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View Full Version : 12v low voltage soffit install


bobbyc1980
01-14-2012, 02:31 PM
Hi all. We have been debating adding low voltage soffit lighting to our line of service due to numerous requests. However, I am not familiar with the install procedures. Is there a website that I can visit to get the basics of how to install? Thanks

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-14-2012, 03:31 PM
Bobby, as the owner/operator of a Lighthouse franchise can you not call up the franchisor and ask them for the appropriate training and guidance? Surely they must offer some level of support and training for their franchises.

That being said, there are probably as many different types of fixtures and techniques for installation as there are different types of soffits & structures. If you narrowed down your questions (be more specific) I am sure someone here would be able to help you out.

Regards

Lite4
01-15-2012, 09:54 AM
I'm sure you could google any DIY forum and they would show you the basics. It's pretty simple. Biggest advice I can give you test for ceiling trusses and joists before you cut your hole. Use a small , rigid wire. Something like an irrigation flag wire. If the hole you are cutting is 3" in diameter, bend the last 1.5" over so it is 90 degrees to the rest of the wire. Drill a tiny hole in the soffit just big enough to fit the wire. Slide the wire in past the 90 and twist the wire end in circles gradually pushing it up to the depth of the can. If it doesn't rub or smack a stud, your good to go. If not you will need to adjust by a 1/2". Most of the time any exploratory holes will be cut out with the cut out, if not, it's small and use some color matching putty to fill.
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S&MLL
01-16-2012, 12:44 PM
I'm sure you could google any DIY forum and they would show you the basics. It's pretty simple. Biggest advice I can give you test for ceiling trusses and joists before you cut your hole. Use a small , rigid wire. Something like an irrigation flag wire. If the hole you are cutting is 3" in diameter, bend the last 1.5" over so it is 90 degrees to the rest of the wire. Drill a tiny hole in the soffit just big enough to fit the wire. Slide the wire in past the 90 and twist the wire end in circles gradually pushing it up to the depth of the can. If it doesn't rub or smack a stud, your good to go. If not you will need to adjust by a 1/2". Most of the time any exploratory holes will be cut out with the cut out, if not, it's small and use some color matching putty to fill.
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Like your idea with the exploratory research holes and irrigation flags. I cant tell you how many times a builder triple built roof joist corner has screwed up the placement of a downlight for me. Actually we Tend to use cm115u now. I got tired of wasting time on a ladder trying to place lightoliers within joist cavity's

David Gretzmier
01-16-2012, 05:14 PM
I would also check your local codes. only master electricians are allowed here to "pierce" the home with any cable carrying non-comunications ( telephone, cable, internet, satellite, etc ) load. we are only allowed to run LV outside.

S&MLL
01-16-2012, 05:36 PM
Good point Dave. Also remember standard 12-2 wire we use it not rated for interior of home. Must Romex or something similar. 12volt or not
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jbailey52
01-16-2012, 10:24 PM
Interesting topic. Can you guys give me a manufacturer specifically that makes these lights?
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S&MLL
01-16-2012, 10:54 PM
Jbaily pm me your contact info. We can grab lunch before the season starts

S&MLL
01-16-2012, 10:56 PM
I use Lightolier lvl series. Trim selection is weak but I can get from local ec supply house. I always wanted to try Contrast (which James speaks highly of). Just havent found anywhere local to buy from at a decent price.

jbailey52
01-16-2012, 11:58 PM
On another note, how would you sell a customer on lv sofit lights vs line voltage? I can see retrofitting an old home may be easier, but what about a customer with new construction?
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Mike & Lucia
01-17-2012, 09:32 AM
I designed a project last fall where soffit down lighting was used around the perimeter of the home. Uplighting - good ole 12 volt landscape fixtures - were incorporated to put the extra punch on the stonework. After considering a few options, I decided to hire an electrician to install the soffit fixtures. Here are some of the factors that I considered:

Line voltage fixtures with integrated LV transformers allowed me to match the MR16s to each of the several different levels of roof line.
With 120 volt, I need not concern myself with voltage drop, allowing the electrician to daisy chain, saving considerable amount of wire. (As mentioned, our direct burial 12-2 is NOT to be used in cavity)
Fixtures allowed us to fit with frosted lenses, and I supplied all equipment, including (and most importantly) the MR lamps.
Trim ring selection was fantastic, client got just what he wanted.
The electrician performed the installation under my direction, while my crew was installing the landscape lighting portion of the project.
Soffit lighting was wired in zones, allowing control system to dim and stage ON and OFF times. Perfect!

Sorry, I do not have a photo. The other work on the home wasn't completed for quite a while, and I just haven't gotten back there yet after dark.