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Landscape Lighting Transformer Troubleshooting

landscape lighting transformer troubleshooting 1
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Landscape Lighting Transformer Troubleshooting

We’re Here to Help Contact one of our knowledgeable specialists to help guide you through your deck project. 1-888-824-5316 support@DecksDirect.com Live Chat Low Voltage Deck Lighting Troubleshooting Guide Troubleshooting Guide You found the perfect low-voltage light and now you are having difficulty getting the light to work properly. Despite the simplicity of the design, they can develop problems or require maintenance. The good news is that most of the problems are easy to troubleshoot and correct. DecksDirect.com has created this troubleshooting guide to assist in the process of determining what may or may not be the problem. 1. Is the transformer working? ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS THAT COME PACKAGED WITH YOUR TRANSFORMER BEFORE INSTALLATION. PHOTO EYE – If all of your lights are not functioning, chances are the transformer is causing this. Many transformers have a photo eye built in. If you are testing your system during daylight hours, place a piece of tape over the photo eye. It may take 2-5 minutes for the photo eye to respond after covering. ON/OFF – Another thing to consider is that many transformers have an on/off switch. If your transformer has an on/off switch, verify the switch is in the “ON” position as well as plugged in. Many transformers have a built in circuit breaker. To reset the circuit breaker, turn the switch off and then on again. POWER SOURCE – Check to make sure your power source is a live outlet and is on. TIMER – If you are using a timer, you may want to test the system without the timer first. If you do have the transformer plugged into the timer, make sure the timer is turned on. CAPACITY – If your lights are dim or you are experiencing issues with blown fusses or a tripped circuit breaker, these may be the result of an overloaded transformer. To determine the size of transformer you should be using, add up the total number of watts for each light fixture you are using. Then, add another 10% for cables and connections that add hidden watts to your system. If this number is higher than the capacity of your transformer, you will need to purchase an additional or higher wattage transformer. TEMPERATURE – If you are experiencing extremely cold temperatures, this may cause temporary flickering or non-operational lights. 2. Could it be the wire? TYPE/SIZE – Wire should be purchased according to the type of light you have selected, the location of the lights and the wire layout. Make sure you used the correct type and size of wire. See the DecksDirect Lighting Guide for more information. POLARITY – Staying consistent in matching wire types is important as you continue through the wiring process. Most wires will have a “smooth” black wire combined with another wire that has white lettering and/or is ribbed – matching polarity is critical for most LED lights. BROKEN RUN – Check to see if the wire connecting the light bulb to the main cable is not broken. 3. Are the lights defective? If one light is out, it could be the light or the connection to the light and is most likely not the transformer. BULBS – Check to confirm the bulb is connected properly to its socket. Sometimes, the bulb may have a blown filament. Test the fixture with a bulb from a fixture that is known to work. POWER – If your light is not working, one thing you may want to check is that your light is receiving power. One way to test this is to hook the light directly to the transformer. Don’t forget the check the polarity of the wires even when testing a single light. If the light does not light, and you have already determined it is not the bulb, then it could be defective. If the light does illuminate, the issue is most likely the wiring or connections (see wire section above). Warranty Information If all of the trouble shooting techniques have been exhausted, and you have determined that you have a defective product, DecksDirect.com would be happy to handle all warranty claims within 30 days of receiving your order. Any warranty claims beyond 30 days, should be made directly with the manufacture of the light. Please refer to the specific manufacturer’s warranty policy and claim submission procedures. 1. Defective Fixture or Transformer (within 30 days) If the entire fixture or transformer is found to be defective and you are within the 30 day warranty period, DecksDirect.com will warranty the product with a replacement at no cost. Please contact at us at 1-888-824-5316 to submit a claim. Option 1 – Standard The defective unit will need to be returned to DecksDirect.com prior to a replacement light or transformer being sent. A return shipping label will be provided at no charge via e-mail. Prior to a return label being submitted, DecksDirect.com must have a customer’s credit card on file. If the fixture or transformer is determined to be defective, a replacement will be shipped via Standard Ground service at no charge. If Expedited Shipping is requested, Expedited Shipping fees will be charged. If the returned fixture or transformer is found to be in working condition, the cost of return shipping to DecksDirect.com will be charged. Option 2 – Expedited If time is critical, a replacement light or transformer can be shipped immediately with a return tag in the package. The replacement light or transformer and shipping charges will be charged to the customer. When the original fixture or transformer is returned and determined to be defective, a full credit for the product and shipping will be applied. If Expedited Shipping is requested, Expedited Shipping fees will be charged and not refunded. 2. Defective Bulb (Models with replaceable units, within 30 days) If the bulb is determined to be defective and you are within the 30 day warranty period, DecksDirect.com will warranty the product with a replacement at no cost. Please contact at us at 1-888-824-5316 to submit a claim. Download Troubleshooting Guide
landscape lighting transformer troubleshooting 1

Landscape Lighting Transformer Troubleshooting

120 volt AC Line Side Photo Cell Wiring a photo cell is simple, and has advantage of better placement. The photo cell does not need be mounted to the transformer. Mounting on the transformer is convenient, providing transformer location supports this option. Under the roof overhang works well with photo cell on transformer installs. Transformers mounted inside a garage, shed etc. usually require an external mounted photo cell. We will drill a hole, run half inch conduit, outdoor box outside with photo cell mounted on it, conduit to the transformer. #14 wire. Not as big a job as it sounds or much added cost. Planning is everything. Usually the transformer is already right on the other side of the wall from the photo cell anyway. Do not install photo cell such that is sees direct sunlight, or much if any artificial light. My experience has seen early photo cell failure when facing direct sun light. Photo cell mounted where too much artificial light occurs may turn off. When the photo cell controls the light source it sees, it is possible the lights will toggle on / off. Wiring a photo cell sounds like extra work; Existing systems where transformer has failed; Usually is the photo cell The photo cell is a switch for power to the transformer. This can be repaired. Open up the case, the photo cell is wired in series with the transformer power wires. The 120 volt AC photo cell is wired on the line side of the transformer. 120-Volt Stem and Swivel Mount Photo Control 12 Volt DC Photo Cell 12 volt photo cells are available, and have their uses. They cost more, are less common control. The 12 volt photo cell is wired anywhere along the output side of the transformer; in line with the landscape lighting wire. These can save the day when a suitable location is not available for the line voltage photo cell. Landscape lighting wire will typically be on or under ground. You need to run wite up and down a deck post, fence, more suitable building location etc. Mount well above ground, try not to face direct sun light or artifical light. The phot cell will control light fixtures located down wire. Lumatrol 12 Volt Photo Control, Swivel
landscape lighting transformer troubleshooting 2

Landscape Lighting Transformer Troubleshooting

Hello Bob. There are many things that must be considered when sizing a transformer. Your fixtures for instance are 11 watts but did you see a VA (volt amp) number for them? If they are LED products are you are using an AC (the Malibu transformer is AC) transformer you MUST use the VA number when sizing the transformer and the wire. An 11 watt LED fixture may actually be using more like 20 watts VA. Then the wire size and length also contributes to the load on the transformer. If your wire is sized too small and you are trying to go a long distance, you are creating high levels of friction (heat) or load. Connections also are a HUGE contributor to a load problem. All of these things must be considered when choosing the transformer size to use. Have you actually used an amp meter on the primary and secondary sides of the transformer to find out the actual load that your transformer is pulling and supplying? The NEC (National Electrical Code) says that you can not load any device above 80% of its maximum load so keep that in mind as well. Then of course there is the transformer itself. All transformers will produce heat since they are creating friction. A quality transformer with good windings and insulation will be much better than a black plastic container. We NEVER use the products you are using and only use professional grade outdoor lighting fixtures, transformers, wire and connectors. We calculate every part of the project to insure proper transformer sizing and controls.

Landscape Lighting Transformer Troubleshooting

Landscape Lighting Transformer Troubleshooting
Landscape Lighting Transformer Troubleshooting
Landscape Lighting Transformer Troubleshooting
Landscape Lighting Transformer Troubleshooting

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