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I want to put a switch on some lights

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by OKSooner, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. Steve Atkinson

    Steve Atkinson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    Thanks for the info, Mike! I thought Zane had gone out of business. Will look them up on the web again for a close distributor, but if not here I will talk to Terradek.
  2. S&MLL

    S&MLL LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 751

    Zane is expensive. Your halfway to abt for one dimmer.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. drewguy

    drewguy LawnSite Member
    from D.C.
    Messages: 41

    If they're rated 15A is it okay to use it to control more than ~180W of light?
  4. S&MLL

    S&MLL LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 751

    180 would be maxed out. Spend a few extra dollars for a 20amp or mix in some LED and get that wattage down
  5. Uniqueilluminator

    Uniqueilluminator LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    A few things you might want to consider.

    1. Depending on how many lights you plan on switching is going to dictate what Gage wire and also what switch you will need. Its pretty simple just use ohm's law to figure out your amperage.

    example: lets say you had 4 lights you wanted to switch, that would be 200 watts total. I assume you are using a 12 volt lighting system so here is the math: 200watts / 12volts= 15.4 amps.

    12 gage wire is rated for 20 amps and national electrcal code states you must de-rate that to 80% so your max usable amperage would be 16 amps.
    (20amps x .8 = 16amps)

    Code also says that you cannot install a 15 amp rated switch on a circuit that is rated for 20amps. so if you plan on using 12 gage wire then stick with a 20 amp rated switch.

    2. I am not sure what size transformer you are using and how many total watts you are loading onto it but keep in mind that ALL magnetic core transformers will drop in voltage when you load them up. So keep in mind that if you are running other lights off this transformer when you switch the lights on the voltage will go down to the other light on that unit or the opposite when you turn them off, (depending on how you want to look at it.)
  6. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    If I am understanding you correctly- what you are saying is that if you have multiple runs coming from the transformer and one of those runs has a switch on it, the voltage will drop across all of the lights when you turn the switch on. If you turn the switch off, the voltage will increase on the other runs? Wouldn't the multitaps on the transformer prevent one run (weather switched on or off) from effecting the other main runs all together? Unless you are talking about having one run with say 6 fixtures on it and only 2 are on the secondary installed switch, in which case I fallow you.

    I don't understand how a dimmer on the run would work, wouldn't dimming the line drop the voltage to levels that would prematurely ware the bulbs out. I just happened to be on Cast's sight and saw something verysimular that they pointed out. http://www.cast-lighting.com/search/1/display-document/118
  7. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Kingsland, Texas
    Messages: 2,214

    Steve, I get mine through Terradek.
  8. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Kingsland, Texas
    Messages: 2,214

    The switch effects the line that it is attached to but anytime you change the secondary load on the tranformer it does effect (very slightly) everything else on the transformer.
  9. S&MLL

    S&MLL LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 751

    Just go with something simple and has a proven track record....x10 :hammerhead:

    Just kidding. Abt is the way to go. Your clients will love it. Its cheap,fantastic range and very reliable
  10. OKSooner

    OKSooner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 228

    Yeah, thanks. Picked up the ABT remote yesterday and will be installing it hopefully "very soon".

    Thanks to all for your input.

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