Everything you need to know about transformers

If you're considering investing in low-voltage 12-volt landscape lighting fixtures, it's imperative to consider the purchase of a transformer, which you can buy directly from our website.

In order to assist you in making an informed selection of your transformer, and to provide you with a thorough understanding of its operation, we have compiled below the most commonly asked questions on this subject, as well as any relevant information.

How to choose the power of your transformer

To choose a transformer, you must first know the number of lights to install on the circuit and the wattage of each of these lights. The total of these watts, plus 50% for any additions, will provide you with the power needed for the transformer.

In addition, to compensate for current losses on the circuit and increase the life of the transformer, it is advisable to leave a power margin of around 10%.

For example, the total watts of all fixtures connected to a 100 watt transformer should not exceed 90 watts.

Where to install your transformer

Our transformers can be installed indoors or outdoors. However, if you decide to install your transformer indoors, choose one that does not have a photocell.

Transformer voltage drops

Low voltage system cables are, however, generally limited to loading below 300 watts and cable lengths rarely go beyond 150 feet (45.7 meters). If these guidelines are exceeded, the lighting fixtures at the end of the cable may run undervoltaged and lamp may not shine as brightly.

The chart will help determine the recommended watts/cable length limits that will give you the most satisfactory results.

Tips for reducing voltage drop

Since the reduction of voltage drop is such an important factor in the quality of a low voltage system installation, keep the following guidelines in mind for best results:

-Keep the cable length for the distance to be covered to a minimum. Avoid extra cable or loops between two fixtures.

-Consider lower wattage lamps. Against the dark background of night, more often than not, you will find that you do not need much wattage to achieve the desired effect.

-Consider using more than one cable connected to the same transformer terminal block and alternate the connection of fixtures between the two cables. Looping the same cable back to the transformer terminal block has the same effect.

-Do not use cables smaller than #12. Smaller cables have a higher resistance and therefore a tendency to increase voltage drop. 12 gauge is suitable for electrical loading up to 300 watts.

-Use larger transformer consoles. They exhibit much lower voltage regulation (i.e. reduction of voltage at the terminal block) than do smaller transformers.