Landscape Lights

cards385cards385 Registered Users Posts: 21
I am trying to run my 12 Volt Landscape Lights from a battery that is charged by my Solar Panels. No problem there, my problem is the string of 12 Volt lights are bright for the first half and dimmer for the last half. How can I boost the power so the entire string is bright. The string is abour 60 ft. with 18 lights.

Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
    Re: Landscape Lights

    Bigger wires. 60 feet is quite a long run.

    Voltage Drop Calculator: http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?t=29

    Is it possible to re-wire so that the lights are on a "loop"? That way the run of lights gets fed from both ends, as it were.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Landscape Lights

    can you tell us what size battery capacity you have and the total draw from the lights is?
  • cards385cards385 Registered Users Posts: 21
    Re: Landscape Lights

    Using an EverStart Maxx-29 Battery (125 Amp Hours) and the draw is 18 - 4W lights, I blew a 5 amp fuse but not the 10 amp fuse.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Landscape Lights

    i'll agree with marc that the problem is the voltage drop. rather than have one long wire run i might suggest that you make it into 2 or more separate runs that go straight back to the battery. the total draw is about 72w and at 12v this is a 6a draw. it may be a bit higher if these are cfls too. you can plug this info into the voltage drop calculator, but even without doing so if you were to split the lights in half, 1 string close and 1 string farther away, this would help, but the farther distant string would still be dimmer just by the extra resistance the extra wire presents. figure double the resistance on the farther string would require moving the gauge by 3 making it thicker wire. that isn't one of the standard gauges available so you will compromise with either a gauge # higher or lower than the 3 i specified still making one string slightly brighter than the other, but it will be far better than your present results.
  • cards385cards385 Registered Users Posts: 21
    Re: Landscape Lights

    Thanks for the advise, I did run two wires and split the load in half, it did help some. So what I did was put 11w bulbs in the last 4 or 5 lights on the line and that helped. Added a little more to the load but the battery handled it fine.
  • GreenPowerManiacGreenPowerManiac Solar Expert Posts: 453 ✭✭✭
    Re: Landscape Lights

    Coot,

    You're talking about parallel wiring, aren't you ?

    Sounds like a string of Christmas tree lights. More wires, more fun.
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  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Landscape Lights

    There are now, LED bulbs for the standard landscape lights, about 1w ea. Also, you can "feed" from the center of the string, takes more wire is all.
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  • cards385cards385 Registered Users Posts: 21
    Re: Landscape Lights

    Just ordered 20 LED lights for my Malibu Landscape Lights. Should make them brighter by drawing less watts. I think each bulb is 1w instead of 4,7 or 11 watts each for the older bulbs. Thanks for the tip..
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