Wiring up fixtures

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by slimart01, Dec 31, 2009.

  1. slimart01

    slimart01 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 95

    When performing a continuous loop on say 5 fixtures do you simply route the common back to the common terminal and the hot back to the same 12 or 13v terminal? That doesn't use more wattage does it? (reducing the number of watts the system/transformer will permit)

    Happy New Year guys!!
  2. Alan B

    Alan B Sponsor
    Male, from tampa, fl
    Messages: 446

    Yes you are correct on the hook-up. It does not use more electricity or wattage (if anything it may require 1 tap less of voltage)--you'll just have less voltage drop and better equalize the voltage to all fixtures.

    Just be careful when doing the loop (because now polarity will matter) that you always keep track of which wire is the common and which was on the tap (it helps when the cable has one wire marked). We carry Superflex wire and it has one wire ribbed so its easier to keep track of.

    The loop layout lowers voltage drop because it lowers the overall resistance and it equalizes the load. Downside is it can waste some wire and you have to keep track of polarity (which wire is which).

    Happy New Year to All!


  3. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

    That is not correct. A loop does not equalize voltage to all of your fixtures. There are many factors you have to consider when doing a loop. (total length of cable, number of fixtures, wattage per fixture, distance between fixtures, etc...) Personally I don't like loops because you are still just chaining fixtures, unless you are talking about a very short run it is a poor wiring method.
  4. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 6,464

    x2 what Tim said. Incorrect wiring method.
  5. Alan B

    Alan B Sponsor
    Male, from tampa, fl
    Messages: 446

    Tim and Ryan,

    I don't want to get into a micro analyzing pissing match, but please read the original posters question--he had a specific question.

    I do not like loop layouts since they waste wire, extra digging, possible polarity screw-ups, and promotes daisy chaining. But whether you like them or not, a loop will "better equalize voltage drop" than a straight line 5 fixture daisy chain (and in some cases it could be a proper layout and be the equivalent of 2.5 daisy chained fixtures). Instead of saying "wrong layout", sometimes it is helpful to posters to just answer their specific question.

    If they asked for what is the best way to layout a 5 fixture run, my answer would be different.

    I'm sorry for the retort, but too often I see forums where experts say "seek a pro" or "wrong" or prefer to nit pick at a negative instead of promoting a helpful, informative forum dialog.

    Happy New Year:)

  6. Alan B

    Alan B Sponsor
    Male, from tampa, fl
    Messages: 446

    (on re-reading your post Tim...everything but the first sentence was helpful...I'll let the that "that is not correct" slide and move on*trucewhiteflag*)
  7. CALandscapes

    CALandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 946

    With all of the "experts" on here, I would have thought that someone may have posted a link, instructions, etc. on proper wiring methods...

    (PS - If I had a helpful link to post I would, but I don't :hammerhead: )
  8. emby

    emby LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 380

    Here you go.....http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=255634&highlight=Wiring+Methods

    All you have to do is look up Wiring Methods in the search field and you will find a vast amount of information in regards to this.
    I am what I call an apprentice when it comes to landscape lighting and I can assure you that most of the answers to your questions are within all these threads but you really have to take the time to read them ALL to get them. All of the professionals that participate on this site have been soooo helpful as you can see when reading the threads.
    Everybody likes to wire the fixtures up using different methods but the important thing to remember is that it is best if you try and get 10.8 - 12 volts at every fixture. Your polarity and your connections are very important as well.
    Another site that has some more information on it is this one....http://www.lowvolt.org/

    I hope this helps you out a little more.

  9. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    I like this guy Ken from St. George Ontario! :) And he does some pretty nice lighting too... Someone to watch for sure.
  10. Terradek

    Terradek LawnSite Member
    Messages: 104

    It is not necessary to go back to the Tranny when doing a Loop...just return back to the first fixture in the loop. This is what is called a Lollipop Loop...it saves a bit of cable and reduces the number of lines at your Tranny.

    Granted that a Loop is more difficult to accomplish but it does distribute voltage more equally to fixtures than either a Daisy or a T under certain installation situations...the "HUB" of course does the best job of equalizing voltage distribution of all four wiring techniques. In a Loop the first and last fixtures will be the highest voltage the center fixture will have the least. I recommend using a Loop when you have several fixtures that are scattered in the landscape and are greater than 25' distant from each other.

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