Outdoor Lighting runs on Low Voltage
Low voltage lighting transformers convert the electricity of your electrical grid into a much smaller voltage output. This is essential for powering your low voltage outdoor lighting!
Do You Need One?
If you are planning to have landscape lighting, then yes. Outdoor accent lighting is, for the most part, all considered low voltage. Anything that uses about 50 volts or less is.
Households in the United States typically have a 120 volt grid, which is far too much for smaller lighting to handle. Without a low voltage transformer you would short out lighting not made to withstand the excess energy supplied!
Put nice, short and simply: low voltage lighting transformers simply ‘transform’ your home’s electrical power into a smaller, more manageable voltage for your landscape lighting!
Installing a low voltage transformer can be a little bit trickier. Working with 120 volts of electricity can be extremely dangerous, and shouldn’t be attempted if you don’t have proper understanding of electrical systems. You will probably want to hire a licensed professional electrician to do the installation for you.
They will also be familiar with your local municipality codes in regards to low voltage lighting.
So What Do You Need?
This is where planning in advance comes in. You will need to know how many lights you will need for your project, because you will have to get a low voltage transformer that can support them.
Low voltage lighting transformers come in various sizes and wattage. It is important to get the right one for your lighting project. So you will need to gain a number, the amount of total wattage your landscape lighting will use.
This is a simply done taking the wattage of the bulbs in the lights you are planning to use, and then multiplying that number by the total number of fixtures.
But you will need to have a little extra in your transformer. The general rule of thumb is about 25% more wattage in your transformer than your total wattage number.
Wattage of the Bulbs x Total Number of Fixtures = Total Wattage
Total Wattage + 25% = Wattage Your Transformer Will Need
So if your total wattage comes out to be about 90 watts or so, a 100 watt transformer is what you’ll need for the job.
If you are planning to install more lights in the near future, you can consider a low voltage transformer with a higher wattage, but you don’t want to go too much higher than your total wattage. It may be a better idea to buy additional transformers, or upgrade one you have, at a later time when you do decide to add more lights.
To make your home really shine, low voltage outdoor lighting is both efficient and beautiful. It can be a wonderful addition and can bring any landscape to life. Low voltage lighting transformers are the way these kinds of lights are able to shine their brightest!