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-   -   Does All Solar Lighting in Back yard really work? (http://www.diychatroom.com/f16/does-all-solar-lighting-back-yard-really-work-21470/)

KUIPORNG 05-26-2008 01:40 PM

Does All Solar Lighting in Back yard really work?
 
I am kind of finish digging my 600 sq. ft. of soil for the paving landscape. Now is the time I have to decide whether to add the power cable for the future patio lighting.... As this is also quite a task and I do not want to go into it if it is not that much worth it...

My question is as there are tons of Solar Power Lighting equipments for Patio... Would this make the traditional lighting a history consider it does the job and save electric bill and environment friendly.... Or this thing just doesn't work. Consider sunlight is not a problem. I could think of this issues with solar thing:

1. easy to break... would the solar equipment easily to break like running it for three months or so ... and therefore turn out to be expensive solution consider you need to replace the sophisticated devices...

2. not powerful enough... would the power enough compare to traditional lighting...

3. expensive... would those device real expensive nowadays...

anyone has any experience mind sharing it here...

Thanks

MinConst 05-26-2008 10:40 PM

I have limited experience with Solar lighting. Living in Florida we have plenty of sun so I have tried some. I have one over our garage door on a motion sensor. It is OK but nothing like a 110 light. I have seen many pathway lights in solar and have owed some. Not as bright as low voltage. Price wise they are a bit more costly but not that bad. I would expect a solar system that was worth it weight could get very expensive.
You would have to figure how much light you want or need and go from there. If it were me I would go with the low voltage. I know they work well and give a decent amount of light. Many choices in bulb intensity. A 110 system is by far the most light but this all depends on what you need.

LawnGuyLandSparky 05-27-2008 07:09 AM

You're better off with one or two 120 volt post lights in your backyard than a hundred solar pathlights or fifty low voltage...

KUIPORNG 05-27-2008 09:41 AM

thanks and this is my plan
 
Thanks everyone, this is my plan :

- I will setup a 110v cable on the edge of the pavers as outlet and setup in the future on the lawn side of the yard if necessary from this outlet for 110 post lights, spot lights...etc.
- as I am going to do pavers on top, I think I need some protection for the 110 volt wire... so I intend to use the regular black 1.5" drain duct to cover the cable and lay in in a small tranch from the wall to the outside edge.

- my question is now as this duct is quite thick 1.5", how do I change it to a smaller side regular pvc wire ducts.... or I should use the smaller size wire ducts completely, would those survive the compacting from the machine....

- well I bought the thick ducts already... didn't think of above problem (convert larger to smaller size) before buying, but I can refund it...

- one option I am thinking is have the thick duct doing some angles and face opening downward (avoid water going into the pipe).... and feed the wire that way... but that means more digging work...

well what is the standard way of doing this, the HD book use the smaller pipe on the beggining section and let the wire expose to the soil directly, but they do not doing paving....

ACan 05-27-2008 09:45 AM

solar
 
l would suggest to you go with the solar light. Why??
cost nothing to operate. Automatically recharges during the day ,
Each light has an average run time of 8 to 10 hours.

They're now decorative not powerful enough compare to traditional lighting.


You can go and visit http://www.exteriorguide.com/Solar-Lights.html .

KUIPORNG 05-27-2008 09:47 AM

I probably will use solar light also in the future... but I intend to setup a tradition 110 wire outlet just in case... I may use combination of solar and traditional... I want to have the freedom to use one way or another when the patio is done and that is what I intend to do. Thanks.

ACan 05-27-2008 10:59 AM

l think combination of solar and traditional would be perfect. Good luck to you.

KUIPORNG 05-27-2008 12:48 PM

found the answer myself after visiting HD
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KUI****G (Post 126056)
Thanks everyone, this is my plan :

- I will setup a 110v cable on the edge of the pavers as outlet and setup in the future on the lawn side of the yard if necessary from this outlet for 110 post lights, spot lights...etc.
- as I am going to do pavers on top, I think I need some protection for the 110 volt wire... so I intend to use the regular black 1.5" drain duct to cover the cable and lay in in a small tranch from the wall to the outside edge.

- my question is now as this duct is quite thick 1.5", how do I change it to a smaller side regular pvc wire ducts.... or I should use the smaller size wire ducts completely, would those survive the compacting from the machine....

- well I bought the thick ducts already... didn't think of above problem (convert larger to smaller size) before buying, but I can refund it...

- one option I am thinking is have the thick duct doing some angles and face opening downward (avoid water going into the pipe).... and feed the wire that way... but that means more digging work...

well what is the standard way of doing this, the HD book use the smaller pipe on the beggining section and let the wire expose to the soil directly, but they do not doing paving....

There are special pipes for this purpose, rather than using water drain pipes.... now need to refund the 1.5" water drain pipes.... It is good that I didn't cut them yet.....

NateHanson 05-27-2008 03:00 PM

For the 110v project, you need to look into what the codes require in your area. Where I am, the cable in NMT conduit, would need to be buried 18 inches below grade. The depth is less under 4" of concrete, but I don't believe there's any difference when under pavers - it would have to still be 18".

I have no idea what your patio layout is, but I'd probably run as little 110v cable as possible (maybe to one or two well-placed locations, and do the rest with low voltage, because low voltage wiring doesn't need to be buried as deep as 110v.

In my limited experience, solar landscape lighting is way too dim.

KUIPORNG 05-27-2008 03:15 PM

I will try to dig as deep as I can but
 
I doubt it will reach 18"... this time... I really pass on electrical inspection... consider this is really only a one line installation... to the worse case in the future if this is not allowed... just disable the connection from outside... I really don't want to get into the headache of inspection.... not to mention the hundreds of dollar of the inspection fee... I just look at it as an extension cord myself to be plug onto an Outlet...

As per the low voltage line go.... do I setup the low voltage transformer at the wall of the house and wire the low voltage lines underground... Or do I used the outlet I install at the far away side I am going to install to make a transformer out of it.... or either way will work ... I like the idea about low voltage line on the surface with minium digging....

my structure is have a patio on the side of the house against the wall, the outside is grasses... I am setting up a 110v line at the grass site hopping setup some 110v lights on the grass side....

NateHanson 05-27-2008 03:29 PM

Well, codes exist for a reason besides making the town filthy rich. :rolleyes: I'll admit that I can understand deciding not to pull a permit for a small project. But I think knowingly doing sub-code electrical work in your house or backyard is irresponsible. So permit or no permit you should definitely do your installation safely (to code). If you don't want to dig to the depth required, then do low-voltage, and bury that to the depth required for that.

KUIPORNG 05-27-2008 03:36 PM

24" is what is required in our code
 
gee... just checked... sounds like I need to think about this more... before decide to move on this.. thanks for your advice ....


After thinking for a while, here is my decision:

I am going to dig according to the code which is 18" with the conduit... and feed the wire (110v and low voltage both on separate conduit). and leave it there for future usage as I have not decided the final lighting arrangement yet.... but then I will not apply for inspection, besides the headache reason, I also do not know exactly what to install and don't know what to inspect besides the underground rough in wires... well... I think this is fair...


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