12 Volt Transformers
12 volt landscape lighting transformers are available in economy styles with simple built-in timers, or more extensive CTS or Multi-Tap types that accept plug in electronic timers and photocells, and have multiple circuits and voltage outputs. Read the specifications carefully to insure that you choose the proper transformer, or call our technical support advisors for assistance.
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12 Volt Transformers, 12 Volt Lighting Transformers
Choosing the correct 12 volt lighting transformer for your landscape lighting system is very important. This article will tell you about each of the different types of 12 volt lighting transformers so you can make an informed decision. All of the transformers take 120 volt house current and transform it into the 12 volt low voltage current used by the Landscape Lighting fixtures. Most simply plug into a standard electrical outlet using a common cord and plug, which is built in to the transformer. This eliminates the need to run a new circuit from your homes electrical service panel.
The 12 volt economy transformers are used for simple systems that do not have long runs of wire (over 100 feet in length) and will be controlled by a simple mechanical timer. Economy transformers are easy to install, are in weatherproof housings for outdoor use, and plug into a standard electrical outlet. Most have a built in mechanical timer so you can control the on/off function of your lighting system.
The CTS Series 12 volt lighting transformers have more features but are also used for systems with wire runs (circuits) less than 100 feet in length. CTS transformers have larger and easier to use terminal strips, a larger weatherproof housing, and built-in connectors to plug in various timers and photo cells.
The MT Series 12 volt transformers, or Multi-Tap transformers, are used for landscape lighting systems that have runs of wire that are over 100 feet in length. They have multiple output choices so that the voltage to the circuit can be increased from 12 volts to 13, 14, or 15 volts. This is useful because with runs of wire over 100 feet your get voltage drop, which causes lighting fixtures furthest away from the transformer to be dimmer than the rest. Switching the output to a higher voltage eliminates this problem. Be sure to calculate the potential for voltage drop for your specific system by using the formula found in the 12 volt transformer installation guide. Once you have installed your system use a voltage meter to measure the current at the furthest point from the transformer, and adjust your output connections if required.
The High Power MT Series 12 volt lighting transformers are intended for use in systems that have wiring runs in excess of 200 feet in length. As with the regular MT transformers, you should calculate the potential for voltage drop based on the measurements of your project prior to purchasing the transformer. Once you have installed your 12 volt lighting system we recommend that you use a voltage meter to test the actual voltage at each fixture.