no minimum load vs. bulb life

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by EKUburk, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. EKUburk

    EKUburk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Hello everyone. First post on lawnsite. I want to first thank those of you who have contributed to this site. I have been lurking on here from time to time picking up some of the valuable knowledge you share. My lawnsite related background consist of owning and operating a lawn care service years ago. I've done a little landscape design and install, but not lighting.

    I have a property that is in need of a small LV system. Since this is a small system (5 fixtures), I thought I would tackle it myself and learn something new. I am just trying to add a little light to the darker areas around the building. I want the fixtures to be attached to the building to prevent theft; it's not the worst neighborhood, but not the best either. I'm thinking a "T" design might be best for this property. Attached is my design. I'm open to suggestions and comments.

    Now on to my main question... this system will be using a total of 90 watts (1-10w MR11 spot, 4-20w MR16 spot). I originally ordered Kichler's standard 100 watt transformer to later find out that it is not multi tap (as pictured). My voltage drop calculations have the furthest fixture (10/2@110') getting at or slightly over 11v. Is a multi tap necessary for this system? Or will I not know until I install it and get a reading at the fixture. Kichler customer support suggests I get the standard 300w if I want multi tap. I told them this system will only be using 30% (90w) of 300w. They said their transformers no longer require a minimum load and the additional capacity will be there for expansion. A little extra capacity would be nice, but I am more concerned with bulb life. I do not want to be replacing bulbs every other month. They offer other multi tap transformers with less capacity... what do you guys think is the most appropriate Kichler transformer for this system: standard 300w (EI), plus 100w (EI), plus 200w (EI), or pro 100w (toroid)? Thanks for you help.

    lv lighting plan.jpg
  2. S&MLL

    S&MLL LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 751

    I wouldnt put anything in besides a 300watt stainless. But price point..... why not just use line voltage?
  3. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    I too use nothing less than a 300 watt for any install. This comes from installing smaller ones in the past ( they make smaller ones now? ) and giving folks a taste of lighting, only to discover they always want to add once you put in a few.

    I am dead set against mounting to the building, that is hot spot city. I've never had a landscape light stolen. a better solution would be to make them a bit more steal proof if you are nervous about theft. I'd get the distance, aim efect you want, then, I mentioned in another thread about using large stepping stone concrete pavers, drilling them out and capping on the other side. for theft, I'd use the same idea, use 1/2 inch, probably 6 inch long galvanized nipples and threaded couplers and caps through the paver, but once installed, drill the coupler and light threads on the lightside of the paver and use a theft proof screw with a funky reverse torx head. nobody is unscrewing/stealing that easy.

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