240V AC Lighting Transformer for 12V DC Lights

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Old 10-18-12, 03:40 AM
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240V AC Lighting Transformer for 12V DC Lights

I'm looking for some advice on lighting transformers.

I would like to build a bespoke ceiling light using vintage car spotlights. I plan to have probably 3 lamps per unit wired together. I am in the UK where the mains voltage is 240V AC and need some advice on the best method to connect them and which type of lighting transformer to use.
I guess I would need something like a 240V AC to 12V DC LED driver/transformer ? Do I connect them in parallel or series ? Do I just add the total Watts of the bulbs to find the size of transformer ? (Did Physics at school, but that was many years ago !) Could I make them dimmable ?

Any suggestions would be appreciated

Andy.
 
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Old 10-18-12, 06:29 AM
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You mention a car headlight (incandescent) but then mention a LED driver. Are you going to be incorporating LED's in the fixture along with the old car headlights? A incandescent is easily dimmable but LED's could complicate things and much would depend on the LEDs you choose.
 
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Old 10-18-12, 07:07 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

I would like to build a bespoke ceiling light using vintage car spotlights. I plan to have probably 3 lamps per unit wired together. I am in the UK where the mains voltage is 240V AC and need some advice on the best method to connect them and which type of lighting transformer to use.
I guess I would need something like a 240V AC to 12V DC LED driver/transformer?
Yes, something like that.

To add to what PD said, don't worry about the LED part per se. Your car spotlights, especially vintage ones, will be incandescent lamps. That means, among other things, that yes, the fixture will be dimmable. And yes, start by adding up the watts of three of the lamps to size the transformer.

We can help you brush up on your school Physics, if need be.
 
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Old 10-18-12, 08:35 AM
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Thanks guys.
The reason I mention the LED driver is that the standard lighting transformers I have seen are 240V - 12V AC , where as the LED ones are 240V - 12V DC. Would this matter for this type of project ?

Andy.
 
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Old 10-18-12, 10:53 AM
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If you are going to use the actual bulbs from the car lamps rather than retrofit LEDs then you do not need DC power, AC will be fine. For dimming there are several different methods available. Some LED assemblies don't care if they are fed AC or DC.
 
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