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It's amazing what you notice....

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by starry night, Apr 7, 2011.

  1. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,196

    It's amazing what you notice after you learn just a little.
    I was doing an organic lawn feeding today at a bank I maintain. I hadn't really paid much attention before to their minimal landscape lighting -- a few halogen up-lights under trees.
    But today I did a little inspection and found all the wiring just laying on the ground, some exposed. some under the mulch. Then I looked around, found the transformer, and took a peek. One run was fed into the 12V and the other run was fed into the 13V for no apparent reason. In fact, after looking around there was less wattage by lamp count on the run going into the 13V.
    As you may know by other posts, I am a newcomer.
    My findings were not astounding for you pros but it was interesting to me.
  2. S&MLL

    S&MLL LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 751

    Well there is good reason for that.... I'm sure the fixtures on the 13v tap were further away from the trans....

    We use multi tap transformers to account for vd.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,196

    Maybe I'm just looking for trouble. But there were only 3 fixtures on that run and the farthest was 30 feet. I didn't take them apart to see the wattage but for their use it would not have been high.

    I'm not trying to argue; just want to learn.
  4. steveparrott

    steveparrott Sponsor
    Messages: 1,275

    You're probably right, even three 35w lamps at 30' would lose less than a volt. Since we shoot for about 11v at the lamp, the 12v tap would probably be best. Of course, some cheap transformers may drop excessive voltage under load. . .

    To make these types of calculations, try out the CAST Lighting System Calculator.
  5. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    one thing I have learned is to expect the unexpected. finding voltages that are within spec and fixtures placed and aimed properly is actually rare around here.
  6. S&MLL

    S&MLL LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 751

    You shoot for 11v on a mr16? ..... Is that why your mr16s are rated for 10k hours :hammerhead:

    No but seriously steve why so low?
  7. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    we used to spec between 10.5 and 11.5, but I kinda got slammed on here for being so low, so we went to shooting for 10.8 to 11.5. 11 is pretty close to perfect for good color and long bulb life.

    I am sure this voltage conversation will seem quaint to LED guys, and it probably will seem silly in 10 years to all of us.
  8. indylights

    indylights LawnSite Member
    Messages: 178

    I always shoot for between 10.9 and 11.2 on halogen. Great color, and the cool side of the optimum range helps extend lamp life.

    Scott Maloney
    Sunflower Landscapes
  9. S&MLL

    S&MLL LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 751

    Maybe I like mine a little less yellow or something. But I run 11.8-12.2 all day. But we relamp every 2 years. tomorrow I will fire up a mr at 10.5-11 ........ But I know im gonna hate the color
  10. Classic Lighting

    Classic Lighting LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 507

    I range Mr-16's 11-11.5. I've had fairly good luck with bulb life and color performance. But I guess to each his own.

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