Over the past several years the installation or conversion to low voltage indoor and outdoor lighting systems has become more and more common place with new home builds and renovations. This is likely due the lighting becoming more affordable, a more public consciousness towards the conservation of energy on a national scale, or in many cases the reasoning may be as simple as someone just wanting to reduce their monthly electricity bill. In any case converting your home lighting systems from halogen to LED power can have a significant impact on your kWh per day, and ultimately your utility bill. This goes for 120 volt, to 12 volt lighting (more…)
Off-grid solar systems utilize the power of the sun and the wind to generate and store DC electricity in batteries for later use. By storing electricity, you are essentially becoming your own utility company! With the advances in wind and solar power over the years, off-grid systems have become less expensive and easier to maintain.
Who uses off-grid systems?
Off-grid solar systems are popular among individual home owners still connected to the grid but looking to reduce their carbon footprint or save on utilities. Small communities can also benefit from off-grid systems where they may have little access to electricity, possibly due to a scattered population. It’s also common for people to choose to live completely “off-the-grid”, meaning free from all traditional public utilities. When going off-the-grid, it’s common that a stand-alone power system or mini-grid system will be utilized.
How off-grid power generation works
- Electricity is captured through sun shining on solar panels, or wind turning a turbine
- DC electricity is generated and stored in deep cycle batteries
- 12-volt appliances can be plugged into and powered directly off the deep cycle batteries. Alternatively, an inverter can be used to convert DC to AC electricity which is more suitable for running home appliances.
If your home’s energy costs are high, chances are it is because you are still using those ancient incandescent light bulbs. This type of bulb is more than 130 years old, and uses its light source to convert most of the bulb’s energy to heat rather than light, which in return increases your electric bill. A few more downsides to incandescent bulbs is that they are not good for the environment, have a short lifespan, have increased safety hazards and are not durable.
But with the advances in lighting based and modern technology, Incandescent bulbs are in the process becoming phased out due the incomparable advantages that LEDs and other lighting options offer.
LEDs have been around for 50 years. This type of lighting has been used on devices, traffic lights, large video screens, signs and street lighting. And throughout the years, LEDs have become a popular choice for lighting in people’s homes because of all the great benefits they provide. (more…)
•Exterior Lighting for Single-Family in Environmentally Senstive Lands (ESL) Areas
•Printable Lighting Guidelines (pdf/48kb/2pp)
•Ambient Lighting Zones (pdf/319kb/1p)
•Streetlight Policy Plan (pdf/208kb/1p)
•Outdoor Lighting Code (pdf/115kb/2pp)
Please note: The 2006 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) was adopted by reference via the International Building Code (IBC) adoption. (more…)
Solar powerd outdoor lighting fixtures. NO this is not a home depot solar light. This is a state of the art solar panel, with battery back up for all your outdoor lighting needs. We can now power your L.E.D. lights, up to 20 fixtures, with a high end solar panel. 4.5 watts per fixture gives you the same as 20 watt halagin lamp.
Call now so i can design your solar system with you.
If you are a FaceBook member, please search me on FaceBook @ North Star Outdoor Lighting LLC to receive valibule discounts. 10-15% off on new systems, and 10% off on repairs.
Typical of most every mechanical appliance, the components of the landscape lighting system will require periodic maintenance in order to keep the system operating at peak performance. The wise Lighting Installer will incorporate a Lighting Maintenance Program into his or her offering. Maintenance will typically include lamp replacement, fixture, transformer and cable inspection, cleaning and repair. (more…)
1. DON’T OWN A VOLTMETER:
Don’t own a volt meter – Trying to install anything electrical without a digital volt meter is like trying to install an irrigation system without a shovel or to eat soup with a fork – it can be done but having the right tools makes it a lot easier.
2. DIDN’T OFFER THE CLIENT A RANGE OF OPTIONS:
With proper planning and cabling, lighting can truly be done in phases. Also, don’t determine what the client should spend on lighting; present the options and let him decide the value of light.
3. A LACK OF SWITCHING FLEXIBILITY:
A lighting layout must reflect the different uses a well-designed landscape will provide: i.e., entertaining, at home alone, or away from home. There are some areas (BBQ) you should light only when they’re in use.
A common mistake made by many is to replace existing lamps with lamps of higher wattage than those originally installed. As an example, Mr. Smith has a low volt system with a 600 watt transformer and 25 fixtures illuminating his landscape. All of the original fixtures had 20-watt lamps in them for a total load on the transformer of 500 watts.
When he went to replace the lamps, he added ten 50-watt lamps, and fifteen 20-watt lamps. What he has done is increase the wattage demand from 500 watts to 800 watts thus overloading the Transformer. Overloading the transformer will cause the Transformer’s Circuit Breakers to Trip thus shutting the system down! (more…)