A couple months ago, I promised to write more “how-to” posts here since they seem to be most popular among all of you wonderful readers. Since then, I’ve posted How To Light a Foyer, How To Wash a Wall With Light, How To Choose a Recessed Shower Light, and How To Prevent a Power Outage Blackout.
Today, I’m tackling an arguably drier topic. However, for those of you that are diving into remodeling projects for the New Year, it’s a crucial one.
First, an introduction for those not familiar with transformers in the lighting industry (Hint: they are not shape-shifting creatures). There are two types of lighting systems: Line voltage and low voltage. Line voltage simply means that your lighting fixtures may be plugged in directly to an electrical outlet or hardwired directly to a power source. The voltage that the light fixture needs is the same as the voltage supplied from your wall. Low voltage lighting systems require lower voltage to operate than the typical power source supplies. So, if the power source in your wall outputs 120 volts, low voltage lighting fixtures require an input of just 12 or 24 volts. That’s why you need a low voltage transformer – to convert the voltage from your power source to the amount your lighting fixture needs!
Occasionally, the transformer is built right in to the lighting fixture – in which case there’s no need for this guide. The decision has been made for you! However, if the transformer is separate, you’ll need to make sure it is compatible with your lighting fixtures. Follow this guide to make your selection in four steps …