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NightLightingFX
04-03-2008, 10:54 PM
I need an attractive junction box / mount to put a path light on top of a 3 foot high column. He was going to put a glare bomb there put he likes the idea of a path light. The concret columns have conduit through out them. I just need a compartment for wire connections and to mount the fixture. There are 5 columns. The middle fixture will be the hub of the 4 other fixtures. I am not excited about your typical electrical junction boxes. They look tacky with all the holes in them. Any suggestions on how I can mount a path light on top of a concrete column and hide wire connections?
~Ned

pete scalia
04-03-2008, 11:13 PM
I need an attractive junction box / mount to put a path light on top of a 3 foot high column. He was going to put a glare bomb there put he likes the idea of a path light. The concret columns have conduit through out them. I just need a compartment for wire connections and to mount the fixture. There are 5 columns. The middle fixture will be the hub of the 4 other fixtures. I am not excited about your typical electrical junction boxes. They look tacky with all the holes in them. Any suggestions on how I can mount a path light on top of a concrete column and hide wire connections?
~Ned

For goodness sake son how are you going to get 5 cables through one conduit with bends unless it's a minimum of 1 1/2". You may have to use THHN youngen'. That pathlights gonna look great mounted above the horizon where on lookers can stare right into the lamp or under the hat-glare?

NightLightingFX
04-04-2008, 12:28 AM
1) The middle fixture will be the hub for 2 fixtures to the right and 2 fixtures to the left.
2) The middle fixture column has 3 conduits in it. One conduit to the transformer. One conduit to the right which leads to the next column on the right, & One conduit to the left that leads to the next column on left
3) The two columns on each side of the middle column both have 2 conduits in them - one conduit to the middle and the other conduit which leads to the end column.
4) Both the end columns have just one conduit in them.
I would prefer to run a 12ga lead to the end columns and a 16ga lead to the columns next to the middle column, but that probably won't work. It is a small conduit. I will probably have to daisy chain from the center fixture. Regardless of what I do, I need an attractive junction box for connections and to mound the path fixture.
~Ned

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
04-04-2008, 12:36 AM
Ned the only thing that comes mind right now is a RED DOT outdoor junction box from Home Depot. They come in a brown colour.

Will this J-box be visible?

Is there the ability to make in line connections using the Nightscaping ACE connector and then push the wires down into the conduits? If so you might get away with using only a mounting canopy that is lagged down into the top of the columns.

or, can you core the top of the posts out to accomodate a hidden j-box?

Regards.

The Lighting Geek
04-04-2008, 02:15 AM
My first choice would be to core drill the tops and set the box out of view like James said.

sprinkler guy
04-04-2008, 02:38 AM
Ned,

Take a look at the FX VersaBox. I don't know if it will give you the room for a middle hub, but it is small, and can be powder coated any number of colors, or you can order it brass. The RS version has a 1/2" thread in the middle.
http://www.fxl.com/products/category.htm?category=Mounts

NightLightingFX
04-04-2008, 11:30 AM
I really want to avoid core drilling. "Sprinkler Guy," thanks for the tip on the FX tree mount. I think that will work. I will probably have to daisy chain from each side of the hub/middle fixture. The columns/fixtures are 20 ft apart (40 ft from hub fixture to the two end fixtures) if I use 12ga there shouldn't be too significant voltage drop (noticable difference in brightness) should there? Thanks for the input guys
~Ned

NightScenes
04-04-2008, 10:25 PM
Ned, you know the formula and know that the eye can see a difference of .5 volts so what do you think? What wattage lamps are you using? Are you going to loose a half volt between fixtures?

Chris J
04-04-2008, 10:42 PM
I will probably have to daisy chain from each side of the hub/middle fixture. The columns/fixtures are 20 ft apart (40 ft from hub fixture to the two end fixtures)~Ned

Ned, this would be called a "T" method. If you will provide the distance to the transformer from the "hub" as you call it, I will give you the exact voltage drop calculations to your fixtures at the end of the runs.

Pro-Scapes
04-05-2008, 12:44 AM
I agree with the geekman. I would try to set the boxes in the pillars out of view. James also had a good idea with the aces. I have found ace connectors to be very valuble in trees and places a low profile connection is needed. I stuffed an ace back into a conduit on a gazebo last week. I had to offset the connections by making one wire shorter than the other to fit them but you cant see a splice and there is no visable wire.

If your set on the junctions on top of the pillars and you will have too much drop you could always use an RSL regulator. As much as I hate em and think they are amature hour it might just serve your needs in this situation.

Chris J
04-05-2008, 12:51 AM
I'll also need the wattage requirements for each fixture, the distance between fixtures, and the distance from the "T" to the last fixture.
I get the feeling you already know this stuff, but I thought I'd offer it up anyway. My dad always told me that stupid freakin saying "the only stupid quesion is the one you don't ask."

sprinkler guy
04-05-2008, 01:37 AM
I'll also need the wattage requirements for each fixture, the distance between fixtures, and the distance from the "T" to the last fixture.
I get the feeling you already know this stuff, but I thought I'd offer it up anyway. My dad always told me that stupid freakin saying "the only stupid quesion is the one you don't ask."

"Ther are no stupid questions, just lots of inquisitive idiots."
www.demotivators.com

NightLightingFX
04-05-2008, 04:03 PM
Ned, this would be called a "T" method. If you will provide the distance to the transformer from the "hub" as you call it, I will give you the exact voltage drop calculations to your fixtures at the end of the runs.

Chris,
Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't a "T" method powering 3 fixtures with the center fixture the hub. In this case I have 5 fixtures, so I would be using the "T" method to power three fixtures and the daisy method to power the two end fixtures. The columns are about 20 feet apart. If I use a 10 watt bi-pin and 12 ga wire I guess I will get about .15 volt drop between fixtures. If I use a 20 watt bi-pin I guess I will get about a .3 volt drop between fixtures? If I had plenty of room for connections, and larger conduit for wire I would use 12ga. wire for the two end fixtures and 16ga. for the 2 fixtures on each side of the middle fixture. It will be hard to run two wires through this conduit. So it looks like I am stuck with the "T"-Daisy wiring method.
~Ned

Pro-Scapes
04-05-2008, 04:18 PM
A T is simply bringing and power wire in the middle of the run. It doesn't have to be 3 fixtures on each side but yes your essentially powering fixture 1 and 5 by chaining them off of fixtures 2 and 4. 3 would be your central connection. At least this is how it was explained to me 2 years ago.

If your pillars are 20 ft apart your conduit is much longer.. You have to measure the height of the pillars as well. Once the conduit is underground who knows where it goes before it resurfaces at the next pillar.

I still like the idea of hiding the connections in the conduit or recessing the box.

NightLightingFX
04-05-2008, 05:16 PM
Here is a pic of the center pillar, and pic of the 3 pillars - the middle pillar is the true middle pillar. The other two outside pillars aren't seen. How difficult is it to core drill? Do I need to rent equipment? or do I have to call in a specialist? Chuck at Florida Outdoor Lighting said he has some mounts that will work as far as hidding my connections.
~Ned

Pro-Scapes
04-05-2008, 06:15 PM
I think a mounted path there is a broken fixture waiting to happen. The first time someone grabs on to it or bumps it I think its going to come loose. I'm not keen on a path light in this application but save the pathlight idea for in thoes beds. I also feel the exposed junction box with a path light on top is a poor choice for the sturdiness of it alone. As for core drilling it in. You would either need to use a round box and the appropriate bit sized or find a concrete cutting firm to perform this for you. If you have never done it I would sub it out.

Even with a commercial grade path with it right next to a driveway like this its going to create a distraction for motorists. If I was dead set on a path I would look to something tough as can be and heavy gauge with a hidden lamp source.

I would look to a line voltage fixture for this application and integrate its control into a UPB system tied to the low voltage if any. I would hope to find a decorative fixture that compliments the building and offers a glare free or at least a reduced glare solution. You should be able to get a wider base as well that will provide a more sturdy mounting solution. That coupled with the right lamp and the dimming capabilities of a UPB switch just might provide you with a solution. Look in the Kim, Kichler and other line voltage catalogs to see if you come across something appealing then give FOLD a call for a price on that.

An off the wall idea someone crazy like me would try would be to drill in to that conduit from the side and mount deck lights(on multiple sides) on these pillars and cap the conduits off with a stone or perhaps a small statue.

Sorry if I overstepped or went "over the top" on my reply. I just find this to be a difficult situation to work with and can only offer my input.

Lite4
04-05-2008, 08:37 PM
Hey Ned, What about this. If you could remove the cap, which it looks like you probably could. I would place some of the Integral style rail lights under those caps and down light the front and maybe the sides of those columns. They are only like a 4-10 watt fixture so you VD would be minimal between columns. If you get the cap off you can cut down the conduit. This will make a cavity for wiring which can be covered with a nice round brass cap with a finial or something on top to cover the hole. It would be decorative and would light the columns and the walk through somewhat. Just my .02

SOUTHERNGREENSCAPES
04-05-2008, 08:44 PM
what is the surface around it? is it in the middle of a concrete pad, paver path or sticking up out of the ground. If it is fesable, could you not put the box in the ground? Maybe i am missunderstanding the issue.

SOUTHERNGREENSCAPES
04-05-2008, 08:56 PM
Something like this would look so much better than some stick with a hat on it.

Pro-Scapes
04-05-2008, 10:31 PM
Something like this would look so much better than some stick with a hat on it.

I agree altho I dont particularly care for that fixture but something in that style would be much more secure and look less out of place than a path light.

Tim... your idea would acomplish about the same thing as mine. Both would look nicer than a pathlight sticking up.

NightLightingFX
04-06-2008, 03:50 PM
Guys, - Great ideas,
Billy you aren't overstepping. You make some good points as to why a path light might not be a good idea. Tim, the cap isn't removable. It is all solid concrete. However, your idea has made me think of some other possibilities. Southerngreenscapes, I don't think the owner would be open that style of fixture. He was going to put up the classical style carriage lanters up. When I told him about my idea of path lights he felt the double china hat model would look close to his style - They are classical lanterns with two china hats on the top. This is an interesting situation. The city was giving him a hard time about putting up glare bombs so he wasn't able to put up the fixtures he was planning on using. (I need to let the city know I can help solve light pollution problems). I really appreciate your guys input. However, I am still leaning toward using path lights - I like the idea of have in some light directed down in an area light fashon. I think a short path light fixture - 15" would look alright and wouldn't be too unstable. On the other hand, since the pillars are white they might be too bright with an area light being focused on them. If I use a 10w bi-pin it shouldn't be too bright, I think.
Again I appreciate your ideas - I hope no one is offended that I am probably going to continue on with my orignial approach. Your guys ideas are bouncing around in my head now. I still don't know if I have the job yet. Thanks
~Ned