1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation about fertilization strategies for success with the experts at Koch Turf & Ornamental in the Fertilizer Application forum.

    Dismiss Notice

Indoor Low Voltage Lighting att: James

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by NightLightingFX, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. NightLightingFX

    NightLightingFX LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 580

    I need some help regarding installing a low voltage lighting system indoors. I am acting as a consultant in this case. I met some one at my last homeshow who is working on an indoor low voltage project. I told them my specialty is outdoor low voltage lighting and that I am not an expert in indoor low voltage lighting, but I have resources in this area. And that I would like to help them out so that I can get experience in indoor low voltage lighting.

    Is there 24v indoor low voltage lighting systems - customer seems to think so? I would think a 12v indoor low voltage system is the easiest to work with. The customer wants 14 puck type fixtures with 35 W lamps, and dimable. I would assume most puck fixtures have a bi-bin lamps. Is there a puck fixture where an MR16 is used? I would assume the easiest lamp regarding being able to buy at stores etc. is the 35 W MR16. The longest homerun will be 40ft. I am assuming we would want to use an electric transformer. What is a good transformer to use in this case? Do these transformers have multi taps? I have basic engineering questions such as, do these electronic transformers have a big voltage drop with a load, In designing these indoor lighting systems what ga. wire do you use for homeruns 12ga.? 10ga.?

    MAGLIGHTING LawnSite Member
    Messages: 248

    Before you do anything check with your insurance company for coverage, the city for proper licensing required and codes, permits etc. Personally I would never use an electronic transformer for this application. Your digital multimeter will not measure voltage or amperage from an electronic trans. Typically EC's use magnetic buck boost transformers inside the home which can do both 12 and 24 volt outputs depending how they are wired, Some have multi taps. I would wire inline fusing on all cable runs as these transformers usually only have thermal protection. MR-16's do not fit in "hockey puck lights". At 35 watts you also need to consider heat issues.

    Regarding your dimmer, make sure you choose the proper one for your load. Inductive for magnetic and electronic for electronic trans. They are also derated so a 1,000 watt dimmer is not a 1,000 watt dimmer. Depending how you configure it, it could handle 750 watts max.

    Sounds like you don't really know what you're doing with this based upon the questions you are asking so maybe you should proceed with extreme caution. At the very least have a licensed, insured and bonded EC do the actual install. That still leaves you on the hook liability wise as the designer if anything should go wrong.
  3. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    We sold our 24v units to interior lighting installers and designers long before we ever sold them as a system for exterior systems. 24v is commonly used due tot he fact that its amp draw is lower and its voltage range larger which allows for more diasy chain type wiring which is very common in the interior sector...........Our 24v units can help you here Ned!

    First you should do as Mike suggested in regards to codes and liscensing requirements before taking anything like this on yourself.
  4. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Ned, give me a call at the office to discuss. I got your voicemail today, and I returned your call. TAG! You're It.
  5. NightLightingFX

    NightLightingFX LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 580

    I don't know what I am doing - That is why I am posting here. I have clarified with the homeowner this is not my expertise. The homeowner has gotten all the permits etc. In fact the inspector told him for his purposes of using puck lights for the application the home owner wants, low voltage lights would be better.

    I volunteered what expertise I have regarding low voltage outdoor lighting and the resources that I have (Such as this forum). I have no legal ties because all I am doing is offering an oppinion as a non bias 3rd party. There are not fees involved and I am not doing any labor. This is an opportunity for me to learn more about other applications of low voltage lighting.

    MAGLIGHTING LawnSite Member
    Messages: 248

    What does the homeowner need you for then? You have told them you don't know what you're doing and you are not getting a fee. Don't be so sure that you will not be responsible if something goes wrong if you are giving your opinion which is being translated from third person instruction. Who is doing the actual work? Hopefully not the homeowner. You are working on the inside of a home with electricity where if something bad happens the consequences are potentially so much far severe than in the garden.

    I don't get it why take that risk. Ask someone who is currently doing this work in your area if you can observe them doing what they do if you want to learn. Or experiment on a "safe house" like your own or a friend or family member first until you have a better understanding.
  7. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    I looked into this way back when and this can also get touchy with city code inspectors. In my town and the two surrounding, I am not allowed to run low voltage cable through walls, period. I use a master EC and also by code have to use wire that is the yellow jacketed 10 or 12 guage high voltage solid wire.

    I use the mr-16 can lights that you can aim and change out the sockets for low voltage use. I only use the puck lights for task/surface mount close apps mostly like under cabinet lights on kitchen counters. using EC's is also great because they are awesome at pulling wire, cutting drywall for cans and setting switches. I normally spend the day with them helping wire lights and making sure everything is done to 108-11.5 voltage spec, I wire the trans in a garage if possible on an outside wall. I've only done a few jobs like this, in winter a few years back when the ground was frozen. Fun, but working indoors I had to worry about being clean- my shoes, dust from cutting drywall, ladders scuffing floors, rubbing against expensive furniture, etc. It is definetly a different environment.

Share This Page