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Old 03-27-2011, 05:39 PM
jslawnscape jslawnscape is offline
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Location: Rochester, NY
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Clamp Style Meter (tool ?)

Hey,

I am fairly new to landscape lighting, have only done a few small jobs. Last week I went to a class/seminar/sales meeting put on by local distributer and manufacturer of landscape lighting. The representative from Unique Lighting. We used a regular prong style multi meter along with a clamp style multi meter. I was just curious if you guys have any recomendations on buying the clamp style meter. I currently have a Fluke, and less expensive Craftsman prong style meters. Shopping around im assuming im not going to spend anything less than $100, which is no problem im not looking for a deal I would like to buy a quality meter. I was told to purchase one with True RMS which is supposed to be important to have especially with the new led lights.
Thanks for you help

John
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Old 03-27-2011, 08:45 PM
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The Lighting Geek The Lighting Geek is offline
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I use Fluke meters. The ones we use are well built and True RMS. You must use True RMS to read electronic transformers, which do not work with most LEDs.
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:14 PM
David Gretzmier David Gretzmier is offline
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fluke is my best but pricy. I have a few good true rms clamps from greenlee or sperry for 100 or so. a backlit model is a nice feature if you test at night from time to time as I do.

something also to consider, I also got a seperat set of prongs and built my own custom leads to include a socket to plug in the bulb while testing voltage at fixtures. I sharpened them to be able to test g4 sockets as well. fixture voltage is not to big a deal on led systems, but on halogen a must for me.
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:15 PM
jslawnscape jslawnscape is offline
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Location: Rochester, NY
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meter questions

Thank you for your input. I had the Fluke clamp meter in my hand at Sears, but considering Im not that experienced in the technicality side of lighting I thought I would check around before buying the wrong one. Im sure I will be able to find a little bit better pricing and larger range of models on the internet.
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:38 PM
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INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting is online now
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For a quality meter you should look for:

1: Name Brand. (there is a lot of inaccurate no-name stuff on the market)
2: True RMS capability (to read electronic LV transformers)
3: Tapered clamps for the amp meter to fit into smaller spaces
4: Ensure the readout measures at least to 1 decimal place for AC volts
5: Auto ranging is a very convenient feature


Around here you should be prepared to spend about $200 for a great meter. www.itm.com and then look for the REED ST-3347 for a great feature set at a decent price.
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:08 AM
steveparrott steveparrott is offline
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Consider the CAST Amp/Volt/Ohm Meter. It's calibrated for low voltage applications - also has a handy reference chart for wire capacities on the back.
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