Landscape Lighting/Transformer Quality Brand

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  #1  
Old 01-31-16, 08:36 AM
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Landscape Lighting/Transformer Quality Brand

I am looking to do some landscape lighting this summer and am having some difficulty finding information on what brand offers decent quality products. All the brands I have come across so far seem to be unique to the landscape lighting world and I don't recognize them.

As with other product line I expect there are very cheap products which are garbage and others than charge a premium despite not offering much more quality.

If anyone has experience with these products I would appreciate your thoughts on a decent brand for the transformers as well as the actual lights.

Thanks in advance.
 
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Old 01-31-16, 11:23 AM
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It won't be so much the "brand", but the wattage the transformer will allow. The higher wattage capacity, the more lights you can run. Remember as you go further from the transformer, the dimmer the lights will get. Let us know how much lighting you plan on installing (wattage wise). We may be able to steer you to a better transformer. You are correct, the better transformers will naturally cost more, but the cheaper ones just won't work well. Catch-22
 
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Old 01-31-16, 02:36 PM
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I don't know what's considered cheap but I have two lv transformers from HD. One serves my flagpole spot and walkway lights. It is nearly 15 years old. It's mounted inside and is photo sensor operated. I never touch it. I think it is a Malibu 100W and I didn't pay much for it. I'm not a big fan of Malibu landscape lights but the xformer seems OK.

Two summers ago I installed a Malibu 300W to serve deck lights and a couple of flower beds. It's outside, under the deck and it hasn't had a problem in the short time it has been installed. I think I paid around $150 for it. Now my wife wants additional outside lighting so I'm probably going to add another transformer. If I do I'll probably go with the Malibu.
 
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Old 01-31-16, 02:51 PM
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Heads up:
It's mounted inside
Most Malibu and other LS transformers are not rated for inside use.
 
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Old 01-31-16, 05:09 PM
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I did not know that. I wonder why. Mine is hung on an exterior basement wall (concrete) and the LV wire exits through a rim joist. It's been there a long time. Moving it means adding another exterior receptacle.
 
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Old 01-31-16, 08:10 PM
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I am looking at 2 zones, each with its own transformer as they are on opposite side of the house. Each zone will run approximately 4 lights and will be mostly up-lighting trees although there is a boulder with an address on it. I am thinking of using 30W bulbs, although I am not sure that is the right bulb to use.

One zone will have a cable run of approximately 50 feet while the other will be closer to 75. I already have 12 guage wire in the ground.

I would like a quality product, but haven't heard of some of the brands such as Cast, Volt, Kirchler, hampton bay, malibu etc...

any help would be appreciated.
 
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Old 01-31-16, 08:49 PM
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I did not know that [power supplies are usually not rated for inside]. I wonder why
It has been suggested in the past threads the cost of getting it rated for inside use where fire requirements are stricter.
 
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Old 02-01-16, 07:45 AM
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There are completely different safety, heat, smoke and toxic fume rating for indoor transformers. Landscape lighting transformers should always be mounted outside -- the manufacturer instructions clearly state this multiple times.

I do like it to be dark, but in my experience 30W lamps are far too bright. I prefer a mixture of 4W, 7W and 11W lamps in mostly down-light fixtures to provide just enough light to see the edge of the walkway/stairs/etc, but not so much it looks like a commercial building. Those little half-moon shaped fixtures on a 4x4 post with a 4W lamp are plenty enough to safely follow a path.

Brand-wise Malibu (now owned by Intermatic) is probably the most recognizable and longest lived name in LV lighting. Hampton Bay is Home Depot's store brand. I don't recognize the other names, but it wouldn't surprise me if it's mostly the same stuff, through various private label importers.
 
  #9  
Old 02-01-16, 08:28 AM
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It was not my intention to hijack the thread with a discussion about xformer location. I apologize.

My answer to the OP would be to look at Hinkley LV lighting xformers if quality is more important than cost. The 300W was my first choice when I did my deck lights but I went with Malibu because of the cost.

Both Amazon and HD list the Hinkley transformers as suitable for indoor or outdoor use. I visited the Hinkley site but could not find anything about indoor mounting.

HINKLEY 300W Pro
 
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