Voltage Regulators

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by JoeyD, Dec 12, 2007.

  1. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    How many of you guys use these? We are seeing more manufacturers popping up with them and are curious. Is there really a need for them?? My only experience with them goes back about 4 years ago and I had a contractor bring in a box with over 200 of them inside. He had just ripped them all out becuase over half of them had failed inside of 6 months.

    I am interested in this subject.
  2. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    I have a couple of the Kichler "Low Voltage Enhancer" units here Model 30335.
    Bascially an encapsulated LV transformer for direct inline burial. Max input is 10.5v 5.2A and Output is 12.4V. 250W Max.

    The wild thing about these... the transformer is fully encapsulated in epoxy, and that epoxy is poured into a 4" plastic garden pot. I kid you not... you know, when the wife buys the perennials, you end up with all those square, thin plastic planting pots that the plants came in. To close up the drainage holes on the bottom of these pots they simply used electrical tape! It is a very funny piece of equipment.

    I bought them for a tricky installation into a couple of Cupola's that were added to a boathouse. In the end, the Cupolas had no interior access and so we were not able to light them up as planned.

    Now they just sit on my shelf, part of my "field of beams" collection, gathering dust.
  3. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    he is talking about regulators james not enhancers.

    I did my very first install with internally regulated RSL fixtures as a favor for a distributor. I was given the fixtures.

    I have a box of Rockscapes regulators around here collecting dust... 12-22v input i think with 11.5 output and a 75w max.

    I have 1 or 2 out in the field only to correct someone elses wiring woes. Client declined to allow me to rewire system... V regulator installed... As far as I know its still functioning perfect.

    I can see where a regulated fixture might come in handy such as where a chain would be the best method... I dont use em and dont plan to start. One more thing to fail. You can shoot up to 22v down the main line and attach in fixtures... as long as you have over 12v it will be regulated to 11.5.
  4. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

  5. pete scalia

    pete scalia LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 960

    Design a great system, Install a great system, Use the best components available, Balance your TF properly, and check the voltage at every fixture... you will have no need for an enhancer or a regulator.

    No need to check every fixture if you know what you are doing and
    engineered your runs properly. Just check the homeruns.
  6. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,187

    I am always needing to add voltage to a run and seldom ever need to drop it. The 11v slot works well for that. That product is for the lazy and may I say dangerous installer who doesn't really give a rip about the system he is installing. As far as I am concerned, I will never, ever, ever, ever,.....get the drift, have a need for one. Joey, don't make any for me bud cause I won't be orderin any.
  7. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    Very well spoken.
  8. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Ok so Joey has tweaked our senses with reports of a 10V transformer and lighting system.

    Now he is asking about voltage regulators and enhancers....


    As various jurisdictions tighten the 'noose' around the LV lighting industry, perhaps Unique is working at subverting the new regulations by developing a new approach....

    Start with 10V transformers, so that us non electrician types can still purchase and install the equipment legally in states like NJ and others...

    Then develop a voltage regulator or enhancer that will install at each fixture to buck the voltage back up to near 12v so the lamps work properly. It is an interesting concept.

    What do you the rest of you guys think? Seems like amperage draws, cabling, circuit limitations, secondary fusing, etc etc might all be issues but certainly not insurmountable.

    Why not just invest more into LED systems? These will operate very well between 7v and 10v (up to about 14v to be honest) and could even be installed to 'ultra safe' Class II specifications.

    Lots to ponder here.
  9. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    James, our view on voltage regulators is that they suck. LOL. But your idea sounded good.

    We dont like them for many reasons but the primary reason is they just dont last. Maybe some have had success but in everything we see and hear they tend to fall apart rather quickly. If you know how to wire a system and are using capable equipment you should never need one. But I was just curious to see how many guys really were using them and it looks like not many are.

    We do have a small step down TF that will take incoming line voltgae and convert it to 12v. You do need a true RMS meter to read them. We started supplying these units to help those who want to convert line voltage fixtures to Low Voltage. These units are completely potted and should never fail due to moisture as long as a good greased connection is made. Solder may be a better option whe wiring them.
  10. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Call me skeptical....

    Nice attempt at diversion there Joey! :)

    You notice how Joey never really dealt with my suspicions in his reply??? I think they are up to something, and I think I might just have nailed it on the head.:hammerhead:

    Only time will tell now. :walking:

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