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New to lighting biz, need help

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

  1. S&MLL

    S&MLL LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 751

    So when this client asked for your qualifications did you respond you took a digital electronics class in school? Sounds like this is your first time installing outdoor lighting. You might want to advise this client of yours that his wooden bridge project will be your first install. Last thing you want to do is tarnish your companies name by doing a half ass install. What type of connections do you plan on using? What is your primary power source? Is it existing are you installing it? How to you plan on running wire on this wooden bridge? Alot of questions you should ask yourself before you start your first lighting project. Especially since this project (downlighting a 200'long wooden bridge) would be over most "contractors" heads that read this forum
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  2. clyde

    clyde LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 335

    He is one of our regular maintenance accounts. I have installed 2 but it was before recession. I think the courses i have had are more than enough to allow me to trouble shoot any problems and or design. Don't patronize if i can build robots and systems with microprocessors I can put a lighting system up lol. The two systems I installed before were not LED. LED systems are new to me and I am just trying to get an idea as to about where I need to start thats all. Like we put lights 25' up and we need a 3 LED 20watt system etc...
    looking at a display in a store WILL NOT represent the real thing as far as lights shining and the distance.

    A local distrib is working on getting the lighting guys to give a course now that I have brought all this up to him.

    I am not as familiar with the NEW LED products and of course everything else is based on it.
  3. The Lighting Geek

    The Lighting Geek LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 875

    I don't think anyone is patronizing here, but you asked for help and many of us are very experienced in this industry. We see people like yourself with all the best of intentions, get in over their head. Electronic classes are not the kind of training we are referring to here. There is much more to installing a system than a transformer, some fixtures and connections. I would suggest continuing your pursuit with the help of a local distribution company or manufacturer rep. They help you in many different ways.

    A portion of our businesses is redoing other people's work. We just want you to be successful.
  4. Viewpoint

    Viewpoint LawnSite Member
    Posts: 75

    Clyde- The best way to get into the LED game is by using the LED retrofit lamps (like the illumicare) since they are essentially based on the benchmark of the halogen lamps we are used to. Look at the manufacturer's specs to tell what sort of light you'll get. A 20w halogen (BAB) equivalent may be a 4w, 5w, 6w or 7w LED depending on the manufacturer. Get a couple and demo them, play around with them and see what works before ordering the lot and finding out they're not what you want. The other option is to go with a proprietary LED fixture manufacturer (eg. Kichler, FX, Cast, etc). You'll get a better warranty, but your design flexibility may be more limited.

    If you want more specifics, post a picture and a sketch of the project and the people here on the forum would be happy to overwhelm you with design ideas, installation techniques, product opinions, personal hygiene critiques, etc!
  5. S&MLL

    S&MLL LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 751

    Your ability to micro pen solder on an electronics board and your ability to calculate a load on a transformer I guess don’t go hand in hand. Your electronics classes obviously didn’t teach you basics laws of electric amp/volt/watt load.

    If your 9volt robot arm draws 2.7 amps when lifting how many watts is it using? If you cant figure out how to use your robot building knowledge to figure out load on a 12volt transformer you might want to go take some more classes.
  6. S&MLL

    S&MLL LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 751

    btw when I was 9 years old I upgradded my pc ram from 128 to 256........... Does that make me an expert in everything electric?
  7. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,743

    Clyde: With all due respect to someone trying to get started in landscape lighting, your initial post causes skepticism among most of us as to your readiness for this project (as simple as it may seem to you.)

    First, you say the client has chosen Top Dog fixtures. Most of us wouldn't be dealing with a client who chose what we were to install. Second, you are not aware of products enough to tell the client that this fixture is not appropriate for the intended use. Lite 4 pointed out to you that this fixture is not made to be turned upside down for downlighting.

    Then you ask us to tell you what the typical wattages are for transformers.
    I would suggest you look online at the major manufacturers to see what is available. Despite your electrical background, you don't seem to know how to add up the total wattage or VAs of the lamps you are using plus wire resistance to find what size transformer you would need.

    Later, you say you may attend a class put on by a manufacturer. Those types of classes are OK to pique your interest but don't expect to learn anything but the most basic information. You will need to do much more studying.
    And then you can start with some simple jobs.

    Please accept my comments as an attempt to be constructive.

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