Wiring Method

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Rainman7, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. Rainman7

    Rainman7 LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Posts: 288

    I have always used the Cast/Unique Hub method. I always feel like its such a waste to coil up and bury all the extra wire on the 25' leads. What other methods do you use?
     
  2. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,837

    This is just my personal opinion, but I think if your going to use the hub method you better not cut the extra wire. 16ga wire will lose a lot of volts quick, so it's best to keep all the leads at the same length. I'm not a big fan of the hub because of this, and that's why I group my fixtures in my designs and use a T method. All of my installs are usually within a half of a volt (11-11.5). I've never liked the idea of all that wire being wasted and burried in the ground. Plus, it gets rather cluttering on the job site.
    But, to each his own as far as I'm concerned. No matter how you do it, if your luminaries have equal voltage, then it doesn't matter how you arrive at that point.
     
  3. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,406

    The leads for a hub system do not have to be 25', but they all must be of equal length. Cutting the leads will only end up with you having a bunch of short pieces of 16ga wire and less flexibility if you need to reposition fixtures. I find as the landscape grows, having that extra wire allows me to reposition fixtures to a more appropriate location, rather than hacking a plant so it doesn't block the light. A hub system can allow for more design flexibility, but as Chris says, whatever method works for you and your client, is best.

    Usually a combination of methods will suit each site better than one idea. A multi-volt transformer and a hub system are a great way to use a s a basis for a lighting design, but inline or T's will suit certain situations better. With the proliferation of LED technology, the way in which we install lighting today is bound for a complete overhaul.

    Kirk
     
  4. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,933

    You do not need to keep all 25ft of wire on your fixture leads if you know the rules. If you are setting your Hub voltage between 11.3 and 12v then you can cut your leads down to as short as you want. Scenario....

    Voltage at Hub is 12v. Fixtures have 25ft leads of 16/2 and have 20w lamps. At 25ft you will experience approx. a .5v drop in voltage.

    so 5 lights total on 1 Hub:
    3 lights at 25ft 16/2 will read at 11.5v
    1 light at 10ft of 16/2 will read at around 11.8v
    1 light at 5ft of 16/2 will read about 11.9-12v

    The idea behind keeping them all the same length is that you now know they are all being distributed equally and you have the ability to move lights around during the install and after the landscape matures. But as long as every lamp is between 10.8 and 12v it doesnt matter. The human eye is not going to tell the difference between 11 and 12v. You cut the wires all you want as long as you stay within the required voltage range.

    The Hub is still the best method for 12v halogen lighting when it comes to limiting conections in the ground and adding and removing fixtures from a system. To each his own but as long as you know the rules there is a lot of flexability in the Hub system. With the emrgence of 24v and LED, other wireing methods such as the daisy chain and T are able to be used with ease!!
     
  5. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Posts: 1,955

    I think Unique will have some good methods for wiring LED's, since the needs and liberties are similar to the 24v system.

    But nobody here has the balls to talk about a usable pierce point. What's better, one long, uncut home run cable, or one that has been sliced up and spliced 24 times?
     
  6. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,933

    Longevity has to be taken into consideration and I am not sure that a pierce point will hold up over time as well as a properly spliced connection would. I also have NEVER seen a pierce point that didnt allow for moisture intrusion and wicking. But the day I do see one is the day I will eat crow in regards to the pierce points!! LOL
     
  7. Rainman7

    Rainman7 LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Posts: 288

    Thanks for the responses. I was asking the question because I was talking to someone from GardenLight and they were saying that the Hub method is great but they prefer the "Power-something(I forgot)" method. It sounded like and inline daisy chain type wiring. I could be wrong about that, I am going to be speaking to them again tomorrow.

    Has anyone ever used Garden Light Fixtures?
     
  8. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,933

  9. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Posts: 1,955

    Joey, why not make a better one that is encased in something? The phone company uses those crimps with silicone in them.

    Don't you see the value in not cutting the cable? The need for this will greatly increase with long chains.

    I may not need them, since I solder, but still, they would be great for add-ons when you don't have slack on the main wire.
     
  10. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,933

    The concept is slick but I dont know...............
     

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