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Author Topic: Cheap extension cords  (Read 2801 times)

Bill Koonce

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Re: Cheap extension cords
« Reply #40 on: August 02, 2017, 10:49:56 pm »

Depending on how a home is wired (most of the time I used dedicated lighting circuits), there would be no need to rewire (especially not if wired in conduit) to go to low voltage lighting.  Most building wire is rated for 600 V max-there is no reason it can't be used for low voltage.  I agree that low voltage light fixtures may well happen before other distribution given a known load-and I think the path to retrofit might be doable in many cases.
The only potential problem there is that if it looks just like all the other 120V wiring, you know that some DIYer is going to put 120V on it without checking first. And after smoking all the low voltage things on the circuit, he'll go looking for someone else to blame...

Perhaps leave a note to future owners?
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Cheap extension cords
« Reply #41 on: August 02, 2017, 10:57:45 pm »

I recently repurposed a set of 14-2(w/ground) that was put in my kitchen for under cabinet lighting. There was a junction box in the basement under the kitchen where all the wires to the lights were planned to connect to a pair of dimmers near the kitchen.
I pulled the two dimmer circuits out to their own box, then clearly labeled the original box as 12v dc. I then connected a 12v power supply between the lighting wires and a wire from the upstairs dimmer. I then connected the 14-2 to the LED strip lights.

This worked because my 14-2 runs were kinda short (less than 20' mostly) so the voltage drop was not an issue. 75 watts at 12v is 6 amps.

At another site, the electrician (same guy as did my house) was adding 6 low voltage lighting circuits to an outside porch (ok, a big porch at a wealthy persons house).
In this case the wire runs from where dimmers (remote controlled) would normally be located would exceed 50'. Six low voltage 150 watt supplies would require #10 wire for the little led lights 😳 given the long runs. So, the solution was to locate 12 75w supplies close to lights and run 120v from the dimmers.

The moral of the story is that just cause you have low voltage lighting doesn't mean you can save on wire.



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I am just finishing up a lighting project in my basement with about 200' of LED tape.  This works out to be about 200 watts, and at 12v this is about 17 amps.  I ran 4 runs of 14-2 speaker wire to minimize voltage drop.

I agree with Steve - if a low voltage standard develops, it will almost certainly be higher than 12 volts - either 24 or 48 volts is more likely for the reasons you mention.  My earlier comments about 5 amp lighting circuits assume 120v AC lighting devices, which is IMO a more near-term solution than direct LV DC.
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Rob Spence

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Re: Cheap extension cords
« Reply #42 on: August 03, 2017, 08:51:06 am »

An LED requiring 75 watts is a big light-roughly equivalent to at least a 400 MH wall pack.  I am guessing the lights were also running on 12 volts.  Personally, I would argue for 24 volt LV distribution-there is a ton of 24 VDC stuff already on the market as that is a standard for industrial uses.  That would halve the current-also most in home circuits are less than 100'.  The other savings is that you would get by with 2 wires vs 3 and still have a safe setup.

I don't think the savings would be as much on wire size as on insulation-insulation rated for 50 volts would be cost savings.  Outdoor low voltage wire costs more than indoor LV.  In any case there are indeed trade offs-just as there are in any engineering problem.  This particular one will be driven by a combination of the market and engineering solutions-heavily influenced by the installed base.

It isn't a single led. We are talking a large porch with dozens of Lutron recessed (looked like 2-3") fixtures on at least six dimmers to set lighting scenes. The designer specs em and the electrician has to make them work.



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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: Cheap extension cords
« Reply #43 on: August 03, 2017, 11:55:31 am »

I saw this a few years ago and even though I lived in the UK for the first 30 years of my life, I was still quite surprised to find out just how well the British plug has been designed and that I had taken this for granted all those years.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEfP1OKKz_Q
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Cheap extension cords
« Reply #44 on: August 03, 2017, 12:18:23 pm »

I saw this a few years ago and even though I lived in the UK for the first 30 years of my life, I was still quite surprised to find out just how well the British plug has been designed and that I had taken this for granted all those years.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEfP1OKKz_Q

Debbie, I've been trying to estimate how your speaking accent has combined - UK and North Carolina... that's got to be interesting.

How does "y'all" sound with a proper British accent?  8)
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Debbie Dunkley

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Re: Cheap extension cords
« Reply #45 on: August 03, 2017, 12:30:21 pm »

Debbie, I've been trying to estimate how your speaking accent has combined - UK and North Carolina... that's got to be interesting.

I really haven't picked up the NC accent - I am told my accent is a bit messed up though. In the U.S., I get told by folks I meet that I have an English  ( or Australian????) accent but when I go back to the UK, I get told I either have an American accent or I just sound plain weird.
When Chris and I are together, people we meet tell us that I have the stronger English accent. He deals with more people on a daily basis than I do.

My daughter was 6 when we moved to CA..... she has ended up with a Valley Girl/ Southern accent with the odd English inflection..... ???

I have spoken with a few members on the forum..... I wonder what they think ?
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A young child says to his mother, "Mom, when I grow up I'm going to be a musician." She replies, "Well honey, you know you can't do both."
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