special gel to achieve this rating and keep not only water out but moisture too!! See the video above, which basically explains it all - the gel seeps into all aspects of the enclosure and seals the lot.

If you'd like to watch a slow-mo of the gel being mixed, it's quite satisfying, you can do so here:

Compression & Stuffing Glands

These are used to connect the cables/connections within our IP68 rated junction box to our outdoor (ideally waterproof) accessories such as lights, sockets, pond pumps etc etc!! Using a spanner you can close them tight and a piece of rubber is compressed around the cable sealing it!

Compression glands are used to stop water entering any junction box.
These are compression glands, as you tighten the nut the rubber compresses around the cable sealing it!

When installing outdoor lighting most circuits are in a radial (this means the power passes through each light until it gets to the end of the electrical circuit)... so, you can use “T” or “3-Way Junction” connectors!! Such as the one below:

These Y Junctions are IP68 rated and have compression glands on each leg.
T Junctions are IP68 rated and are used to link up outdoor lights in a radial circuit i.e. from the source then on to each light in turn! They work in the same way that Compression Glands do, also known as Stuffing Glands.

This wraps up my lesson of IP ratings and the kind of things electricians use to install out door electrics - you can also watch my video on installing outdoor lights at St Benedict's Church in Stratton-on-the-Fosse!

If you have any questions please let me know - you can call Rich on 01761 751 441 or you can email me at

Or you can book in a Home Assessment/Quote via the button below!


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