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JimLewis
09-10-2007, 03:26 PM
I have a client who we are doing some extensive outdoor lighting for. And at the entrance of their driveway, they have these brick columns (like the one pictured below). Currently there is a 110w fixture on top of the columns. But they'd prefer to have these fixtures be low-voltage too and come on and off at the same times as the rest of the lighting we're doing.

I usually prefer to use Unique. But they didn't have anything. Next, I checked Kichler. They have one urn / planter fixture that would work. But it's $900 and a kind of different. So the customers weren't totally sold on that fixture. I checked Focus and some others and didn't see anything that would work. Do you guys know of any brand that offers a LV fixture specifically for this purpose?

If you do know of one, a link to that fixture would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

...

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
09-10-2007, 04:22 PM
Hi Jim

Instead of changing out the fixture why not try changing the lamps inside and tying the switch/control of these line voltage fixtures into the control system for the LV landscape lighting?

I would recommend you use the 4w silicone dipped candelabra based lamps from Westinghouse in that fixture you sent the photo of. They look like candles when on and do not overpower the surrounding landscape lighting.

If however the fixtures in your application use medium base lamps, then get a hold of some Sylvania 35W 130V WFL PAR20 lamps. By putting a directional PAR20 Halogen lamp in place of the standard A19 40w lamp you remove all of the glare from the fixture and fill it with a nice soft indirect glow. I do this 'trick' on pretty much every single 120V wall or post mounted fixture I encounter on my jobs.... The clients LOVE it every time.

At the very least, put a dimmer on the existing circuit to the line voltage fixtures to reduce the amount of light and glare coming from them. Tie it all in with a UPB control system and all your outdoor lighting can come on at the same time.

Have a great day.

JoeyD
09-10-2007, 04:42 PM
James is right on the money here Jim. You could make that fixture LV by just changing the wireing and installing 12v candelabra's. You can get 7w frosted and really soften it up.

wbaptist
09-10-2007, 06:11 PM
Another good trick is to remove the glass from the fixture and have it sandblasted. This will really cut down the glare.

William Baptist "Rusty"
Engineering Dept.
Cell: 760-644-6668
fax: 760-740-0977
Email : william.baptist@uniquelighting.com

JimLewis
09-10-2007, 06:26 PM
Hi Jim

Instead of changing out the fixture why not try changing the lamps inside and tying the switch/control of these line voltage fixtures into the control system for the LV landscape lighting?

I would recommend you use the 4w silicone dipped candelabra based lamps from Westinghouse in that fixture you sent the photo of. They look like candles when on and do not overpower the surrounding landscape lighting.

.....

I think what you guys are describing is beyond what I am really familiar with or capable of doing. Removing a fixture and installing a new one is something I can handle. But custom ordering some specialty candelabra thingy and silicone dipped bulbs, changing switches, adding dimmers, etc. That's all more work than I want to invest into this project. Plus, that all sounds quite foreign and new to me. I never like to attempt things on customer's property where I am not confident in my skills.

Also, FWIW, these columns are at the entry to the driveway, which is a ways away from where we are doing the rest of the LV lighting. They shouldn't get in the way of the other lighting we're doing. So I don't think that will be a concern.

I just wish there was a simple LV fixture I could put in this place.

JoeyD
09-10-2007, 06:32 PM
I think what you guys are describing is beyond what I am really familiar with or capable of doing. Removing a fixture and installing a new one is something I can handle. But custom ordering some specialty candelabra thingy and silicone dipped bulbs, changing switches, adding dimmers, etc. That's all more work than I want to invest into this project. Plus, that all sounds quite foreign and new to me. I never like to attempt things on customer's property where I am not confident in my skills.

Also, FWIW, these columns are at the entry to the driveway, which is a ways away from where we are doing the rest of the LV lighting. They shouldn't get in the way of the other lighting we're doing. So I don't think that will be a concern.

I just wish there was a simple LV fixture I could put in this place.

Jim-

I think James could have scared you off but really you could use the existing wire that runs from the bottom of the fixture and wire it to a low voltage cable just scrapping the ground wire. You then just put in place 12v lamps and your done, your lamps are now low voltage. It is pretty easy. Other than that what you can do is leave those fixtures as they are but just have a timer installed on that circuit. You then set the time to go on when your LV lights go off. I bet the homeowners have a switch for those lights to overide.

Also if there is a switch you could install one of those cool switch timers that fit in place of the light switch. You can set the on off time there and the homeowners still have the abilty to turn the lights on and off manually as they please.

Call me if you want to discuss this verbally.

Joey D.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
09-10-2007, 07:26 PM
I think what you guys are describing is beyond what I am really familiar with or capable of doing. Removing a fixture and installing a new one is something I can handle. But custom ordering some specialty candelabra thingy and silicone dipped bulbs, changing switches, adding dimmers, etc. That's all more work than I want to invest into this project. Plus, that all sounds quite foreign and new to me. I never like to attempt things on customer's property where I am not confident in my skills.

Also, FWIW, these columns are at the entry to the driveway, which is a ways away from where we are doing the rest of the LV lighting. They shouldn't get in the way of the other lighting we're doing. So I don't think that will be a concern.

I just wish there was a simple LV fixture I could put in this place.

Jim... both of my suggestions involved nothing more then changing the light bulbs in the existing fixtures! If they are candelabra base (small chandalier bulbs) then buy some 4 watt silicone dipped bulbs from Westinghouse. If they are medium base (normal light bulbs) then use the 35W PAR20 bulbs as replacements. Either way it will look great and not need any new wiring. Won't cost you much at all either.

Pro-Scapes
09-10-2007, 10:17 PM
Jim dont be frightened off... Give Chuck or AJ a call at florida outdoor lighting ... they got the bulbs in stock to do this. Just let em know what sized base you got and the wattage you need. At the base of that post or someplace should be an electrical line.

As an alternative you can use a control system (UPB controlscape or x10 or similar) with a dimmer switch and just tie the line voltage lights into your controls for the landscape lighting.

Its really a walk in the park but either way your going to need an electrician on the jobsite.

ccfree
09-10-2007, 10:34 PM
Hey Jim, check out arroyocraftsman, SPJ, or Hanover Lantern. They should have what you are looking for.

NightScenes
09-11-2007, 01:03 AM
We convert fixtures like this all the time. As been stated here, we just replace the lamps (light bulbs) with 12 volt lamps and then terminate the line voltage wires coming in and hook the fixtures up to our low voltage system. You would definately want to use frosted lamps here.

JimLewis
09-11-2007, 06:17 PM
Well, I guess I'll give it a shot. They have 3 more lights on the front of the garage they want me to do this to as well.

I stopped by today to take a look at the current 110w fixtures they have there but they said they are buying some new fixtures in a few days. The current ones are brass and they want more of a black iron look, I guess. So once they get the new fixtures in, I'll take some close-up pics of the fixtures, lamps, and lamp holders and you guys can help lead me through what I need to replace.

JimLewis
09-11-2007, 07:19 PM
Hey Jim, check out arroyocraftsman, SPJ, or Hanover Lantern. They should have what you are looking for.

Thank you! That's just what I was looking for. Hanover didn't have anything on their website. So I emailed them.

But SPJ had several options that came in LV and Arroya Craftsman told me their entire line could be outfitted with LV if I special ordered them.

I'll pass those on to my customer and see if they want to go that route. Thanks!

ccfree
09-12-2007, 08:50 PM
You bet Jim. Glad I could help you out.

JimLewis
10-05-2007, 08:32 PM
Well, this turned out to be a lot easier than I thought it would be. After much reluctance, I decided to give it a shot.

The homeowners went and purchased new fixtures for both the brick columns and on the house, by the garage. And they distinctly wanted all of these on the same 12V system as the rest of the lighting we're doing.

The fixture for the house uses 3 lamps and the one for the brick columns uses 4 lamps.

So I grabbed the new fixtures and took them to a wholesale lamp supplier here in town (what a killer store!) It's real simple. I don't have to change the lamp holders (or whatever the correct term is for those). I just had to special order some 12v candle lights. I ended up ordering a case (25) of the SATCO 7w clear lamps for the brick columns. (They didn't come in frosted) and a case of 15w frosted lamps for the house fixtures. That will be a total of 28w on each brick column and 60w for the house fixtures.

Think that's too bright? Or did I do okay?

Then the wiring is simple. I can just hook up the leads directly to my 12/2 lighting wire and they are supposed to work, no problem. Seems pretty simple to me!

Chris J
10-05-2007, 10:27 PM
:clapping: :clapping: Way to go bud! Now that you know how easy it is to convert fixtures, you'll be doing this all the time and looking like a true pro. Isn't it funny how something that can seem so mind warping turns out to be the simplest thing once you give it a shot? I should heed this advice and try Christmas lighting! Again, way to go! :clapping: :clapping:

JimLewis
10-06-2007, 01:06 AM
Yah, definitely. It's way easier than I imagined. I'll be suggesting it to clients now, rather than the other way around.

Our minds are just resistant to change and learning new things, I think. It's like that with a lot of the stuff we do in our company. I used to think doing pavers were so complex that we used to sub out all of our paver jobs. But after seeing it done a few times it was like, "Hey! We could probably do that!" Same thing with fences, lighting, retaining walls, rock walls, etc. I used to be totally afraid of doing all of that stuff....until I opened my mind a little to learning something new.