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Mike M
03-09-2008, 09:31 AM
I have a particular setting which would be ideal for the loop method, but I never used it.

When I get to the end of the run, I need to connect the two wires, and this gives equal distribution of volts throughout system?

What about installing a small hub in the circuit with a fuse, like Unique recommends with the hub system, just in case someone cuts a lead and crosses the wires?

Lite4
03-09-2008, 10:58 AM
Mike,
In a loop you are still going to have unequal voltage between fixtures due to this particular method. It is not unlike a daisy chain in that your first fixture will have a higher voltage reading and the following ones down the line will read less. It is essentially a daisy chain starting from 2 sides. The middle fixtures will read a significant drop if it is a long loop. I would probably just stick with a hub unless you are wiring LEDs, but I would probably still take James' advice and still build your systems the right way until the LEDs have proven themselves for a while in the field.

Mike M
03-10-2008, 01:25 PM
Tim, are you certain that looping does not provide equal voltage? Low Voltage is A/C, when looped, it should equal out, like line voltage. I would think.

I need to enter the tabby/shell foundation with as few wires as possible, it's very tight in there. I'm putting together the bid, I hope to get this job. It's not LED, I demo'd with Stellers and they flippin loved it. They asked for no uplights, but really liked it when I showed them.

JoeyD
03-10-2008, 02:04 PM
Loop will help balance but will not provide you with equal voltage. Just liek the T and the daisy chain, for it to work properly you have to abide by strict distance rules to ensure you do not let any lamp dip below the required 10.8v. It is almost impossible to do on a real size job scale. Make sure you note polarity as well as you will need to keep polarity for the loop to work and not short itself out.

Pro-Scapes
03-10-2008, 03:32 PM
I have yet to see an instance where I HAD to use a loop and there just was no other way. Stop being lazy and wire it right mike....loops...piercepoints... whats next ? solar ?

S&MLL
03-10-2008, 08:33 PM
Has anyone used the voltage regulators. Its a little bx that you wire inbetween the fixture and the line and it doesnt let voltage go past 11.8. Sometimes it only makes sence to put a light in on a line before it goes to the "hub". I forget what company makes them but my distributer has a box full of them for about 10 bucks i think. I have not gotten the chance to use one yet since being told about them. Was just wondering if anyone else had experience with such a product.

Chris J
03-10-2008, 09:18 PM
I've never used one, but I guess that might come in handy if it actually worked the way you describe. Personally, my initial thought is that this is just another gadget that will potentially fail. I would advise you to wire your systems correctly from the beginning, and leave room for future expansion. Any unnecessary equipment is just that; unnecessary. :nono:

Mike M
03-10-2008, 10:34 PM
I have yet to see an instance where I HAD to use a loop and there just was no other way. Stop being lazy and wire it right mike....loops...piercepoints... whats next ? solar ?

Had to use a loop? Is it a liability? Even tonight I was doing demo with four stellers off a gutter. Wouldn't looping be a great method? One wire. I'm not trying to be lazy or cheap, I just thought the loop was much better than chaining in such an application. Billy, are you saying I should have a hub on the roof? Or run multiple wires up a gutter?

Tonight I had four consecutive dormers. You tell me, what's the best way to wire that?

Lite4
03-10-2008, 10:40 PM
I run 1 wire up the gutter 1 hub, or more if needed. I place the hub in the gutter and wire individually from there.

The Lighting Geek
03-11-2008, 12:45 AM
Yep, just like Tim said.

ChampionLS
03-11-2008, 04:07 AM
Time for my two cents..

When working with less than 100 watts, the loop method is preferred (for our system). I seriously doubt when working with LED's (about the same as our low wattage fixtures) that you'll experience significant voltage drop over any part of the line. Keep in mind- I'm not saying to run a 500 linear foot loop either. It really depends on the total wattage, wire length and wire gauge. Theres not a right or wrong method.

Mike M
03-11-2008, 08:40 AM
Thanks, everyone.

Anthony, in the field (we can speculate all day if we haven't done it), how do the numbers look for looping vs. chaining? It seems looping would be significantly better for continuity of brightness and bulb life. All you have to do is connect the end wires together and make sure you maintain polarity. I don't see what the big deal is, if the benefit means better voltage distribution.

If I have time today I'll run some wires across my back yard and study the voltage for a comparison between the two.

By the way guys, I'm not talking about LED's here, if I was, I wouldn't have to worry about voltage drop or equalizing.

JoeyD
03-11-2008, 09:36 AM
Has anyone used the voltage regulators. Its a little bx that you wire inbetween the fixture and the line and it doesnt let voltage go past 11.8. Sometimes it only makes sence to put a light in on a line before it goes to the "hub". I forget what company makes them but my distributer has a box full of them for about 10 bucks i think. I have not gotten the chance to use one yet since being told about them. Was just wondering if anyone else had experience with such a product.


You will throw that whole box of regulators back at the distributor in disgust. Trust me I have seen it happen. They are not intended to be used in ground, atleast by our study it shows major weak points in the construction and explains why they all fail prematurley.

NightScenes
03-11-2008, 09:36 AM
I have used the loop method many times for decks and such. It works very well with low wattage lamps. I have never had more than a .5 volt difference throughout the loop using this method.

There is a time and place for every wiring method. I have also used daisy chains where the need arose. It's all about planning and using the correct method at the correct time.

Pro-Scapes
03-11-2008, 10:07 AM
Has anyone used the voltage regulators. Its a little bx that you wire inbetween the fixture and the line and it doesnt let voltage go past 11.8. Sometimes it only makes sence to put a light in on a line before it goes to the "hub". I forget what company makes them but my distributer has a box full of them for about 10 bucks i think. I have not gotten the chance to use one yet since being told about them. Was just wondering if anyone else had experience with such a product.

The only time I have used them is to correct others errors where the client declined letting me reinstall the system. They do work but I have little faith in the longetivity of them and its more splicing and things to go wrong. In my opinion they are for hacks and we have a local company here installing them as well.

There is a time and a place for everything but If you install properly there is no place for the regulators.

Lite4
03-11-2008, 10:13 AM
When I first started doing lighting (ions ago it seems) I used the loop wire, but this was before I checked voltage and realized you had to have optimum to the lamps. I was still getting the same problems you get with the daisy. Every situation is different though. Just watch the voltage.

JoeyD
03-11-2008, 11:17 AM
watch the voltage and control your distances. In all the loop is hard to make work and to keep voltages even to all lamps, unless its a small run with just a few fixtures strung rather closely to one another.

S&MLL
03-12-2008, 02:32 AM
You will throw that whole box of regulators back at the distributor in disgust. Trust me I have seen it happen. They are not intended to be used in ground, atleast by our study it shows major weak points in the construction and explains why they all fail prematurley.



Funny Joey because the seem to carry Unique :rolleyes:

JoeyD
03-12-2008, 11:00 AM
Funny Joey because the seem to carry Unique :rolleyes:

Thats awesome!! But that isnt a Unique product and my comment wasn't to knock the distributor, I was just relating to a time when I was working for a distributor and this guy came in with a huge box full of RSL regulators and he was pissed off that they all had failed in such a short ammount of time. He wasnt mad at us he was mad that he was re wiring the entire project!!...just trust me when I tell you that that component will fail and you will be upset you were ever sold on it.

ChampionLS
03-13-2008, 01:32 AM
Thanks, everyone.

Anthony, in the field (we can speculate all day if we haven't done it), how do the numbers look for looping vs. chaining? It seems looping would be significantly better for continuity of brightness and bulb life. All you have to do is connect the end wires together and make sure you maintain polarity. I don't see what the big deal is, if the benefit means better voltage distribution.

If I have time today I'll run some wires across my back yard and study the voltage for a comparison between the two.

By the way guys, I'm not talking about LED's here, if I was, I wouldn't have to worry about voltage drop or equalizing.

I think the worst thing with the loop method is an added expense in the extra wire that you'll use. It does work well with low wattage lamps, and in tight areas, such as under a deck.

S&MLL
03-13-2008, 02:05 AM
Joey I was kidding. None of my guys sell your stuff. I dont know why. Back on subject, the only time I have used the loop method was around a circle paver patio. Customer wanted several path lights placed around the patio only made sence to use the loop method. Worked out nice. All fixtures had equal voltage. Plus in order to run a t or hub in that senerio would of used basicly same amout of wire.

JoeyD
03-13-2008, 10:28 AM
are you sure the fixtures all had equal voltage.....I would have to say that that is damn near impossible......not sayin, just saying.....lol....I think you can ensure proper voltage using any method as long as you abide by each methods strict rules. Hub allows for the most flexabiltiy and does ensure proper and equal voltage. Other methods force you to use so many connections and make you limit your wire distances. But a pro can get it done in many different ways, just know the rules.