New to lighting biz, need help

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by clyde, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. clyde

    clyde LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 335

    I am familiar with electricity , I had ac/dc and digital electronics courses in college.

    What i am trying to find out is if you have 7 Topdog lights ( upon customers specific request ) what size transformers do you need. We are lighting up a wooden bridge he just built about 200' long going to lake. He wants these lights about 20' up. The area is in a wooded area has standing water and stays wet ( to walk in ) a long time after it rains. The problem is I am not familiar enough with the lights , nor the USUAL transformer sizes on the shelf you can buy. Do they come in 100, 200 and/or 300 watt?
     
  2. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    Not trying to be difficult here but you need to provide some more information.
    What lamps are you planning to use inside the fixtures? (how much illumination do you want on the object? This will help to figure out lamp type/output, beam spread, mounting height and fixture count) Will you use halogen or LED? Once you know the total load (watts) and type of lamps/fixtures, then you can calculate your voltage drop and determine how many and what type of secondary circuits you are going to run from the transformer to the fixtures. Finally you will be able to determine the right size of transformer to use. Keep in mind that you should leave some extra capacity on the transformer for future expansion or changes.

    There is a lot more to doing this properly that they show on those Lowes and Home Depot instructional videos!

    Good luck.
     
  3. clyde

    clyde LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 335

    LED,

    He said he doesn't want something really bright, just enough to create a mood and be able to see if there is a snake on the bridge with 70 yr old eyes... ( lol)

    What would you suggest on 20-25' up as far as wattage?
     
  4. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    I would suggest you use Illumicare LED MR16 lamps, 6watts each. the 3000K at 45 Degrees will give you a nice soft, even distribution and at approx 240 Lumens each these are as bright as a 20W Halogen MR16 lamp. If you find you want it brighter then bump up to the 2X LED MR16 lamps which provide nearly the same output as a 35W Halogem lamp. Much will depend on the ambient light conditions, the reflectivity of the object and just how bright the desired effect needs to be.

    The nice things about using LED is the relatively wide range of input voltages that they will accept. This makes doing your voltage drop calculations much easier and it also allows for the use of significantly small transformers.

    Hope this helps.
     
  5. clyde

    clyde LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 335

    thank you!!!!

    You think about $150/fixture? and then $1/watt on transformer? is enough
     
  6. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    Sorry but I will not participate in discussions in regards to your pricing, costs, etc on this forum. It is not the place to get into it. I will say that a professionally designed and installed lighting system should, and in my experience would, cost significantly more than what you are proposing. Personally I would never provide per fixture costing and $/watt makes no sense to me what so ever. A great lighting system is worth far more than the sum of its parts + some labour. Heading down that route you are not doing yourself, or your clients any favours.
     
  7. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,141

    I agree with James on going with the illumicare LED's. Especially if you are putting them up in trees. Also you may want to consider a different down light. The top dog is not designed for downlighting applications and will fill with water, unless you drill a small hole in the front glass lense for water to escape.
     
  8. action1

    action1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 34

    Clyde, before you jump into the lighting you should take a couple of free courses sponsored by some of the distributors and lighting companies . Also get a book ot two about the subject. You are going to create big problems not knowing how to balance loads on tramsformers as well as many other technicalities . I make a lot of money repairing rookie mistakes.
    Just a thought.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  9. clyde

    clyde LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 335

    this walkway ( bridge ) is about 200 ft
    I am going to need something with about a 30-40ft flood light.

    How many watts you think? and is there one brand in particular you would suggest to shine down that gives a moon light effect? NOT a street light effect
     
  10. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,141

    Illumicare LED drop in. Go 25-30' up and you will get a better effect. Try to cast light across some branches and leaves on the way down also to accentuate the effect.
     

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