dimming lights

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by sprinkler guy, Oct 22, 2007.

  1. sprinkler guy

    sprinkler guy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 223

    Have any of you guys found anything that lets you dim fixture, or fixtures, after the transformer? I have a job where the customer added some column lights and even with 7 watt bulbs (3 per fixture) it's really bright. The matching house sconces are line voltage and he has those on dimmers, so the column lights are a noticeable difference.
     
  2. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,933

    I do. I am in the middle of this fire storm in San Diego away from the office. We had to shut the factory down for the day. Over half our office staff has been evauated from their homes. I will get you this dimmer info ASAP!
     
  3. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    Sean, if you are referring to a dimmer that will dim the secondary (12V) side of the transformer then I don't know of anything that will handle the potential amperage. I looked into this once years ago and only came up with some massive stage lighting potentiometers that would not work in our applications.

    If you want to dim the primary side of the transformer then simply get yourself a Magnetic (inductive load) LV Dimmer from Lutron or Leviton and have it installed befor the receptacle into which you plug in your transformer.

    Have a great day.
     
  4. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,933

    I do know of a 12v dimmer that can be installed inline on the secondary. I will get it for you in the morning.
     
  5. Eden Lights

    Eden Lights LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 805

    Window screen makes a cheap dimmer, depends on the fixture type.

    The attached picture shows a application where we are dimming down the top right mounted fixture with a very short throw to match the very long throw on the left. No it's not perfect but it looks much much better than before.

    R House Web Quality 2.jpg
     
  6. Go Halogen

    Go Halogen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 102

    Sean,

    Be careful when using dimmers. Remember the voltage drop issues.
    If you into the low 10s of below 9 volts the halogen cycle will not cycle....

    How about using some difused lenses? Double up on frosted lenses?

    Andy
     
  7. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,933

    If you do dim a halogen lamp you should fire it back up to proper voltage for just a few minuts before shutting down. You are still going to decrease lamp life but this will help regenerate the tungsten gas and prolong the lamp life.
     
  8. Go Halogen

    Go Halogen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 102

    Joey,

    You mean clear the tungsten filament and glass of immobile halogen molecules. At lower voltage the halogen molecules slow down and actually stick to the glass and filament. When the voltage rises (10.6 - 12+) the molecules are operating on their best behavior, so to say. The cycle cleans as it illuminates.

    Just wanted to clarify. Did I leave anything out??

    -Andy
     
  9. Eden Lights

    Eden Lights LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 805

    Sometimes the science doesn't seem to make that much difference in the real world. We have a few systems that are pretty old and they are dimmed way down from about dusk to 1am and then ramped back up for cleanup before shutdown, and that's only a few mintues. One system has 8 fixtures @ 7-8 volts and those lamps last forever. We really dont check the dimmed voltage much any more, but we love to dim if needed when really trying to set a precise mood.
     
  10. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,806

    I'm not much of a believer in the halogen cycle as I have several very old systems that I purposely designed with some of the lights at very low volts. I did this before I even knew about the "halogen cycle", but these lights have extremely long life and I rarely replace any of the lamps. One of my first customers wanted the lights to look really amber, and the only way I knew how to do it was to decrease the voltage. The entire system operates at between 9.5-10 volts, and with the exception of 2 or 3, the lamps have lasted for over 4 years. I could be totally wrong about this, but I would like to know, specifically, what loss of duration should be expected when not operating at 10.8-12v. Just some general info and field experience.
     

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