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Thread: Am I going to have to spend 2000 dollars

  1. #1
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    Default Am I going to have to spend 2000 dollars

    I am new and have researched this for about 7 months and have built my boards and am now preparing the setup. If I am going to have about 140 channels, am I going to need to add a new subpanel to my house. I have looked online and people say it is 2000 to do this. Is everyone in here that is running this many channels doing this or is their another way. Keep in mind that I know very little about electricity,,, I can install a fan and change out light and electrical outlets. Thanks,
    Brad Sloan
    8 Renard 16's 128 Channels
    visit my shows at [url]www.sloanlights.com[/url]

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Am I going to have to spend 2000 dollars

    The big question is what are you going to be running on those 140 channels?

    If you are trying to do 3 light strings off each, which is about 1 A total per channel, then, yes, I would think you need to upgrade. But if you are running single strings, bulbs, or LEDs, then it may not be needed. Give us a better idea what you are doing, and we can help you out a bit more. Maybe not me personally, but one of the bright people here.
    1 channel, 0 dimmable. Powered by a man flicking a lightswitch to the beat.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Am I going to have to spend 2000 dollars

    I am going to be mostly running single strands and double. The setup will be 8 Renard 16 and 2 renard 24's, however I doubt I will get above 128 channels.
    Brad Sloan
    8 Renard 16's 128 Channels
    visit my shows at [url]www.sloanlights.com[/url]

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    Default Re: Am I going to have to spend 2000 dollars

    I'm also a newbie but I would think it would also depend on what you have available to you in your current circuit panel.
    They say each string of 100 lights is about 1/3 amp so 128 of them will be about 43 Amps. That is if you have all channels on at once.
    Chris
    [URL="http://www.maloneylights.com"]http://www.maloneylights.com[/URL]
    [URL="http://halloween.maloneylights.com"]http://halloween.maloneylights.com[/URL]
    [URL="http://ctm.maloneylights.com"]http://ctm.maloneylights.com[/URL]

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Am I going to have to spend 2000 dollars

    $2000 sounds high to me (i do heating and cooling) however depending on where you live and the service you have existing may be a good ballpark.

    Just a little info on my plan to power my display (im new also going from 5000 lights to hopefully 25,000 lights) im going to use my air conditioner disconnect its 40 amps at 220 volts which in effect gives me 80 amps worth of available power @ 110 volts (and is not used in the winter). Now i will need to make a distribution center which will cost about $200 or so. all the other power will come from my existing outdoor outlets and garage outlets. for a total of about 120 amps available or aprox 240 strings of 100 count minis (number of channels does not matter just amp draw when added up).

    NOW TO KEEP ME FROM GETTING SUED

    the above is MY plan to power a display and everyone should consult with a qualified person before powering any type of outdoor display.I did not give details on the distrigbution center by plan as not to indorse my design.

    as you can see there are options when trying to obtain power (amps) you just need to think a little outside the box

    hope this helps,
    scott
    05 1000 mini lights with factory controllers on string
    06 added 1200 mini static in trees
    07 added "Mr Christmas" 100 C9 & 1100 more mini
    08 With a lot of help from DIYC will add a GRINCH 48 channel mega tree (9600 mini) DIY 3 channel 6' dia wreath (1800 mini) & 14 snowflakes on roof

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Am I going to have to spend 2000 dollars

    CTMAL you just beat me to to punch

    Your totally correct abour not all lights will be on at the same time.
    05 1000 mini lights with factory controllers on string
    06 added 1200 mini static in trees
    07 added "Mr Christmas" 100 C9 & 1100 more mini
    08 With a lot of help from DIYC will add a GRINCH 48 channel mega tree (9600 mini) DIY 3 channel 6' dia wreath (1800 mini) & 14 snowflakes on roof

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Am I going to have to spend 2000 dollars

    I just emailed you back with the details of how I calculated my needs and installed my subpanel. It all depends on how maxed out your main breaker panel space and current service capacity is compared to what is available. I was able to get away with spending about $160 for all the parts I needed for my install. The hardest part was running the 6/3 with ground wire from the main panel to the subpanel. Just be careful, research, and ask plenty of questions until your sure you know what your doing.

    Regards,
    Tony P.

    [url]www.vimeo.com/palombolights[/url]

  8. #8
    jeffathompson Guest

    Default Re: Am I going to have to spend 2000 dollars

    Quote Originally Posted by gizmo View Post
    CTMAL you just beat me to to punch

    Your totally correct about not all lights will be on at the same time.
    Keep in mind that Vixen has a Watt meter plugin. Run it. You would be surprised how efficient you can make your lights. I did inventory and the math. I have 25,900 lights which if all on would be about 88 amps. I have a 200 amp service I installed about 3 years ago (did it myself but wouldn't recomend that) I figured to split my use up to 5 circuts to be safe. I ran my sequences in Vixen and didn't top 20 amps at any time. (18 was the max actually) Unless you live way out in the country or have your lights 1/2 mile from the road (I am on a very busy street) 25,000 lights on at once would probably have the cops out for a traffic hazard.

    Make sure you have enough, but with the proper circut breakers you don't really need overkill.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Am I going to have to spend 2000 dollars

    Quote Originally Posted by Sloanhaus View Post
    I am new and have researched this for about 7 months and have built my boards and am now preparing the setup. If I am going to have about 140 channels, am I going to need to add a new subpanel to my house. I have looked online and people say it is 2000 to do this. Is everyone in here that is running this many channels doing this or is their another way. Keep in mind that I know very little about electricity,,, I can install a fan and change out light and electrical outlets. Thanks,
    I would take some of that money, and purchase LEDs, instead of incandescents. That will drop your electrical requirements significantly (depending on how many you replace of course), and you may not need a subpanel.
    I was up to well over 100 amps for the display in total, but am down quite a bit now, with the gradual changeover to LEDs. I saved the cost of an additional panel, which I was going to need for my 06 display.
    The additional costs of using LEDs was in my case more than offset by the additional electrical work I would have needed to have done, had I kept using incandescents.
    Greg
    [URL="http://www.youngschristmas.com"]www.youngschristmas.com[/URL]

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Am I going to have to spend 2000 dollars

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Young View Post
    I would take some of that money, and purchase LEDs, instead of incandescents. That will drop your electrical requirements significantly (depending on how many you replace of course), and you may not need a subpanel.
    I was up to well over 100 amps for the display in total, but am down quite a bit now, with the gradual changeover to LEDs. I saved the cost of an additional panel, which I was going to need for my 06 display.
    The additional costs of using LEDs was in my case more than offset by the additional electrical work I would have needed to have done, had I kept using incandescents.
    Greg
    Thats some great advice Greg! Definitely a sound way to utilize some display cash and offset most if not all the cost of service upgrades.
    Thanks,
    Brian, your friendly site Admin.

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