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Edgewater
03-07-2006, 11:43 AM
I have read about various types of control systems. What are most of you guys installing on your residential projects. At first I thought it would be mainly controlled via a photo cell, but is there a need for clients to be able to switch individual segments or groups. If there is this need, how does it work with transformer that is mounted far from the house???? Relays???


Thanks
Adam

Dreams To Designs
03-07-2006, 11:59 AM
Adam, some of the manufacturers are supporting X10.
http://www.x10.com/activehomepro/activehome-pro.html
When speaking to representatives about X10, they have revealed minor glitches and system anomalies, but if the system is designed and installed properly can give you automated or remote control.

Other than that, photo cells and timers and even multiple transformers for more control. So far no manufacturer is splitting the transformers for individual control on separate runs that I have yet seen.

Kirk

SamIV
03-07-2006, 10:37 PM
I would be happy if someone would finally come out with a digital astronomic timer that fits in a transfomer case and will hold up outdoors.

Sam IV

NightScenes
03-08-2006, 08:36 AM
Adam, some of the manufacturers are supporting X10.
http://www.x10.com/activehomepro/activehome-pro.html
When speaking to representatives about X10, they have revealed minor glitches and system anomalies, but if the system is designed and installed properly can give you automated or remote control.

Other than that, photo cells and timers and even multiple transformers for more control. So far no manufacturer is splitting the transformers for individual control on separate runs that I have yet seen.

Kirk

Kirk, Kichler does have a split transformer. It is actually two separate 300 watt transformers in one box. It is the 15PRD600. You can install two different controllers for this unit. I am actually installing my first one tomorrow. I will let you know how it goes.

Edgewater
03-08-2006, 10:39 AM
So am I to assume that most residential projects work on a photo cell.

I am just getting started, but from what I can see most of the transformers are located in an obscured place that can be a good distance from the house. Lets say that it is in or behind a pool shed 100' from the house, what if an remote control are you guys giving the clients from the house.

Adam

NightScenes
03-08-2006, 10:58 AM
Most clients prefer that the system work by itself. If you put the system on a photo control with a timer, it will come on when the sun goes down and then will turn off at a predetermined time. When I do have a client that wants some control, (I have only had a few) I will accomodate them either with switching or remote. Nightscaping also has a product called the dominator that can run several zones.

Dreams To Designs
03-08-2006, 12:17 PM
Paul, that makes sense, it was only a matter of time before someone filled the need. There are occasions when I would like certain zones on dusk till dawn and others from dusk till midnight. Let us know how that goes and if they have other variations on the wattages.

Adam, a photocell and/or a timer. The photocell never needs to be reset and is usually trouble free. Most manufacturers offer a transformer mount or a cable remote mount for the photocell depending on mounting location. Often clients don't want all the lights on all night, sometimes they may illuminate outside bedroom windows or they just don't want to have lights on all night, that's where the timer comes in. If coupled with a photocell, the lights always come on when it gets dark and the timer shuts them off at the predetermined time.

Kirk

Edgewater
03-08-2006, 01:09 PM
Thanks for the replies, they have been helpful.

Where do you find yourselves mounting the transformers most often. Is it worth while putting them in a shed or garage if possible, or are the just fine outdoors (providing that they are meant for that).

So far I have looked at Cast, Kichler and Vista for products, I ma waiting on prices....

Adam

NightScenes
03-08-2006, 01:18 PM
Thanks for the replies, they have been helpful.

Where do you find yourselves mounting the transformers most often. Is it worth while putting them in a shed or garage if possible, or are the just fine outdoors (providing that they are meant for that).

So far I have looked at Cast, Kichler and Vista for products, I ma waiting on prices....

Adam

I mostly mount mine on the side of the home. If it is new construction, I can have the outlet placed right where I want it. Most professional transformers are made for indoor/outdoor use. I only use stainless steel transformers for use outside.

Dreams To Designs
03-08-2006, 01:33 PM
I'm with Paul on that one. Have on occasion used an outlet that was out front and screened the transformer with plants because client didn't want to pay an electrician to install an additional GFI outlet, but prefer the side.

Go with the dealer that is going to service you best and the best product. Price is not the real issue, quality and service are. I use Cast, Kichler and Focus normally, but there are other good brands out there and local dealers to get them.

Kirk

klkanders
03-08-2006, 05:26 PM
Paul and Kirk....good information!

niteliters
03-08-2006, 05:44 PM
photo cell/ digital timer is good combo. Dominator from nightscaping that will work with other power centers is the latest in technology that works!!!
Nightscaping also has the "power switch". timer set to the longtitude/latitude...good for areas where transformer is mounted in shady area. It's my favorite timer. the only other one I will use is the dominator
chris

TheHotShotKid
03-08-2006, 09:45 PM
chris how many "dominators" would you say you have you installed ?

niteliters
03-09-2006, 09:18 AM
have installed 5 dominators. are converting most of our digtal/photo cell to the power switch.

niteliters
03-09-2006, 09:19 AM
have you had any experience with dominator...whats your opinion of it??

niteliters
03-09-2006, 03:03 PM
one thing about my business hotshot, try not to jump into anything too fast. we have had a prototype of the dominator some months before it came out and like most brand new items there were glitches. Those were fixed..Now there are some upgrades we would like to see and as with anything new we are certain we will see. So we are not pushing the dominator heavily yet. More improtantly we are having very good results with the power switch. You know, being from ohio, you can't upgrade Kentuckians into the modern age too quickly :)

Pro-Scapes
03-09-2006, 03:43 PM
Does anyone actually offer controls or only if the customer asks. so far the 3 customers I am working with on lighting have all voiced concerns of automation.

I just got email from my distributor and They carry x-10 pro now. Im going to test it out before I will install it tho. When I did manual low voltage before we just ran a wireless controller into the receptical but there was no photo cell/timer on that

SamIV
03-09-2006, 08:01 PM
Niteliters, can you elaborate further on the "power switch". I'm always interested in a better way to power up and down transformers more effectively.

Sam IV

TheHotShotKid
03-09-2006, 08:42 PM
I haven't tried the dominator but if it's anything like Nightscaping's previous controllers, (IQ and smart box) . Nevermind I'm not going to finish my sentence since I will only be accused of being negative.

niteliters
03-09-2006, 10:22 PM
I agree with you hot shot, the previous ones you mentioned were not the best...they weren't even good in my opinion. The dominator does show some promise though but if you have reservations wait a year and check back with me.

niteliters
03-09-2006, 10:30 PM
sam, the power switch is a device that you program based on the longtitude and latitude at your customers location. we have had photo cells go bad after 4 to 5 years or still work but become less sensitive. no photo cell with the power switch. It will come on at dusk and it knows when dusk is year around. It will go off at dawn but can be programmed to go off earlier. don't have to worry about your transformer being located in a too shaded an area...no more photo cell. we would set clock to come at 4:30 in the winter months. didn't matter if it was light till 5:10 the lights would come on, especially if cloudy and we would get calls "the lights are coming on too early". You go set it for 5:15 then the call would come they coming on too late.....you get the idea. the power switch solves that problem and our customers are impressed when we say longtitude and latitude :)

SamIV
03-10-2006, 08:33 AM
Nitelighters, can it be used with MDL style transformers or does it have to be used with Nightscaping transformers. Also does it have to be hard wired between the transformer and AC outlet like the intermatic SS8C which is just a light switch, and can it be mounted outdoors. I'm asking because I can't find enough info on their website. Nightscaping has a seminar coming up that I am thinking about signing up for. Have you ever been to any. Thanks for all the info.

Sam IV

SamIV
03-12-2006, 11:07 AM
Just wanted to bring this back to the top to see if I could get an answer.

Sam IV