Landscape Lighting Toolkit
By Daniel Hall
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Earth Conscious Apps introduces the Landscape Lighting Toolkit, a collection of electrical calculators and tutorials that assist the architectural lighting, landscape lighting designer or installer in creating an efficient lighting system that increases safety, and saves power and money. The calculators are customized specifically for 12V – 24V low voltage electrical systems that are commonly used for LED and halogen outdoor lighting (with a focus on 15V for LED).
Traditional electrician’s calculations require a large amount of data, such as: resistance of wire, number of parallel connectors, ambient temperature etc. The Landscape Lighting Toolkit simplifies this for you by pre-calculating some data and removing other data that isn’t necessary for low voltage installations. The result is this set of four handy calculators that require only a few data fields each, some of which are even pre-filled if you are using LED luminaires.
The Landscape Lighting Toolkit App includes:
Tutorial: Create an Efficient Lighting Layout
This tutorial is a step by step guide to creating an organized lighting plan, including: where to locate the transformer, how to group lights for efficiency, and tips on how to future proof your landscape lighting system.
Tutorial: Wiring and Connections
In this tutorial you will learn wiring and connection basics, how to look up National Electrical Code installation requirements, and where to get more detailed information if you are curious.
Tutorial: VA vs W (Volt-Amperes vs Watts)
Learn the difference between VA (Volt-Amperes) and W (Watts) and how to use these correctly in the calculators.
Calculator: Minimum Wire Gauge
Calculate the Minimum Wire Gauge needed for a run based on: Wattage, Length of Run, and Voltage. If using LEDs, we recommend using the 15VAC voltage tap. This will give you the most efficient system, as the higher voltage results in less loss due to wire length.
Calculator: Minimum Transformer Size:
This calculator will help you determine the Minimum Size of the Transformer that you need for your landscape lighting system. The calculator will give you total watts and the minimum transformer size that should be used. This calculator will also verify for each run if the wire gauge and length of run you selected is capable of handling the wattage entered. The calculator will notify you if there is a potential problem with your selection. If you made a mistake or would like to begin calculating a different system click the Reset button and this will clear all the runs that have been entered.
Calculator: Maximum Available Wattage:
This calculator will help in determining the Maximum Wattage you can put on a given Gauge Wire, Voltage Tap, and Length of Run. This calculator is helpful if you already have a certain gauge wire and want to know how many lights can be used on that wire.
Calculator: Maximum Distance:
This calculator will help you determine how far you can go with a given Wire Gauge, Voltage Tap, and Wattage. This formula is also helpful if you already have a certain gauge wire and want to know how far you can go with a given wattage and voltage.
What's New in Version 1.3.2
Added tutorial explaining difference between VA (Volt-Amperes) and W (Watts) and how to use these correctly in the calculators.