lights in a treehouse??


  #1  
Old 03-04-24, 12:22 PM
E
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 271
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
lights in a treehouse??

I got the bug in my head to run low voltage cable from our shed to a treehouse we've had for years to put lights in it : )

I am also going to run some data cables for cameras to see about capturing animals walking around.

Any thoughts on how deep to dig the trench (or I was thinking just hang the wires between the shed and treehouse?)

In a flexible tubing or bury the wires? (I was thnking about speaker wire / zip cord for the 12VDC and riser cable for the cat 5e data cable either in or outside of conduit cause I'm cheap.

But the biggest question - what kind of lights would you use? Loads of LED walkway lights out there. Just looking for low cost for outdoor use. And an on/off switch?
 
  #2  
Old 03-04-24, 01:07 PM
P
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 27,789
Received 2,186 Upvotes on 1,956 Posts
Since you want to transmit DC you have to pay attention to distance and current load. DC looses voltage if you send it too far or on wires too small. So, you need to use large enough wire based on how many watts you want to put through the wire and the distance.

The first thing is to figure how much wire length there will be between your power supply and where it will be used in the shed. Then you need to figure out what you want to power in the treehouse and add up the wattage for everything.
 
  #3  
Old 03-04-24, 01:23 PM
E
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 271
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
good points (as usual). they are only 40' apart (and then up the tree so 70' total? It'll be just a couple LEDs so not much load, but yes. good points. And thoughts on how to install? products to use?
 
  #4  
Old 03-04-24, 01:47 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 14,343
Received 881 Upvotes on 744 Posts
The rules for low voltage cables/lighting are vary lax when compared to line voltage. The only issue with them is the voltage drop for long distances. The best thing to use is LED of course as they draw very little current. Cables and conduits are typically only required to be buried 6". Splices can be done without junction boxes.

Are you looking for more of a "real" light or just a light glow so the kids don't get scared in the dark?
 
  #5  
Old 03-04-24, 02:37 PM
W
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 3,001
Received 18 Upvotes on 15 Posts
I would invest in a LV transformer. That would eliminate any load issues and you can bury the cable at whatever depth you feel comfortable with. There is a huge selection of LVAC lighting options.
 
  #6  
Old 03-04-24, 10:58 PM
d_s_k's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Norway
Posts: 408
Received 22 Upvotes on 20 Posts
If you are going to have a signal cable together with the power, I would suggest to have a trench with and 2 tubes, or hang it up with a distance of at least 12" How deep the trench should be? If you do not drive heavy loads ther, not very deep.
Low voltage recommends larger conductors, so I would suggest as high voltage as possible to the tree, and a transformer/converter there. If you run a mains cable, a GFCI is a good protection to have.
 
  #7  
Old 03-05-24, 09:17 AM
T
Member
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: US
Posts: 1,210
Received 206 Upvotes on 180 Posts
A transformer changes the AC voltage. LEDs require DC, so a transformer won't work. You'll need a power supply to create DC voltage.

 
Wayne Mitchell voted this post useful.
  #8  
Old 03-05-24, 03:24 PM
W
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 3,001
Received 18 Upvotes on 15 Posts
Am I missing something? I have at least 20 LED landscape lights. As soon as the weather improves I'll install at least a dozen more.They are all fed by 12 VAC from a transformer. I also have more than 50 line voltage LEDs on my house. If they required DC it must be done internally.
 
  #9  
Old 03-06-24, 08:02 AM
T
Member
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: US
Posts: 1,210
Received 206 Upvotes on 180 Posts
It's not unusual to see transformer used when they mean power supply. Marketing departments immediately come to mind. Look closely at the output of your transformer to see if it says DC or has a solid or dashed straight line indicating DC. A sine wave would indicate AC.

Use of an internal power supply is common. Take a cheap LED bulb apart to see one.

there are companies working on powering LEDs directly from AC, but I don't know of any that are "ready for prime time" yet.

LEDs are cheap. Buy a package, a transformer and experiment. Wear eye protection and plug in the transformer after connections are made.

EDITED
 
  #10  
Old 03-06-24, 04:50 PM
L
Member
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,575
Received 201 Upvotes on 172 Posts
Landscaping light and transformer is probably the best solution.
Landscaping light transformers run on AC, so it can run longer distance without voltage drop. LED lights for landscaping light does DC conversion internally.
Power cable for landscaping light is UV resistant and rated for direct burial.

As for date lines, there is gel filled direct bury UTP cable. With this cable, conduit is not necessary. At minimum, you must use outdoor rated cable, otherwise it won't last more than few years from UV damage.
PoE camera is best for wired security camera (which most are).
 
Wayne Mitchell voted this post useful.
  #11  
Old 03-07-24, 05:25 AM
W
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 3,001
Received 18 Upvotes on 15 Posts

I have two of these transformers. They supply all my LED landscape lighting.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: