These days, homeowners have been setting up their living and outdoor space with exquisite lighting to decorate and embellish their homes. And if you’re one of those people, searching for the best low voltage transformers in the market might undoubtedly be a challenge. With all the different kinds of low voltage transformer today, considering a useful item that can support numerous lighting at your home is a priority.
To guide you more, we’ll discuss all the things you need to know about low voltage transformers. Fortunately, this post can help you decide which low voltage transformer is the most suitable for your home.
What is a Low Voltage Transformer?
The main reason behind a low-voltage system is the transformer. Low Voltage transformers are used to alter the voltage capacity of a low-voltage electric transmission line. Typically, low voltage transformers convert 120 volts to 12 or 24 volts to run safely into any light fixtures.
This transformer is also utilized to reduce hum, improve efficiency, and use up less load power. The majority of the low voltage transformers have a 24-hour timer, enabling you to select when the lights turn on and off automatically.
On a side note, some low voltage transformers are single tap. It means that the transformer only puts out one voltage, which is typically 12 or 24 volts. Alternatively, multi-tap transformers allow you to choose the amount of voltage from 12 to 15 volts or more.
Although it may seem easy, there are still other factors that you need to think about before purchasing a low voltage transformer. The first step you must consider is knowing what kind of low voltage transformer best matches your place. So, how do you do it? Look for more details in this post.
Choosing a Low Voltage Transformer
Trying to consider the following factors can help you identify the best low voltage transformer for your place.
Magnetic or Electronic
Understand what type of low transformer voltage you will use. Mainly, there are two kinds of low voltage transformer: Magnetic and Electronic.
Magnetic Low Voltage Transformers come in a larger and more durable than the electronic low voltage transformer. Also, note two types of Magnetic Low Voltage Transformer: the stack laminated and toroidal transformers.
Stack laminated transformers are usually square-shaped and inexpensive. This transformer has an added benefit of a longer life span from 15 to 20 years. However, stack laminated transformers only function for 80 to 85 percent efficiency and a bit noisy.
On the other hand, Toroidal transformers can operate from 90 to 95 and can run for a very long time. This transformer is much quieter, so you can set them up close to the lightings. If you’re aiming for an energy-efficient low voltage magnetic transformer, getting the toroidal transformer is the best choice for you.
Moving on, electronic transformers are much smaller than magnetic transformers. If you’re worried about some space, this type is the one for you. What’s more, an electronic transformer is fairly a good choice if you aim for a discreet type. With this kind of transformer, you won’t be having a hard time hiding it among any of your landscaping. Besides, electronic transformers are also convenient for use. They are usually connected to a light switch, which allows its users to shut down the power if needed quickly.
But, have in mind that electronic low voltage transformers are delicate to heat. Putting this equipment in a metal fixture might cause complications and can result in a shorter transformer lifespan. Also, this kind of transformer is known for being noisy when it operates. Usually, people who use electronic low voltage transformers complains about a humming or murmuring sound.
Regardless of that matter, electronic transformers have still been popular devices for homeowners because of their inexpensive cost.
Recognizing how much voltage you will need will support you in choosing the right low voltage transformer. To do this, you can look at the lighting you’re going to use and go through whatever voltage it requires.
Considering an enclosure is essential for exterior transformers. Enclosures will help the transformers get covered as it will be exposed to harsh weather, dirt, chemicals, UV rays, and more. An enclosure made out of durable plastic, metal, or water and weatherproof can help your transformers be safe and protected.
Lastly, the wattage. Know that every transformer has a maximum load. There are instances that it is the same as what the product is tagged. But don’t depend too much on that point as it may not always be the case. All in all, ensure that the total wattage of lights you’re linking to the transformer has to be under the maximum load.
Best Low Voltage Transformer To Use In Your Space
While there are many options in the market, we’ve listed down some of the best low voltage transformers that you can safely use for your home or any establishment. Here are some of the excellent products reviews that we have selected today.
Sterno Home Low Voltage Transformer
Sterno Home Low Voltage Transformer is one of the trusted equipment available in the market right now. This 12 volts landscape transformer is suitable for all outdoor low voltage landscape lighting fixtures. It is ideal to use with LED and incandescent lights.
If you’re asking about its technology, the Sterno Home Low Voltage Transformer brings a Sunwise technology. This device uses sun-tracking and geographical location to identify the best on and off time for maximum energy efficiency.
Best of all, this transformer features a user-friendly LCD screen that helps you program your lighting transformer quickly. It also has five versatile modes that can help you adjust your lightings whenever needed.
Lastly, the Sterno Home Low Voltage Transformer is guaranteed weatherproof for all-weather use. With its rustproof plastic construction, you can ensure that this transformer is made to last.
If you’re aiming to have one of the best low voltage transformers in the market, then this one must be on your list.
GKOLED Low Voltage Transformer
Are you looking for a good quality transformer that you can count on? Well, look no further because you are in the right spot! The GKOLED ETL Listed low voltage transformer is one of the top choices of homeowners today in the market.
This transformer comes with an integrated photocell and timer that can help you operate better and quickly. You can select from the 11 preset operation modes with the intuitive interface whenever needed. The GKLOED ETL low voltage transformer is guaranteed safe to use and energy saving with CEC Level VI Certified for efficiency.
But wait, there’s more for you to know. It also features a 12V AC output with two channels perfect for landscape lighting fixtures. The 2-way output also makes it easier for you to handle different lights with additional equipment if needed.
Best of all, the GKOLED ETL Low Voltage Transformer is made out of heavy-duty steel housing, which can ensure its users to last for a long time. With its full encapsulated TOROID core, this low voltage transformer is safe against any hard weather all year round.
So, suppose you want a safe, easy to use, energy-efficient, and reliable low voltage transformer. In that case, the GKOLED ETL is the one for you. Plus, who wouldn’t want a 2-year warranty service in case something goes wrong with the item?
Moonrays Electric Power Pack For Outdoor Low Voltage Lighting
Next on the list is the Moonrays Electric Power Pack. Also considered as the best choice for low voltage transformers, this item highlights its weatherproof feature. With its low voltage lighting control unit and molded weatherproof body, the power connections and controls are guaranteed safe from any elements like dirt, dust, and abrasion.
It also features an automatic setting that you can program to manage the light operation for 4-8 hours. What’s more, is that it also has a light sensor technology that detects the amount of light in the environment. This process automatically turns on the light during sunrise and shuts off at dusk time.
The best part about this product is that it is easy to install. You won’t have any problem setting up this low voltage transformer. It includes a 4ft power cord, mounting hardware, and instructions for use.
To top it all, the Moonrays is a global leader for electrical and electronic wires, garden lights, timer products, and more. So, getting this low voltage transformer for your space can surely help you not only in saving energy but also with your budget as well. In case you have some issues with the products, all of the items of Moonrays are secure with a one-year limited warranty. Are you not convinced yet? Wait ’till you try it on your own!
Malibu Power Pack Low-Voltage Weatherproof Transformer
Are you still worried about the safety of household electricity? If you are, getting the Malibu Power Pack Low Voltage Transformer is the right choice. This equipment has a memory and overload protection that can disconnect the power supply in case of overload. Also, this feature effectively prevents damage to the transformer. Simultaneously, the memory function helps keep the mode you selected after restart and power-off.
What’s even greater about this item is that it has a variety of setting modes. You can either choose to turn it off and on automatically after 4,6,8 or 10 hours. With this function, you can choose whatever option you like at any point in time.
Best of all, it also has an optical sensor technology that detects light in its environment to shut down during sunrise and power on during dusk automatically. If you’re wondering about its quality, the Malibu Power Pack is made with high-quality materials that can last long for some time.
It also has a particular door panel opening and closing design covering dust and moisture protection for added safety. So, suppose you’re aiming for a low voltage transformer with a useful feature and good protective design. In that case, the Malibu Power Pack is the answer to your problem.
GOODSMAN Low Voltage Transformer
Do you want a different kind of low voltage transformer at home? A Goodsman transformer is a good option. With its built-in timer and clock, you will surely love the flexibility of this item. You can choose to control the landscape lights automatically or set them at a time that you want.
But wait, you know what’s best? This low voltage transformer is ideal for long term use. It features an overheating and overload protection that allows the transformer to be protected from any damage. It also has a weather shield on the front to protect against all kinds of weather.
The Goodsman low voltage transformers are suitable with all low voltage lighting systems. So, trying out this transformer won’t be a big problem at all. Enjoy this low voltage transformer when purchased and get a 12 months replacement even after-sales service. How does that sound?
NSi TORK TPX300 Low-Voltage Safety Transformer
If you’re looking for one of the leading choices, then the NSi Tork Tpx300 is the deal. This low voltage transformer has been proven safe and reliable with its built-in circuit protection. This function will disconnect the power in case an overload happens. It is also made with heavy-duty steel construction that can ensure to last all year round.
The highlight feature of this low voltage transformer is within its application. It is designed for safe operation for 12-volt lighting loads to landscape lights, underwater pool spa, decorative lighting, and even fountains.
It’s also compatible to use with incandescent, fluorescent, compact, and LED lights for your living or outdoor space. With multiple ½ inches and ¾ inch knockouts, this low voltage transformer ensures you can install in compartments and other areas at home easily.
Worry not about purchasing this product as this is a UL Listed; CSA approved Class II and meets NEC article 680.23 for underwater luminaires and any applicable local codes.
Well, if these features don’t convince you yet, then you might want to try this low voltage transformer with your low voltage lights now?
Lightkiwi Multi-Tap Low Voltage Transformer for Landscape Lighting
The last item on the list is the Lightkiwi W9715 low voltage transformer. Like NSi, if you’re looking for a different kind of low voltage transformer feature, checking this item on your list is a good catch.
With its high-performance toroidal core, this transformer guarantees to run on a quiet operation with excellent reliability and high efficiency. It has dual protection, which has a primary: auto-reset thermal circuit breaker and a secondary: 25A Magnetic circuit breaker.
What’s more, it has a multi-tap output voltage option, which is best for longer wire runs. Made with 100% pure bare copper, the Lightkiwi W9715 is undoubtedly safe to use against all kinds of weather and can last for a long time.
This low voltage transformer is also ETL Certified, which is proven risk-free under safety guidelines. So, you won’t have any problems worrying about using it in your home or any establishment that you may have.
Now, there you have it! These are only some of the best choices for people when it comes to low voltage transformers. Still, there are other items available on the market which you can choose from. We hope that looking through these products can essentially help you pick what is suitable for your place. After all, these low voltage transformers are a good catch for you.
Installing Low Voltage Transformers
Installing this equipment at home isn’t somewhat hard at all. Although each model has its attributes, looking through the guidelines and manuals is a must. Ensuring you read all the basics before setting it up in your place will help you place the transformer easily.
Suppose you don’t have any electrical work experience. In that case, we highly recommend that you ask for help from an electrician before you start your job. Thus, if you’re confident and comfortable with simple electrical grids and encounter installing light fixtures, installing this low voltage transformer won’t be a big deal.
To be guided too as well, here’s the process on how to install a low voltage transformer.
First, look for a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet to use as a link point between your outdoor lights and home. This kind of outlet can help detect current flows from positive to neutral points and shut down any issues encountered.
Next, place your transformer near the GFCI outlet for additional safety against power and wire problems. Remember that even if the low voltage transformer is guaranteed weatherproof, it is still best to cover the outlet to avoid moisture.
Review your manual instruction to verify the appropriate cable that you will use. Once done, you can now set-up the light fixtures and the wires. Lastly, when everything is settled, turn on the transformer to confirm if everything goes well. If everything’s right, you can now bury the wires, and you’re all done.
Checking the Low Voltage Transformer
To ensure that your low voltage transformer works properly, having regular check-ups with the equipment is a good idea. Here’s a simple method that you can do on your own.
Turn off the power supply to the transformer itself, then read the manual. Usually, low voltage transformers come with a testing process, so it is crucial to follow the guidelines with the product you purchased.
The next step is to test and locate the wires. But, this varies on what kind of low voltage transformer you have. There must be a red and black wire present in the equipment. Insert the red one to the place marked “ohms” and then the black into a recess.
After that, you can check the reading. Remember that you’re looking for a closed circuit that will provide you a reading of zero ohms. If you get a result like this, everything is working correctly, and you can continue as normal. Otherwise, if you get an output other than zero, the circuit is not closed, and the transformer needs replacement.
Checking your low voltage transformer before using it is a must. Take note damaged wires in the transformers can lead to more severe problems and can cause danger.
All in all, a low voltage transformer helps you conserve more energy and enables you to save your budget. It also keeps your garden, pool, yard, or outdoor places to look good and excellent.
While there are many low voltage transformers that you can see in the market today, our top choice still falls under what’s valuable. The Goodsmann low voltage transformer is our best preference in terms of all the products mentioned above. Not only because it is cheap, but because it serves its purpose very well.
It’s also the perfect choice if you’re looking for an outdoor low voltage transformer at home or any establishments you have. There’s nothing much to worry about the Goodsmann low voltage transformer. It is compatible with all low voltage lighting fixtures. So, whether you have halogen, incandescent, or LED lights, this equipment can function very well. Now it’s for you to try its effectiveness and efficiency.
Still, the choice is in your hands. You got to decide which low voltage transformer you will use at your place. But, be sure that the item or product you will be buying is guaranteed safe and secured to use. Low voltage transformers involve many electricity wiring attachments — one mistake of installing and fixing the wires but might cause massive damage and risk at your home.
So, be sure to keep safe, know your standard, and be a wise buyer!
Ethan is an American who grew up to be a DIY enthusiast with an accounting degree and too many hobbies to count. He emigrated from Wyoming to Texas in 2011. While he is not writing he is busy taking care of his two kids Emma and Ella.