Troubleshooting a Low-Voltage Lighting Transformer

A low-voltage lighting transformer.
  • 2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 45
What You'll Need
What You'll Need

A low-voltage lighting transformer is a device that converts higher-voltage into a required lower voltage. Usually, these types of transformers reduce 110 volts supply into a safer 12 volt to allow low-voltage lighting in landscapes or gardens outside homes. The transformer is connected to a cable that distributes low voltage to several lighting devices.

Low-voltage lighting can be added to the yard to guide you or other people around the yard at night. It can also be used to provide attractive lighting to landscapes during the night. To prevent risks of electric shock, the voltage on the lighting system is reduced to a mere 12 volts using a low-voltage lighting transformer. But, what if the light on the system turns dim or the whole system shuts down? What should you do? Find out some common low-voltage lighting transformer problems and how to troubleshoot them.

The Entire Lighting System Is Down

If the whole lighting system is down, make sure that the low voltage lighting transformer is plugged into the power source. Transformers are usually connected to a receptacle outside the house. If not, it is directly connected to the electrical service panel. If it is connected to the electrical panel, check if the breakers are not turned off. Make sure that a steady flow of current is passing through the system. Use a voltmeter to check if the circuit is powered.

Blown Fuses and Overloading

A common problem that may cause an issue is a blown fuse. The transformer may be overloaded with too many lighting devices. Replace the fuse and reduce the number of light bulbs connected to the transformer. You can either buy another transformer for the other light bulbs or buy a transformer with a higher capacity to accommodate every light bulb in the yard.

One Light Bulb Is Out

If one of the light bulbs is out, the problem may not be the transformer itself. Check to see if the bulb is connected properly to its socket. Sometimes, the bulb may have a blown filament. In this case, replace the bulb with a new one. If the problem is neither the filament nor the socket, it may have something to do with the wiring. Check to see if the wire connecting the light bulb to the main cable is not broken.

In order to check if the wire is not broken, make use of an ohmmeter. Cut off the power and check if the reading is high or low. The wire is broken if the reading is very high and will require a change in wiring.

Dim Lights

Dim lights are the result of an overloaded transformer. To solve this problem, buy a transformer with a higher capacity. Transformers have a limit on the number of light bulbs they can support. Buying additional transformers can also solve the problem especially if more lights are to be connected to a low voltage power source.

Troubleshooting your low-voltage lighting transformer wasn't too difficult, was it? Hopefully, this has returned the luminosity to your yard.