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Old 01-31-2019, 09:24 AM   #16
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Re: Best way to light very long driveways


I usually fail to remember when first talking to someone the 600 or whatever lumens are shining directly in their eyes. Like the night we were having some A/C power outtages and the elect. co-op field guy stopped by to determine if we had A/C power. I opened the door to answer and his first words were "DAM RIGHT YOU HAVE LIGHT"
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Old 01-31-2019, 09:36 AM   #17
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Re: Best way to light very long driveways


@SeniorSitizen

We've long had a little game within the family where anytime a flashlight, headlamp, etc. is needed, we sneak up and blind each other.
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Old 01-31-2019, 11:22 AM   #18
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Re: Best way to light very long driveways


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@SeniorSitizen

We've long had a little game within the family where anytime a flashlight, headlamp, etc. is needed, we sneak up and blind each other.
Long winters eh. So chinese checkers, checkers, scrabble and monopoly got boring between Oct. and April.
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Old 01-31-2019, 11:33 AM   #19
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Re: Best way to light very long driveways


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Long winters eh. So chinese checkers, checkers, scrabble and monopoly got boring between Oct. and April.
Well it's usually video games because I'm a card carrying member of #PCMasterRace, but yeah something like that.
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Old 01-31-2019, 11:45 AM   #20
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Re: Best way to light very long driveways


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Well it's usually video games because I'm a card carrying member of #PCMasterRace, but yeah something like that.
Dang it, I keep forgetting the world has surpassed me a few decades ago.
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Old 01-31-2019, 11:49 AM   #21
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Re: Best way to light very long driveways


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Dang it, I keep forgetting the world has surpassed me a few decades ago.
Are you telling me to get off your lawn?
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Old 02-01-2019, 06:34 AM   #22
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Re: Best way to light very long driveways


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@curiousB that's what we're doing now, it doesn't make it to the bears, moose, and wolves in time for us to run :P

@tmittelstaedt I'm alright to run legit power out, was already planning to do so for outlets at the end of the driveways regardless. Just need to make sure I don't overload the circuits is all. Not real fond of metal conduit though, we have to redo the driveway so I'm thinking to dig an 18-24" trench and use PVC on a sand base.

So can I set a PVC conduit in cement? My thought is to run the conduit straight up through a concrete footing into a hollow metal post for each light (daisy chain style,) then have an exterior outlet at the end of that circuit for xmas lights/decorations.

I'm eyeballing these lights for the posts, they're 100W but we'll run LED bulbs in them:
Attachment 548567 Attachment 548565

I haven't found up lights for my birch tree and address marker rock yet.
Yes you can set PVC into cement. The problem is if you have PVC running from dirt into cement and the cement shifts after it hardens the PVC will crack there at the transition from dirt to concrete. This also introduces a void and density change in the cement and the cement will be prone to cracking there. It works if for example you bury 1/2 pvc pipe in 4 inches of concrete that came out of a readymix truck and has polymers in it that strengthen it, but not so well if your just mixing bags of sacrete up in a wheelbarrow. And it won't work if the PVC is really large and the concrete is thin - a 3 inch PVC in 4 inches of concrete will crack there. Going through a footing will likely be fine if the footing is 2x2 feet or larger.

Your safest course is to assume if you bury conduit that it will eventually crack and fill with water. Then whatever cable is there will be sitting in water. Unless the cable is rated for underwater use it's jacket will eventually soften and come apart. I personally think that installations that use just the cable with underground/wet rated jackets buried in dirt without conduit to last longer. The reason is that while the jacket gets damp it doesn't spend all it's time bathed in water. Also the soil settles and shifts and the cable will move with it instead of conduit cracking underground then creating an edge that the cable is forced into.

The only time i use conduit underground is if the cable is going under a dirt driveway or something where there's an expectation that there will be severe mechanical stress on it. And in that case I use 2" steel galvanized pipe and run underground rated cable in the pipe. And I assume that the pipe is going to corrode away over the years but it's purpose is to protect the cable from getting crushed.
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Old 02-01-2019, 03:27 PM   #23
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Re: Best way to light very long driveways


@tmittelstaedt hmmm Water corrosion is exactly why I'm not so fond of using metal conduit. We've just had to replace a black pipe that ran gas to our shop, which we estimate did not even lasted 20 years in our caustic ground environment. We have a high water table, mineral rich hard water, and standing water is very likely to occur. I was intending to get burial grade cable regardless of the conduit, but I'll look specifically for underwater stuff.

We do have a lot of ground movement due to heavy freezes and earthquakes so it sounds like PVC + cement footings is a no go. I think I'd rather move the cable back from the edge of the driveway's so it's not getting run over and skip the conduit altogether as you suggested.

On the footings, I had thought to use cement tube molds with the ready mix bag concrete. I'm now thinking to build in a "concave trench" up the side of the concrete footing when we pour it. Then I can get flared post bases to cover the footing; less cracking chance, the cable will run flush up the side of the footing so edge rubbing will be minimized, and the cable will still go cleanly into the flared post base. Sound good?
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Old 02-01-2019, 03:47 PM   #24
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Re: Best way to light very long driveways


Ah I'm so thrilled with my new garage door company that I almost forgot. I did finally get that picture of how far the existing light goes (well lights I suppose, the front porch light is on too here):

Best way to light very long driveways-20190131_035329.jpg

While it was warmer outside he and I fiddled with the angles on the flood lamps above the garage; we pointed them down at the driveway so it reflects a bit more and I'd say we're real close to 50' of coverage now. I'm thinking I'll do one post light past my big spruce, then two more out to the road and that'll cover this driveway at least \o/
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