Control Systems

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Edgewater, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. Edgewater

    Edgewater LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 457

    I have read about various types of control systems. What are most of you guys installing on your residential projects. At first I thought it would be mainly controlled via a photo cell, but is there a need for clients to be able to switch individual segments or groups. If there is this need, how does it work with transformer that is mounted far from the house???? Relays???


    Thanks
    Adam
     
  2. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,406

    Adam, some of the manufacturers are supporting X10.
    http://www.x10.com/activehomepro/activehome-pro.html
    When speaking to representatives about X10, they have revealed minor glitches and system anomalies, but if the system is designed and installed properly can give you automated or remote control.

    Other than that, photo cells and timers and even multiple transformers for more control. So far no manufacturer is splitting the transformers for individual control on separate runs that I have yet seen.

    Kirk
     
  3. SamIV

    SamIV LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 324

    I would be happy if someone would finally come out with a digital astronomic timer that fits in a transfomer case and will hold up outdoors.

    Sam IV
     
  4. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,207

    Kirk, Kichler does have a split transformer. It is actually two separate 300 watt transformers in one box. It is the 15PRD600. You can install two different controllers for this unit. I am actually installing my first one tomorrow. I will let you know how it goes.
     
  5. Edgewater

    Edgewater LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 457

    So am I to assume that most residential projects work on a photo cell.

    I am just getting started, but from what I can see most of the transformers are located in an obscured place that can be a good distance from the house. Lets say that it is in or behind a pool shed 100' from the house, what if an remote control are you guys giving the clients from the house.

    Adam
     
  6. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,207

    Most clients prefer that the system work by itself. If you put the system on a photo control with a timer, it will come on when the sun goes down and then will turn off at a predetermined time. When I do have a client that wants some control, (I have only had a few) I will accomodate them either with switching or remote. Nightscaping also has a product called the dominator that can run several zones.
     
  7. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,406

    Paul, that makes sense, it was only a matter of time before someone filled the need. There are occasions when I would like certain zones on dusk till dawn and others from dusk till midnight. Let us know how that goes and if they have other variations on the wattages.

    Adam, a photocell and/or a timer. The photocell never needs to be reset and is usually trouble free. Most manufacturers offer a transformer mount or a cable remote mount for the photocell depending on mounting location. Often clients don't want all the lights on all night, sometimes they may illuminate outside bedroom windows or they just don't want to have lights on all night, that's where the timer comes in. If coupled with a photocell, the lights always come on when it gets dark and the timer shuts them off at the predetermined time.

    Kirk
     
  8. Edgewater

    Edgewater LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 457

    Thanks for the replies, they have been helpful.

    Where do you find yourselves mounting the transformers most often. Is it worth while putting them in a shed or garage if possible, or are the just fine outdoors (providing that they are meant for that).

    So far I have looked at Cast, Kichler and Vista for products, I ma waiting on prices....

    Adam
     
  9. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,207

    I mostly mount mine on the side of the home. If it is new construction, I can have the outlet placed right where I want it. Most professional transformers are made for indoor/outdoor use. I only use stainless steel transformers for use outside.
     
  10. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,406

    I'm with Paul on that one. Have on occasion used an outlet that was out front and screened the transformer with plants because client didn't want to pay an electrician to install an additional GFI outlet, but prefer the side.

    Go with the dealer that is going to service you best and the best product. Price is not the real issue, quality and service are. I use Cast, Kichler and Focus normally, but there are other good brands out there and local dealers to get them.

    Kirk
     

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