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Wiring from inside garage to exterior wall mounted lights

Discussion in 'Ask' started by JohnB2, Nov 5, 2019.

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  1. JohnB2

    JohnB2 New Member

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    I've got a 100W 15V Volt system mounted inside my garage with 30W of load from 100% LED lighting. I made a mistake of using the Volt direct-bury wire along the interior garage walls. I feel no heat in any wires while the lights are on. But, I'd like to make necessary corrections to be safe and maybe even code compliant. I do have an electrician coming and I'll be sure to ask them to check things out, but in the mean time I'd like to hear what other folks have done to wire through interior walls.

    Are the Volt 100W transformer and LED lights considered Class 2 limited power devices?
    Any wiring advice to go through garage wall joists and then out through wall to a wall-mounted down light?
    Is there a code-compliant 14/2 wire type that is suitable for interior use? It seems overkill to use Romex NM because of its unused ground wire.
    Are junction boxes necessary where wire splices are done?
    Is conduit necessary for the 5W LED light's wire to go from outside a wall to the inside?

    Thanks much.
     
  2. Evan Kruk

    Evan Kruk Online Liaison Staff Member

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    Hey John,

    Just a heads up with the 100W Slim Line transformer, it comes with a dummy-timmer installed in the built-in timer receptacle but is designed to be used with a 2-in-1 photocell so, its usually programmed via light sensing. If installing in your garage, to get in on a timed scheduled you would need to bypass the interior timer by leaving the master control switch on and plugging a separate control timer directly into the GFCI. Also, correct me if I'm wrong but, it sounds like you may be trying to hard-wire the transformer? If so, just another heads up, doing so will void the lifetime warranty on the unit. To answer your questions though,

    •All of our low-voltage transformers are considered Class-1 power devices.
    •Typically, for any indoor wiring, even though its harmless low-voltage, most installers would still use protective conduit; I'd definitely recommend running some through the joists for added protection and to negate any loose wiring.
    •The outdoor, direct-burial cable we use is generally safe to use for the application you are describing. It's durable and, though intended use buried outdoors is recommended, is used for both exposed and concealed work in wet or dry locations.
    • For low-voltage 12V, protective junction boxes are not required. We do sell wire junction hubs and micro junction wire connectors which make connecting multiple lights in a single, convenient spot quick and easy. Typically, traditional wire nuts are used to cap off wires when direct splicing.
    • Conduit is not necessary but is recommended for protection and securing the wire in a fixed run. Perhaps not directly through the wall, but through the joists and along the wall where the cable will exit.
     
  3. JohnB2

    JohnB2 New Member

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    Hi Evan,

    Thanks for the info! I have the transformer plugged into a normal grounded outlet inside my garage (there's no exposure to rain/water, so it's a regular outlet, not GFCI). For timer functions, I am leaving the transformer's master control switch on and using a smart WiFi plug that has a setting for on-at-sunset and off-at-sunrise. This is nice because I can also control the lights remotely from an app. Any warranty issues with that?

    Another question - is there a recommended minimum wire length between the transformer and a light in order to not over-power the LED bulbs? For example, one light is close enough to the transformer that I can connect its 4-ft wire directly.
     
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  4. Evan Kruk

    Evan Kruk Online Liaison Staff Member

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    Glad to be of help, John. No warranty issues with bypassing the timer in that regard.

    There is no minimum recommended length for distance from a transformer for a fixture; only from water sources, and this mainly relates to the placement of a transformer housing.