Low Voltage Distribution Block?

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by cgaengineer, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    As a home owner I have installed some low voltage lights (Yes from Home Depot but they are all metal). Before anyone says I should hire a professional or use better equipment I just want to let you know I am going to use what I have. I also do not live in a $500,000+ house or even a $200,000+ house for that matter (In other words I am not going to spend $250 per light on a house that is my first home). If you want to be negative please do not reply...either help me make the best of the materials and equipment I have or do not reply. I'm not trying to come off as an a$$, but you have to understand I have a budget and I am not going over my budget for low voltage lighting. I am trying to come up with the best looking setup for the money. What I have right now is better than about 90% of the homes in my area as most are using solar lights (Yuck!).

    I have a 600w transformer with 2 300w outputs (12v and 14v legs).

    Around the rear of my home I have 6 18v path lights and 2 20w spots. One of these spots goes all the way around the front to the right side of house to illuminate the rock fascia. Around the front I have 4 path lights and 3 spots. My path is about 10 feet and leads to driveway, the 3 spots will be on the rock fascia of my home


    I understand due to voltage drop I cannot daisy chain all of the lights on one run...even if I am using 12 gauge wire. So my question is does anyone make a distribution block that will allow 2 sets of 10 gauge wire out of my transformer to some sort of multiple tap connector for distributing smaller individual runs? This system cannot be looped due to the driveway and I need a way to distribute maybe 8 individual runs of 10-12 gauge wire. I plan to distribute the front with 2 separate wires, one wire for the 4 path lights and one wire for the 3 spots. The rear will be 3 separate wires, one wire for each side of the house with path lights and one wire for the 2 spots (Also the longest run).

    Total system usage:
    148w (8 lights) rear
    132w (6 lights) front
    280 Total


    For those who choose to help me I appreciate your advice. Since I am a regular poster on the lawn care side I see lawn care snobs over there...I am sure they are here too.
     
  2. The Lighting Geek

    The Lighting Geek LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 875

    In order to receive a complete answer you should include the length of each home run to the first fixture and the total length of each home run. The hub method is the best method to get equal voltage to each fixture. It consists of a home run to a connection point or hub, and equal length wires to each fixture from there.
     
  3. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    OK. I will measure each run tonight and wattage of each light and post back my findings. Thank you for your help.
     
  4. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    Pardon my ignorance, but can you point me in the right direction for one of these "hubs"?
     
  5. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,112

    I use Ace connectors for my hubs. They are made by nightscaping. Unique also makes a hub juction as well. You will find these at locations where professional quality lighting is sold or online lighting only distributors like Cascade or FOLD.
     
  6. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,933

    http://www.uniquelighting.com/product_pages/Satellite_hub.htm

    The Hub is not a distributor of voltage as much as it is a "wiring method". The Hub itself is nothing more than a connection that gives you a housing so you always know where these connections are at int he ground.

    Like Tommy Said, you need to know your distance and load per run! That will help us help you determine your VD and establish whether or not your TF is adequate to produce proper voltage for your lights.
     
  7. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    Thanks fellows for the replies. I will get cable lengths tonight and wattage of each fixture for each run. When using the hub method I assume you use all equal length runs to each individual fixture so that the voltage drop is consistent? I also assume that you can run for example a 10 gauge wire to the hub location and run 14 gauge from the hub to each fixture? This hub would be best placed in a central location to the lights?

    As you can see I don't plan on going into low voltage lighting anytime soon and this is for my own benefit. If I can get satisfactory results with my current equipment I will be tickled to death.
     
  8. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,933

    you are on the rigth path.....No sense in picking apart your product choices.....if I could make one suggestion that would be to change those 18w incandescent lamps to 20w halogen/Xelogen, better light and color.
     
  9. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    Didn't know you could do that...they are standard automotive style alternating bent loop glass bulbs...do they make a halogen for that? If so I will order some for my new install. If you know the bulb type that may help, if not I will post a picture.

    Thanks
     
  10. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,933

    post a picture...I think you are describing what would be single contact or double contact bayonet lamps in which case they do make halogen versions.

    does it look like this?

    [​IMG]
     

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