Oppinions Please re: add-on to Nightscaping system

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by NightLightingFX, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. NightLightingFX

    NightLightingFX LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 580

    I need some input on a Nightscaping system that I DID NOT install regarding design and engineering. My question on the design is see pics – The guy just wants me to highlight his waterfall. I figure about 5 fixtures. My question to you guys is would you use underwater fixtures to highlight the little waterfalls? My first thought is to use directional fixtures from the bank to highlight the little waterfalls. Do you think the waterfalls are too small for underwater fixtures? Since there is a retaining wall above the waterfall I can use directional fixtures without residual light trespass. Give me your input I am curious to hear other opinions. Regarding engineering - The installer was a landscaper that is kind of trying to get into the lighting business. The equipment used is pretty good all Nightscaping equipment, with the use of Ace connectors. However, there was no
    As-Built left. How do the Nightscape faithfull wire? Do they recommend the “T” method. How do you think this system is wired. I personally use the “hub” method 95% of the time. My other obstacle is that the water fall is 200 feet away from the Transformer. There are some other fixtures near the waterfall. I didn’t check the voltage on the fixtures in the waterfall area. It seems to me that using a 15 volt max tap from the transformer and going out 200 feet is not going to work with 12 gage wire as the homerun, will 10 gage work at this distance? Thanks
    ~Ned
    Night Lighting FX

    hall 001.jpg

    hall 003.jpg
     
  2. NightLightingFX

    NightLightingFX LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 580

    I don't know why my images are so small. I am working on it.
    ~Ned
     
  3. NightLightingFX

    NightLightingFX LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 580

    I think I figured out what I did wrong

    hall2 001.jpg

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  4. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    I have seen several instance where lighting from under the falls look really good. There are a lot of great examples on koiphen.com, look under the construction tab. The problem is that the waterfall in question is hideous, I don't think you could make it look better, maybe with the lights off
     
  5. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,180

    first question you need to ask yourself. Is that nightscaping trans pool and spa rated for use with the underwater fixtures ? It there enough wattage left to even consider using it ?

    On the lighting. How deep are thoes rocks ? Just a cover or could you pull back some rocks to get a light almost recessed into the rocks ? I gotta agree that fall leaves a bit to be desired. I would keep it very soft. Maybe 10w with frosted or spreader lens on it and try to conceal it in the rocks some below the fall with the light source hidden from view and as far under the lip as possible so there is no glare from above. Get a few underwater lights and see what the homeowner likes. I would really like to see some landscaping around it to soften the falls up and perhaps hide some pathlights above it with the water lights in it.
     
  6. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    1: That waterfall is neither a pool, nor a spa. It is clearly not intended for human use, therefore the Nightscaping Power Center is fine to use for powering the application.

    2: Ask the question: "Why Light?" Why do you want to light that particular feature, what are you hoping to achieve, where will it be viewed from, etc etc.

    3: The waterfalls are a bit small for uplighting. Any good undewater rated fixture will dominate the view during daylight hours. Unless you were to dig up the liner and go to an ingrade application which may ruin the liner.

    So, you could highlight and graze the actual waterfalls from the sides using a small fixture like the Mini Washliter, or the Constitution, or ??? Just be careful of viewing angles and glare.

    Have a great day.
     
  7. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,180

    Sorry amigo. Any fixture in or within 10ft of a body of water must carry a pool and spa rating. Not sure how they do things up north and I know many contractors here dont do it but I just bit the bullet after the acceptance of a proposal because I had to purchase a pool and spa rated trans out of pocket for fixtures within 10 feet (3 something meters) of a spa and pool

    NEC code section 680 I think it is states any fixture in or within 10 ft of a body of water including ponds, waterfalls and other types of water features must be powered by a pool and spa rated transformer and plugged into or wired to a GFCI outlet.
     
  8. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,933

    Ned,

    On a 200ft run you can power up 80watts with a 15v tap on 10ga wire. But chances are with a load the 15v tap on that NS TF is probably a 14v tap at best. So figure maybe 60watts at 200ft on a 15v tap.

    As for that TF you have being able to power up underwater lights; you will probably not have a problem but Billy is correct that you do need to utilize a Pool and Spa rated UL 1563 transformer if you want to be up to code. Just becuase it is not a pool and or spa it is a body of water that someone could go into, water features and river beds fall under the pool and spa ratings. I make an 840w PST unit that has taps to 20v which would allow you to put 140watts at 200ft on 12ga or 210w at 200ft on 10ga.

    Looking at the waterfall you could definitly utilize underwater fixtures. My Triton could be an option or you could go with say a Focus SL-40 brass MR11 underwater light which is smaller than my Triton which uses an MR16. The idea when lighting waterfalls is trying to highlight and capture the action of the cascade. I would try and get the lights directly under the cascade to get that sheeting light effect.

    Another option would be fiber optics, it seems that there has to be a pump with power that you could tie an Illumin FX illuminator too. Just a thought.

    Hope this helps,

    Joey D.
     
  9. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,141

    Vista makes a 'hockey puck' style that is pretty good for tucking back in behind rock to light up the falls. It is pretty unobtrusive and the effects are not overpowering in small falls.

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  10. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,933

    Thats the effect you want. Slighly hot but I am sure that has to do with the camera.
     

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