LED outdoor lighting requirements

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by crabapplemcn, Oct 29, 2008.

  1. crabapplemcn

    crabapplemcn New Member

    Messages:
    16
    I am building a new house and after the house is complete I want to add some outdoor, in-ground led lighting around a back patio and walkway. One product I was looking at is a 1.5w 12v lamp. I have a couple questions.

    1. If I want to install say 10 lights in the ground, what other equipment will I need besides the lights (The product says I need a 12v transformer)?

    2. Most importantly, it i plan to have the interior electrician hard wire a switch in the house to turn on these lights when installed, what will he need to install (will it need a dedicated 120 circuit)?

    Thanks for the help
  2. Southern Man

    Southern Man DIY Hillbilly

    Messages:
    530
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Plan your installation to feed from one point on the house. It should be a location where you have utility space inside, such as a garage, basement, or crawl space. Have the electrician set an outlet on the inside wall, with a short piece of 1/2" conduit nearby, poking through the wall. He can use an LB fitting on the exterior wall. Have him control the outlet from a switch upstairs near the door that accesses the patio. He'll know if it has to be a dedicated circuit or not.

    Once the house is near completion buy a transformer compatible with the lighting set up, and fasten it to the wall near the switched outlet. Run your low voltage from the lights, through the conduit and to the transformer. You can use silicone caulk to seal the wire inside the conduit and maintain the building envelope.
  3. crabapplemcn

    crabapplemcn New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Thanks so much for your detailed reply. Would the set up be basically the same if I was planning to do flood lights/walkway light in the front of the house that are switch controlled also? Any suggestions for best places to look for outdoor lights, specifically LED? thanks again
  4. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    MD
    If it comes with 10 bulbs, use all 10, otherwise the transformer voltage goes higher and shortens the life of the bulbs that are powered.
    I did one of these setups for a neighbor and I put a ~1 ohm 10 watt resistor from an junked TV set in series with the string.

    If you go the resistor route, drop the voltage as low as you can and still have sufficient brightness (means a 4w bulb every few feet).

    A 1w LED = a 4w incandescent.
  5. Southern Man

    Southern Man DIY Hillbilly

    Messages:
    530
    Location:
    North Carolina
    The set-up is for any low voltage system. I can't help you on where to buy LEDs, except that I'm in the middle of an under cabinet set-up for my kitchen using them. I looked all over the internet and several stores for these, and ended up paying more than I should have at Slowes. It seems to be a market with a lot of buyers waiting for the right products to come out.
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