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Portfolio Landscape Lighting Transformer

portfolio landscape lighting transformer 1
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Portfolio Landscape Lighting Transformer

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.
portfolio landscape lighting transformer 1

Portfolio Landscape Lighting Transformer

Hello Russ and thank you for your question. My first thought is that you have a connection issue at the transformer itself. I’m hoping you have a digital electrical meter to check voltages at the transformer and along the wiring. First you need to check the voltage coming into the transformer (at the outlet) to make sure the transformer is getting power. If you do have power there, you need to check the voltage on the secondary side of the transformer (where the low voltage wires hook up). You should have around 12 volts between the common connection lug and the other lugs. If you have around 12 volts there, everything is good at the transformer, if not, look for a reset button (this is a circuit breaker on the transformer) and reset the transformer. If you still don’t have power on the secondary lugs, you may need to check the built in timer to make sure it is in the on mode. If all of that checks out, you may have gotten a bad transformer. If you do have power at the secondary lugs, between the common lug and the “line out” lug, than you have a connection issue, either at the transformer itself or along the wiring. I hope I didn’t confuse you and I wish you good luck.
portfolio landscape lighting transformer 2

Portfolio Landscape Lighting Transformer

Description The Portfolio 300-watt landscape lighting transformer is a powerful solution for landscape lighting design that includes many lights. This versatile transformer has two wires taps for increased wiring options. The digital display and dusk-to-dawn sensor makes operation and set-up easy. This transformer can be mounted to an exterior wall or installed with the Portfolio power pack stand (item #127122). 300-watt low-voltage power pack with photo eye sensor for use with 12-volt landscape lighting systems Built in digital display makes operation simple and easy Installs in minutes with easy set-up features Compatible with Aluminum Landscape Lighting Transformer Stand #127122 2 terminal connections for flexible wiring Automatically powers on at dusk and off at dawn Includes 5-ft photo eye sensor cable Compatible with 12, 14, or 16 gauge low-voltage cable Each terminal produces up to a maximum of 150 W
portfolio landscape lighting transformer 3

Portfolio Landscape Lighting Transformer

The Portfolio 300-watt landscape lighting transformer is a powerful solution for landscape lighting design that includes many lights. This versatile transformer has two wires taps for increased wiring options. The digital display and dusk-to-dawn sensor makes operation and set-up easy. This transformer can be mounted to an exterior wall or installed with the Portfolio power pack stand (item #127122). 300-watt low-voltage power pack with photo eye sensor for use with 12-volt landscape lighting systems Built in digital display makes operation simple and easy Installs in minutes with easy set-up features Compatible with Aluminum Landscape Lighting Transformer Stand #127122 2 terminal connections for flexible wiring Automatically powers on at dusk and off at dawn Includes 5-ft photo eye sensor cable Compatible with 12, 14, or 16 gauge low-voltage cable Each terminal produces up to a maximum of 150 W
portfolio landscape lighting transformer 4

Portfolio Landscape Lighting Transformer

Help! My low voltage, outdoor lighting wont light up – transformer error codes?I bought a Portfolio 300watt transformer for low voltage outdoor lighting and hooked up a 100′ 12 gauge cable (outdoor rated lighting cable) to it. Then I hooked up 4 low voltage lights (12volt 20 watts each). I plugged the transformer in to a gfi outlet that I ran out from the house. And turned it on. The little display flashes “E” and then “1” . The instructions say that the E means that there is a fire hazard so check the circut. So I unhooked every light except one. Same error. I hooked on a different light and unhooked the first one. Same error. Instructions say the cable needs to be under 250′. And the load less than 300w. I am there, except it won’t run. Do I have a bad transformer or is there something that I am missing? Oh, and this is to light my haunt in my front yard, so I am running out of time! Thanks for any advice! Matt

Portfolio Landscape Lighting Transformer

You are welcome sir and I’m glad to help. First, do you have a volt meter? If so, turn your transformer on and check the voltage coming out of the secondary (where your low voltage wires are hooked up). You’ll put one probe of the common and one probe on the 12 volt tap. See if any voltage comes out when the transformer turns on. If no voltage is coming out, check to see if there is a reset switch on your transformer. Some of them do and some do not but if yours does, go ahead and reset it. If it trips again, you most likely still have a short somewhere which is causing it to trip and you’ll need to make that repair. If you have no voltage coming out at all and your reset is fine, your controller or transformer itself has been damaged by your earlier problems and needs to be replaced. If so, I recommend stepping up to a professional grade transformer which can usually be purchased at a local irrigation supply house. Good luck and let me know how it goes.

Portfolio Landscape Lighting Transformer

Hello Troy and thank you for reading our blog! LEDs can be quite tricky when it comes to their voltages and the types of transformers that can operate them. Check to make sure that the transformer is a magnetic type of transformer and not electronic. Electronic transformers sometimes require a certain load to operate properly and LEDs don’t do well with electronic transformers and they tend to “strobe” on electronic transformers. Also some low voltage LEDs require minimum voltage of 11 volts to operate while other, higher quality LEDs, work fine with as little as 9 volts so you may need to check the voltage operating range of the LED lamps you are using and insure they are getting enough voltage. If you do have a magnetic transformer, then split the load by adding an additional “home run” wire to the transformer and put half of the lights on that new line. This will hopefully insure that all of your lamps are getting proper voltage. also, if your transformer has a Hi/Lo setting, put it on hi. I really think your problem is one of the two I’ve suggested here and I’d really appreciate it if you would get back to me and let me know what you find out. Thank you.

Portfolio Landscape Lighting Transformer

Let me tell you a little antidote about a girl, let’s call her “Whitney”, who buried all the connections, turned on the transformer and got all excited because the lights worked. Only to come back 30 minutes later to an error message on the transformer and no working lights. Needless to say, she had to dig up every single light and press all the connections tight again. Then she tested the lights only to be disappointed yet again. She was so frustrated, that she went inside and went directly to bed. The next day she spent too much time on hold with the customer service numbers for the transformer and the light manufacturer. They weren’t much help. “Yes, I read the directions. Yes, I checked the connections. Yes, yes. YES!… Okay thanks (or no thanks!)” But, she knew she was smarter than the average bear, so she systematically removed one light at a time and then turned on the transformer. Finally upon removing the last light and plugging in the transformer she found that they suddenly worked. I’m not sure why (errr, I mean she wasn’t sure why that last light caused the problem), so she decided to discard the last light.

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