Desperate! Need Help with Low Voltage Lighting!!!

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Old 04-27-12, 04:40 PM
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Desperate! Need Help with Low Voltage Lighting!!!

Due to not having enough room in a tray ceiling I am finishing, I am having to use low voltage mini recessed lights (MR11) instead of regular line volt recessed lights. I am installing eight(8) lights with a max. output of 20 watts each for a total of 160 watts so I purchased a 300 watt dim-able transformer. Prior to installing drywall, I wanted to wire everything up to make sure they work but so far they are not working properly. Here is what happens; when I turn the lights on, they are bright but immediately go dim and sort of flicker. I can't figure out what the problem is. Here is how I wired them up: I came out of the electrical panel with a 14-2 romex wire and ran that to the light switch, (by the way, I have a dimmer that is 12 volt compatible electronic) from the light switch I ran a 14-2 romex back to the 300 watt transformer input. From the transformer I feed the lights with a 12 gauge speaker wire. When I first wired the lights, I used 14 ga speaker wire and looped them together but when the lights did not work properly, I pulled that wire out and rewired them with 12 gauge wire and did a home run for each light but they still continue to do what I mentioned above. Is it possible that the brand new transformer is bad? If anyone can help me, I would be so grateful. I look forward to your comments. Thanks, Jeff
 
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Old 04-27-12, 05:20 PM
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Welcome to the forums, neighbor! How are you connecting the wiring at the switch? You have to run a neutral to the transformer as well as the hot leg that is switched. I know it is elementary, but we gotta cover all the bases. Do you have the lights daisy chained off the transformer, now, or are they all run with separate wires? I know you said the transformer was dimmable, but are the light units?
 
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Old 04-27-12, 05:33 PM
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Hey, thanks so much for responding and your really are a neighbor if you live in Young Harris. I wired the switch up according to the directions it came with but I also bypassed the switch and wired them up with a regular switch and it still did it. This has got me really puzzled. I had them daisy chained at first but went back and pulled all new home runs from each light to the transformer. If you can figure out anything, you advice will be greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 04-27-12, 05:43 PM
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Transformer would be my first thought also.
 
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Old 04-27-12, 06:14 PM
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Is the transformer a multi tap? So you can select the output voltage.
 
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Old 04-27-12, 06:28 PM
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No, not a multi-tap. I just tried something though which makes me believe it is not the transformer. I just wired a light to the two leads that come directly from the transformer and the light worked beautifully. It was bright and only dimmed when I used the dimmer switch, so what does that tell you? Everyone that I have talked to at the local Lowes said that the 12 gauge speaker wire was plenty big enough for what I am using it for. I am stumped!! Even though it work correctly this way, could it still be the transformer? Let me know what you think. Thanks
 
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Old 04-27-12, 06:33 PM
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Keep adding lights, one at a time and see what happens.

Are you sure it is a 300 watt transformer?
What is the rating of the dimmer?
 
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Old 04-27-12, 07:00 PM
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How are you connecting the second and third and the rest of the lights? One power feed and one neutral feed in parallel?
 
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Old 04-28-12, 04:07 AM
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I agree with Tolyn, keep adding lights until you get a failure. It could be in the wiring or connections at one light.
 
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Old 10-05-12, 06:14 AM
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Transformer

My guess would have been!!! Do the fixtures themselves have transformers built in them also.
 
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Old 10-07-12, 03:50 PM
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gobbertinker, the last activity in this thread was last April, and the OP hasn't visited the forums since then. If you have a question we can help you with, please start a new thread.
 
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