You must have heard about transformers as these devices are quite common in many electrical appliances. As a matter of fact, a transformer is a crucial element of the electricity distribution system. There are generally two types of transformers that either lowers or increases the voltage of input current as per requirement.
As the name suggests, the low voltage transformers are the step-down type of transfers that are usually installed outside homes and offices to control landscape lighting. The low voltage transformers support added load of different types of decorative lights as well as many external electrical components. Here are some things to keep in mind while buying an outdoor low voltage transfer:
- Wattage: The wattage rating of a low voltage transformer describes its power capacity. In case you want to connect 12 different lights of 20 watts each, you will need at least a 240-watt transformer.
- Voltage: The main feature of the low voltage transformer is to decrease the voltage to increase the flow of current. You will find a certain range of voltage mentioned with the transfer that is also its limits on maximum intake capacity and minimum output rating.
- Automatic Features: If you are going to use the outside decorative lights on a daily basis, your low voltage converter must have an automatic timer that turns on the unit around the evening. This will save electricity and also keep the lights safe from electrical hazards.
To make sure you can get the most use out of the low voltage transformer you are going to buy, follow our buying guide for the best outdoor low voltage transformer given below. Here, we will discuss various properties of a low voltage transformer and decide their necessity regarding day to day applications. This should give you a proper idea about the features that you would want to prioritize in your unit.
Design and Construction
You need to consider how the voltage transformer is built before you consider it for purchase. The design and construction of the voltage transformer affect its other parameters such as safety, power capacity, and reliability. You should always prefer a metal outer body on a transformer rather than a plastic or fiber body for the best results. You should also consider the size of the transformer and make sure it can fit properly in a specific location. Otherwise, you might have to make extra adjustments to install the transformer.
The power rating is the next most important factor of the transformers because it decides the type of lights and amount of lights that can be powered via the transformer. The first thing you should do is calculate the total amount of wattage required by the lights that are being powered from the transformer. For that, simply multiply the wattage of a single unit with the total number of lights. Make sure you add the wattage of certain special lights as well apart from the decorative lights. The resultant power rating should be sufficed by the transformer otherwise it will not power the lights properly.
Timers and Photocells
The timers and photocells are available on almost every low voltage transformer that we see in the market. These components enable automation on the unit and allow it to work on its own without needing any manual control. A timer is a simple unit that turns the circuit on or off at a given time frame. The photocells on the other hand detect the absence of light and turn the device on automatically. It also turns off the transformer when environmental light is incident on the photocells. This is a smart feature of the unit and you should consider it for ease of operation.
Safety measures are of utmost importance in almost every electronic unit. Generally, we have a 120 volts electricity input to the electronic devices at our home. In case this is a fault in the device or there is a sudden change in power input, it can turn out to be a fatal incident with severe damage. To avoid that, there are a number of safety features put into low voltage transformers such as circuit breakers, overload protection, and overheat protection. It will also provide added protection against short circuits in case one of the lights in your circuit comes in contact with water.
The quality of a product represents its reliability for long term use. In the case of the low voltage thermal protectors available here, you will find most options to be highly reliable and a suitable choice as a long term investment. Although, a detailed analysis of the reliability of a product is necessary before purchasing it. You can take a look at various factors such as the build quality and power capacity of the unit to get an approximate idea about its quality and performance assurance. You Should also take a look at the warranty period of the device and prefer one that offers a longer warranty period.
Lastly, we will recommend the Prowell ‘s Landscape Lighting Transformer, Listed Low Voltage Transformer because of its high reliability. The outdoor transformer constantly comes in contact with moisture and dust that can potentially damage the unit. The 6 years long warranty period on PROWELL will give you peace of mind about that problem.