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Using Step Down Transformers For Your Outdoor Lighting

Step down transformers are a crucial component of an low voltage lighting system. Outdoor lighting systems generally require a lower voltage of electricity than your average household electrical current. A transformer enables you to properly adjust the voltage to what your system needs and to facilitate the correct distribution of current throughout your lighting system.

There are also step up transformers that increase the voltage, but for most outdoor lighting systems, step down transformers will be what you need. When designing an outdoor lighting system, a step down transformer may required to properly adjust the voltage for the desired lighting effect. Without a transformer, you could be facing serious issues. Your lighting system may not work and you could be facing a safety risk.

Step down lighting transformers are used in a myriad of devices and ways. Provide low-level lighting to create a cozy glow in an outdoor pool or spa. Or, create a charming lit pathway or lighted gardenscape in your backyard. You can also highlight showcase trees or gardens with lighting. With these types of lighting systems, you will need a step down lighting transformer.

So, in order to select the appropriate transformer, it’s important to understand a little bit about how a transformer works. The transformer works through a series of two circuits: the primary circuit and the secondary circuit. Each circuit contains a winding, which are both wrapped around the same iron core. The iron core manages the electromagnetism of the transformer. Now, what makes a transformer a step down transformer is that the primary winding is stronger than the secondary winding. You will often see circuit diagrams that explain flow of electrical current through a transformer.

When selecting a step down transformer, here are a few things to consider. First, make sure the transformer is efficient. The more efficient a transformers is the less power it will use to light your outdoor lights. Which will save you money. Second, the material that makes up the circuitry windings is also important in improving efficiency and reducing transformer heat.

Although it can be more costly initially, copper windings are the most efficient and make up for your initial expense over time. However, you may also find that windings are made from aluminum and other metals. Additionally, many types of transformers are available depending on the voltage you need. A lighting professional can assist you in selecting a transformer that meets your lighting needs.

Here are a few standard step down transformers that you can purchase from Rockler:

  • 60 Watt
  • 88 Watt
  • 200 Watt
  • 300 Watt

The more lights you want to power the larger transformer you will need.

Here are a few more articles on low voltage lighting you might be interested in reading:

Low voltage lighting power supplies to light your great outdoors!

How to install outdoor low voltage lighting

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