What Are Low Voltage Transformers?
Low voltage transformers are devices that provide power to various forms of outdoor lighting, such as recessed lights and patio lights. These transformers provide constant power to your lighting options by transforming the standard voltage of a home power supply into the lower wattage required by many outdoor lights. Since most forms of outdoor lighting do not operate on the same line voltage supply as other kinds of home lighting, such as a standing or desk lamp, a low voltage transformer allows your outdoor lights to get the kind of power they need. Many forms of low voltage transformers include timer options so that your outdoor lighting of choice kicks on automatically without you having to worry about manually turning it on and off.
When choosing a low voltage transformer, make sure to take into account the total wattage of power needed for your lights. If you have six lights that require fifty watts each, you need a low voltage transformer that can provide at least 300 watts of power, if not more. A good rule of thumb is to make sure your low voltage transformer has 20% more wattage available than the lights plugged into it. This gives the transformer a bit of leeway and can help make sure your lights get an adequate amount of power without overdrawing your transformer.
Here are some of the different kinds of low voltage transformers and how they are used.
Best Low Voltage Transformers For The Money
Here are some of the better examples of low voltage transformers available to buy:
Types of Low Voltage TransformersWhen looking into the various types of low voltage transformers, the obvious changing factor is the wattage of each transformer. This factor aside, low voltage transformers usually come in two styles, with some additional features thrown in.
The first style of low voltage transformer is the electronic transformer. Electronic transformers are more compact than their counterparts, and as such are perfect for hard-to-reach lighting areas, such as recessed lights. Keep in mind, electronic transformers are less durable than other forms of electronic transformers, and as such need to be replaced more often to prevent shock or fire hazards and to keep them working in tip-top shape.
The second form of low voltage transformers are magnetic transformers. While larger than the electronic transformer, these transformers are more durable and can usually produce more power. With the ability to power up to 1200 watts, these transformers are perfect for larger lights and more complex lighting schemes. Bear in mind, they do tend to be a bit heavier than their magnetic counterparts, so keep that in mind when installing them.
While both kinds of transformers can come in plastic and metal options, you probably want to encase any plastic transformers in a metal housing, like a junction box, to make it easier to install. If a transformer is “enclosed” or “encased” congratulations! It’s all set for you to install and should be fairly easy to connect to a terminal block.
When picking a low voltage transformer, make sure to double check the wattage you need and the amount of lights you intend to install. Using more than one transformer is a good idea for larger lighting projects, and you can look into timer-based transformers to help take some of the micromanagement out of your outdoor lighting.
The Latest In Low Voltage Transformers
Low Voltage Transformers Video
Here is a YouTube video discussing various types of low voltage transformers: