LANDSCAPE LIGHTING - TRANSFORMER SELECTION
When looking to buy outside or landscape lighting, there are many factors to consider, one of the most important being the transformer. This particular unit is able to convert standard house currents of 115 to 120 volts AC to many different ranges that start from 12 volts and up. The reason this is important is that this diverse range is required to compensation for the loss of power that will be experienced through different wire runs going to the actual lighting fixture.
Then, the halogen lights used in landscape lighting can receive a range of acceptable operating volts, typically between 10.8 and 12 volts, although most have a peak performance of 11 to 11.5 volts. The bottom line is that the safety and function of your landscape lighting is dependent on both construction and design of the transformer. In addition, it is important to understand the various characteristics of a good quality transformer, which are listed below:
* Unit that is capable of efficiently transforming standard house current to a range of low voltages
* Unit that is designed with ward of corrosion, water damage, and other types of physical damage
* Unit design to generate the appropriate heat level to avoid overheating
* Unit that can operate trouble-free and efficiently for years
* Unit that has a quality circuit protection design
The two most popular types of transformers include the laminated and torodial. Each transformer has two lengths of wire that is wound carefully onto the core, using a configuration specially designed to create a magnificent field. What happens is that this transfers the current from one wire to another wire. You would then have one wire carrying an incoming high voltage current, known as the primary and the second one carrying a low voltage current, known as a secondary. The two windings of the wires are what determined the voltage drop needed.
The laminated type of transformer has been used for years but in reality, the torodial core is actually the preferred options, offering many excellent benefits. For starters, the torodial transformer is designed to provide much higher efficiency, typically 95% opposed to 85%. In addition, the torodial offers an annual savings of $50 to $75 and reduces the difference between the voltage at the taps while under full and partial load.
Two other huge benefits of using the torodial transformer for your landscape lighting are that this type runs much cooler. Because of that, you enjoy higher efficiency, lower risk of safety issues, and far less heat being produced. Then, the torodial transformer is very lightweight, generally about 50% less than the laminated transformers. Then, you also have a quieter system without vibration, just one more reason to choose the torodial option.