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  #1  
Old 07-18-2009, 10:33 PM
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Portable Sub Panel For Light Display?

Just curious if anyone is a diehard when it comes to outdoor light displays and has built a portable sub panel, or had one built for them. If so, do you have any spec's or drawings, or other info on the project? I'm trying to figure out the best way to create about 30-40 circuits so I can light the house and every tree on my property plus some wire figures. Any help would be great.
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Old 07-19-2009, 12:24 AM
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I am a diehard and I also offer Holiday lighting installations as a part of my electrical business.

I have a 100 amp sub-panel for my display, but it's not portable. To have 30-40 circuits would mean a 200 amp sub-panel if each circuit is loaded. I don't know what size your main service is, but it's possible you might need a service upgrade.

I would be happy to help you on this but I would need more information.

What size is your current service?
Is this an existing project or will you be buying new lights?
What kind of lights and how many?
If you use LED lights you can go with far fewer circuits than with traditional incandescant lights.

Send me a PM or email and I can help you further.
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Old 07-19-2009, 01:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Storeytime View Post
What size is your current service?
Is this an existing project or will you be buying new lights?
What kind of lights and how many?
If you use LED lights you can go with far fewer circuits than with traditional incandescant lights.
This idea was something I saw last year on another forum and have been trying to get more/better info on it. I may not need 30-40 anyway, maybe only half that.

I want to say my current service is 100amp, but not sure. Dumb question that I should know the answer to, but what's an easy way to find out? We have two panels with about 30 circuits total. I'd have to look tomorrow or when I got a chance.

I have lights, a mix of C9's for the house and 100ct mini strands for the trees. But if the money is available, we will switch most if not all to LED. For the house last year, there were 20 25ct C9 strands and one of those GE light and sound boxes controlling 4 C9 strands and 3 wire frame figures. I have about 20 of the 100ct strands to do about 10 trees for now, but wanted to light all 25 trees this year if I can get more power out front.

Like I mentioned, I'd like to switch it all to LED, but the price would have to be right. I also wanted to build a train "silhouette" outlined in lights.

Thanks!
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Old 07-19-2009, 05:24 PM
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Your panel ought to have a main breaker which ususally has the amperage rating on the handle. Sometimes not though.

C9 - 7 watts per bulb - 25 light string = 1.5 amps
Mini lights - 100 light string = .51 amps

You have 23 sets of C9's = 36 amps. I factor in continuous use which is 1.25 x the amperage so the C9's are 36 x 1.25 = 45amps.
20 sets of 100 count minis - 10.2A x 1.25 = 12.75
You're looking at 57.75 amps, not counting the wire frames and any additional.

If your service happens to be a 200 amp service, you're probably in good shape, even to add many more and a 100A subpanel.

If your service is 100A you're probably close to the limit depending on theings like how much of your appliances are electric - water heater, heating, cooking. If all of that is gas, then you still might have a little room.

The best bet would be a 200 amp main service with a 100 amp sub-panel.
I just noticed that you said you had two panels and about 30 circuits, so my guess is that you have a 200 amp service. Best to let a local electrician check it out though.
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Old 07-19-2009, 06:56 PM
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Thanks for the info!

Everything here is electric.

And I looked at my panels and one is 200amp, the other is 100amp, with 4 slots left open.
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Old 08-13-2009, 11:46 PM
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I saw a portable panel on another site. They mounted it on a furniture hand truck with a long cord. I think it was Texas Christmas Lights.com.
If I find the link I'll post it.
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Old 08-17-2009, 01:52 PM
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Thanks!
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Old 02-08-2011, 01:37 AM
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This is the only style power centers I will install. But there is other issues that have to be dealt with before this can be used. You had better find a local electrician and explain what you want to do. If they act like they don't understand what you want done then call some one else. Setting up power for Christmas lighting on the average should not cost you an arm and a leg. I have done a lot timer controled outlets for Chrismas lights for people and very seldom go over 1000 dollars. Just figure out what you want to do and have a good plan to work with first thats the first part. Then you can figure out how much power and where you will need it.

http://www.dhcsupplies.com/store/p/6...ceptacles.html
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