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acreiss
11-19-2010, 03:10 PM
I recently purchased a house and it only has one outside outlet. There is no way that I can set up anything this year. I have spent most of this year building some controllers,ssrs, and gathering lights for my first shot at all of this. I was wondering, where do I start when it comes to getting power to everything? Should I have a sub panel installed just for the lights? What is the best safest and most affordable way to go? I was wondering if anyone has pictures of how they run all of their power.

Thanks.....

chesterspot
11-19-2010, 03:21 PM
Best is to have a sub panel installed and conduit run throughout the yard/attic. But that's the most expensive way. If you have extra space in your breaker box for a few more circuits then you are in luck as you'll be able to add a few breakers and run the wiring through the attic and out to where ever you want. I do all of my own wiring. Grandfather was an electrician and my best friend is an EE so I make sure to do it all to code and the right way. If you have any sort of hesitation about wiring your own stuff then have a professional do it. Price depends greatly on accessibly, length, and quantity of circuits. My parents old house cost 1500 because they didn't have to add a sub panel. Their new house needs a subpanel and it's a stone exterior wall and the cost is 4k. The run for the new house is half has long as well.....

dirknerkle
11-20-2010, 07:41 PM
I recently purchased a house and it only has one outside outlet. There is no way that I can set up anything this year. I have spent most of this year building some controllers,ssrs, and gathering lights for my first shot at all of this. I was wondering, where do I start when it comes to getting power to everything? Should I have a sub panel installed just for the lights? What is the best safest and most affordable way to go? I was wondering if anyone has pictures of how they run all of their power.

Thanks.....

Here are some pictures of some of the DIYC members' installations... after a while things tend to get a little out of hand and, well... :shock:

I think the last one is the main supply to budude's house...

T.D.Sutton
11-20-2010, 07:52 PM
Dave, you must be feeling better, you are stirring again :-)

Terry

kwdelre
11-20-2010, 07:59 PM
Wow those are some scary pics!

OP, this is my first year as well so I'll try to explain what I did.

First, if you have everything organized, add up your total LOAD. For example mine was 48 amps if ALL lights were on at a time. Once you know what you would need at a maximum try to have 50% or ideally 100% more to spare. For example, my setup needs 48 amps max. But I have a total of 80 amps available from 4 different GFCI circuits. (I had to install an additional 2 x 20 amp breakers)

I divided my display up, trying to only use 10-15 amps from each of the four sections. From each of the 4 circuits I have an extension cord running to a yard staked multi-outlet.

From the multi-outlet I go straight into the SSR housing (a gray plastic box) and daisy chain each of the SSRs that are inside.

Disclosure - I'm not an electrician.

budude
11-20-2010, 08:14 PM
I think the last one is the main supply to budude's house...

Now now - - you're the one afraid of LEDs - I'm at 95% or so so I took all that wiring down last year...

DIY Guy
11-20-2010, 08:19 PM
15A will run a lot of LEDs.. What type of lights and how many do you have?

lboucher
11-20-2010, 08:48 PM
One thing I did to keep costs down was retrofit my existing circuits.

When I moved into the house I had 4 outlets outside (2 in garage) but they were all on the same cuircut. So I was able to cut and rewire everything so each were on there own circuit. Just some wire, 4 circuit breakers and some junction boxes and I quadrupled my power.

Also keep in mind, if you have power running thru the wall to an outlet then back into the house to feed the next outlet in the cuicut you can break the tab between the upper and lower receptacle and then have two 15 amp circuits. Just make sure you get a 14 gauge cord plugged into that.

xtreme christmas
11-20-2010, 08:49 PM
Here are some pictures of some of the DIYC members' installations... after a while things tend to get a little out of hand and, well... :shock:

I think the last one is the main supply to budude's house...

The first pic has a gfi on it so it should be ok, right?

james70818
11-23-2010, 10:31 AM
I decided to make two 100 amp sub panels on the front porch. This limits some extention cord needs and allows me to use GFIC Breakers.
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc56/JamesHohensee/Christmas%202010%20Build/DSC_0386.jpg
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc56/JamesHohensee/Christmas%202010%20Build/DSC_0388.jpg

James

mikentn
11-23-2010, 11:33 AM
Remember too that if you increase your overall house load by too much, you may need to upgrade the service feed to the house. James' pictures of his 100A subpanels made me think of that.

The first house I owned had a 100A service..:mad:

james70818
11-23-2010, 11:40 AM
Remember too that if you increase your overall house load by too much, you may need to upgrade the service feed to the house. James' pictures of his 100A subpanels made me think of that.

The first house I owned had a 100A service..:mad:

I guess I should have mentioned that too. When I remodled the house I made sure to cover the lighting needs. I am basically using the heavy feed that goes to my workshop for lighting during christmas. So I am aware of big power items like my air compressor or welding machine, etc.. and work around the lights.

James

kychristmas
11-23-2010, 11:47 AM
I recently purchased a house and it only has one outside outlet. There is no way that I can set up anything this year. I have spent most of this year building some controllers,ssrs, and gathering lights for my first shot at all of this. I was wondering, where do I start when it comes to getting power to everything? Should I have a sub panel installed just for the lights? What is the best safest and most affordable way to go? I was wondering if anyone has pictures of how they run all of their power.

Thanks.....

Unless you have a ton of Incans you plan on using, I wouldn't spend a ton of money running power. 15 Amps runs alot of Blinky Flashy. Especially if you you are mostly LED. You definitely don't need a subpanel. Last year I spent about $180 dollars making a Temporary subpanel with GFCI breakers. I don't regret it, but in the end, I had nearly close to 20,000 minis running off of 3 15amps circuits. This year, I will use the 4th circuit, but I see that dropping off as I switch to LEDs in coming years.

If you are going to be primarily LEDs, then I would focus on getting one more 15 amp circuit out there. Heck that can probably be shared with some low-use item in your house.

Unless you are going wireless or your computer is outside, you will need to get your Signal cables out there as well. I would look to install some sort of port that will allow you to run Power, Antenna, and Ethernet cable outside. I have an old house with an 18"-24" rock foundation, I couldn't do a simple 2.5 pipe like I wanted, so I knocked out a block of Glass Block window for my port pipe. I run the 30 Amp Cable to temporary panel, 4 RS485 Signal cables and Antenna wire out the port.