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TitleLighting Guide
LanguageEnglish
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Total Pages12
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Page 1

The purpose of this manual is to provide you with a precise
step-by-step method of designing and installing low voltage
landscape lighting. This manual will take you through fixture
choice, bulb selection, wire sizing, fixture installation using the
hub method, transformer selection and a reference section.

When a landscape is designed, attention is focused on
highlighting the architecture, dividing public areas from the
private ones, creating unity, flow, safety and harmony between
the different elements used whether it’s plants or hard-scape.
Landscape lighting serves to do the same thing.

Beginning the design process starts with the focal point of the
landscape, the home. Look at the architecture, the texture of the
building materials and landscape materials in the foundation
plantings. Think about using fixtures that wash the walls or
cast light into dark corners and to highlight doorways and trim.
Moving away from the home investigates illuminating shrubs,
especially those plants or plantings that direct a visitor to the
entrance or those plants that are accents to the architecture. Still
moving further from the foundation plantings are hardscapes
such as walks and drives. These are one of the most difficult
areas to illuminate. This lighting should be done in such a way
that the “landing strip” appearance is avoided. If possible,
wash the surface of a walk with a ground level directional light.
This will cast light horizontally across the walk and is far better
than lining up a number of path lights. With a little planning
ambient light spilling from the foundation plantings and the
home may be enough to create a glow to gently light a walk and
provide safety. Drives can be lit in the same manner or in
combination with down lighting being used from nearby trees
to light the way. The last items to light are the lawn areas, front
and back. First frame the home by uplighting large trees in the
front, back and sides. Next provide light in excessively dark
areas of the lawn then use accent lighting, either uplighting,

Low Voltage
Landscape Lighting

area or directional lighting to highlight points of interest.

Below is a list of fixtures and a short description of what each
one does. Please note that this is a general description and a
product catalog should be consulted to pick out the proper size,
color, material and bulb for the job.

Well lights are among the most versatile fixtures. They are used
in 80% of all landscape lighting applications. Lenses and grates
can be easily installed on these fixtures for many custom
lighting applications. Well lights are used mainly in areas where
uplighting is required to illuminate the entire object or wash the
object with light.

Well Lights

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W. P. LAW

Pumping & Piping Systems

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Installation Manual

Introduction to Design

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well light

Page 2

Path Lights
page 2

Directional Lights

Transformers

Transformer Locations

Setting up the Hubs

Underwater Lights

Specialty Lights

Path or area lights are best used to give down lighting on
pathways, sidewalks, breezeways, driveways or beds with
seasonal color.

These devices step down the normal 120v household current to
voltage that can be used in the lighting system. They are avail-
able in wattages from 300 up to 1500 watts. The transformers
have multiple voltage taps of 12 to 22 volts which enables the
user to run smaller gauge wire longer distances. Transformers
can be installed indoors or out and can be equipped with a timer
and photo cell. They must be installed at least 12” above grade.

The next step involves the location of the transformer(s). First
you’ll want to guesstimate how many transformers might be
needed for the job. At this point simply add up all the wattages
of all the fixtures used. It is sometimes easier to use more than
one transformer in different locations. This will keep your wire
runs to a minimum and allow for easier zoning of the lights.
Zoning the transformers this way will allow you to run areas
independently. This will save money in the operation of the
system. If, for example, both the back yard and front yard
including the side yards yield 800 total watts used, two trans-
formers of some wattage will be needed. [The calculations for
the absolute wattage required for the transformers will be
shown shortly.] Designate an area for each transformer, prefer-
ably as close to the center of each system as possible.

In the past, when low voltage tungsten bulbs were used, the
fixtures where daisy- chained* with no real attention paid to
bulb brightness, color or longevity because tungsten bulbs can
burn for years on very little voltage. The newer halogen bulbs
on the other hand, produce a white light giving a truer color but
operate in a narrower voltage range of 10.8 to 12 volts. There-
fore, to help the bulbs last for their full life rating, the fixtures
are arranged in a “spider” or “hub”** configuration (please see
Sample Project on page 12). The fixtures used come from the
factory with 25’ leads instead of the 18” leads in the past. The
fixtures are arranged so that the leads can be tied together to a
trunk wire leading back to the transformer. This trunk wire is
referred to as a “homerun wire”. How many lights tied together
at a hub will depend on the total wattage of the hub. A rule-of-
thumb is a maximum of 4-5, 20 or 35 watt fixtures per hub. Of
course some fixtures use smaller bulbs of 10 watts or less, so
more of these lights may be tied together. Sometimes the full
25 foot lead is not used. If this occurs bury the extra at the base
of the fixture or when using well lights, wrap the extra lead
around the fixture. Never cut the leads to shorten them. The
reason is that the voltage drop in the lead has been accounted
for and cutting the leads will result in differing voltages for
each fixture. The voltage reading at the hub must reflect the
same reading for all lights in the group.

Directional lights are used when a concentrated beam of light is
needed on, statuary, signage, and water features.

Specialty lights are lights that serve a specific purpose. These
lights are usually low wattage and only produce a small amount
of illumination. Dock and step lights are just a few samples of
this type of lighting.

These lights are directional and require complete submergence
to remain cool. These are used to up light waterfalls, statuaries,
and provide diffuse lighting of the feature. Optional colored
lenses are available.

page 2

HubTransformer

** Hub Method

Transformer * Daisy Chain

12 VOLTS 11.5 VOLTS 11 VOLTS 10.5 VOLTS 10 VOLTS

12 VOLTS 12 VOLTS 12 VOLTS 12 VOLTS 12 VOLTS

12.5 VOLTS

Page 6

page 6

INCORPORATED
W. P. LAW

Pumping & Piping Systems

R

VOLTAGE DROP CHART

www.wplawinc.com

303 Riverchase Way, Lexington, SC 29072 Phone: 803-461-0599 Fax: 803-461-0598

Maximum Wattage and Amperage Allowed

#12 wire 192 watts or 16 amps
#10 wire 288 watts or 24 amps
#8 wire 300 watts or 25 amps

www.encorelandscapelighting.com

www.integral-lighting.com

Page 7

page 7

INCORPORATED
W. P. LAW

Pumping & Piping Systems

R

TRANSFORMER TAP CHART

www.wplawinc.com

303 Riverchase Way, Lexington, SC 29072 Phone: 803-461-0599 Fax: 803-461-0598

Maximum Wattage and Amperage Allowed

#12 wire 192 watts or 16 amps
#10 wire 288 watts or 24 amps
#8 wire 300 watts or 25 amps

www.encorelandscapelighting.com

www.integral-lighting.com

Page 11

page 11

INCORPORATED
W. P. LAW

Pumping & Piping Systems

R

TRANSFORMER TAP CHART

www.wplawinc.com

303 Riverchase Way, Lexington, SC 29072 Phone: 803-461-0599 Fax: 803-461-0598

Maximum Wattage and Amperage Allowed

#12 wire 192 watts or 16 amps
#10 wire 288 watts or 24 amps
#8 wire 300 watts or 25 amps

www.encorelandscapelighting.com

www.integral-lighting.com

Page 12

LAWN

LAWN

H

H

H

H

H
1

3
4

1-10’

2-70’

3-30’

4-60’

5-100’

6-90’

7-20’

TRANSF
ORMER 1

RUN LEN
GTH

1-35’

2-10’

3-40’

4-50’

5-25’

TRANSFO
RMER 2

RUN LEN
GTH

H

H

H

SEAT
WALL

4

6

3

T1

T2

5

2

LAWN

LAWN

DRIVEWAY

H

7

5
2

H

WOOD
TRELLIS

page 12

SAMPLE PROJECT

H

FIRE
PIT

1

MAIN OFFICE - LEXINGTON
303 Riverchase Way, Lexington, SC 29072
Phone 803-461-0599
Fax 803-461-0598
e-mail [email protected]

CHARLESTON BRANCH
3636 Belvedere Rd., John's Island, SC 29455
Phone 843-559-3945
Fax 843-559-2740
email [email protected]

BOILING SPRINGS BRANCH
4256 - D Highway 9, Boiling Springs, SC 29316
Phone 864-541-0390
Fax 864-541-0395
e-mail [email protected]

GREENVILLE BRANCH
1330 Grove Rd., Greenville, SC 29605
Phone 864-295-3810 / 800-660-7569
Fax 864-295-6990
e-mail [email protected]

GREER BRANCH
2400 Highway 101 S., Greer, SC 29651
Phone 864-879-1045 / 877-835-0714
Fax 864-879-1046
e-mail [email protected]

DENTSVILLE BRANCH
141 Calvin Dr., Columbia, SC 29223
Phone 803-754-5917
Fax 803-754-6270
e-mail [email protected]

www.wplawinc.com www.irrigatewisely.com

1-800-476-4515
2011

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