dimming the lamps

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by TPnTX, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. TPnTX

    TPnTX LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,775

    If a 20watt lamp is too bright, how do you dim them down?

    We set up 5 20watts uplights in a wooded stream bed area. Even after adjust, moving around, grazing the trees etc. It still is too bright(to me and the customer). I place a little much on each lense and bam! there it is. Perfect.

    I'm thinking of getting some high temp paint for the lense.

    I know there are lenses but I don't recall seeing anything strictly for dimming.

    The 10watt lamps aren't rated the same as 20+ lamps
  2. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,843

    A frosted lens will tone it down quite a bit. Colored lenses will also take away from the output significantly. You could also do a combination of the two.
  3. steveparrott

    steveparrott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,276

    You can get 10W MR-16's (Narrow, Med. and Wide).

    As for lenses: A cross or linear patterned optical spread lens cuts brightness by about 20%; a frosted lens by about 46%; a honeycomb louver by about 30%.

    You can also reduce brightness further by scruffing the smooth side of any lens with sandpaper.
  4. Terradek

    Terradek LawnSite Member
    Messages: 104

    There is a Seconday side dimmer that is available in either 10amp or 20amp capacities. It is installed much like a wall switch and allows you to dim any single run without affecting the other parts of your system.

    Gerry De La Vega
    AOLP, CLVLT #0404
  5. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    F/X has just come out with a dimmer too.
  6. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    if your going to place a secondary dimmer in try using a lower tap first but color temp will suffer.

    We use 10w quite a bit when needed but make sure you run em in the low 11v range as they dont last above about 11.3 or so.

    Steves advice on the lenses is the first thing I would try before you go manipulating the fixture. You may need the full output later on.

    If they are a larger body fixture there are clips to secure the lenses to the lamps Im sure Gerry at terradek has them as does FOLD
  7. TPnTX

    TPnTX LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,775

    If I understood correctly the 10w Ushio are only rated for 2000hrs or I think.

    If you run them outside the 11.3-12.8 wouldn't it be substancially less?
  8. Eden Lights

    Eden Lights LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 805

    Dimming is the only way to go if you want to achieve perfection. (Example:90% too bright, 80% a little low, ahh 85% is just right.)
  9. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,187

    Just use the frosted lenses. You are overcomplicating this. It will give you the desired effect you are looking for.
  10. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,187

    I would agree with the dimmer if you are lighting a house or other structure where the reflective light levels need to match perfectly, but this is some trees in a stream area. It would be much harder to gauge. I would try the lenses first before going to a dimmer, I like to keep a constant voltage to my bulbs as to not diminish lamp life unless of course you are using a xenon bulb.

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