Ideal Wire Path for Low Voltage Landscape Lights? Opinions?


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Old 04-23-16, 01:00 PM
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Ideal Wire Path for Low Voltage Landscape Lights? Opinions?

Hi everyone!

I'd love some advice on the ideal wire run path for my 12-2 wire for 12v low voltage landscape lighting I'm putting in next week.

A friend of mine who is an electrician said a single line from the transformer (which is the big red box between the front windows, and will be mounted insid e the garage) is ideal. However another thought I had was running 2 individual wires out from the transformer in the garage which will terminate in different spots (the 2 street trees obviously being the 2 termination points I had in mind).

My intent is to run the wire tight against the house foundation and then out to the well lights at every spot they hit, however the path lighting has me wondering how to approach it (all 4 will be close to the sidewalk in the mulch bed).

- The yellow circles are buried well uplighting. All will be set 20 inches from the house except the two trees which I need to dig through the yard for.

- The pink squares are 4 path lights. They will all be in the bed/house side of the sidewalk (none on the grass side of the sidewalk).

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I am using a 300 watt Volt transformer, volt well lights for the yellow and volt path lights for the pink squares.

Would love some opinions on the ideal wire paths you would use before I start digging up my yard and landscape!!!

Thanks all.

B.
 
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Old 04-23-16, 02:05 PM
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Use LED's for the well lights. Incandescent fixtures require too much servicing.

There really is no ideal wire path. Along the house to each well light sounds good.
One line down the garden for the path lights is good.

Not too easy to get to the two trees in the front yard.
I have access to a vibrating plow which makes the job fairly easy.

You can run several lines off the transformer..... doesn't have to be only one or two lines.
 
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Old 04-23-16, 05:08 PM
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Thanks for the reply. I forgot to mention, we are going 100% LED for sure. In every unit!

I may run 2 or even 3 lines if there's no issue with one having more units on it than other.

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line 1 will have the most, and will run on the path with the light yellow line.

line 2 will not have many lights, and is the purple line. I think the negative here is that I'll need to run it back through the yard to complete the front path lights (it's a little dim, but you can see it looping out to hit that front left tree, then back again to hit the 4 pink path lights). Either that or I could terminate line 2 at the three, then do a third line just to come out for the left tree, and terminate, and line 2 would just do a circle around the left bed (and not go out to the tree at all).

I used red X's to indicate where lines 1 and 2 would terminate.

Any pros/cons to either? I guess the biggest con would just be that there were 3 lines coming out of the garage.

Thanks again for taking the time to read and reply.
 
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Old 04-23-16, 05:20 PM
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Since you are using all LED fixtures the voltage drop should be fairly low. It will be even lower using multiple lines from the transformer.
 
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Old 04-24-16, 04:42 AM
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Glad to hear that, sounds like I am in good shape. One final question if you would be so kind -- Another bit of advice a neighbor who ran his gave me was to run a single line out from the transformer, then just do a double splice at the first light (twist two daisy chain wires -- 3 wires total for the light + the 2 "out" wires) under each wire cap. Any pros/cons to that solution? The only pro I can think is that there's only one wire to fish out of the garage through the stone once we drill the hole, instead of 2 or 3. But I'm not sure if it's bad form to splice two "out" wires into a single light going two different directions.

My first experience wiring low voltage lighting, so I'm just unsure of how delicate it is as far as connections/splicing/etc.

Thank you!
 
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Old 04-24-16, 05:28 AM
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You can splice any way you want.

But keep in mind that each splice (if not soldered) is another place where a loose connection problem could happen at a future date.

Usually, doing an out and back (through routing; circumferential) is inferior to having a separate cable doing the "out" and a separate cable going directly to where the "back" is (hub and spoke). This has to do with voltage drop. "Low voltage" circuits are much more sensitive to voltage drop problems. Math is needed to determine for sure whether you will have a voltage drop problem. This would depend on distances, wire sizes, and light wattages.
 
 

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