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Mike M
02-07-2008, 09:09 PM
I'm not talking about the malibu consumer stuff, but does anyone have feedback on the stainless steel transformers? They say contractor grade and offer lifetime on the coil, I think.

The reason I ask is that they are stealthy/compact, and you don't have to pay for multi-taps.

I will still use the multi-tap trans for my halogen installs, but with the LED's I could just use a fixed transformer.

They also have a switch that looks like the aube, and is rated much higher than the 300 watt timer.

SamIV
02-07-2008, 11:20 PM
Hey Mike,

I installed the precursor to their (Intermatic) new Aube look-a-like and all eight of them failed. Replaced all with X-10 and have had no problems since. No experience with the Aube.

Burt Wilson
Accent Outdoor Lighting

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-08-2008, 06:31 AM
I think you will find those Intermatic "Pro Grade" transformers to be pretty lousy Mike. I removed one a couple of years ago. ( I just looked at the website and yes it is the same) and the build quality was pretty low. It also was VERY noisy, lots of vibration and hum. The lugs/taps didn't impress me at all. The whole fit and finish (right down to the pigtail coming out of the side of the unit) looked quite sub standard.

As for the onboard digital timer, well I would suspect that is an Intermatic unit. "Doh!"
I don't have a lot of faith in intermatic digital timers as I have had lots of issues with them in the past. I do have one of the new Astro versions here for testing, but I have not installed it yet.

Regards.

Mike M
02-08-2008, 06:38 AM
James, is the astro the one that looks like the aube switch?

Mike M
02-08-2008, 06:50 AM
Burt, you had prob's with the wall switch? What was the failure? Were these rated for higher amps?

James, the model I'm looking at is a small stain steel box, 300 watts.

Which manu's offer a line of smaller, solid, reliable tranformers, without multaps?

I like the fact that Unique makes their own. Funny, the older Nightscaping units I just had to deal with would be perfect for LED's. You can just switch the voltage up to 13.5 for everything.

That's how the intermatic I picked up works. You can configure it for straight 14V. Funny little guy, comes with no power cord.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-08-2008, 06:56 AM
Mike, Intermatic makes a few different Decora style, 'in wall' digital timers. The old style are just that, simple digital timers. They make use of ni-cad or AA batteries for backup and the heavier rated units use a mechanical relay inside to do the switching. They fail regularly here.

The "new" unit I have here for testing is Model ST01C70 "Self Adjusting Wall Switch Timer". It is an astro unit and is rated to 15A loads.

Regards.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-08-2008, 07:06 AM
That's how the intermatic I picked up works. You can configure it for straight 14V. Funny little guy, comes with no power cord.

Watch out Mike. Sounds like you might have a situation there. Technically you will have to have a Licensed EC hook up the power cord for those units. You are not allowed to mess with line voltage connections no matter how simple.

Regards.

Pro-Scapes
02-08-2008, 07:44 AM
just talk to joey he will make you 300w units with 14v only if you ask him too im sure. plus you will have a reliable product you will be able to get warranty on at the drop of a hat

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-08-2008, 08:10 AM
the older Nightscaping units I just had to deal with would be perfect for LED's. You can just switch the voltage up to 13.5 for everything.

They are perfect for that application Mike. And they are not 'older'.

Take a long look at the T-100-SS, T-150-SS, T-250-SS, T-500-SS and T-1000-SS. You will find they carry a Lifetime Warranty, and are well designed, very functional, feature rich, supporting the best variety of modular control options in the industry and fully approved. Nice "Big Lugs" on those units too!

http://www.nightscaping.com/power_models.htm

SamIV
02-08-2008, 08:13 AM
Yes they were the wall switch. Don't remember what they were rated for but would handle fluorescent. The battery terminals would always corrode no matter what you did. And the clocks would just quit working. To be fair, I put most of these in garages that were not temperature controlled and as soon as the summer temp heated up or winter came along they would fail. The clocks would not work. This was the old style before they looked like the Aube. I think the model was SS8, but don't hold me to that.

Burt Wilson
Accent Outdoor Lighting

Mike M
02-09-2008, 08:44 AM
Watch out Mike. Sounds like you might have a situation there. Technically you will have to have a Licensed EC hook up the power cord for those units. You are not allowed to mess with line voltage connections no matter how simple.

Regards.

Okay, so what do I do if I need a new breaker, or replace terminals, or other parts on a transformer. Do I have to ship that back to the manu in order to swap out parts or to service it? What about adding on modules?

Hmm. How about this Q: if I own a business that makes a component which contains line voltage, do I have to be an LC to build the product or to work on the assembly line?

I'm not try to be a wise guy, I am honestly curious about this.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-09-2008, 09:00 AM
If you want to work to the letter of the "law" then you cannot install, adjust, modify or service any line voltage component that supplies power to our 'appliances' (Transformers)

I would assume that opening up and altering or changing any internal circuit on a transformer would void the manufacturers warranty. This would include changing out a breaker. This should be done by the manufacturer.

Clearly not everyone on the line at a manufacturer is an electrician. They build products that get inspected and are built to an approved specification. Working on the line voltage electrical system at your client's homes is a different thing entirely.

Mike, surely you are aware that you are not permitted to install a switch, extend a circuit, open up a panel, install a receptacle, install a breaker, or hard wire any component into the line voltage system without being a licensed EC. I would recommend you adhere to the 'rules', getting caught, fined, punished is no fun, expensive and does nothing good for your professional reputation. It also adds fuel the the EC's fire, and hurts our industry's reputation.

Mike M
02-09-2008, 09:51 AM
I would recommend you adhere to the 'rules', getting caught, fined, punished is no fun, expensive and does nothing good for your professional reputation. It also adds fuel the the EC's fire, and hurts our industry's reputation.

This is what hurts our industry's reputation.

A brand new LC installation covering several stately live oaks in a beautiful, publicly-owned waterfront park along the intracoastal waterway.

Fuel for my powerpoint presentation.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-09-2008, 10:05 AM
No Mike, that actually helps the Low Voltage Outdoor Lighting Industry's reputation. It hurts the EC's reputation as a source for attractive, efficient, and effective outdoor lighting.

Regards.

Mike M
02-09-2008, 10:36 AM
That's what I was implying, I can't fix my ambiguous grammer, the edit button went bye bye.

Hey, James, I'll trade you some of my power point pics for some of yours? We should either start a thread for building power point materials publicly, or at least have a private exchange for qualifying members.

That's where bulletin boards that use karma points comes in handy.

ChampionLS
02-09-2008, 04:23 PM
If you want to work to the letter of the "law" then you cannot install, adjust, modify or service any line voltage component that supplies power to our 'appliances' (Transformers)

I would assume that opening up and altering or changing any internal circuit on a transformer would void the manufacturers warranty. This would include changing out a breaker. This should be done by the manufacturer.

It also adds fuel the the EC's fire, and hurts our industry's reputation.

Dude.... Listen to yourself. :dizzy:

Your getting way way crazy with this. The law is only in effect when providing a service to a consumer IN A RETAIL MARKET!. It has NOTHING to do with working on, replacing, or servicing an actual component part.

I can buy a pallet of floor lamps that need lightbulbs so I can sell them. Does that mean I need to be Licensed?????

Im a employee at a restaurant and I need replacement fluorescent lamps.. Does that mean I need to be Licensed?????

I need to buy long extension cords to string up some Christmas lights.. Does that mean I have to be Licensed?????

:cry:

NightLightingFX
02-09-2008, 04:37 PM
Mike,
That is a good idea, I would be willing to share pics and ideas on power point presentation with you. I will pm you my info.
~Ned

ChampionLS
02-09-2008, 04:51 PM
Mike, surely you are aware that you are not permitted to install a switch, extend a circuit, open up a panel, install a receptacle, install a breaker, or hard wire any component into the line voltage system without being a licensed EC.

I missed this one.

James, if you would get out of the little bubble which you live in, you would clearly see that almost every contractor in the construction industry uses portable electric generators at some time AND... the ones who don't have/use modified extension cords with alligator clips on the end for tapping into a live service panel. The concrete industry uses diamond cut off saws for cutting pavers and wall block. Every electric model I've seen on the job site is temporally wired to the A/C unit's junction box outside. It it legally right? No. Does it work and get the job completed. Yes. Can you police it? NO. We're all big boys here and are responsible for our own actions.

Pro-Scapes
02-09-2008, 05:18 PM
Anthony here we go again. The things your mentining are plug and play things like screwing in a light bulb. What james is speaking of would be the actual wiring of switches and breakers. Last time I checked I could plug my transformers in but I couldnt wire up a breaker. Thats what my guys at Amp electric are for anyways

apples to apples oranges to oranges please :waving:

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-09-2008, 08:28 PM
The law is only in effect when providing a service to a consumer IN A RETAIL MARKET!. It has NOTHING to do with working on, replacing, or servicing an actual component part. You must live and work in a different world then I do Anthony. The Laws, rules and code is very clear on who can and who cannot work on building, altering or repairing line voltage systems. Licensed EC's can. the rest of us cannot, unless you are working on your own private residence.
I can buy a pallet of floor lamps that need lightbulbs so I can sell them. Does that mean I need to be Licensed? No Of course not.
Im a employee at a restaurant and I need replacement fluorescent lamps.. Does that mean I need to be Licensed? No of course not.

I need to buy long extension cords to string up some Christmas lights.. Does that mean I have to be Licensed? No of course not.

What any of this has to do with building, altering, or repairing line voltage systems is beyond me. I do know for a fact, that if a unlicensed person hard wires a Low Voltage Transformer into a circuit then they have put themselves and their business in jeopardy. Same is true with installing a receptacle or even installing a line voltage switch to control a receptacle.

Know your business, know the laws, be safe and hire licensed electricians when required.

Regards.

Mike M
02-10-2008, 06:24 AM
Here's all we need to zero in on:

Assembly of parts before it leaves my shop. Are there grey areas that we find our selves stuck to deal with?

What about installing those quick connects (pierce points) on holiday lighting systems, to create extension cords? Standard practice, but is it legal? I have no idea.

All I know is these transformers I found come without power cords attached, becuase you need to decide which voltage you want for the system, first. Then connect to the appropriate wire.

Maybe, by the book, I could assemble a dozen, have an LC inspect them, and write up an invoice saying he did just that.

eskerlite
02-10-2008, 10:13 AM
Some manufacturers void the warranty if the cord is cut and hard wired into a junction box. Anyone heard of this?
Sean C.

Pro-Scapes
02-10-2008, 10:26 AM
Here's all we need to zero in on:

Assembly of parts before it leaves my shop. Are there grey areas that we find our selves stuck to deal with?

What about installing those quick connects (pierce points) on holiday lighting systems, to create extension cords? Standard practice, but is it legal? I have no idea.

All I know is these transformers I found come without power cords attached, becuase you need to decide which voltage you want for the system, first. Then connect to the appropriate wire.

Maybe, by the book, I could assemble a dozen, have an LC inspect them, and write up an invoice saying he did just that.

Just get a quality flying lead trans if you want to do all this that your speaking of mike... unique has em and will build them to your spec. Modifying things electrical is a liability. Do not compare holiday lighting and landscape lighting. Holiday stuff goes up for a month or 2 each year and doesnt get buried. ake one of them outdoor rated holiday cords and do your little test. I bet it fails miserably

pete scalia
02-10-2008, 10:46 AM
Some manufacturers void the warranty if the cord is cut and hard wired into a junction box. Anyone heard of this?
Sean C.

If they void the warranty then it sounds like a cop out to me. If they haven't built enough safety precautions into the unit that they must rely upon a GFI then that's a trans that I wouldn't want to use anyway. You don't need GFI's when you hardwire a trans. Anytime I can eliminate a GFI without breaking the law or compromising safety then I'm all over that.

eskerlite
02-10-2008, 11:01 AM
I tell ECs this so they dont hard wire my transformers. If they do than I cannot service them because I am not a Liscensed EC. Its my defense and I heard it from a manufacturer in the past. It has worked well for me.
Sean C.

pete scalia
02-10-2008, 11:59 AM
I tell ECs this so they dont hard wire my transformers. If they do than I cannot service them because I am not a Liscensed EC. Its my defense and I heard it from a manufacturer in the past. It has worked well for me.
Sean C.

Why not just trip the main breaker at the panel or have them wire in a switch between the trans and the point of connection. This way you can kill the power and service away at will.

eskerlite
02-10-2008, 12:16 PM
Its when and if I ever have to repair the trans or remove and replace. This is what I cant do. Go into the 120 boxes and disconnect the hard wire. I want to plug and unplug my transformers at will.
Sean C.

pete scalia
02-10-2008, 12:53 PM
Its when and if I ever have to repair the trans or remove and replace. This is what I cant do. Go into the 120 boxes and disconnect the hard wire. I want to plug and unplug my transformers at will.
Sean C.

Understood. But How often would that be necessary?
I hate GFI's especially these new ones with the lock out feature. I think they call it lock out because it locks the lighting guy out from making any money on a project when he has to go back and reset it when the customer won't do it.

eskerlite
02-10-2008, 01:52 PM
It is easy when it does happen. Im hoping it doesnt happen but im ready when it does.1 out of every 250 transformers?
Sean C.