There is nothing better than having your yard beautifully decked with amazing, upgraded lights all over. In light of this, a low voltage transformer is frequently required. You are unable to illuminate your outdoor space without the aid of this installed equipment.
Transformers are quite ubiquitous in many electrical products, therefore you must have heard of them. A transformer is actually a key component of the electrical distribution system. There are typically two types of transformers that adjust the voltage of the input current to either lower or raise it depending on the situation.
Low voltage transformers, as their name implies, are step-down transfers that are typically put outside of residences and workplaces to regulate outdoor lighting. The low voltage transformers can handle an increased load from several external electrical components as well as various types of decorative lights. The following considerations should be made when purchasing an outdoor low voltage transfer:
A low voltage transformer’s wattage rating describes its power capacity. You will want a transformer with a minimum output of 240 watts if you want to connect 12 separate lights, each using 20 watts.
The primary function of a low-voltage transformer is to reduce voltage while increasing current flow. The maximum intake capacity and a minimum output rating of the transfer are also limited by a specific voltage range that is indicated by the transfer.
Your low voltage converter must have an automatic timer that switches the unit on around dusk if you plan to utilize the exterior decorative lights every day. In addition to saving electricity, this will protect the lights from electrical dangers.
We will now present to you the very best low voltage transformers available and provide you with comprehensive information on each choice. You can fully comprehend these transformers in this manner before purchasing them. On this page, you may also discover a “Buying Guide” that will direct you toward the ideal buy for your needs.
Best Low Voltage Transformers of 2022
Sterno Low Voltage Transformer
NSi TORK Low-Voltage Transformer
GOODSMANN Low Voltage Transformer
DEWENWILS Outdoor Low Voltage Transformer
GKOLED ETL Low Voltage Transformer
One of the most economical national brands, Sterno consistently offers consumers new, inexpensive products. You must look into this choice because former customers have given them a lot of favorable feedback.
The most economical low voltage transformer on the market is what we have in the first position. Your low voltage lighting demands can be met with the Sterno Home GL33120 without breaking the bank. It is a great option for both incandescent and LED lights and is compatible with practically all low voltage landscape lighting systems. It also has an automatic energy-efficient timer, which is fantastic to have at such a low cost.
The transmission is automatically enabled or disabled by the timer without the need for user input using geographic location information and the sun’s location monitoring. This 120-watt transformer has 5 different operating modes: on, off, time-based, automated, and Sunwise, which is exclusive to Sterno devices. Because of these features and the user-friendly design, the device is very user-friendly. The Sterno Home GL33120 is covered by a 1-year warranty from Sterno.
Due to the fact that NSI is not the most well-known brand name on our list, you may not have heard of it before. Nevertheless, it includes a few balanced devices that are appropriate for a wide range of applications, such as the low voltage transformer indicated below.
The NSi TORK TPX300 is our third choice for the best outdoor low voltage transformers. Because of its large power capacity and low price, we’ve chosen to rank this option third among our top choices.
This combination makes it ideal for occasional usage because the 300-watt capacity is sufficient for backyards that are both small and medium-sized. It is made to operate safely with 12-volt lighting loads, such as pool underwater lights, garden lighting, and other types of decorative lighting.
Despite being less expensive than other possibilities at this power capacity, this variant’s safety has not been compromised. In the event of an unexpected power surge, a built-in circuit safety system disconnects the power supply. Additionally, it contains an automatic reset protector and grounding shield.
Given that it comes with 12-inch and 35-inch knockouts that must be fastened to the wall, the installation may require you to have a few simple tools. The NSi TORK TPX300 does not have a warranty period, despite having an outer body composed of heavy-duty steel.
Whether it’s a spotlight or a hammer drill, Goodsmann is known for offering good value for the money spent on its products. Domestic low voltage transformers are one of the lifestyle goods that Goodman works with.
Another 300-watt low voltage transfer is available here, so you don’t have to bother about manually adjusting your lighting system. You can set the automation of the GOODSMANN Low Voltage Transformer in one of three modes using the built-in timer and clock.
You can choose a specific hour of time from the available selections, or you can choose a specific time of day. Additionally, it contains easily replaceable photo sensors that depend on lighting conditions to function.
Once a few installation steps are completed, this metal transformer operates right out of the box and can reduce home 120 voltage to as low as 12 volts. The transformer’s design makes it considerably simpler to install and connect to your lighting systems.
Regarding the safety features, it contains overload and overheating prevention, which addresses the most frequent issue. The control panel is shielded from raindrops and sunshine by a weather shield on the front of the device. It comes with a Goodsmann warranty that lasts for a year.
DEWELWILS is a reputable manufacturer that focuses on offering goods in a variety of industries, including outdoor gear, consumer electronics, and home improvement.
This low voltage transformer can be used to power spotlights, in-ground lighting, and landscape lights, among other things.
It has integrated dusk to dawn sensor that turns on the light automatically at dusk and shuts it off in the morning.
It is simple to install and use this low voltage transformer. It is corrosion- and weather-resistant due to the high-quality materials used.
We all look for reliability while making purchases. There are many new brands on the market, including GKOLED, that have excellent product reliability. Even while GKOLED isn’t very well known right now, with items like these, it will soon be.
Finally, we are presenting to you the most dependable choice from our list. The GKOLED ETL Listed low voltage transformer isn’t the most pricey or robust option on our list. However, it will undoubtedly be the one that endures the longest.
It has an ETL certification for safety and a CEC level certification for energy efficiency. It has a 120-watt power capacity. Additionally, it contains integrated photocells and a timer that supports up to 11 distinct presets. It runs on a fully enclosed Toroid core, which boosts its dependability and performance.
This transformer’s exterior is made of a sturdy steel shell, which reduces noise and enables absolutely silent operation. It also increases its resistance to weather-related issues. The transformer can simultaneously power multiple types of lights with its 12-volt output, which it distributes across two channels. The longest 2-year warranty period on our list makes it the most dependable choice.
Buying Guide For Low Voltage Transformer
It’s possible that none of these choices will be useful to you. Follow our shopping recommendations for the best outdoor low voltage transformer offered below to make sure you can get the most usage out of the low voltage transformer you are going to buy.
Here, we’ll talk about a low voltage transformer’s many characteristics and assess how important each one is for practical applications. This ought to give you a clear picture of the aspects you want to give top priority when choosing your unit.
Design and Construction
Before you decide to buy a voltage transformer, you should think about how it is constructed. The voltage transformer’s design and construction have an impact on other aspects like reliability, power capacity, and safety.
For the best outcomes, you should always choose a metal outer body for a transformer over a plastic or fiber body. Make sure the transformer can fit in the designated space by taking into account its size. If not, you might need to install the transformer with additional adjustments.
The second most crucial component of a transformer is its power rating, which determines the kind and number of lights that can be powered by it. The first thing you should do is figure out how many watts total the lights that are being powered by the transformer will need.
Simply multiply the total number of lights by the wattage of a single unit to achieve that. In addition to the ornamental lights, be careful to provide the wattage of some special lights. If the transformer’s output power rating is insufficient, the lights won’t be powered properly.
Safety precautions are crucial in practically every technological device. The electrical input for our home’s electronic equipment is typically 120 volts. It could result in a tragic occurrence with significant damage if the gadget has a problem or if there is an abrupt change in power input.
Low voltage transformers are equipped with circuit breakers, overload protection, and overheat protection in order to prevent this. In the event that one of the lights in your circuit comes into contact with water, it will also offer additional protection against short circuits.
Timers and Photocells
On practically every low voltage transformer we see on the market, we may find timers and photocells. These parts enable automation on the device and let it operate automatically without requiring manual control.
A timer is a straightforward device that switches the circuit on or off at a certain time. On the other hand, photocells activate the device automatically when they sense a lack of light. Additionally, when environmental light shines on the photocells, the transformer is turned off. This is a clever feature of the device that you should take into account for the convenience of use.
A product’s quality reflects its dependability for ongoing use. You will discover that the majority of the low voltage thermal protectors we have available are really dependable and make wise long-term investments. However, before making a purchase, a thorough evaluation of a product’s dependability is required.
To get a general sense of the unit’s quality and performance assurance, you can look at a number of criteria, including the unit’s build quality and power capacity. You should also look at the device’s warranty time and choose one with a longer warranty period.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a low voltage transformer?
Every landscape lighting system is built around a low-voltage transformer. It changes the current at 120 volts into a low voltage current (between 12-15 VAC). How effectively the transformer controls the voltage output and how much energy is used during the process depends on how efficient this conversion is. The highest-performing and most energy-efficient multi-tap low voltage transformers available are called VOLT® transformers. These transformers provide a very stable source of current with very little energy usage because they have high-quality toroidal cores, sturdy wiring, and reliable internal components.
What are the different types of low voltage transformers?
By using two coils, magnetic transformers can lower the voltage from 120 volts to 12 volts. The line voltage is carried by the primary coil (108V to 132V). Current is produced in the secondary coil by the first coil’s electrical current, which also induces a magnetic field. The secondary coil generates a current with 1/10th the voltage since it has 1/10th as many windings. Transformers for magnetic landscape lighting comes in two different varieties. These depend on the kind of core:
- Laminated/Stacked cores have a Copper wire that is used to wound sheets, which are then layered or laminated to create a core. This is the most typical and affordable process for making a core. Compared to toroidal cores, these are less efficient, run hotter, and make more noise.
- Toroidal cores are made out of a single, solid donut-shaped component, and the windings are wrapped both inside and outside of the donut’s hole. Toroidal cores are more expensive to produce but are more effective, buzz-free, and operate cooler. Toroidal cores work well in lighting systems with moderately high loads, as those with ten or more fixtures. In comparison to EI laminated versions, VOLT® toroidal cores are more energy-efficient, quieter, and cooler. This is crucial for transformers with higher capacities.
They do this by first raising the current’s frequency from 60 Hz to as high as 20,000 Hz, which is how they change the 120-volt current to 12 volts. The smaller, lighter, and more affordable transformer can be made possible by the smaller core that can be used at a higher frequency. The biggest drawbacks are that (1) a 12-volt electronic transformer must be placed within about 10 feet of the fixture, (2) their high-frequency current might not be compatible with LED circuits, and (3) these currents also suffer from significant voltage loss in comparison to magnetic types, (4) an electronic transformer is prone to overheat and premature failure.
How many lights can you put on a low voltage transformer?
Your overall lighting wattage and the maximum transformer draw will determine this. We advise staying under 80% of the transformer’s capacity.
Will The Low Voltage Be Fainter Than Normal Voltage?
Actually, the low voltage transformer will provide light with a similar brightness to standard voltage.
This is mostly because voltage fluctuations have no effect on lighting. The illuminating luminance of the bulb is determined by its Wattage rating.
What Are The Benefits Of This Type Of Low Voltage Transformers?
Low voltage transformers come in a wide range of sizes, therefore it is important to know what will fit comfortably. If you’re searching for a business that can offer reliable help. You won’t be penalized if you choose not to utilize one.
You’ve come to the right place if you’ve never bought a low-voltage transformer before and are unfamiliar with them. Customers frequently struggle to decide which choice is best for them since they are torn between a few alternative options.
We’ve provided the top outdoor transformers on the market today to help you with this chore. For you to purchase the device right away, we have also included all of the relevant information with these selections.