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Low Voltage Lighting Transformer

Low voltage lighting transformerThe most common use for 12v transformers, among laymen at least, is for lighting purposes. Sure, if you dabble in electronics you may have other uses for it, but this is mostly not the case. We will assume then, that you want to use a transformer for a lighting system, to power either led’s or halogen bulbs.

Low voltage lighting transformers are pretty easy to find, as they are the most common types of transformers found in stores around. 12v is the most common type, as most low voltage bulbs use this voltage. It also has the advantage of being safe to work with, as 12v is barely enough to shock you, provided there is a fuse somewhere in the system to break off the current at some point. Always buy a fused lighting transformer for this reason – even if your home is already equipped with a fusebox (as it should be for fire-safety reasons).

You need to know what your power requirements are, before buying the transformer. This means knowing how many bulbs you will powering, and how many watts they will use in total. Then add 30 percent of headroom to that number, just to be on the safe side, and you have the power rating of the transformer you need. Remember to check if your light bulbs need DC voltage (often the case with led’s). If they do, you will need a transformer which spefically provides this. In many cases, that will be a so-called electronic transformer. Some people also call this an led-driver. Well, just as long as it provides DC voltage at the current specified on the bulb, you will be okay.

An important thing to note about installation, is that the mains-side of the transformer should be left to a trained technician. That is, the connection from the mains terminals on the unit, to a mains source in your home. Mains voltages are lethal!

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