What are transformers used for in landscape lighting, why do I need one, and why do they cost so much? These are great questions to ask when considering installing or purchasing landscape lighting for your property.
So, What Do They Do?
Low voltage transformers are used to power low-voltage lighting systems. Typically, a low-voltage system uses 12v or 24v to power the light fixtures and this is far less power than the 120v coming from the outlets in your house.
Because the voltage needed is so much less than the voltage your power outlets supply, something is needed between the outlet and the lights to convert (or transform) the 120v into a lower voltage that is usable for your light fixtures. This is exactly what a transformer does, convert high voltage into low voltage.
Why would you want to convert your power to accommodate a low voltage lighting system? Click here to learn more about the benefits of low voltage landscape lighting.
Why Do They Cost So Much?
A transformer in a low voltage lighting system is the heart of the operation, supplying the lights with exactly what they need, exactly when you want it to. Without it, you wouldn't be able to power your lights, and if it were to malfunction it could cause your lights to stop working, or even cause damage.
Because of how crucial the transformer is to your lighting system, high quality materials are used (in high quality transformers) to ensure that there are as little complications as possible. Almost all high quality fixtures have a higher price tag due to the expensive/quality materials used, so the price of your lighting transformer will reflect the quality of the materials used.
Don't forget: When it comes to landscape lighting, you really do get what you pay for. Low cost light fixtures and transformers are guaranteed to have problems arise and require replacement much more often than higher cost/quality fixtures.
To save money in the long run, we strongly suggest skipping the landscape lighting fixtures and kits from big box stores and instead, install mid to high range quality lighting. Good landscape lighting fixtures should last a lifetime, requiring only a bulb replacement every few years. Skipping the cheapies will result in far fewer replacements and headaches.
You can browse the transformer options we offer at Silhouette Lights here.