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Outdoor lighting

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kubotaguy
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 360 Shepherdstown, WV
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2004-01-06          73236


I am currently using a Halogen two light motion light (each 250 watt) at my house. I went this route originally because I like not having the area constantly lit up but yet when we pull in the cars the light comes on for going to the house (haven't built the garage yet). The halogen lights burn out frequently. I am debating on what type of lighting to go with and I think I am going to go with the larger dusk to dawn sodium or mercury lights but wanted some input. One thing I have heard is that these lights will blow if the power goes out while they are on because the need a cool down period or something. My main concern is safety when we come in at night since I live on a rural road and no street lights around. I like the idea of being able to have control of turning the light out if I want to keep it dark. Pro's or con's, suggestions?????

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shortmagnum
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 848 Wisconsin
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2004-01-06          73242


My mom had a dusk to dawn sodium light in our yard a while back. She stopped using it because it got pretty expensive for her. You could come close to calculating the cost of letting it run all night. Take your old lights as an example at 2x250 W = 500 W and assuming 12 hours each night gives you 6 KWh per night or 180 KWh per month. If you pay $.10 per KWh the old lights would cost $18 per month to run all night. The cost of dusk to dawn lights would depend on the wattage.

I just thought it gave an ugly palor to everything.
Dave ....

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2652 NorthWest NJ
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2004-01-06          73246


Mercury Vapor lights require a ballast box and also require a warm up period so that they are not useful for instant on applications.

I have heard about a new low voltage bulb that is as powerful as Merc Vapor but does not require a ballast box, are very small, last a long time, and I think are cheaper and more durable than a Merc Vapor. A lot of people use Merc Vapor for professional landscape lighting, but some don't like the "green marsian" glow they give to everything.

Dennis
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kubotaguy
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 360 Shepherdstown, WV
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2004-01-06          73249


I may have to just end up going with an on/off halogen light instead of the motion one. I have 500 watt halogen lights on all sides but the front but they are turned on by a switch. I haven't had any problem with them. I may just go with a sodium light and use a manual switch to turn it on at dark and leave it on until bedtime and then turn it off. I really prefer to stick with some type of a motion light though in case I leave in daylight and come back at night. The other night something ran out from under my wife's Explorer and up through the woods, needless to say she was not happy about the dark (lights had blown and I haven't replaced them yet). I hate to break up the peaceful darkness with a dusk to dawn but the Halogen bulbs are getting costly. ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7154 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2004-01-06          73255


Several companies make timers designed to be permanently installed into a circuit. They are usually built into their own steel box and are serious heavy duty units, and have a manual over-ride feature, they are nothing at all like the cheap units designed to turn a table lamp on and off.

It would allow a photocell equipped light to get power only certain hours of the day by setting the 'on' time well ahead of dusk and off at bedtime. I put such a setup on the back of my house to light the dog run. It powers that circuit only between 2pm and 11pm, that way the run is lit between dusk and 11pm everyday, period. This way I don't have to fiddle with the time adjustment to keep the light coming on at the right time as the length of day changes, the time of day when it gets dark changes by more than 5 hours between the winter and summer solstices up here.

Best of luck. ....

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Archdean
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 279 Oklahoma
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2004-08-28          94826


My Math is different than your Math.
A high pressure Sodium yard light is normally 70 watts (yellow/amber light)

70w x12 hours is .840 KWH per night X 30 days = 25.2 KWH per month x $.065 per kwh (My case) = $1.64 a month!!!

Cheap at twice the cost..

Where did I go wrong???

Dean ....

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ncrunch32
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 762 Kingston, NY
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2004-08-28          94832


I have a 500 watt halogen on a motion. It burns out every now and then generally we are happy with it. It is a great security device. I also have a solar light on motion - seems to work fairly well. I think solar is getting better lately. I also have solar lights around my pool yard - low voltage lighting around the property. The place is lit up like a city at night.

I also have videotaped surveillance cameras around the property. Call me crazy but we were robbed once - it will never happen again without the person being caught. Also a neighbor got nasty with me and, since realizing I have his actions on videotape, has cooled down a lot. ....

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Outdoor lighting

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lbrown59
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 931 First Organized Permanent Settlement In The Northwest Territory.
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2004-10-19          98725



1*I am currently using a Halogen two light motion light (each 250 watt) at my house.
2*The halogen lights burn out frequently
3*I think I am going to go with the larger dusk to dawn sodium or mercury lights but wanted some input*
kubotaguy
*******************
1*motion lights are the only kind of out door lights I will use here. I won't consider any other type. Been using them for probably close to 20 years.
2*Did you know that you aren't limited to just those type bulbs? I have used just about every type and style there is in them.
3*The problem with any dusk to dawn controlled light is it defeats the purpose of motion detection controlled lights, which is to control unneeded or unused lighting and reducing electric consumption.

I am controlling approximately 40 out door light bulbs with 16 motion sensor lights.
Can you imagine the jump in my consumption and the increase in my electric bill If I were to switch these light over to dusk to dawn controls where the 40 bulbs burned all night every night.

Another advantage of motion controlled lighting is you can illuminate a much larger area than you can with dusk to dawn control for the same or less energy use and cost. I can mow most of my 1.5 acre yard at night without using the tractors lights.

....

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kubotaguy
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 360 Shepherdstown, WV
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2004-10-19          98727


I went with a 150 watt sodium dusk to dawn light which is actually cheaper than the motion lights I was using and it lights up a far greater area. My motion lights were staying on too much and they were using 2 250 watt halogen bulbs. I tried adjusting the sensitivity of the lights and couldn't get them set just right. I am very happy with the dusk to dawn light except for all of the bugs that congregate outside the door now! It's getting colder now so that isn't a problem now, but come spring I will have to come up with a temporary solution until I get my garage done. ....

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lbrown59
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 931 First Organized Permanent Settlement In The Northwest Territory.
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2004-10-19          98729



I went with a 150 watt sodium dusk to dawn light which is actually cheaper than the motion lights I was using and it lights up a far greater area.
1*My motion lights were staying on too much and they were using 2 250 watt halogen bulbs. I tried adjusting the sensitivity of the lights and couldn't get them set just right.
kubotaguy
1*But were they on all night like the sodium one is?
....

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JD855inWI
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 38 Mid East Wisconsin
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2004-10-19          98731


Kobota: My sodium light is controlled by a built in photo eye, but I have a timer in the circuit which shuts the light off at mid-night and turns it back on about 5am before I head out the door. The timer can be overridden by flipping a knob on the timer. Sodium will give you the most light for the $, but there is a 10 minute time for any vapor type lamps to cool before the fixture will re-strike. You can buy an instant strike fixture, but the cost is 5X. ....

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JD855inWI
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 38 Mid East Wisconsin
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2004-10-19          98732


Kobota: I also installed a motion sensor above the garage doors and then wired it to control the coach lights at the front of the house and the 2 post lights along the driveway. With this circuit I can still use the 3 way switches to control the lights from in the house or have the motion sensor turn everything on when someone drives or walks in. Additionally when you get around to building that garage you might consider installing this type of circuit to operate the lights in garage also. The motion sensors is positioned to se you when you open the door and enter the garage and turns on the lights. You can get in the car and close the door and drive away, the lights shut themselves off. If the sensor is positioned correctly, the lights come on when you pull back in later. ....

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kubotaguy
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 360 Shepherdstown, WV
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2004-10-19          98734


I put a switch in the circuit just in case I wanted to have the light off. I may end up checking on a timer but I kind of like it lit up around the front of my house. I almost came face to face with a skunk one morning before I got the sodium light. Now the animals don't seem to come around the cars at night with the light on.
Besides the most important reason is the wife likes the sodium light. ....

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kubotachick
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 116 illinois/wisconsin
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2004-11-20          100622


one word (or maybe its two) flash light...
No sodium is good and all...you know, if you go to lowes there is a guy that is there that is an expert at outdoor lighting and the comparison of highest initial cost vs. highest running cost...i think the sodium checked out to be the highest starting cost but pays off in the long run. ....

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steve4300
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 71 NH
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2005-08-18          115072


something you all have to know is that if you put up a halogen light the lamp should not have more than a 4 degree angle side to side or it will burn out prematurly , what happens is that one end will over heat more than the other end. ....

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