New to exterior low voltage lighting: couple questions

Old 03-20-19, 10:11 AM
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Question New to exterior low voltage lighting: couple questions

We're about to start a huge backyard landscaping project and this will be my first foray into exterior low voltage lighting. Couple questions to help with my research...

1) Does transformer brand matter when it comes to pairing it with lights? For example, I am looking at a couple FX Luminaire lights as options, but their transformers have way too many bells & whistles (and $$$) than I need. My system is going to be plugged into a switched outlet, so I just need the most basic of transformers.

2) Is it ok to mix brands for lights as long as I am properly calculating total wattage?

3) Aside from the wattage that each light requires, what other considerations do I need to take into account? For example, if I have a long run, will I need a more powerful transformer to ensure all lights are operating at full power?

4) Any brand recommendations? I will likely try to avoid the standard stuff that is in-stock at Home Depot/Lowes.
Old 03-20-19, 02:04 PM
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You need to make sure all the lights are the same voltage. Low voltage lights are usually 12 volts but you need to verify this. They do make line voltage lights also.
Old 03-20-19, 04:22 PM
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No, you don't need to stick with one brand for everything feel free to pick a transformer from one company and lights from another. You also don't need to have all your lights from the same manufacturer.

One of the biggest gotcha's with a large low voltage system is to mind your wire sizes and length of wiring run. 12 volt does not travel long distances well. It's better to have multiple, shorter runs from the transformer than one long run that snakes all over your yard. If your runs are too long or the wire too small the lights at the end can be dimmer than those closer to the transformer. It has nothing to do with the power of the transformer, it's the resistance of the wiring.
Old 03-21-19, 12:14 PM
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However ...

If you have XYZ brand lights, a ABC brand transformer and call for tech support, guess what the answer will be! Get the proper equipment and call us back.

Pay closest attention to proper wire. Here, size does count!
Old 03-21-19, 12:20 PM
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Go with LED instead of incandescent. You'll be able to have more on the line without overloading it. I switched my old outdoor lighting to LED bulbs. Same old xfmr. Same fixtures.

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