Our team will try our best to answer some of the more commonly asked qustions below. If you need more details or information, please do not hesistate to give us a call and we will be happy to help you!
GENERAL QUESTIONS—LANDSCAPE & HARDSCAPE
Do I need a permit to install Tru-Scapes® Landscape Lighting
Most counties and states do not require permits to install low voltage lighting, however, be sure to check with your local codes if a permit is required. Be aware all of our products operate on a 12-volt system with a UL Listed Transformer.
Will Tru-Scapes® be adding more color finishes?
Yes, there are plans to launch more color finishes in the near future.
Where can I buy Tru-Scapes Landscape Lighting?
Tru-Scapes Landscape Lighting is sold exclusively through the Oldcastle Belgard dealer network with locations across the US. To find a local dealer, go here.
Tru-Scapes Deck Lighting can be purchased on Amazon, Ebay, and TruScapesDeckLighting.com.
What comes in the box with Tru-Scapes®?
All Tru-Scapes® lighting products come with wire nuts and mounting hardware (if applicable) included in the box.
Does Tru-Scapes® Deck have color changing fixtures?
The TS-PL102 Noble LED Low Voltage Pillar Light is color changing . Other than this light fixture, Tru-Scapes® does not currently have a color changing options.
Will I get shocked if I touch the low voltage wire with the power on?
No, you will not get shocked by touching the wire coming out of the transformer. Wires are fully insulated for outdoor use. Also, the power and current coming out of our transformer to the fixtures is not enough for most people to even feel at all, let alone give a shock if you touch the actual copper inside the insulation. It is best to make fixture connections with the power off to prevent damage to the LED lamps and internal components.
Is there a positive and negative side of the wire?
No, there is no positive or negative charge in the wire with LED lighting. Simply do not cross your wires making a connection and the lights will work. One tip… match the label side of the wires when installing to prevent ‘crossing’ the lines.
How to make a connection?
We have videos and diagrams on our website that show this. Where a fixture is desired cut the 12/2 wire. Take either end, pull apart the 2 lines of copper to form a Y. Strip off the insulation so copper is exposed. Take one arm of the Y from the fixture lead and 1 arm from both the 12/2 Y’s and twist together and wire nut. Repeat for the other. Putting both arms of the Y together in the same wire nut will result in a short and the lights will not turn on. Tru-Scapes fixtures include a pair of gel-filled water resistant wire nuts properly sized for the connection of said fixture.
Do I need to use electrical tape for connections?
Electrical tape is not required for installation, but some electrical tape is good practice. Even with the wire nuts secured properly over the connection, these fixtures are outside and exposed to the elements. A small amount of electrical tape to really secure on the wire nuts onto the wire is a good idea. We suggest a few wraps just below the wire nuts to prevent strain on the connections.
How many feet of wire can I run before I see a drop in light output?
There is no set answer on this. It depends on size of the transformer, amount of fixtures attached to run, and how far between the first and last fixture. Generally, this is not an issue with LED lights since their wattage is so low. We use AC current output which travels better than DC current.
How many fixtures are recommended for one wire run?
Generally, we recommend no more that 15 to 20 fixtures per 100 watts on a given wire run. This is to help for troubleshooting any problems that occur and helps keep the light quality the same from the first to the last fixture on the run.
What is the suggested method of running wires?
We suggest running wires in areas that they have the least likelihood of being cut. Run wires along foundations or along a walkway where possible. Using conduit crossing bed edges or under hardscapes to avoid cuts in the wire from shifting rocks or edging beds. Avoid running wires to close to shrubs or trees, this way if the plant is removed in the future the wire will not be cut.
How deep do you bury the wire?
Electrical code recommends the low voltage wire be buried 6 inches in the ground. Most contractors however will just use staples and staple the wire down to hide in underneath whatever mulch or stone they are installing over top. When running the wire through grass or bed edges it is highly recommended to go at least 6 inches down to avoid cuts in the wire.
What is the recommended fixture installation?
Assemble and install the bulb in the fixtures without the ground stake attached. Locate where you would like the fixture and use a rubber mallet to hammer in the ground stake. Then place the wire in the slot in the ground stake and thread the fixture in. For hardscape fixtures, locate and mark where the fixture will go and drill or saw cut a groove to place the wire into. Use tape to hold fixture in place if required for final testing before applying glue to caps.
What is a photocell?
A photocell is a plug-in accessory that works with the 150w and 300w stainless steel transformers. There is a short lead (9 inches) or a long lead version (15ft). The photocells have a built-in sensor that senses when the sun is going down and will turn on the lights automatically once it is dark enough. The photocell must be placed in an area that is well lit during the day and not a dark shady corner or under a deck or other structure to function properly.
What is the recommended spacing for fixtures?
These are all round numbers for general spacing. 8-10 feet between path lights, 5 feet for A1000, A6000, and paver lights. Accent lights are more as required no general spacing.
Can I use your fixtures around a pool or pond?
Our fixtures are rated to ip65. This means that they are rated for installation no closer than 5 feet to a body of water by electrical code. This has more to do with the transformer than the actual fixtures but be sure to check local codes since they vary based on location.
What are lumens?
Lumens are just a scale of measuring how much light a fixture emits. The higher the Lumens the brighter the light. All our fixture’s lumens are listed on the quick reference guide to assist with the design process.
Can you help me with designing the lighting on a project?
Yes, we are willing to help with lighting designs. Our team has 25 plus years of experience in design and installation and we are happy to assist. In order to assist, we will need a proper landscape layout drawing with measurements and or pictures of the project area. Based off these details, we can provide a good idea of fixture style and placement.
TRANSFORMER INSTALLATION & SETUP—LANDSCAPE & HARDSCAPE
Why can't I connect to my Tru-Scapes® Bluetooth Transformer?
Make sure you are within 30 feet of the transformer with no obstructions. Pull the home screen down on the app to have it refresh the scan. If this does not work, please delete the app, reinstall, and try again. Another step you can try is, unplug transformer for 15 MINUTES and plug back in. If none of the above works call our customer support team at 1(800) 878-1240.
Why is the Tru-Scapes® transformer red fault light on?
Upon install, the fault light will automatically come on until a phone is connected. Be sure to check wiring connections. A crossed wire will turn the system off and turn on the fault light. Also, check to make sure the transformer is large enough to handle the number of fixtures connected.
Why should I buy the Tru-Scapes® Bluetooth Transformer?
The Bluetooth transformer is an all-in-one unit. Controlled through Tru-Scapes® Smart lighting app on a mobile device. This eliminates the need to go out and manually adjust the transformer. The Bluetooth transformer will run itself once set up, automatically adjusting for the seasonal sunup/sundown time change. The app also shows a power meter, so you know exactly how much wattage your system is using and a manual on / off button.
Do Tru-Scapes® transformers offer zoning?
Currently our transformer does not offer zoning (some lights on while others are off). To achieve zoning, it requires having multiple transformers on the job or project installed.
What size Tru-Scapes® transformer do I need for my project?
First figure out which fixtures will be used and how many of each the project will have. Take the quick reference guide (located here), that has all our fixtures listed with the wattage they will use and multiply the given wattage by the # of fixtures used. Then add those numbers to get a total. For example, I have 10 TS-C145’s and 4 TS-A501’s on a job. TS-C145’s use 3 watts and TS-A501’s use 1 watt so 10×3=30 watts for TS-C145, 4×1=4 watts for TS-A501’s. So total job is 30watts+4watts=34 watts. DO NOT USE MORE THAN 80% OF TRANSFORMER CAPACITY THIS IS ELECTRICAL CODE. This rule applies to all transformers.
What is Tru-Scapes® warranty on transformers?
There is a 5-year warranty on all Tru-Scapes® transformers.
Can Tru-Scapes® transformers go outside?
Yes, all Tru-Scapes® transformers are rated for outdoor use. The transformer should be mounted a minimum of 18 inches above ground and must be plugged into a GFCI outlet.
Why do Tru-Scapes® transformers have multiple “Com” slots and 12V slots?
There are multiple TAP slots on our transformers to limit excessive wire runs. For example, if the transformer is located on the side of the house and the customer wants lights in the front and the back of the house, use slot 1 to run wire to the front of the house and slot 2 to run another line to the back. Multiple lines greatly help with troubleshooting a project if a problem would happen to occur.
I have a Tru-Scapes® Bluetooth Transformer but never want the lights automatically on...
The Tru-Scapes® BT transformers come with 2 preloaded programs (dusk to midnight, dusk to dawn) that cannot be deleted. You can edit these programs by clicking on them and by deselecting the “active days” it will keep the transformer from automatically turning on the lights.
Are timers included in Tru-Scapes® transformers?
Both the Tru-Scapes® Bluetooth Transformer and the Tru-Scapes® 100w Economy transformer have built in timers. Bluetooth transformers are built-in and run off the Tru-Scapes® App. The 100w Economy transformer has a built-in photo eye that senses the outside light and has options for 4,6, or 8 hour run times once it senses it is dark.
How do I connect the wires to Tru-Scapes® transformer?
See video attached here … This is a video created by Belgard, our exclusive partner.
Do I need an electrician to install Tru-Scapes® transformer and lights?
No, an electrician is not required to install Tru-Scapes® products. The transformer plugs into a standard 120v GFCI protected outlet and the system is 12volts, so it does not require a certified electrician to install in most places. Be sure to check with local laws to make sure that a license is not required.
How many fixtures can I hook up in 1 connection point?
We recommend no more than 2 fixtures be wired in using the same pair of wire nuts. More than 2 fixtures make the copper connection too large to ensure a proper watertight seal using the gel filled wire nuts provided with the fixtures. It is important the nut ‘grabs’ and twist until you feel resistance to ensure a proper connection.
What size transformer do I need for my project?
Proper Transformer size is one of our most commonly asked questions. Start by designing your job and choosing the best fixtures for the application. Once you have your fixture list you can refer to our website or literature for the wattage rating for each fixture. Add the wattage for a complete number.
For example: I have 10 301’s and 4 102’s on a job.
301 uses 3 watts and 102 uses 4 watts so 10*3=30 watts for path lights 4*4=16 watts for accent so total job is 46 watts.
It is HIGHLY recommended to stay below 80% of the transformer’s rated capacity to allow for variations in draw and the ability of future expansion. This rule applies to all transformers. Electricity is not constant; it varies slightly so if you load 148 watts onto 150 watt transformer there is a good chance it will damage fixtures or trip the transformer and no lights will turn on.
What is the difference between the traditional Stainless Steel transformers and the Bluetooth models?
The Bluetooth transformer offers a single solution out of the box. Setup is easy with the Tru-Scapes Transformer app—location is set via phone or tablet. The Bluetooth unit will reliably run as set. The unit automatically adjusts for the seasonal time change and daylight savings.
The traditional Stainless Steel models offer a more basic solution with the option of a photocell, timer of manual control.
We can also suggest adding a WiFi plug of your choice to the Stainless Steel units. This allows for integrated Wifi control within your chosen network.
To view frequently asked questions pertaining to Tru-Scapes® Deck Lighting, please go here.
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