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why does the low voltage lighting transformer have to be mounted outside?

why does the low voltage lighting transformer have to be mounted outside?

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  #1  
Old 12-11-05, 07:23 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Eastern PA
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why does the low voltage lighting transformer have to be mounted outside?

Just installed three LV lights up the side of my driveway. The specifically says that it must be mounted outside. Anyone know the reasoning behind this? I still have to install outdoor outlets anyway but for the lighting I'd much rather bring a single 14/2 LV zip cord into the house and mount the transformer inside. Easier to change settings, I don't need a massive plastic cover for a permanetly plugged in outdoor device and I don't have a big transformer hanging off the outside foundation.
So what are my options and is there a valid reason for keeping the supply outside?
 
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  #2  
Old 12-11-05, 08:06 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Milwaukee WI
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Originally Posted by speedy72
Anyone know the reasoning behind this?
....
So what are my options and is there a valid reason for keeping the supply outside?
Speculation:

UL, CSA, NEMA or whomever's requirements for indoor-rated devices are more stringent. Maybe there is oil in the transformer or cheaper winding insulation that gives off poisonous gases when it overheats or burns.

This is somewhat of interest to me because I bought a 600W and have it inside my unheated detached garage. Maybe that qualifies as outdoors.
 
  #3  
Old 12-12-05, 09:30 AM
Brick.b
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I believe that some transformers are not approved for inside installation because they require minimum amount of cooling. One web site said it is OK to install outdoor transformers indoors if there is 3” clearance all around the transformer but I feel much better installing a transformer rated for indoor use! When it comes to fire why take a chance? I also read that any wires penetrating a wall must be run thru conduit. One site recommended running the outside wire thru conduit in the event that you need to replace the wire in the future. Splices using wire nuts filled with silicone are preferred to the “quick-connect” plugs that come with the lights. There are requirements for how deep you bury the wire too and it’s not to run thru wood chips.

I am doing almost the same thing. Some transformers are rated for indoor use: Home Depot has a 300W Hampton Bay (In House Brand for $70) that is rated for indoor use. I bought a Progress Lighting 100W transformer for $70 on line that is rated for indoor use. There are several web sites that sell outdoor lighting and that have helpful links you can find them by searching in Yahoo Shopping.
 
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