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Best 600 Watt Low Voltage Transformer For Outdoor Landscape Lighting 2021

Taking a 600 watt low voltage transformer as an example, have you ever thought of what the watt rating on your transformer means?

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Malibu 600 Watt Power Pack with Sensor Photo Cell and Weather Shield for Low Voltage Landscape...
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From basic knowledge of science and tech, you might recall that watt is the unit of power.

Also, the transformer can be regarded as an electrical device that either step-up or step-down voltage.

Transformers also exchange voltages for current at a constant power rating.

Is it already sounding confusing?

Just relax!

We will be taking our time to explain the whole transformer concept while using the 600 Watt low voltage transformer as a case study.

We will also be defining the 600 watt low voltage transformer, its practical applications, and how to connect one.

Let’s get to it!

Comparison Table of 600 Watt Low Voltage Transformer

ImageBrandProduct Details
Malibu 600 Watt Power
600 Watts Lightkiwi
600W Watt Multi Tap

What is a 600 Watt Low Voltage Transformer?

Before explaining the 600 watt low voltage transformer, we need to first understand what we mean by low voltage transformers.

As the name implies, low voltage transformers are the type that converts the high voltage feed into a low voltage that is safe for use in major appliances.

The truth is that these household appliances are often preconditioned to operate within a specific range of voltage and frequency.

However, voltage and frequency vary from place to place. So, there is a need for a safety device that regulates this incoming voltage source to the required voltage for an appliance’s proper functioning.

These regulators are called transformers. The transformer types that ensure that high incoming voltage sources are stepped down are called the low voltage transformers.

However, transformers are devices too and should have their capacity ratings. We can refer to this rating as the power of the transformer.

Power is measured in Watt or Volt Ampere (VA). In some cases, kVA or kW is used.

This VA (Volt-Ampere) rating is the number of volts (VA) that is used per 1 ampere (A). So, 1 VA = 1 Watt.

Therefore, a 600W transformer handles a ratio of 600 volts to 1 ampere of current. It’s a ratio, and the current may not be 1A. The multiplication of voltage and current (Ampere) must always be equal to 600 in this case.

Hence, we can now define a 600 watt low voltage transformer as “the transformer type that ensures the constant supply of low voltage at a power of 600 Watts.”

Is 600 Watt Low Voltage Transformer Perfect for Outdoor Lighting?

The simple answer to this question is a YES and a NO.

Yes, because it depends on the power of the LED lightings, and NO because it is a general question that does not have a fixed answer.

As we have earlier discussed, a 600 watt low voltage transformer has a maximum power of 600 watts (600VA).

Hence, the corresponding transformer choice depends on the total wattage of LED lights that are being considered.

Using too many LEDs should be avoided as it forces the transformer to perform beyond recommended conditions.

The transformer gets hot and gets damaged eventually.

How many LED Landscape Lights work with a 600-Watt Transformer?

The number of LED landscape lights that you can connect to your 600 watt transformer depends on your transformer wattage or power rating and the type of low voltage transformer.

Firstly, the minimum and maximum transformer wattage ratings will determine the smallest or highest number of watts that suits the transformer.

Also, the transformer type can either be electronic or magnetic. The electronic transformers are quiet and take a lesser maximum power of around 300 watts.

Besides, the total wattage (power) of LED lights connected to the electronic transformer can be less than or equal to the maximum transformer power rating.

On the other hand, magnetic transformers have a higher maximum power rating of 1200 watts.

The total power of connected LED lights should not exceed the recommended 80% of the total transformer wattage.

To answer the main question, we will have to use a magnetic transformer because of the transformer power rating of 600watts.

Assuming each LED light is about 60watts, the number of LED lights will then be 600/60 = 10 LED lights.

Top 3 Best 600 Watt Low Voltage Transformer

01. Malibu 600 Watt Transformer

 

One of the best 600watt low voltage transformers that step down 120V electricity to a safe 12V for household use.

It is also designed with a sensor photocell and has a weather shield to guard against moisture through the terminal outlets.

Although it is a bit heavy (33.5pounds), you can be sure that it is quality. The good thing about this transformer is that it has been built to allow you to set it up yourself. This outdoor transformer comes with a 1-year warranty.

02. 600 Watts Lightkiwi Low Voltage Transformer

 

Sold by Lightkiwi stores, this 600 watt low voltage transformer is built to step down incoming AC electricity of 120V to a range of (12-15)V AC.

The recommended maximum load is 70% of the maximum transformer wattage.

Besides, this heavy-duty transformer offers itself dual protection using automatic and magnetic circuit breakers for the transformer’s primary and secondary sides, respectively.

However, there is no timer or photocell except you get it yourself. You will also have to contact the seller yourself to get warranty information.

03. 600 Watts Best Pro Lighting Low Voltage Transformer

 

Manufactured by Best Pro Lightning, this 600 watt low voltage transformer is designed to step down input AC electricity of 120V to (12-15) V AC safe for domestic home appliances.

One good thing here is that this transformer comes with a photocell and timer. Warranty information is not stated clearly here, but it was written somewhere that it has a lifetime warranty.

How to Connect 600 Watt Low Voltage Transformer?

First, we recommend that you hand over the connection job of the 600 watt low voltage transformer to a professional.

The professional has made several such connections and already knows what errors to avoid.

However, if you’re a DIY type of person, the following are steps you should follow.

  • Locate a residual current device (RCD) that will serve as the connection point between your home and the LED lights. The RCD will act as a protector to shut down the circuit in case any problem occurs.
  • Ensure your transformer is also located near an RCD source to serve as protection too.
  • Cover all connection outlets to prevent moisture or negative effect of weather.
  • Check your manual to verify that you’re using the right set of cables for connection.
  • Install and examine the LED landscape lights. Remember to recheck all connection wires.
  • Test the transformer before covering the wires underground.

How to Test a Low Voltage 600-Watt Transformer?

The following should be done after connecting your 600 watt low voltage transformer.

  • Turn off the power for the whole connection and use a digital multimeter to measure the voltage readings. Do this by connecting the leads of your multimeter to the circuit input lines.
  • Turn on the power and verify the voltage input to the transformer. The reading should not be lower than 80% of the expected values.
  • Repeat the previous step for the transformer secondary terminals.

600 Watt Low Voltage Transformer Problems & Troubleshoot

The following are some of the common problems you might experience with your LED lighting.

  1. Only Some Lights Work
  • Test the LED bulbs for possible burnouts.
  • Check the landscape cable to transformer connection.
  1. All of the LED lights refuse to work
  • Make sure the transformer is turned on.
  • Ensure firmness of all connection terminals.
  1. LED lights are coming on during the day
  • The photocell was likely positioned to face a lightning source.
  1. LED lights do not come at night
  • Change the photocell position. It has too much lighting at nigh

How to Test for Power in 600 Watt Low Voltage Transformer that has Photocell?

In this section, we will discuss how to test for power through a transformer with a photocell.

  • Simulate nighttime by covering the photo eye of the photocell with black electrical tape.
  • Next, rotate the timer counterclockwise to turn it on.
  • Remember to also turn on the voltmeter and connect the two lead probes to the circuit table. This first point of connection is our voltage tap 1 (at 11volts).
  • Repeat the step above and take readings of voltage tap for 12 volts, 13 volts, and 14 volts
  • Obtaining corresponding readings of 11 volts, 12 volts, and so on with tolerances of +/-0.5 for each tap will indicate the transformer is working correctly.
  • If you notice LED lights are not working despite obtaining readings at each voltage tap, then the circuit cables may be bad. The LED lights might be damaged as well.
  • If the transformer is getting proper voltage but not working, it could be the timer.

How to Connect Hampton Bay 600 Watt Low Voltage Transformer?

Follow our step-by-step guide to properly connect or install that Hampton 600 watt transformer. You can also check out the Hampton Bay manual to help you out.

  • Carefully split the copper wires in the landscape cable insulation. Then, peel off about 0.5inches of the insulation from each wire and twist the ends.
  • Insert one end of the wires in the transformer clamping plate labeled COM. Firmly screw it.
  • Fix the other end in the clamping plate of 12v or 15v.
  • Place your fixtures where you plan to install them. Ensure the total rating is not more than 600watts.
  • Attach the fixtures to the cable using cable connectors and turn on the transformer.
  • Mount your Hampton transformer on the wall using screws.
  • Also, mount the photocell bracket on a wall using screws and ensure it is not pointing at possible night light sources.
  • Adjust the position of the photocell until the transformer lightens up at the desired level.

After successful installation, you can watch this video below to know more about operating the transformer.

FAQ’s of Low Voltage 600 Watt Transformer

What are the differences between low voltage transformers and high voltage transformers?

Low voltage transformers are the transformers that step down high incoming voltage (of let’s say 240V) to a lower value (let’s say 12V) considered safe for the used appliances.

For the high voltage transformers, we will say they are the transformers that step-up voltage usually across long-distance power lines.

They are also used in industrial machines with voltage ranges as high as 600 – 5000 volts.

How Can I Calculate the Correct Wattage Rating for my appliance?

Try checking the label or tag on the appliance. Manufacturers usually add the wattage rating to make it easier to know. However, you can calculate it yourself too.

The nominal voltage is 240 volts. So, you only need to know the ampere rating to calculate the wattage.

The formula is Wattage (Watts) = Voltage (V) x Ampere (A)

Hence, for a 5-ampere lighting system, you will need a transformer with a rating of

= 240 volt x 5 amp

= 1200 Watts or 1.2 kW

How many appliances can I use at once on my voltage transformers?

As many as possible, just make sure that the appliances’ total wattage does not exceed the transformer’s wattage.

It would help if you also remembered to set the transformer to work at only 80% of its maximum wattage. It reduces the risk of damage from power fluctuations.

How Do I Determine the right Transformer to use for my LED landscape lighting?

Calculate the sum of the wattages of each light bulb in the LED landscape lighting. For instance, having ten 30-watts light bulbs will give a total of 300 watts. That is total wattage is 300.

Now multiply the value obtained as total wattage by 1.25. The extra value is to account for losses due to cable distance.

So, our final wattage is 300 x 1.25 = 375 watts.

80% of 375 watts gives 300 watts (remember what we said about magnetic transformers?)

Why is my Voltage Transformer Tripping Off?

If your transformer is tripping off itself, it is most likely the circuit breaker. It is a good thing as it implies that the breaker protects your transformer from excessive currents, poor installation connections, overpowering of the transformer, and too many LED lights for one run.

Conclusion

By now, you should have a better understanding of what transformers are, especially the low voltage transformers.

Their importance cannot be overemphasized since we need them for the proper functioning of our appliances. You should also be able to connect a 600 Watt low voltage transformer yourself.

Is there any part of the topic that you still do not understand? Check the FAQs below. If the questions persist, you can ask in the comments section.

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