Clamp Style Meter (tool ?)

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by jslawnscape, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. jslawnscape

    jslawnscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61


    I am fairly new to landscape lighting, have only done a few small jobs. Last week I went to a class/seminar/sales meeting put on by local distributer and manufacturer of landscape lighting. The representative from Unique Lighting. We used a regular prong style multi meter along with a clamp style multi meter. I was just curious if you guys have any recomendations on buying the clamp style meter. I currently have a Fluke, and less expensive Craftsman prong style meters. Shopping around im assuming im not going to spend anything less than $100, which is no problem im not looking for a deal I would like to buy a quality meter. I was told to purchase one with True RMS which is supposed to be important to have especially with the new led lights.
    Thanks for you help

  2. The Lighting Geek

    The Lighting Geek LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 886

    I use Fluke meters. The ones we use are well built and True RMS. You must use True RMS to read electronic transformers, which do not work with most LEDs.
  3. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    fluke is my best but pricy. I have a few good true rms clamps from greenlee or sperry for 100 or so. a backlit model is a nice feature if you test at night from time to time as I do.

    something also to consider, I also got a seperat set of prongs and built my own custom leads to include a socket to plug in the bulb while testing voltage at fixtures. I sharpened them to be able to test g4 sockets as well. fixture voltage is not to big a deal on led systems, but on halogen a must for me.
  4. jslawnscape

    jslawnscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    Thank you for your input. I had the Fluke clamp meter in my hand at Sears, but considering Im not that experienced in the technicality side of lighting I thought I would check around before buying the wrong one. Im sure I will be able to find a little bit better pricing and larger range of models on the internet.
  5. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    For a quality meter you should look for:

    1: Name Brand. (there is a lot of inaccurate no-name stuff on the market)
    2: True RMS capability (to read electronic LV transformers)
    3: Tapered clamps for the amp meter to fit into smaller spaces
    4: Ensure the readout measures at least to 1 decimal place for AC volts
    5: Auto ranging is a very convenient feature

    Around here you should be prepared to spend about $200 for a great meter. and then look for the REED ST-3347 for a great feature set at a decent price.
  6. steveparrott

    steveparrott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,276

    Consider the CAST Amp/Volt/Ohm Meter. It's calibrated for low voltage applications - also has a handy reference chart for wire capacities on the back.


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