Ryco Engineering Transformers

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by David Gretzmier, Jun 22, 2007.

  1. jimmy1111

    jimmy1111 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    So I guess if you set your runs in a way you are still within the acceptable voltage drop tolerence we should just go for the Ryco that Dave seems to load up to 110% for the $250 that is worth rather than pay the $700 and $800 Kichler, Unique, and the rest....

    Anyone experienced the Lightcraft Transformers...I called the Manufacturer and they said that they are Fully Loadable and designed for 120% load. Also they got some pretty competetive price. Check this out:

    http://lightcraftoutdoorenvironments.com/images/doc/LightCraft Transformer.pdf
     

    Attached Files:

  2. tonyGub

    tonyGub LawnSite Member
    Posts: 42

    Why are you really a rep for lightcraft? Are you serious. Manufacturers make claims all the time. Why are you so interested? I thought you were a DIY.
     
  3. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,933

    so what they bassicly said is they deregulate their units to make you feel like you can do more with their units...example the 1200 is really a 1500? You should be able to load any unit up to its MAXIMUM AMP capacity...you will rarely ever get 100% of the watts due to resistance unless all of your runs are within a VERY short distance and you are only using the 12v tap. On top of that the NEC states you should never go past 80% of a rated maximum........That lightcraft unit is an MDL unit if I ever saw one.........
     
  4. tonyGub

    tonyGub LawnSite Member
    Posts: 42

    Amen to watt Joey said. I still think this guy is a LightCraft rep.
     
  5. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    No because I will never load a trans up to 110% of it. I rarley exceed 80-85% and thats only if I have expanded. If I even needed 280w on a job I would be putting in a 600w trans to begin with and charging accordingly. Its better for you and better for your client. Why would you risk having a fire or anything loading a trans up beyond its capacity.

    As far as the light craft being able to be loaded to 120% I think its a crock. Your commons can still only take 300w per secondary especially if that is in fact an MDL box.
     
  6. jimmy1111

    jimmy1111 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    Hey hey chill out guys...I just had a bad experience with a $650 Transformer that I opened to find-out that they ran 12 AWG on the Common's to and from the 25 amp Breakers that got toasted...I don't know if i'm missing something but how in the world a prety well know company - that some of you knows from my other Forum - Wires a 12 AWG, 20 Amp rated cable, on a 25 Amp Secondary Breakers. Isn't the breakers supposed to be at a lower rating than the cables ???

    To me after this experience something tells me that I should have saved myself a $400on a cheaper Transformer rather this fatal flaw this $650 got.

    Again i'm a DIY and i have no interest for anyone to buy any specific brand. If i'm a contractor I would do what you guys doing kinda staying below the 80% of the rated capacity and paying couple more 100's is worth not coming back for replacement since your client is eventually going to pay for it. After my bad experience now i'm shopping arround for my own new Trans. and saw this Lightcraft crap if you want to call it crap...i don't care...I'm just asking if anyone heard of it and hopefully experienced it on a job !!...geesh.
     
  7. NightLightingFX

    NightLightingFX LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 581

    Billy is 100% right.

    If you want to use a cheap transformer just be prepared deal with voltage drop when loaded. I have tried one of those transformers Dave is talking about. I got it from Lightcraft two and half years ago, they have since changed their name to Advantage Light Source. It looks just like the Ryco transformer with the built in photo cell. This was a 600 watt transformer and I used it to light the tree I got stuck in. The transformer is still working fine, but it was a hassle engineering the system. Under a load of 80% the 15 volt tap was only worth 13 volts. I had to use a voltage enhancer.

    Let me ask you this, do you save money in the long run for a cheap transformer when you have to spend an extra $100 for a voltage enhancer? After experimenting around with a lot of transformers. I even tried Gambino's transformer. From what I have experienced NOTHING is as good as Unique's transformers. Nothing will hold a load as good as Unique's transformer. For me personally I am done farting around with different transformers never knowing what you are going to get. Unique's transformers maybe more expensive but there is a way to get them at a reasonable price.

    Join the AOLP, and buy from Terradek. Terradak has compeditive prices and with the AOLP discount a Unique transformer is VERY reasonably priced. (Jerry you owe me!)

    OK, I have spilled my guts on transformers I am done with this thread.
    ~Ned
     
  8. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    Ned, I will agree the unique is a very stable trans but your comparing aples to oranges. The Gambino is 1838 compliant and is limited to 15v. Unique transformers go as high as 30v oon thier 24v systems.

    Im not an ul1838 junkie or lobbist. I just never have the need for anything much over 15v. I think its just the way I design my systems. I am really curious as to what your unloaded voltage was on the magnum trans was and what your load is and your loaded voltage output is. Primary voltage readings would be helpful too.

    Again im not knocking the unique trans. It is a very solid unit and high quality. I have installed em and will continue to use the DB where needed and was impressed by the output stability under load. You already know my thoughts on the magnum trans if you have read my article on it.. It has been rock solid for me and a dream to install.
     
  9. NightLightingFX

    NightLightingFX LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 581

    I had a job this summer I did where I gave some of Gambino's products. I absolutly love his inground MR16 light. I also tried his transformer. After I got the transformer the project design changed and I had to go about 150 ft. Needless to say a 15 volt tap isn't going to work in that situation. I had to order another transformer for the job. I used the Magnum and my Unique demo transformer side by side to light my install while I waited for my transformer. I didn't scienentifically compare them, but just by feel I felt a difference. I later used the Magnum for another job where it worked, but still being used to Unique's transformer using my same predicibility it just seemed like the Magnum fell short of my expectations.

    My comparison is based on feel and maybe baised oppinion, maybe my expectations of the Magnum were too high. If one was to scienentifically compare, them there probably wouldn't be a difference. However, from my experience I can say without a doubt that the Magnum isn't better than Unique's transformer.

    For me personally I like having taps over 15 volts, the higher taps come in handy, and I use them. I personally didn't care for the .5 volt taps (for example 13.5v, 14v, 14.5v etc).

    Like I said before I am done experimenting with transformers I am sticking with Unique. I know exactually what I am getting every time. (I wouldn't mind giving Q-tran a try - if you want an expensive transformer there you go)
    ~Ned
     
  10. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    q tran vs unique is again apples to oranges. Q tran is a system with its own connectors and wire. The half volt taps are good for more than voltage control. It keeps you from having to decide to go high or low with your voltage and from having to cram 4 wires in a single tap. Personally I love em. I have used other transformers where the 12 and 13v tap where about 1.3 v apart. I have also used transformers where the 12v tap is way to hot for a close run and it left me with 12.8v at the fixture . This is where the 11.5 is perfect. Vista for years and I think they still do have an 11v tap in thier transformers for this situation.
     

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