Trans. Question, and Line question.

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by jbailey52, Oct 1, 2006.

  1. jbailey52

    jbailey52 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,089

    Ok So ive been looking into the Kichler brand and other commercial light products. I just got the 200' of #12 wire... (Will not be one run, prob 2-3 50-75' runs..) Anyway my question is I plan on using kichler transformer a 600W or a 900W and kichler fixtures.. My question is how much generally is a 600W or a 900W kichler transformer I Forgot to ask. Because I saw a Malibu (I know not really commercial) Transformer and the 2 tap 600W was about $120 and the 900 3 tap was $175 I was wondering if that could replace a kichler transformer for the price. My second question is how to connect each light to the line. Should I buy those Snap couplers and install onto each light wire, then connect to the main line? Or do I cut the main and splice the light into the main and then to the next light? If the second way, how exaxtly do I do that? Do I cut the main, twist on each end of the lights to it, then connect the remaining line to them as well? Thanks.. sorry if Im a little confusing
     
  2. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    that was a bit confusing but ok here goes.

    Get with your distributor or retail outlet on the pricing. The kichler will be alot more than the malibu but there is no comparison on the quality. Contractor pricing should not be discussed in public but i will tell you I cant even buy a quality trans like you mentioned for what you can buy the malibu for.

    You wont be able to load 600w on your 3 runs of 12ga wire Do not exceed 100w on 12ga wire no exceed 100 ft.

    Thoes snap connectors are failures waiting to happen. If your serious about this you will make real connections by either running hubs or if your lights dont have leads using a T or loop type of system. You must make proper splices. Soldering is the best way I have found then enclose in grease tubes. Crimp rings followed by grease tubes or resin packs also work well as do direct burial wirenuts provided used properly altho I have yet to bury a wirenut directly without a secondary protection on it.Dont just daisey chain them down the line. Each fixture will create a voltage drop. While you may have 12v at lamp one you may only have 8v at the end of the line (very noticable and unbalanced) As a Pro you can learn to use this to your advantage some altho I preffer the hubs still.
     
  3. jbailey52

    jbailey52 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,089

    I think I have seen good illistrations, but can you tell me about the hun method? Is it not the main line (I was thinking of using #8 or #10 wire forthat) and lines comming off of the main to each individual light?
     
  4. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    I never use number 8 wire... have you seen the price of that ? I would run 2 number 10 wires and maintain polarity or add line voltage closer to my target zone and run an additional transformer.

    Hub is simple. Bring all lights in a zone (4-5 lights with 25 ft leads of 16 ga) to a central locations (the hub) then run 1 main from the transformer to the hub and adjust voltage acordingly via voltage tap.
     
  5. jbailey52

    jbailey52 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,089

    So the 'hub' method uses a device then that acts as the hub?
     
  6. extlights

    extlights LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 439

    Unless I missed something you should be just fine using 12 gauge wire. It doesn't sound like you're going to have very long runs. You might have posted it before, but how many fixtures are you using and which fixtures are they? You might not even have to use the hub method.
     
  7. jbailey52

    jbailey52 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,089

    one one line will be 5 50W spots and on the other line will be about 6-7 30W Path lights.... I can have the main line close to every light.. my question is just how should I connect each individual light to the main line.. should I just splice each light down the line into the main line.. or is there another method which would be better?
     
  8. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,209

    Wow!! First, why in the world do you need 50 watt lamps? What are you trying to light up? Second, what you are describing is a daisy chain wiring method. Don't do that. I would need to see a diagram of what you are trying to light in order to tell you the best method to use, but the ONLY time you should daisy chain is if you are using very low wattage lamps, like deck lights and then, in limited use.
     
  9. jbailey52

    jbailey52 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,089

    Ok well here is what it is.. Im lighting on the one side of the pool a row of 8 15' Eastern red cedars we just installed... They are all the same distance from eachother.. about 8-10' and the main wire can be right in front of them. Anyway the kichler rep at the electric supply recomended 50W Floods to light them.. Guess that is to much? Anyway.. how do you recomend lighing them? I mean its pretty easy I would think, the trans. if about 20 feet from the first tree... Can you recomend how I Light these?
     
  10. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,209

    Ok, this tree is very dark and thick. It would be best to use 2 fixtures on each tree. You would need to place them to the front, on the left and right of the trees to graze and cross light them. This will give them a more 3 dimensional look. If you just use one light in the front of each of them, they will appear flat and lifeless.

    I would use 35 watt FMW lamps (about 36 degrees, depending on manufacturer). If you are lighting all 8 of these trees, that would require 16 fixtures. I would use 4 home runs with #10 wire. Place your fixtures in their positions. If you are using Kichler fixtures, use the T method for wiring, as Kichler uses 18" leads on the fixtures. If you would like to use the hub method, add 25' leads to each fixture with 16 guage wire and butt splices. Seal the splices with ScotchKote.
    The hub method brings all of the wires from the fixtures on a run into one junction and therefore you have one connection point. The T method brings the home run to the center point between the four fixtures, you then run another wire in front of the trees, making a connection at each light fixture. You then connect the home run to the wire that the fixtures are connected to.
    Both of these methods allow the voltage to be balanced between the fixtures. If you use the Daisy Chain method, the first lamp would be bright and then each of the other lamps would be progressively dimmer. By the end of the run, there might not be any light.
    I hope this helps a little.
     

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