Energy savings using low voltage lighting

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Dreams To Designs, Mar 17, 2006.

  1. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,406

    I just read an excellent article on the Cast Lighting web site about the advantages of using low voltage lighting over standard 120 volt lighting and ways to improve the efficiency of our low voltage lighting installations. The principles apply whether using a hub or inline system and the cost savings for the client can be substantial due to using less energy.

    Kirk
     
  2. niteliters

    niteliters LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 537

    please tell more about what you learned
    chris
     
  3. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,406

    Chris,

    You can check it out on Cast's website. They have many articles for installation design and tips and tricks. http://www.cast-lighting.com/art-energy-cons-80.html

    I make a habit out of checking information on the major manufacturers websites regularly, and they all have excellent information to make us and the industry better.

    Kirk
     
  4. niteliters

    niteliters LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 537

    thank you for the info
     
  5. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,206

    Great info Kirk. Thanks for the heads up.
     
  6. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    great article. Another great sales point. Especially if your a few hundred more than a competitor.

    I thought about comparing energy savings like they do vehicals and the total cost of ownership of a system but I wouldnt wanna confuse a customer. Anyone have a article about the energy savings over high voltage? There is an electrician here who puts 500 watt halogen spreaders in peoples yards... I can just imagine looking out one of the windows from inside thier homes " OMG MY EYES IM BLIND!"
     
  7. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,206

    Billy, here is a way to point that out. A 500 watt lamp is using 4.16 amps at 120 volts. You could install a 600 watt transformer which, if fully loaded would use 5 amps. Of course you would not fully load a transformer, so you could install a complete lighting system that would use the same if not less power than 1 of his 500 watt fixtures!! I have installed many systems with one 600 watt transformer.
     
  8. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,206

    I tried to edit the last post but was too late. Here is a calculation to use.

    Low voltage 35 watt fmw lamp.
    Annual operation: 6 hours daily
    35 watts times 2,190 hours times .10 (use your local cost here) cents per kilowatt divided by 1000, equals $7.66 annual cost of operation.

    Line voltage 500 watt lamp.
    Annual operation: 6 hours daily
    500 watts times 2,190 hours times .10 (use your local cost here) cents per kilowatt divided by 1000, equals $109.50 annual cost of operation.

    I would say that you might be able to save the client a few bucks here.
     
  9. steveparrott

    steveparrott Sponsor
    Posts: 1,173

    Thanks Kirk for drawing attention to the article. Paul, in comparing 120v to 12v, we need to be fair. As you know, we would never replace a single 500w flood with a single 35w fixture. We would always use a number of fixtures in an intelligent design.

    In fact, it may be that we propose a design with equal or more wattage than the original 120V scheme. Energy conservation is only one of our goals.

    And, for those not clear on the subject. Watts at 12v is equivalent to watts at 120v. In other words, a 20w 120v lamp consumes the same amount of energy as a 20w 12v lamp. The big difference is that the 12v lamp produces far greater light output (lumens/watt) so you can use smaller wattage 12v lamps to produce the same amount of light as higher wattage 120v lamps.
     
  10. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,406

    Other than lighting a home to resemble a store front and occasionally needing that much lamp to light a sign, I have only seen the need for 500W fixtures as yard or driveway lights on motion sensors or elevated for a horse shoe pit or volleyball court. The use of 50 watt, flagpole, or 35 watt lamps in a bullet, flood or well light fixture is usually more than enough to uplight anything well, sometimes used in multiples.

    Not only should we be saving energy compared to 120V, but we should be saving dark skies. Less is definitely more with landscape lighting and that should benefit the client as well.

    Paul, you used 6 hours daily, is that an average of what you usually set a system up for? I have done a few that were dusk till dawn, but I prefer dusk till midnight.

    Kirk
     

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