Help, not enough power to distant lights.

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by TheKingNJ, Aug 19, 2006.

  1. TheKingNJ

    TheKingNJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 781

    I did a small lighting job, about 30 lights and 10 spots. Customer wanted 5 spot lights in this one flower bed that is located about 60 feet from the transformer then over the next 100 feet 5 50watt spots spaced evenly apart. The lights are malibu and the transformer is a 300 watt malibu. (it is all the customer wanted to pay for) i used 10/2 gadgue wire and they are dim. is there anything else i can do to get full power out of the lights?
     
  2. niteliters

    niteliters LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 537

    i'm confused..do you have 300 wt transformer powering all of these lgihts..how do you have the wiring done?? My guess is more cable runs or spend about the same amount of $$ for another transformer & outlet installed closer to the fixtures
     
  3. TheKingNJ

    TheKingNJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 781

    sorry i didn't clarify that, I have 2 600 watt transformers with 2 300watt channels. These 5 spots adding up to 250 watt are running off a 3000 watt channel.
     
  4. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,209

    So, you have a Malibu, single tap transformer feeding 250 watts at 100' away on #10 wire? What are you lighting that requires a 50 watt lamp? I only use those to light 100' tall trees.

    That wattage at that distance would require a 16 volt tap. Currently you probably have about 7.5 volts at the fixture, if you have it "T"ed at the center fixture, as you should. (I hope you didn't just daisy chain this). If you lower the wattage of the lamps to 35 watts you will have approximately 9.2 volts at the fixture which would be brighter than the current 50 watt lamps at 7.5 volts. If you go to 20 watt lamps you will have around 10.2 volts.

    The best thing to do would be to replace the transformer with a professional type that has a 16 volt tap. That would get you the voltage that you want.
     
  5. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    While I could do without my AZ neighbors bashing of Paul I do have to agree that around here it has been pounded into us about the dangers of using non UL approved products. I would suggest

    1. Put more cable in the ground and educate yourself on proper wiring and voltage drop.
    2. That nothing is ever a simple as it seems and you may not be qualified to be doing this work.
     
  6. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,209

    Just so everyone knows, you can buy UL approved transformers above 15 volts!! UL1838 requires 15 volts or less. There are other UL standards and Desert, if you had been in this business very long, you would know that. I am talking about a UL appoved transformer. I would not, in any way, suggest using any equipment that is not UL approved!
     
  7. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,209

    Desert, maybe you should check to see if UL1838 is the ONLY UL listing for transformers. You might learn something.
     
  8. TheKingNJ

    TheKingNJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 781

    ok so can anyone post a link or give me a company and modle name of a transformer i should buy.
     
  9. desert night light

    desert night light LawnSite Member
    from AZ
    Posts: 215

    "Desert, maybe you should check to see if UL1838 is the ONLY UL listing for transformers. You might learn something."

    1838 is the UL listing for landscape/outdoor lighting transformers between 12-15 VA. as I said in my previous message. You recommended a 16 volt transformer which does not have a UL listing for the purpose of landscape lighting. VIOLATOR You are WRONG
    You don't know half as much as you think you do. Where are your LVLIA buddies now when you are wrong? Your feeling kinda isolated aren't you? Shame Shame Shame. SHAME ON YOU!!!!!
     
  10. niteliters

    niteliters LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 537

    NJ, maybe you said this and I missed it, are these mr16's or par 36 lamps?? Explain as best you can how the wire is run please...eg. do have the 10-2 wire run to the first fixture then the next, the next etc...do you go to one fixture then split, one wire going to 2 fixtures, another wire going to 2 fixtures. Do you do lighting all the time or is a once in a while thing to help out a customer of yours that you are doing other types of work for??
    chris
     

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