Low Voltage Lighting Q and A
What is Low Voltage Lighting?
A low voltage lighting system consists of a plug-in transformer, low voltage cable and low voltage light fixtures. The transformer plugs into a grounded outdoor power receptacle and reduces 110 volt current (standard) to a "safe" 12 volts (low voltage). The cable attaches to the transformer and distributes power to the light fixtures connected along the length of the cable.
Do It Yourself!
Installing a low voltage lighting system is safe and easy - no special skills are needed. Low voltage lights are energy efficient and economical to operate. The brightness level of the lighting is determined by the bulb wattage that is selected. Available bulb wattages range from four watts, up to 50 watts (halogen).
Illuminate walkway entrances
Accent steps and curbing
Highlight architectural features
Decorate patios, decks and flowerbeds
Low Voltage Questions and Answers
Q: How many lights can I add to my system?
Add lights as desired, keeping total bulb wattage at or below the power pack's (transformer's) maximum output rating.
Q: Can I mix bulb wattages?
Yes. You can have a variety of bulb wattages - allowing for flexibility in your lighting system. As you add fixtures of different wattages, be sure the total watts in the system does not exceed power pack's output rating.
Q: What if total bulb wattage exceeds my power pack rating?
Intermatic offers several power pack models with different wattage ratings. You could add a second transformer, splitting the load between two power packs, or purchase a power pack with a wattage rating high enough to handle the entire load.
Q: What type of power receptacle should I plug my transformer into?
An outdoor, 110 volt (standard U.S. household current) power outlet with a GFCI (ground fault interruption circuit) receptacle is required. This receptacle should also utlilize a while in use weatherproof cover, designed to protect the plugs that are used in it.
Q: Do I need to bury my low voltage cable?
No. Exposed cable is weatherproof and shockless. However, for protecting the cable and better appearance, you should plan to hide the cable with mulch, rocks, etc.
Q: Do I need to tape or seal the end of the cable?
No. Simply straight cut the exposed wire so it is flush with the insulated covering.
Q: Can you connect a transformer to an electrical outlet with an extension cord?
No. Extension cords should not be used. Mount the transformer within 1 foot of a covered outdoor GFCI AC outlet.