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sprinkler guy
10-22-2007, 01:16 PM
Have any of you guys found anything that lets you dim fixture, or fixtures, after the transformer? I have a job where the customer added some column lights and even with 7 watt bulbs (3 per fixture) it's really bright. The matching house sconces are line voltage and he has those on dimmers, so the column lights are a noticeable difference.

JoeyD
10-22-2007, 03:21 PM
I do. I am in the middle of this fire storm in San Diego away from the office. We had to shut the factory down for the day. Over half our office staff has been evauated from their homes. I will get you this dimmer info ASAP!

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
10-22-2007, 03:38 PM
Sean, if you are referring to a dimmer that will dim the secondary (12V) side of the transformer then I don't know of anything that will handle the potential amperage. I looked into this once years ago and only came up with some massive stage lighting potentiometers that would not work in our applications.

If you want to dim the primary side of the transformer then simply get yourself a Magnetic (inductive load) LV Dimmer from Lutron or Leviton and have it installed befor the receptacle into which you plug in your transformer.

Have a great day.

JoeyD
10-22-2007, 03:43 PM
I do know of a 12v dimmer that can be installed inline on the secondary. I will get it for you in the morning.

Eden Lights
10-22-2007, 04:43 PM
Window screen makes a cheap dimmer, depends on the fixture type.

The attached picture shows a application where we are dimming down the top right mounted fixture with a very short throw to match the very long throw on the left. No it's not perfect but it looks much much better than before.

Go Halogen
10-22-2007, 07:28 PM
Sean,

Be careful when using dimmers. Remember the voltage drop issues.
If you into the low 10s of below 9 volts the halogen cycle will not cycle....

How about using some difused lenses? Double up on frosted lenses?

Andy

JoeyD
10-22-2007, 08:38 PM
If you do dim a halogen lamp you should fire it back up to proper voltage for just a few minuts before shutting down. You are still going to decrease lamp life but this will help regenerate the tungsten gas and prolong the lamp life.

Go Halogen
10-22-2007, 08:48 PM
Joey,

You mean clear the tungsten filament and glass of immobile halogen molecules. At lower voltage the halogen molecules slow down and actually stick to the glass and filament. When the voltage rises (10.6 - 12+) the molecules are operating on their best behavior, so to say. The cycle cleans as it illuminates.

Just wanted to clarify. Did I leave anything out??

-Andy

Eden Lights
10-22-2007, 08:57 PM
Joey,

You mean clear the tungsten filament and glass of immobile halogen molecules. At lower voltage the halogen molecules slow down and actually stick to the glass and filament. When the voltage rises (10.6 - 12+) the molecules are operating on their best behavior, so to say. The cycle cleans as it illuminates.

Just wanted to clarify. Did I leave anything out??

-Andy

Sometimes the science doesn't seem to make that much difference in the real world. We have a few systems that are pretty old and they are dimmed way down from about dusk to 1am and then ramped back up for cleanup before shutdown, and that's only a few mintues. One system has 8 fixtures @ 7-8 volts and those lamps last forever. We really dont check the dimmed voltage much any more, but we love to dim if needed when really trying to set a precise mood.

Chris J
10-22-2007, 09:08 PM
Sometimes the science doesn't seem to make that much difference in the real world. We have a few systems that are pretty old and they are dimmed way down from about dusk to 1am and then ramped back up for cleanup before shutdown, and that's only a few mintues. One system has 8 fixtures @ 7-8 volts and those lamps last forever. We really dont check the dimmed voltage much any more, but we love to dim if needed when really trying to set a precise mood.

I'm not much of a believer in the halogen cycle as I have several very old systems that I purposely designed with some of the lights at very low volts. I did this before I even knew about the "halogen cycle", but these lights have extremely long life and I rarely replace any of the lamps. One of my first customers wanted the lights to look really amber, and the only way I knew how to do it was to decrease the voltage. The entire system operates at between 9.5-10 volts, and with the exception of 2 or 3, the lamps have lasted for over 4 years. I could be totally wrong about this, but I would like to know, specifically, what loss of duration should be expected when not operating at 10.8-12v. Just some general info and field experience.

Go Halogen
10-22-2007, 09:17 PM
Well, I actually have not had to replace many lamps that were receiving voltages in the 9.8-10.4 volt range. But I sure hope that there is something to the halogen cycle or I am going to be upset at many people across the nation....Like every manufacturer who's seminars I have sat through.

I have spent many hours on the job trying to get my fixtures to read 10.6 to 11.8 volts!! Not just for candle power but for lamp life....

Can anyone post a link to LV dimmers? I would actually like to have a source.

-Andy

pete scalia
10-22-2007, 09:19 PM
Sean, if you are referring to a dimmer that will dim the secondary (12V) side of the transformer then I don't know of anything that will handle the potential amperage. I looked into this once years ago and only came up with some massive stage lighting potentiometers that would not work in our applications.

If you want to dim the primary side of the transformer then simply get yourself a Magnetic (inductive load) LV Dimmer from Lutron or Leviton and have it installed befor the receptacle into which you plug in your transformer.

Have a great day.

I don't want an argument and this post is not being made out of spite or to make anyone look bad. That being said. It is not advisable to dim an outlet . DO NOT DIM A GFI OUTLET. When using an inductive load dimmer to dim the primary side of the transformer the dimmer should be wired between the transformer and it's power source. preferably the transformer should be hard wired to the load side of the dimmer switch . Many transformers come with the ability to remove the power cord. knockout a hole on the bottom and run conduit and low voltage wire into the transformer. If yours doesn't and you want to plug then the transformer you are using must have the 120 v side of the transformer accessible. Since the OP prefers Nightscaping transformers, the way this would be done with this unit would be to remove the stainless 120v cover. knockout the photo cell plug . Your going to attach a weatherproof J box (preferably grey plastic) at this location. Your going to need to put extensions on the white, black and red wires attached to the switch. Run these wires into the compartment and crimp on some female disconnects and use the directions they give you to wire a photocell (same connection points). Install the switch in the box and install a weatherproof cover if it's outdoors and your done. Make sure your J box is weathertight.

Have A Great Day

Chris J
10-22-2007, 09:22 PM
I agree Andy. I've heard the same preaching for many years. I've even been to the General Electric training facility in Ohio who teaches the very same thing. But, like I said, field experience tells a very different story.

klkanders
10-22-2007, 10:07 PM
www.zaneinc.com/user/Ds-AC2-L.PDF

Andy,
I have only used the Zane dimmer switch once. the 10AMP
I purchased thru Terradek.......give em a call.

Hope this helps you. Take Care!

klkanders
10-22-2007, 10:09 PM
Ooops
Sorry, Sean you were the one looking for the dimmer.

NightLightingFX
10-22-2007, 10:27 PM
I'd like to echo Andy's comment,
There has been times I have spent considerable effort on certain projects to get my voltage to lamps between 10.5 and 11.5. From this thread, it sounds like too low of voltage to a lamp isn't too much of a problem for longevity of life. If you are in a situation where you get either 12v or 10v to a lamp what do you think will have more longevity? Based upon this thread it sounds like a lamp that is only getting 9.5 volts is still going to last a long time. If I am getting only 9.5 volts to a lamp and the low voltage isn't affecting the lighting portrait aesthetically, and it is a hassle getting the voltage up to 11.5 I think I am not going to worry about it and settle for the low voltage.
~Ned

pete scalia
10-22-2007, 10:32 PM
I'd like to echo Andy's comment,
There has been times I have spent considerable effort on certain projects to get my voltage to lamps between 10.5 and 11.5. From this thread, it sounds like too low of voltage to a lamp isn't too much of a problem for longevity of life. If you are in a situation where you get either 12v or 10v to a lamp what do you think will have more longevity? Based upon this thread it sounds like a lamp that is only getting 9.5 volts is still going to last a long time. If I am getting only 9.5 volts to a lamp and the low voltage isn't affecting the lighting portrait aesthetically, and it is a hassle getting the voltage up to 11.5 I think I am not going to worry about it and settle for the low voltage.
~Ned
A lamp running at 9.5V will be considerably dim and orange/yellow in color. If that's not what you want Use a Unique transformer and you should have no trouble with voltage. Lots of power taps to choose.

Have a Great Day.

Chris J
10-22-2007, 10:39 PM
Ned, you pose a good question. Personally, I truly believe a halogen lamp operating at 10v will out last a lamp at 12v by about 5 times. This is only my personal feeling, and it is not backed by any scientific value mind you. However, there will be a dramatic difference in lumen/color characteristics. In certain situations, this can work to your favor.
Now, I gotta get back to the game. The Colts are trying to beat up on my Jags!

Go Halogen
10-22-2007, 10:40 PM
P - We surely know about multi-taps. That is not the disscussion here. We are looking at possible lamp life under non-specific voltages and considering the ultimate validity of the "Halogen Cycle".
:hammerhead:

pete scalia
10-22-2007, 10:44 PM
P - We surely know about multi-taps. That is not the disscussion here. We are looking at possible lamp life under non-specific voltages and considering the ultimate validity of the "Halogen Cycle".
:hammerhead:

Have a great day
:hammerhead:

sprinkler guy
10-22-2007, 11:14 PM
Thanks for all the great feedback guys! I am looking for dimming on the downside/low voltage side of the transformer. The fixtures are actually line voltage pillar lights, but were added as an afterthought, so 110 wasn't run to the columns they are on. I cored down throught the middle of the columns, routed some 12-2 through, and hooked up to the nearby fixture. I changed the bulbs to 7 watt 12-volt incandescent (spelling?) candelabras. The client still thinks they are too bright so he asked me to come up with a solution.

Joey D,
If the dimmers you know of are avaialble through Unique, get me a part number and I will order them through Horizon.

Thanks again guys.

sprinkler guy
10-22-2007, 11:20 PM
www.zaneinc.com/user/Ds-AC2-L.PDF

Andy,
I have only used the Zane dimmer switch once. the 10AMP
I purchased thru Terradek.......give em a call.

Hope this helps you. Take Care!

Thanks. This looks like it might do the trick, but first I'm going to see what Joey D comes up with. If it's a Unique item, I can get it from a local source.

pete scalia
10-22-2007, 11:29 PM
nevermind , this isn't a dimmer

NightLightingFX
10-22-2007, 11:35 PM
Pete,
I am very familiar with Uniques transformers. Where I have had challenges getting the right voltage to lamps is in situations where Unique's high multi taps come in handy. However, when you get to the higher taps they increase by 2 volts not 1 volt. That is where challenges arise in getting the proper voltage to lamps you end up at choosing between 10.2 volts or 12.2 volts. Again, I don't think I am going to but too much of a fuss about it in the future. It sounds like too low of voltage isn't that much of a problem. Probably better to be to low vs. too high.
~Ned

Pro-Scapes
10-22-2007, 11:38 PM
Window screen makes a cheap dimmer, depends on the fixture type.

The attached picture shows a application where we are dimming down the top right mounted fixture with a very short throw to match the very long throw on the left. No it's not perfect but it looks much much better than before.

Excellent work as usual from you Eddie. In a similar situation (ground mounted tho) we were able to use a 10w and a frosted lens to achieve balance over the 20w 24 degree on a longer wall. both at same voltage. No dimmers involved.

pete scalia
10-22-2007, 11:44 PM
Pete,
I am very familiar with Uniques transformers. Where I have had challenges getting the right voltage to lamps is in situations where Unique's high multi taps come in handy. However, when you get to the higher taps they increase by 2 volts not 1 volt. That is where challenges arise in getting the proper voltage to lamps you end up at choosing between 10.2 volts or 12.2 volts. Again, I don't think I am going to but too much of a fuss about it in the future. It sounds like too low of voltage isn't that much of a problem. Probably better to be to low vs. too high.
~Ned

OK got it.

pete scalia
10-22-2007, 11:46 PM
Excellent work as usual from you Eddie. In a similar situation (ground mounted tho) we were able to use a 10w and a frosted lens to achieve balance over the 20w 24 degree on a longer wall. both at same voltage. No dimmers involved.

I have had terrible results with a Ushio 10 watt MR-16. ie- premature burnout

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
10-23-2007, 10:50 AM
I don't want an argument and this post is not being made out of spite or to make anyone look bad. That being said. It is not advisable to dim an outlet . DO NOT DIM A GFI OUTLET. When using an inductive load dimmer to dim the primary side of the transformer the dimmer should be wired between the transformer and it's power source. preferably the transformer should be hard wired to the load side of the dimmer switch . Many transformers come with the ability to remove the power cord. knockout a hole on the bottom and run conduit and low voltage wire into the transformer. If yours doesn't and you want to plug then the transformer you are using must have the 120 v side of the transformer accessible. Since the OP prefers Nightscaping transformers, the way this would be done with this unit would be to remove the stainless 120v cover. knockout the photo cell plug . Your going to attach a weatherproof J box (preferably grey plastic) at this location. Your going to need to put extensions on the white, black and red wires attached to the switch. Run these wires into the compartment and crimp on some female disconnects and use the directions they give you to wire a photocell (same connection points). Install the switch in the box and install a weatherproof cover if it's outdoors and your done. Make sure your J box is weathertight.

WOW.... If you are using a Nightscaping Powercernter then there is NO need to worry about all of that above... it is much more simple....

Simply order the V-600 dimmer module. It slips right into the modular control bay of the Powercenter line and dims the primary side of the Transformer.

Just another excellent, simple and safe control option available with Nightscaping Powercenters. Best selection of on-board, modular control options on the market.

Have a great day.

pete scalia
10-23-2007, 09:49 PM
WOW.... If you are using a Nightscaping Powercernter then there is NO need to worry about all of that above... it is much more simple....

Simply order the V-600 dimmer module. It slips right into the modular control bay of the Powercenter line and dims the primary side of the Transformer.

Just another excellent, simple and safe control option available with Nightscaping Powercenters. Best selection of on-board, modular control options on the market.

Have a great day.

Sounds good. Does it have variable ramp rates?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
10-23-2007, 10:01 PM
Sounds good. Does it have variable ramp rates?

No, the V-600 is a standard Magnetic (inductive load) Low Voltage Dimmer that adjusts the input voltage to the transformer. It is not a "smart Dimmer" and does not offer variable ramp rates.

If you wanted to have a variable ramp rate for some reason, you could simply order a blank modular cover and then install the variable dimmer (Lutron Meastro for instance) of your choice. However, If I were going to all of that trouble, I would prefer to install a UPB control device inside the home to give the client easy access.

pete scalia
10-23-2007, 10:03 PM
A very slow ramp up and ramp down is easy on lamps.

Eden Lights
10-23-2007, 10:11 PM
WOW.... If you are using a Nightscaping Powercernter then there is NO need to worry about all of that above... it is much more simple....

Simply order the V-600 dimmer module. It slips right into the modular control bay of the Powercenter line and dims the primary side of the Transformer.

Just another excellent, simple and safe control option available with Nightscaping Powercenters. Best selection of on-board, modular control options on the market.

Have a great day.

I thought we were dimming one run or even one fixture?

How is the NS dimmer interfaced by the client or is it a installer only, inside the transformer?

pete scalia
10-23-2007, 10:21 PM
I thought we were dimming one run or even one fixture?

How is the NS dimmer interfaced by the client or is it a installer only, inside the transformer?

We were. But James and I were just exchanging pleasantries and extolling the merits of the Nightscaping transformers. Please don't spoil it we are having a magic moment.