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What Cable To Use for outdoor lighting?

What cable to use for outdoor lighting

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Worried about trying to find the answer to what cable to use for outdoor lighting? Tired of dealing with overheating, tangling and poor weatherproofing by using normal cables for outdoor lighting or working in the garden?

Not anymore, if you give a try to one of these five top-rated cables available:

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All Lengths 13 AMP Weatherproof Mains Outdoor Extension Lead IP65 Orange 2 Socket (25m)
Best Choice
Masterplug Two Socket Outdoor Weatherproof Case Reel, 20 Metres
Best Price
Masterplug Pro-XT Reverse Open Cable Reel with Single In-Line Weatherproof Socket, 25 Metres with 3 Metres Reverse High Visibility Cable
Defender E86515 50M Industrial Trade Cable Reel-13A 4 Way 1.25mm 240V, 240 V, Yellow, 50 m 1.25 mm
Masterplug Extension Lead CT1513P/IPS IP54 Waterproof - 13Amp Version
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All Lengths 13 AMP Weatherproof Mains Outdoor Extension Lead IP65 Orange 2 Socket (25m)
Masterplug Two Socket Outdoor Weatherproof Case Reel, 20 Metres
Masterplug Pro-XT Reverse Open Cable Reel with Single In-Line Weatherproof Socket, 25 Metres with 3 Metres Reverse High Visibility Cable
Defender E86515 50M Industrial Trade Cable Reel-13A 4 Way 1.25mm 240V, 240 V, Yellow, 50 m 1.25 mm
Masterplug Extension Lead CT1513P/IPS IP54 Waterproof - 13Amp Version
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171 Reviews
3,056 Reviews
699 Reviews
118 Reviews
323 Reviews
Preview
All Lengths 13 AMP Weatherproof Mains Outdoor Extension Lead IP65 Orange 2 Socket (25m)
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All Lengths 13 AMP Weatherproof Mains Outdoor Extension Lead IP65 Orange 2 Socket (25m)
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171 Reviews
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Best Choice
Preview
Masterplug Two Socket Outdoor Weatherproof Case Reel, 20 Metres
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Masterplug Two Socket Outdoor Weatherproof Case Reel, 20 Metres
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3,056 Reviews
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Best Price
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Masterplug Pro-XT Reverse Open Cable Reel with Single In-Line Weatherproof Socket, 25 Metres with 3 Metres Reverse High Visibility Cable
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Masterplug Pro-XT Reverse Open Cable Reel with Single In-Line Weatherproof Socket, 25 Metres with 3 Metres Reverse High Visibility Cable
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Ratings
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699 Reviews
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Defender E86515 50M Industrial Trade Cable Reel-13A 4 Way 1.25mm 240V, 240 V, Yellow, 50 m 1.25 mm
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Defender E86515 50M Industrial Trade Cable Reel-13A 4 Way 1.25mm 240V, 240 V, Yellow, 50 m 1.25 mm
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Ratings
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118 Reviews
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Preview
Masterplug Extension Lead CT1513P/IPS IP54 Waterproof - 13Amp Version
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Masterplug Extension Lead CT1513P/IPS IP54 Waterproof - 13Amp Version
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323 Reviews
Details

Last update on 2020-07-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Our experts reviewed and compiled this list after an independent search considering all the technical features and real-time users’ experiences. 

In a hurry?

Well, you can quickly view the following table and go through the 5 winners in the best cable to use for the outdoor lighting race! and if You want to pick one, we suggest buying Defender Outdoor Cable from Amazon

ProductLengthDimensionsPowerLatest Price
ED weatherproof outdoor cable25 M 36cm x 12.5cm x 1.8cm 13amp 240 VCheck Price
MasterPlug weatherproof cable with reel15 M45.5 x 39 x 15 cm13 amp240 VCheck Price
MasterPlug Pro-XT weatherproof cable25 M10 x 8.5 x 8 inches13 amp – 240 VCheck Price
MasterPlug Outdoor Extension lead15 M35.5 x 21.3 x 12 cm13 amp240 VCheck Price
Defender Outdoor cable Reel 50 M15 x 20 x 40 cm13 amp240 VCheck Price
What Cable To Use for outdoor lighting

What Cable To Use for outdoor lighting?

Here are our top picks for what cable to use for outdoor lighting:

Even Distribution Weatherproof Outdoor Cable 

This weatherproof extension is manufactured from 1.5mm 3183Y orange PVC 3 core flex cable. 13 AMP – 240 V to 2 Gang outdoor waterproof lead.

3183Y is a PVC wrapped and covered cable in the orange exterior which is used for outdoor lighting, caravan etc. the hookup lead or socket helps in height visibility requirements and easy installation.

It is equipped with a UK mains plug of 13 AMP fuse and waterproofing of IP65 rated and 2 Gang socket. IP65 adds different features to the socket.

It is corrosion resistant which ultimately increases the durability and life span of the socket. IP65 rated lead is ideal for outdoor lighting and other adventures.

The lid is easy to padlock for extra security the rubber seal at the cable is available. 

It has a free cable reel for easy storage and handling which can hold up to 35 m of cable. With a strong and sturdy design carrier and socket box, you can use it manually for different outdoor operations.

The cable has flexibility in the coating sheet which doesn’t make it twist or break compared to hard and dry rubber coating in conventional cables. Ferrules are used for the termination of ends for prolonged use of the cable.

It can be used for different outdoor activities such as lighting, lawn mowing and for other powered garden tools running.

It is available in a variety of different lengths from 5m to 25m however this one is 25m which can be used for every length with easy reeling and handling. 

Main Features

  • Power: 240 V – 13 AMP
  • Cable length: 25 M
  • 2 Gang Outdoor Weatherproof Socket
  • 1.5mm 3183Y Orange Flex Cable
  • IP65 Rated 
  • Corrosion Resistant
  • The lid can be padlocked
  • Dimensions: 36cm x 12.5cm x 1.8cm 

Pros

  • Weatherproof
  • Flexible PVC and the cable doesn’t twist or break 
  • The reel/carrier is of robust design and helps in transportation
  • Different lengths are available of the same design 

Cons

  • Box has safety press to open which needs more force from elderly users
  • Some of the users may need extra sockets, while this has only two sockets, so a limited model and not for source supply or complex operations

Masterplug Outdoor Weatherproof Cable with Reel

This cable by Masterplug has gotten all the modern features that an outdoor cable should have in order to withstand weather and environmental hazards. It is manufactured according to British safety standards BS en 61242.

The extension cable is equipped with a thermal cut-out feature which prevents the system from the fire in case of power load. It has twp dust and splash-proof sockets i.e the cable reel with a cloud of IP54 dust and moisture-proof rating which makes it resistant to corrosion and oxidative degradation.

The plug uses 13AMP – 240 V and the maximum load limit is 720W in the coiled cable while 3120W in the uncoiled straight cable.

The reel has a high standard of ergonomics with a grooved handle for a comfortable grip for easy lifting and transportation.

The drum keeps it tangle-free and helps in easy winding and unwinding of the cable hence very easy to store and assemble. The lid is waterproof and can be operated just driving up or down on the bar.

You can use it for outdoor lighting, lawn mowing and other outdoor operations without any fear of rust or corrosion due to moisture or water.

The Manufacturer is part of LUCECO PLC so this product is guaranteed against any manufacturing defect.  

Main Features

  • Power: 13 AMP -240 V
  • Maximum load (wound): 720W/240V
  • Maximum load (unwound): 3120W/240V 
  • Cable length: 15 M
  • Weatherproofing: IP54
  • Sockets: 2 sockets safe and secured with a lid
  • British safety standards BS en 61242
  • Socket measures 360 x 150 x 65 mm
  • IP54 dust and moisture-proof rated
  • Dimensions: 45.5 x 39 x 15 cm
  • Weight: 3.08 kg

Pros

  • Grooved handle grip for easy lifting and transportation
  • The lid is easy to open and shut
  • Water-Resistant 
  • Easy coiling and uncoiling- tangle-free cable – so easy to store and use

Cons

  • A couple of users complained about the box size being small
  • IP54 should be replaced with IP65 OR 66 for better waterproofing

Masterplug Pro-XT Weatherproof Cable 

This outdoor cable has unique and special construction with a revolutionary reverse open cable reel which provides the direct plugin into a PowerPoint. It can be mounted on the wall in the garden or backyard of your home.

It has 25 m cable with a 3M high reverse visibility cable. Absolutely safe to use with an LED indicator and thermal cut out. The construction of the reverse open-reel allows you to uncoil the cable and apply socket where you need it for your operation.

It is a 13AMP -240V powered cable. The outer or exterior sheathing is made of flexible PVC which make the cable tangle-free and easy to unwind. 

It has a single line socket system and the weatherproofing is powered by IP54 technology, which helps in resistance against moisture, corrosion and other oxidative degradation.

Apart from lighting, you can use the extension cable for car jet washing, lawn mowing etc which needs waterproofing, however, it would be better to have the reel fixed in a wall or some shed to avoid hassles of transportation.

The reel is engineered with a high standard of ergonomics and is equipped with a handle for easy grip. The Manufacturer is part of LUCECO PLC and guarantees any manufacturing defect with 5 years of warranty.

Main Features

  • Power: 13 AMP – 240 V
  • Cable length: 25 M ( with 3 M reverse high visibility cable)
  • Weatherproofing: IP54
  • Reverse open cable reel
  • Thermal Cut-Out
  • Inline single-Socket
  • Voltage drop: 0.003v drop
  • Dimensions: 247 x 219 x 209 mm (10 x 8.5 x 8 inches)
  • Weight: 4.3 Kg

Pros

  • Durable construction – high standards of reel base, stability and ergonomics 
  • Safe to use: safety thermal cut out and low drop voltage
  • Easy to wind and unwind
  • Can be installed on a wall or in a shed 

Cons

  • Weatherproofing can be improved from IP54 to IP65 and IP66 as some of the users weren’t fully confident about waterproofing feature
  • Wall bracket isn’t highly durable compared to the rest of the design and construction 

Masterplug Extension Lead CT1513P/IPS 

This is an Amazon’s Choice for the durable construction yet simple design and easy use/storage. It is 13 AMP – 240 V supporting cable with a high threshold of flexibility, thanks to the exterior covering of PVC.

The length of the cable is 15 M, enough for a small to medium size lawn or backyard but it will also depend on the main power supply distance from the place you want to light or work.

The set included a plastic frame/ hanger for coiling the cable which is very durable and assists in winding and unwinding process. 

Weatherproofing? Well, this cable has an IP54 weatherproof rating so you can work in moisture or rain. The socket is resistant against corrosion and other oxidative degradation.

The base of the socket and cable connection is smoothly manufactured and would not twist or break. It is manufactured according to the Uk standards to BS1363/2.

It has a robust and sturdy design cable which can be used for outdoor lighting, lawn mowing, battery charging of powered tools etc. Easy storage and even easy maintenance. 

Main Features

  • Power: 13 AMP – 240 V
  • Cable length: 15 M
  • Connector Type A: Mains Plug, UK –  Connector Type B: Mains Socket, UK
  • Weatherproofing: IP54 Rating
  • Manufactured to BS1363/2
  • Outer sheath: Orange PVC 
  • Plastic Frame / ‘H’ hanger 
  • Dimensions: 35.5 x 21.3 x 12 cm
  • Weight: 1.77 Kg

Pros

  • Exterior material is highly flexible and the cable is tangle-free
  • Very affordable yet highly durable design and construction 
  • Highly Manoeuvrable according to space
  • Easy to use and store with simple design 

Cons

  • Two users’ complained about weatherproofing feature- which has the room for  improvement

Defender outdoor Cable Reel

This outdoor cable by Defender Power & Light is the best of the lot in our search for the best outdoor cables and that is the reason it sits on the top shelf as Amazon’s choice.

It is 13 AMP – 240 V supported cable with a maximum load of 720W in wound cable while 3120W/240V in unwound form. This is a 1.5mm/3 core cable with a high threshold of flexibility.

A tangle-free feature allows easy use without any twists or bends hence very manoeuvrable according to the use and space.

The neon indicator allows users to quickly view from a distance when the power is turned on. It is equipped with thermal cut out to avoid overheating due to overload. 

The reel is what makes this cable unique and special among the many other cables. The base is made of high duty material which offers great stability while on the top of the reel you get a comfortable grip with a rubber cover. You can mount the reel on a wall for easy operation and maintenance.

It has less voltage drop across the cable which enables the users to have constant power in case of motor running etc.

This cable is an  Industry-standard VDE approved cable and weatherproofing is well tested and approved for outdoor use.

The lightweight reel yet highly durable makes it easy to lift and transport across the garden or even for any outdoor BBQ party lighting.

A perfect choice to get the value for your money. 

Main Features

  • Power: 13 AMP- 240 V
  • Cable length: 50 M
  • 1.5 mm 3 core cable 
  • Moulded plugs
  • Thermal cut out: adds an extra layer of safety
  • Maximum load of 720W in wound cable while 3120W/240V in unwound
  • Neon power indicator
  • Industry-standard VDE approved cable
  • A stable base of the reel with a comfortable grip
  • Dimensions: 15 x 20 x 40 cm
  • Weight: 6 kg

Pros

  • The reel is of high quality- Sturdy and robust  and provides high manoeuvrability
  • Very flexible cable, no tangling and twisting
  • Weatherproof – Easy to store 

Cons

  • A bit expensive
  • Not that lightweight (6kg) but durability is guaranteed with this cable

Buyer’s Guide

A perfect cable would make many things easy for you to work smoothly in the garden but when you are throwing a party in the backyard and lighting goes off at midnight, That feeling of frustration is what you can avoid by choosing the right product.

So, here are the things to take into account before placing an order for an outdoor cable. 

Size of the cable

People may advise you for calculation of the area and main power supply but we will modify it a bit for you, always choose 5 meters extra than the required length.

A short and stretched cable will always increase the hindrances rather than making it an easy job. The additional stretch and resistance also add heating and cut-out issues.

So buy more to save more. 

Power rating

This would depend on the intent of use. In case of lighting, you can opt for an average rating cable if it is not heavy beam lights, but as the tool and machinery you are using goes up the ladder of power, the more thickness of the cable you will be required to add.

Moreover, if you don’t have the required power through the main source, it will affect negatively on the cable. Overloading in many cases leads to heating-up and fire.

Never run heavy machinery on low power (thin) cables.  

Flexibility 

Higher the flexibility, the more manoeuvrability you can expect from an outdoor cable. A tough and hard cable is hard to move around the different corners of the yard and also the winding and unwinding is always a headache for the users.

A flexible cable can be manoeuvred according to space which decreases the chances of spark, detachment from the main socket. 

Weatherproofing

Buy a cable which is equipped with IP65, IP54 OR IP66 rating. A cable without proper weatherproofing is a waste of money and resources to use in outdoor activities.

Not only this but it is never safe to use low-quality cables in outdoor lighting or other powered tools operation. Cables are insulated with high-quality PVC in majority of the cases but the main concern should be with the socket lid or box.

Still, it is advised to install or place the socket box under a shed to avoid any hazard.

Construction or Design

It should withstand weather changes and must offer protection against abrasion. A better grip of the socket means fewer chances of sparking heating but it should be flexible enough to be operated by all.

In our search for the best cable to use outdoors, we find a good number of cables which were too good for all the main features but failed in ergonomics as many of them were unfriendly for elderly users or some of them were too flexible that it can be detached from the socket easily.

 In case of the reel cable, do consider if you will install them on a wall or not. If you are planning to install, choose the one with a strong mounting bracket.

A comfortable grip of the winder in the reel is what makes the use and maintenance easy, so why not to have a perfect cable? 

Safety first

Dealing with electricity is no fun and can turn very deadly if a slight spark, overheating or short circuit happens. So, always choose a cable which is ranked independently by Consumers’ safety standards companies.

Moreover, you can make it safe by not running heavy machinery on lighter cable. Colour of the cable also plays a great role in safety measures.

A bright coloured cable is easily visible so you can spot them quickly in the times of rush or emergency. 

 Conclusion 

The winner in this huge search for what cable to use for outdoor lighting is Defender outdoor Cable Reel(50 M) that covers many aspects but if you want something in the range of less than 30 M then go for the Masterplug Outdoor Weatherproof Cable with Reel that is 20 M cable with a sturdy and robust designed reel for easy storage and maintenance. 

That’s just our general verdict, you need to cross-match your needs with the features of different cables we mentioned and choose the that suits you well. 

Good luck with buying it!

Noah Burns

I am Noah Burns- The Guy behind I will Make You Smart. I love to experiment and test new products with an aim to create informative contents for readers like you. It is my aim to make this site a leading source of information and reviews to help consumers make more informed buying decisions.

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