Using existing 12 volt source to power string of christmas lights
A homes association had me bid installing an outdoor outlet on each side of a street to plug in Christmas lights on the neighborhood signs. There is an outdoor panel 150 feet away for a sprinkler timer outlet. My cost to trench 150 feet to the 1st outlet and horizontal bore under the street to the 2nd outlet came to $4500. So at $2250 an outlet, they got to thinking of alternatives :) At the panel there is a landscape lighting transformer which powers a 20 watt light on each side of the street. So we got to thinking of if there is any way possible to power a few Christmas lights with the source.
I told them that with a single 12/2 feed running 250 feet, the two existing lights is about all you can expect with that kind of voltage drop. I found online many strands of mini lights for 12 volt use, one 26 feet long strand probably uses 20 to 30 watts of power. So I told the idea to the guy from the city and he liked it. They only need to string a set a lights across a 20 feet long sign. Then the kicker, they want c5 bulbs and not mini lights. So are they out of luck without doing it right and installing REAL wiring? Or does such a thing exist, 12 volt c5 bulbs (or anything with a candelabra base) Perhaps something led or rope light (found they still use 2.5 watts per foot). I think using the landscape light feed is a rigged installation but maybe if it is the only way the budget allows, it is worth looking into. They would need a yearly contract to hang the special 12 volt lights because it's not like x-mas installers would understand the installation.
Just thought I would see if one of you has a great idea before I tell them they're out of luck.