Top 10 Best Low Voltage Transformers Review and Buying Guide

​Imagine living in a home with a well-lit yard? Even when darkness creeps in, you can enjoy the beautiful view outside your home. Won’t that be a great idea? It sure would, and if you have the best low voltage transformer for outdoor landscape lighting, you will be good to go.

Once you are equipped with the low-voltage transformer, you can set up your light fixtures in your yard so that you can maintain the curb appeal even at night. But the outdoor lighting doesn’t only better the curb appeal. Rather, it also highlights your outdoor décor and improves the security in your home.

Seriously, who’d even think of creeping in or breaking into a home that is well-lit? No one would dare.

But we have mentioned that the outdoor landscape lighting will need a low-voltage transformer. 

So, why a low-voltage transformer and what is it anyway?

Well, if we were to get technical, things can get too complicated here. We understand the whole thing can be tricky to understand.

But the good news is that we are here to help you understand what the low-voltage transformer is and how they work.

Let’s kick it off, shall we?

What is a Low-Voltage Transformer?

Okay, we want to assume you already know what a transformer or voltage-regulator is. But just to makes things clear, this is an electrical device that transforms the voltage either higher or lower.

Now you can already guess what a low-voltage transformer is, right? Well, it is just a type of transformer that will lower the voltage going to the specific device or appliance. They are also called step-down transformers because they take the high input voltage and lower it down accordingly.

We don’t want to get too technical, that’s why we are keeping things short and to the point.

So, if you are shopping for a low-voltage transformer, you need to make sure that you go for the right product. But which is the right step down voltage converter out there?

Truth be told, it can be tricky to decide which step-down transformer you should go for.

But guess what? We can make it easy for you.

You know how? Well, we did research and dedicated our time [and money at some point], to review some of the leading step-down voltage transformers. We just wanted to make it easy for you when finding the one that suits you. For that, we will be sharing our findings with you.

So let’s kick it off.

Our Top 10 Best Low Voltage Transformers Reviews

1. Malibu 8100-9120-01 120 Watt Power Pack Low Voltage Transformer

Our top 10 list starts with a transformer from a leading manufacturer, Malibu. If you have been working with these step-down voltage transformers, you already know Malibu deliver some of the great step-down voltage transformers for landscaping.

This Malibu 8100-9120-01 is a heavy-duty transformer that offers high performance. It has been designed to fit the outdoor environment perfectly. This one comes with a 120V input and a 12V output. In other words, the 120V voltages will be converted safely to 12V. It has a 120Watt output to offer enough light outside.

The transformer is made of durable plastic. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about the cases of corrosion due to the humid outdoor temperature. It measures around 4.7 by 3.4 by 7.5 inches. Compared to most transformers, this one is slightly bigger. Plus, it comes in at around 6.5 pounds. This means that it will remain sturdy enough once you install it outside. It won’t be shaken easily even by strong winds.

The interesting part is that, this unit comes with a sensor that controls the lighting. Typically, the transformer will start running at dusk without the need for you to switch it on. Also, it will automatically shut down at dawn. This feature helps to save you time and effort hence making it a user-friendly unit.

Worried about setting it up? No need to worry because it is quite easy to set up. You can easily mount it on wall outdoors or simply place it on the side of the mailbox. Luckily, it has some weather shields to protect rain from getting inside.

Notable Features:

  • Made of high-grade plastic
  • 120W output
  • Sensors for automatic power-on and shut-down
  • 120V input and 12V output
  • Easy to install
  • Weather shield for extra safety outdoors

2. John Timberland 45W Landscape Transformer

For those with a not-so-big home and want a decently powerful step-down transformer here is an ideal pick for you. It’s also small in size that won’t worry you much if you want to set it up.

This transformer is not a heavy-duty unit, but it can comfortably handle a few lights around your home. It has a 45-watt output, which is lower than most transformers out there. This one also takes a 120V input and lowers it down to 12V. The minimum load is 5 watt – so you cannot load lights that are lower than 5watts.

It is made of a solid plastic that can withstand the outdoor environment. Also, the black color makes it ideal for leaving it outside. You won’t have to worry about any stains or the need to wipe it time and again. As we mentioned the unit is not as big as such, it measures 6.5 by 2.75 by 3.5 inches. Plus, it comes with a power cord that is around 6 feet long.

Just because this unit is small doesn’t make it less functional. Specifically, it features a photocell just like other premium transformers. For the record, a photocell is just a light sensor. In other words, this one will also auto switch at dawn and dusk appropriately.

But what gives it an upper hand over other units is the fact that it comes with a full ON mode. You will get three Auto Settings with this unit. In this case, you can choose it to power on for 4 hours, 6 hours, or 8 hours as you wish.

Setting this transformer up is as easy as it gets. You can install it on a wall or even on the ground securely.

Notable Features

  • 45-watt light output
  • Durable black finish
  • 5-watt minimum load
  • Three Auto setting for convenient power-on
  • Light sensor for auto switching

3. Sterno Home Paradise 50W Transformer

When it comes to integrating the new technology, this transformer does it impressively. It with an auto switch and dawn and dusk, but it doesn’t need a sensor for that. How amazing is that?

It is made of a strong plastic that will beat the outdoor environment perfectly. It takes in 120V and transforms it to 12V.  Also, it measures 6.3 by 3.1 by 4.5 inches and comes in at around 3.75 pounds. Its modern design gives it a pleasant look, especially when you have installed it outside.

Now, when we said this unit incorporates technology perfectly, we meant what we said. It is considered the first transformer with a sun-tracking technology. What does that mean? Well, it comes with an astronomical timer that will track the position of the sun according to your specific geographical location. It will then turn on the light at dusk and shut them down at dawn.

Additionally, the transformer has 5 lighting modes including On, Off, Auto, Timer, and Sunwise. The Auto feature will make the transformer work accordingly at dusk and dawn, whereas the Sunwise feature works according to the local sunrise and sunset. The Sunwise feature is the most suitable. By the way, you don’t have to worry about the season that morning comes too early. The transformer adjusts to the specific season accordingly.

The fact that it can comfortably run without the need for a photocell makes it installable both indoors and outdoors. We loved how easy it is to operate this unit. The controls are well placed, and you can navigate through the interface with ease.

A back-lit LCD screen is included to help you choose the mode and read the current mode effortlessly. It is bright enough, so you can even read the details on the screen during the day.

Notable Features

  • Modern design with a robust plastic casing
  • Installable indoors or outdoors
  • User-friendly controls
  • 5 operating modes
  • It will adjust to the current season
  • Works automatically without the need of a photocell

4. Intermatic ML44T 44W Step-Down Transformer

This voltage-regulator comes with a retro design that makes it perfect for those that don’t want a delicate unit. It works impressively, and it is actually one of the most durable voltage regulators on our list.

You see, this unit comes with a maximum light output of 44 watts, but it can still convert a 120v input into a 12V output.

 The housing is weather resistant and made of durable plastic. Even when it is raining, you can have peace of mind when this transformer is installed outside. It comes with a cover that protects the delicate parts. Also, it measures around 9.5 by 5.5 by 5 inches and weighs 2.5 pounds. This should be strong enough to prevent it from being shaken by the strong winds.

With this voltage-regulator, you get two sets of trippers that allow you to program your lighting system accordingly. Furthermore, there is an auto-multiple on/off timer that works along with an override switch.

 You can choose the hours that you want it to run and when you want it to shut down automatically. But the manual override switch lets you switch it off if the load is too much for it. This is a feature not found in many voltage regulators out there.

You will have an easy time working with this unit. Once it is installed, just choose how you want it to run with the trippers. Luckily, it came with a user manual – so you will not fail to know how it’s operated. The unit also comes with a 5-year warranty cover. This means that it can last for a long time without failing.

Notable Features

  • 44 watt light output
  • Weather-resistant casing to protect sensitive parts
  • Auto on/off timer with a manual override switch
  • Two trippers set to let you program your lighting system with ease
  • Easy to operate
  • Five years warranty cover

5. Malibu 8100-0200-01 200 Watt Step-Down Transformer

If you have a large home and you want to install high-watt lights, this is the perfect voltage-regulator to go for.

This is a heavy-duty transformer that will handle your outdoor lighting elegantly. We consider this the best Low Voltage Transformer for Landscape Lighting because of a couple of things. First off, it converts the 110V into 12V perfectly. But also, it delivers a light output of 200 watts, which makes it strong enough to handle multiple light fixtures in your home.

Plus, it is made from a durable plastic that measures 8.3 by 4.2 by 5 inches and weighs almost 11 pounds. This shows just how sturdy and durable this unit can be. Once you install this voltage regulator, it will withstand the outdoor environment because it is built for all-weather use.

And yes, it features responsive light sensors that will sense the light and switch the transformer accordingly. You can set the time you want it to run, but it will switch off automatically according to how you have set it.

For the perfect results, you can get Malibu Garden Lights that would work perfectly with this voltage regulator. This one works with the light sensors. For that, you can only install it outdoors. But luckily, it won’t give you a headache to set it up.

This unit can be installed almost anywhere around the home. You can choose to set it up on the wall or on the side of your mailbox. Either way, the weather-resistant housing makes it safe wherever you place it. Just make sure you install it as explained on the instruction manual. You also won’t have a difficult time when operating it. The only time you will have to get manual with the operation is when setting the number of hours you wish the transformer to run.

Notable Features

  • Large and durable plastic housing
  • 200 watt light output
  • 110V input and 12V output
  • Light sensors for auto On/Off
  • Weather-resistant housing
  • Easy to install

6. AGPTEK 60-Watt Transformer

They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and that phrase applies to this unit perfectly. This voltage converter looks small and less powerful, but it does a good job with your outdoor landscape lighting.

In terms of its size, this voltage converter is smaller than most units on our list. It can take either 110V or 120V and convert it to 12V, but it has a 60W wattage rating. It is a small and compact unit that measures 6.6 by 4.2 by 3.3 inches and weighs around 3 pounds.

One of the major features that made us include this unit on our list is the fact that it is 100% waterproof. So, totally waterproof, huh! Does that mean it can be submerged in water remain functional? Yes, that’s exactly what it means. 

Furthermore, the voltage converter can be used for multiple lighting systems. It can work well with swimming pool lights, fans, outdoor lights, spotlights, and more.

It didn’t take us much time to set this unit up. Plus, you won’t need any special skills for it. It comes with a user manual to guide you on how to set it up accordingly.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a light sensor. In this case, you will have to operate it manually, which might be a little time consuming for some people. Luckily, it is sturdy enough to beat any outdoor condition.

Also, the company is very confident that this voltage converter would serve you efficiently. They offer the transformer with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If it doesn’t meet your expectations within 30 days, you can return it for a refund.

Notable Features

  • Small and compact design
  • 100% waterproof
  • 60W wattage rating
  • Durable plastic design
  • Easy to install and carry
  • Comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee

7. Best Pro Lighting 300W Step-Down Voltage Converter

Anyone with wants a heavy-duty landscape lighting transformer to match their high-watt lights at home? Here’s the perfect pick for you. It outshines most of the voltage converters on our list by far.

Yes, it is a heavy-duty voltage converter that is made to last. The unit can take in 120V and convert it to 12V (as usual). But what makes it extra special is that it can not only convert to 12V, but you can choose it to convert to 13V, 14V, and 15V as you wish. It has a maximum wattage of 300W, which means you can hook up more light fixtures/bulbs to this transformer.

This is the first voltage converter on our list that is not made of plastic. The transformer is made of heavy-duty stainless steel that will beat the outdoor environment while resisting rust and corrosion. This one measures 5 by 5 by 10.5 inches. Since it is made of metal, it is heavier than other units on our list. This one weighs around 16 pounds.

Does it have light sensors? Yes, it does. There is an inbuilt photocell that controls the auto-switching at dawn and dusk. But you also get a timer onboard. The timer can be adjusted between 1 – 9 hours. In other words, you can manually set the transformer to work for one or nine hours. This timer will come in handy if you want to install the voltage converter indoors or in a dark space.

You can adjust the hours with the two buttons onboard. Plus, there is a small digital display to show you home many hours you have chosen.

The fact that it’s made of metal means that it shouldn’t be used with submersible light fixtures.

Notable Features

  • Stainless steel housing
  • 300W wattage rating
  • Light sensors with a manual timer
  • Small digital display
  • 6ft power cord with a three-prong plug

8. Lightkiwi Multi-Tap Landscape Lighting Transformer

Just when Best Pro Lighting 300W Step-Down Voltage Converter bragged about being the only stainless steel unit on the list, this transformer from Lightkiwi comes to challenge the title.

This Lightkiwi Voltage Converter has also been made to last and beat the outdoor environment. It is made of durable stainless steel that is rust and corrosion resistant. What makes this one different is its design. It comes with a cabinet-style casing that will keep the delicate parts protected. It comes with some locking latch that lets you secure the cover strongly.

Also, it takes in 120V but can convert it to multiple outputs. The multi-taps lets you choose from 12V, 13V, 14V, and 15V output accordingly. By the way, we haven’t mentioned this in any of the transformers, but the two stainless steel units tend to run quietly in comparison to other units. This one also comes with a 300W wattage rating.

This one measures 10 by 17 by 10 inches and weighs 17.5 pounds. That is quite heavy, but also sturdy enough.

We loved the features of this transformer. For instance, it has a Timer Port that lets you add a WiFi Smart Plug or a Digital/Manual Timer. Also, there is a photocell port that allows you to include a light sensor. But most importantly, the Magnetic Circuit Breaker was a big deal on this unit. This feature will protect the electric circuit from a short circuit. You don’t find that feature on most units.

Unfortunately, this can only be installed outdoor. Plus, you cannot use it for the submerged light fixtures.

Notable Features

  • Heavy-duty stainless steel casing
  • Lockable latch for securing the cover
  • 300W wattage rating
  • Auto reset thermal circuit breaker that prevents a short circuit
  • Optional timer and photocell ports
  • Multi-tap volts output (12V,13V,14V, and 15V) depending on the length of your power cord

9. Malibu 8100-9045-01 45Watt Power Pack Low Voltage Transformer

Malibu is a major player in the voltage converter industry, and here is another product from them. This one is ideal for those that don’t want a heavy-duty transformer but still want a reliable unit.

This is a younger brother to the two Malibu transformers on our list. It can still convert the 120V family voltage to 12V, but it has a wattage rating of 45W. In this case, you will not be able to load it with too many light fixtures.

It is made of a durable plastic casing like its two elder siblings, but this one is smaller in size. It measures 3 by 6.5 by 3.9 inches and comes in at 3.6 pounds. But that doesn’t mean it is less strong.

Yes, we also have light sensors on this one. The inbuilt photocell will automatically power the transformer on or off. But t6ehre is also an On/Off manual override timer if you want to do things manually. We loved the fact that the voltage converter comes with a fully-programmable digital timer for easy control.

The enclosure is water resistant, meaning that it will stay strong and safe even when it is raining outside. Plus, there is an automatic circuit breaker to regulate the transformer and prevent a short circuit.

It is quick and easy to set this unit up. You can either install it outdoors on the wall or beside the mailbox. Furthermore, matching it with Malibu Garden Lights would give you the superior results.

Notable Features

  • Strong plastic housing
  • 45 watt maximum light load
  • Water-resistant casing
  • Inbuilt light sensor with manual override timer
  • Automatic circuit breaker to prevent a short circuit

10. GOODSMANN 9920-0300-01 300Watt Low Voltage Transformer

This is our last product on the list, but it isn’t the least-favorite. Actually, this is one of heavy-duty voltage converters on the market. It has been built to last for long with a strong and sturdy housing.

This voltage converter steps in with an input rating of 120V and an output rating of 12V. With a maximum load of 300 watts, this one can handle more light fixtures than most units on our list. That is why it qualifies as a heavy-duty voltage converter.

It is made of a very strong metal that will easily match the harsh outdoor condition. No need to worry about the rain and humid weather because this unit has a cover that closes securely to protect the delicate parts. The housing is well-coated to prevent corrosion and rust.

The volt converter comes with five modes for easy controlling. You can switch it to Photo On/Timer Off, which will engage the light sensors. You can also choose the Auto, which will operate it automatically without the need of switching it On/Off manually. Other modes include Timer, Test, or the hours you want the unit to run. It can either run for 4, 6, 8, or 10 hours.

A tiny digital display helps you choose the Hours or Mode with ease. Plus, a red button is included to help you reset it if you made an error.

You can use it for your outdoor lighting system, but it is not suitable for submerged light fixtures like swimming pool lights. It is made of a metal casing, which can cause some electric shock if you use it with the submerged lights.

Notable Features

  • Solid metal housing
  • 300-watt maximum load
  • 5 working modes
  • Photocell onboard with manual timer
  • Features a reset button
  • Weather shield to withstand then outdoor condition

Things To Consider Before Buying Low Voltage Transfer

So, now you have an idea of some top-quality voltage converter for outdoor lighting. But how can you be sure that you bought the best landscape lighting transformer? By following the proper buyer’s guide. Luckily, we are here to give you those tips.

Here are the things you should look out for when finding a good step-down voltage volt converter.

1. The Construction

We like considering how the volt changer is built before we can proceed to other factors. You see, it all starts with how powerful the volt converter will be and if it can last for long enough. The volt converters will most be made of stainless steel or hard-core plastic.

Out of the two, the stainless steel happens to be more durable, and it can endure the outdoor weather better than the plastic housing. Be sure to check if it has a secure lock system to keep the delicate parts safe. Nonetheless, the stainless steel housings cannot be used for submerged light fixtures due to possible electric shocks.

On the other hand, the high-grade plastic cases are still durable, but they cannot match the sturdiness of the stainless steel housing. Luckily, they can be used anywhere, even in the water. For example, there are some plastic casings that are completely waterproof. This means that they can easily be submerged in the water.

Under construction, you also need to consider the size of the transformer. The size should come to mind if you are considering the installation of the volt converter. Ensure that the size is right based on where you intend to install it. If it is on the wall outside, check that it will fit in the available space.

2. Power Rating

Once we are sure about the construction of the volt changer, we can now move to the technical features. Here, you will need to consider the power rating of the transformer. Here is where you will have to decide the amount of power you need and how many lights you will be installing in outdoors.

Calculate the total wattage of all the lights and relate it to the maximum wattage that the volt changer can handle. In most cases, people will opt for the voltage converter that has a wattage rating of between 200W and 300W. This is the most suitable wattage rating for landscape lighting.

Nonetheless, you can go for a lower rating if your landscape lights total wattage is low.

3. Photocell/Auto Timer

This is one feature any low voltage transformer buyer should highly consider. As we saw in the article, a photocell or light sensors will turn the volt converter ON or OFF at dusk and dawn respectively. This way, you won’t have to operate the volt changer manually. Also, units that come with a light sensor can and should only be installed outdoors.

But with the Auto Timers, you will need to set it manually, but it will then go off automatically. Most of them come with timers between 1 and 9 hours. With the Auto Timers, you can install it indoors because it will operate based on the number of hours you have set.

But then there is the unique feature known as the Astronomical Timer, like that one on Sterno Home Paradise 50W Transformer. With this Timer, the voltage changer will track the sun’s position based on your specific geographical location. Some even respond to seasons. If you have long nights and short days in your area, it will respond accordingly.

Voltage converters with auto switching will save you time and effort.

4. The Circuit Breaker

This is a less favorite feature to most users, but it is one of  must-haves. Sometimes, there might be a short circuit in your landscape lighting system. In this case, the transformer may breakdown due to the short circuit. But the circuit breaker will switch it off to prevent any possible damage. That is why you will need to have the circuit breaker on your volt changer.

Some transformers come with two circuit breaker panels that include an auto reset and a magnetic circuit breaker. These are the two features you should consider if you want a unit with a circuit breaker.

5. Quality of the burial cable

Okay, we haven’t discussed the burial cable on our list, but this is one thing you must keep in mind. Normally, you might have to purchase this cable separately, but some units will offer an additional cost for you to purchase it along with the volt changer.

Either way, you will need to consider how strong the cable is and if it can endure the harsh underground condition. The cable you choose must be strong enough so that it doesn’t affect the performance of the volt converter.

6. The Brand

This is yet another important factor that most people ignore. The brand of the volt changer will determine if you will be getting the real deal. The brand that you choose must be reputable enough, and they should be well known for delivering top-quality products.

Furthermore, ensure that you pick a brand that has been on the market for long enough. It is not recommended to go for the new players on the market because they might not have enough experience to deliver top-notch services.

7. What’s your budget?

After we have everything is in check, and we are sure that we have the perfect voltage converter, you will need to look at your pocket’s ability. What was your initial budget? How much were you willing to spend on a low voltage transformer? Does the voltage changer that you prefer fall within your budget range? All these are questions you should ask yourself.

As usual, you should never spend more than what you had planned to spend. Stick to your budget and always make the right choice.

Top-Rated Low Voltage Transformer Brands on the Market

We mentioned that the brand of the step-down voltage converter is one of the factors you should keep in mind when buying a good unit. That being said, we will look at six of the leading low-voltage transformers you should look out for out there;

Malibu

Malibu is one of reputable and also among our favorite low-voltage transformer brands. This brand is owned by USA Light (usalight.com), and they are known to deliver a whole range of lighting accessories/supplies.

Most Malibu Volt Converters are made of durable plastic, and they come in a box-shaped housing. There is a cover for enclosing and protecting the delicate parts. These volt converters are normally bigger in size than most units from other brands.

Their units are not exactly the cheapest, neither are they too expensive. Rather, they come at an average price range that makes them reliable enough.

Malibu transformers also have multi-tap features that let you choose multiple outputs from 12V, 13V, 14V, and 15V according to the length of your wire.

Their products come with a 45-day money-back-guarantee, along with a year-long warranty. You can be confident of getting quality delivery from Malibu voltage converters. Luckily, they also have their own light fixtures that allow you to purchase a complete set that would work efficiently.

Sterno Home

This is yet another top brand that delivers high-quality volt converters. Sterno Home has been in the lighting fixtures/accessories for around 100 years, and they are known for their exceptional product delivery.

Some of the unique features of the Sterno Home voltage converters is innovation and design. Their products come with a unique design and an advanced technological feature. For instance, it is the only transformer on our list that switches automatically at dawn and dusk even without the need for a photocell.

These volt changers use an astronomical timer that will time the sun based on your geographical location. They also come with a backlit digital display for easy control. You get 5 modes on board of each Sterno Home unit.

They come with a high-grade plastic casing. However, one unique feature about them is that their casings come with a UV protection. This also helps to protect the delicate parts onboard. These units can be installed both indoors and outdoors.

John Timberland Lighting

This brand is under the Lamps Plus umbrella, and it is also one of the top players in the low-voltage transformers industry. The parent company, Lamp Plus was established in 1976, and it has been delivering reliable services and valuable products too.

One of the unique features of the John Timberland lighting is the fact that they are totally waterproof. You can submerge them in water without worrying about them being damaged. Furthermore, they are normally small in size, but capable of delivering incredible results to your landscape lighting system.

These units are also made of a durable plastic that will withstand the outdoor environment effectively. They can also be installed either indoors or outdoors. The good part is that their products are offered on a 60-day return policy. If you are not satisfied by their volt changers, you can return it for a refund. Plus, you can enjoy a one-year warranty policy on all their products.

Intermatic

This is one of the longest-serving light fixtures and accessories brands. It was launched back in 1891 and has been a leading player ever since. The company is focused on taking care of the customer needs appropriately.

The Intermatic voltage changer units will come with a timer that has multiple options. This way, you can set the specific hours you wish the volt converter to run. In most cases, the Intermatic units will be ideal for pool lightings, but you can still get one for your landscape lighting.

They normally come with a simple design but are strong enough to handle your outdoor lights. The fact that they come with a simple design means that they will give you an easy time when installing them. Some of their units come with a maximum wattage rating of 600 watts.

They come with a warranty cover of 1 year.

Lightkiwi LLC

This is another leading light fixtures and accessories manufacturer, and it has been on the market for quite some time. They are among the few brands that listen to the customers and deliver according to the lighting industry demand.

All the Lightkiwi units come with stainless steel housing for extra durability. They are also known to be the ideal choice for the heavy-duty application. These transformers come with a photocell, along with an auto timer. Furthermore, they have a manual override switch for you to take control in times of emergencies like an overload.

They also come with a multi-tap for choosing different voltage output. You can either go for the 12V, 13V, 14V, or 15V. Their casing includes an optional photocell port, an auto timer port, an override switch, and circuit breaker, and a locking latch to secure the cover firmly.

All their products come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and they are also backed by a maximum of 5 years warranty.

Best Pro Lighting

This brand has been on the market for more than 20 years, and they have always been delivering quality lighting fixtures and accessories.

They are known for their quality 24/7 customer service is quite responsive. They have both the light-duty and heavy-duty units available. Some models are made of a high-grade plastic housing, while others come with heavy-duty stainless steel housing. There is also a multi-tap option for those that want a variable voltage output. You can either choose the 12V, 13V, 14V, and 15V.

The stainless steel units come with a lifetime warranty, whereas the plastic voltage converters are backed by a 5-year warranty. Even the least warranty cover is reliable and better enough than other brands on the market. The plastic units are some of the cheapest on the market.

Luckily, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied by any of the products. The company promises to refund your full money if you return the product before 30 days.

Now, these are just some of the leading low-voltage transformer brands you can find out there. Remember that not every product from the listed brands is worth purchasing. You still need to weigh your options and only go for the right product.

How To Install It?

Assuming that you have your low voltage transformer ready, what would be the next thing to do? Well, you’ll have to set it up accordingly. The installation part must be done appropriately if you want to get constant result from the transformer.

The Needed Tools

Obviously, you will need to have the right tools that should aid you to install the voltage changer appropriately. Here are some of the tools you will need:

  • Wire stripper
  • A screwdriver
  • A drill
  • A pick mattock and a hammer
  • 2-inch by 4-inch skate
  • Masonry Bit
  • Driver Bits

Getting started

If you already have these tools in your garage, prepare them for the upcoming task. But if you don’t have, you can purchase it from the right store.

Get the right Lighting Kit

You can find multiple step-down voltage lighting kits online or from your local store. Here is where you will need to purchase several lights, the right length of cable, and the necessary transformer. At this point, you’ll need to strip the end of the power cable and link them to the terminals on your voltage converter.

Step #1: Set Up the Lights Accordingly

You now need to plan the layout of your outdoor lights. The landscape lights can either be pressed down into the ground. Alternatively, you can drive the base into the ground and ensure that you screw the light on the base securely. A good light will have a shade to protect the bulb and other delicate areas from the direct sunlight.

Once done, you’ll need to connect the light to the power cable. To do this, just link the wires to the power cable accordingly. At this point, you can test the light by turning on the power to see if it is well connected or not.

But in most cases, you might be needed to assemble the light appropriately. It is easy to do so since you will just have to run the wires from the light assembly, all the way through the base. Don’t forget to attach the stake to finalize the assembly. After that, you’ll have to insert the bulb, then place the lens and cover. Check that you have used the correct bulb at this point.

 Step #2: Mount the Transformer

Here, you will need to calculate the number of lights you will need and how they are installed. After that, you’ll need to identify the power source and determine the electrical devices that are linked to it. Usually, the power source will be an outdoor GFCI outlet.

Always ensure that the circuit is not overloaded regardless of what. You’ll now need to mount the transformer on the wall near the power source. Ideally, place the voltage converter at least one inch above the ground level. Doing this will help to protect your transformer.

Here is where the tools will come in handy. For instance, a masonry bit will be used to drill mounting holes if you’ll be installing it on a brick wall. Start by placing lead or plastic anchors in the holes you drilled.

If you are installing it on the ground, start by driving a three-inch stake into the ground. This should be done near the outlet. Once done, you can then mount the voltage converter to the stake. Again, this should be at least 1-inch above the ground.

Step #3: Install the Cable

After assembling the lights, you can now install the power cable. Start by digging a shallow trench for the cable. After that, run the power cord along the trench you just dug and link the lights to the cord. By the way, you can choose to leave the cable above the ground. But this should only be done if the cable is strong and safe enough to stay above the ground.

Before you start digging to install the power cord, you can call your utility company to do it for you. In most cases, you can enjoy this service for free.

Step #4: Make The Connection

The last step is to connect the cable to the transformer. Plug in the voltage converter into the socket and set the timer to On to test how the lights are working. Once you notice that all the lights are working, you can set the timer for the number of hours you wish the lights to stay on.

You can then bury the cable once you are sure that everything is working perfectly.

Safety Issue That You Need To Consider When You Using A Low-Voltage Transformer

  • One way to be sure of a durable and long lasting voltage changer is to take care of it appropriately. You need to handle it safely and with total care. Here are a few tips to help you out:
  • Avoid overloading the voltage converter. If you have a lot of lights on your lawn, ensure that you use a volt changer with the ideal wattage rating. Never exceed the suggested maximum wattage load.
  • Do not touch the unit with wet hands. Even though these voltage converters come with a waterproof case, you still need to keep your hands dry whenever you are operating it.
  • Switch off the main power when you want to remove the voltage changer. If you are planning to unscrew it from the wall, ensure that you have switched off from the main switch.
  • Contact a professional if you don’t have a clue about how to install the volt changer. Instead of guessing and connecting the cables wrongly, call an electricity expert to help you out.
  • Label the wire runs for easy maintenance. You can use a wire marker or a colored tape for labeling.
  • Tighten the terminal screws to avoid burning the terminal blocks. When the terminal screws are loose, it can make the wires to overheat, which then will burn the terminal blocks

Above all, you should always follow the instruction/user manual carefully at all times. If you don’t know how to go about something, call a professional instead of guessing and end up messing things.

Frequently asked questions

Q: How many bulbs can I connect to my voltage converter?

That depends on the maximum load of the transformer. They range from around 45W to 600W. The first thing to do is calculate the number of bulbs you have and the wattage rating of each. The total should not exceed that of the voltage converter. If you have 30W bulbs and you have a 300W maximum load transformer, you’ll only need 10 bulbs.

Q: Will the low voltage be dimmer than regular voltage?

No, a low voltage is just as bright as the regular light because the voltage doesn’t affect the brightness. The wattage is what determines how bright a bulb would be. However, LED bulbs will have less wattage but still be bright enough.

Q: Should I make a lighting plan before installing?

Well, this is not a must. Nonetheless, it is advised because it helps you disperse the light and ensure that the lights are in the right places.

Q: Which cable should I use for my landscape lighting?

Ideally, you should go for wires that have low-resistance and with a heavy coating. High-resistance cables might cause some serious electric shock if they are damaged. There are specific cables that are designed for burial purposes.

Q:  How deep should I bury the cables?

A step-down voltage converter should not be buried more than 18 inches deep. You also don’t have to put it in a conduit like other household cables. It doesn’t have to be that deep, but you should also not place it too shallow that it can be easily damaged by things like a lawnmower. Even 6 inches deep is enough.

Q: Should I go for the analog or automatic landscape lighting voltage converter?

This depends on the one you prefer. An analog unit will require manual operation, whereas the digital or automatic will switch on and off automatically. But they do the same thing.

Q: Can I extend the light sensor cable?

Yep, you can extend it as you wish. There are some special extension cords that come in 1, 2, and 3 meters. Ideally, don’t extend the cable more than 3 meters.

Q: How is the timer on the transformer adjusted?

This can be adjusted by the rotary dial or the digital buttons on the unit. Nevertheless, always follow the instruction manual to help you understand.

Q: Will the lights stay on all night long?

No exactly. This depends on the mode/option you choose on the voltage regulator. You can set it to stay on for a few hours with the auto-timer or opt for the photocell function that keeps it on all night. It will then go off at dawn.

Q: Is it costly to operate the outdoor landscape lighting?

Honestly, it is not expensive to operate the outdoor landscape lighting. The low-voltage means that the energy usage is cut down while providing enough light outside.

Final Word

So, we have come to the end of our article today. We appreciate you for hanging around and staying with us all through. Now, we are confident that you will make the right choice when you are stepping out to shop for the best low voltage transformer. Keep in mind that it is all about finding the voltage converter that works perfectly for your lighting system.

Don’t only go for the most expensive or the cheapest unit on the market. Before you choose any voltage converter, be sure to go through the customer reviews to be sure of what you are buying.

So, have you made your choice yet? Just don’t be left behind.

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