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What is a transformer?
A transformer is a device that changes the voltage. It is made by winding two wires around an iron core, one connected to the primary side and a second wire connected to the secondary side.
In the case of low-voltage halogen lighting, the transformer has an input or primary voltage of 120, 230, 240 or 277V and an output or secondary voltage of 12V or 24V.What is an electronic transformer?
Conventional transformers, also called electromagnetic transformers are extremely large and heavy, and consist of an iron core and the sets of wire.
An electronic transformer, on the other hand, also contains an electronic device, an inverter, which allows the size of the actual transformer to be reduced. This electronic device and the reduced size output transformer make up the main components of what we normally call an electronic transformer.How does an electronic transformer work?
The inverter conditions the current to change direction at a frequency of about 20-50,000 times per second (called 20-50,000 Hertz or Hz) as opposed to the power from your wall outlet, which changes direction at a frequency of 50 or 60Hz. The higher the frequency of the current, the smaller the transformer. Most electronic transformers on the market today provide (high frequency) AC output.What is a DC transformer?
A DC transformer is a conventional electronic transformer where the output is converted to DC with the help of a device called a rectifier. The DC output virtually eliminates drop voltage and reduces radiated RFI. A DC transformer, although smaller and lighter than a magnetic transformer, is usually slightly larger than an AC electronic transformer providing similar power.What is the advantage of an electronic transformer?
Electronic transformers are very small and light compared to magnetic transformers, in most cases small enough that fixture manufacturers can often incorporate them within a lighting product rather than leaving the customer to find a hiding place.
Even when not incorporated with the fixture, electronic transformers are easy to handle and install.How does one wire a transformer?
The transformer should be connected to the wires leading to the lighting fixture using wire nuts or terminal blocks of appropriate size (for solid contact). Please check carefully that input wires are connected to the power line and output wires to the lamp.
Low-voltage halogen systems carry relatively large currents so all connections must be very tight to prevent a fire hazard.
If transformer is equipped with wires, then you will usually find the thicker wires on the low voltage side and not vice versa.How does the use of an electronic transformer differ from the use of a magnetic transformer?
The output of an electronic transformer, unless it is a DC transformer, is high frequency. This has the consequence that there is substantial voltage drop if the wires carrying the current are long or far apart. Always obey the following rules to avoid a voltage drop.
Use thick wires on the secondary/output side. The thicker the wire the less drop voltage you will experience.
The shorter the distance between transformer and lamp the less drop voltage you will experience.
Try to use a pair of secondary wires that are twisted together. The closer the two output wires are to each other the
When a transformer powers more than one fixture, split the output of the transformer immediately into several separate circuits rather than carrying all the power in one pair of wires. The less power per circuit, the less drop voltage you will experience. I.e. a 300W lamp/circuit will have more severe drop voltage than a 50W lamp/circuit.How does one test an electronic transformer?
Keep in mind the following:
Observe the wiring guidelines above. Most failures occur as a result of reverse or improper wiring.
Check the lamp and move it around inside the lamp holder.
Most voltmeters give misleading readings when applied to high frequency currents. You can only measure the voltage on an electronic transformer using a "true RMS" voltmeter with a sufficient range.
Can your transformers be used with all dimmers?
What type of dimmer can I use (wall mounted or touch type)?
A standard incandescent dimmer can be used to dim either line voltage (110V AC) or low voltage (12V AC) lights with an electronic transformer. The DC transformers are only dimmable with low voltage electronic dimmer controls, whereas, the AC transformers are truly dimmable with incandescent dimmer controls.
I am curious to find out if your prices for the recessed halogen lighting also includes the bulb?
Our downlights do not include halogen bulbs.
Most of our minilights do include a halogen bulb.How is the Recessed Under Cabinet Minilight fastened?
The recessed under cabinet minilight is fastened by pressure fitting it into hole via clipsAre the downlights and minilights dimmable?
Yes, they are dimmable with an electronic transformer.What type of dimmer can I use (wall mounted or touch type)?
A standard incandescent dimmer can be used to dim either line voltage (110V AC) or low voltage (12V AC) lights with an electronic transformer. The DC transformers
are only dimmable with low voltage electronic dimmer controls, whereas, the AC transformers are truly dimmable with incandescent dimmer controls.Is the transformer hard wired to power box or does it have a plug on the end of it?
All our transformers except for model 12V/60W, are hard wired units for permanent installations.What length cord is attached to the minilights?
The length of cord is 8in.Can the three foot extension cords be attached to one
another? If so, is there a max as to how many?
It is best to use only one extension cord. If you
need to have longer leads, use 16/2 wire.Do you have any lighting kits that are hard wired?
We have two lighting kits that can be hard wired:
- Direct wire - Flexible Track Halogen Lighting Kit
- 3 Light Miniature Halogen KitIs there a rule of thumb for the number of lights per foot?
The best rule is to place lights 2-3 ft. apart.How can I determine what size transformer to buy?
If you multiply the wattage by the number of lights, this will give you total wattage and size transformer accordingly.
You can view some technical examples at our
Technical Help Page
.Do you offer free shipping?
We offer free ground shipping for orders above $75.How long do you take to ship the products?
We offer same day shipping for all orders placed before 3:00PM EST on all items in stock.Do you have any catalogues available?
We don't have any catalogues available. All the products we have are currently online.