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Unbiased Review: Best Low Voltage Transformer

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You may have heard a lot about low voltage transformers before, but what is their use? As the name implies, this device reduces the common voltage running through your house to a smaller extent. This works for landscape lighting systems ranging from 12 – 15 AC or DC.

Besides this basic function, the market offers customers additional features to push the user experience to a new level. That’s why Growingherbsforbeginners.com came up with this article that introduces some top-notch options. Each suggestion has one aspect that stands out the most. Scroll down to find out your best low voltage transformer

Best Low Voltage Transformer – Top 6 Reviews In Details

Here are the best low voltage transformers on the market that have gained trust and love from million users! So what are their pros and cons? Follow us to get the answers!

PICTUREPRODUCT'S NAMEPRICE
RTS Home Accents Rainwater BarrelDEWENWILS 200W Outdoor Low Voltage Transformer
Good Ideas IMP-L50-SAN<br /> Malibu 120 Watt Power Pack with Sensor and Weather Shield
Good Ideas RW65-GRN Rain WizardGOODSMANN Low Voltage Transformer 120W Outdoor Lighting Transformer
Enviro World EWC-10 FreeGardenRing Smart Lighting - Low Voltage Lighting Transformer
Good Ideas IMP-N50-DBR<br /> Sterno Home GL33200 12V 200W Low Voltage Landscape Lighting Transformer
Good Ideas IMP-N50-DBR<br /> VOLT 300W LED Low Voltage Transformer (12V/15V)

#1. DEWENWILS 200W Outdoor Low Voltage Transformer – Best Automated System

DEWENWILS 200W Outdoor Low Voltage Transformer

Specifications:

  • Power: 200W
  • Input: 120V AC, 60 Hz
  • Output: 12V AC
  • Dimensions: 6 x 4 x 8.6 in

It is not an exaggeration to say that DEWENWILS proceed with most of its main features without human impact. First, it has a built-in dusk-to-dawn sensor. Your landscape system automatically converts voltage to provide a safe and practical current for operation. Even if you come home late, your porch is still lit to create a cozy feeling.

Remember to take advantage of the 1-9 hours countdown timer and adjust the outdoor lights as you want. Basically, this method helps to save more energy when customers limit the lighting time according to the season change.

Some customers may feel apprehensive about interacting with high-tech products, except DEWENWILS. It goes through no trouble to switch between the three options Always-On / Auto / Countdown Timing with only two keys.

What’s more, the memory function stays in your favorite mode even when the power goes out. It is redundant for regular adjustment when the transformer does this job after running for at least 24 hours.

To sum up, automatic functions reduce the duration and deviations caused by manual operation. Believe it or not, the DEWENWILS model is a savior for the busy life of most urban dwellers these days.

Pros

  • Automatic operation
  • Built-in hanging holes for super-easy installation
  • Quiet working
  • Unique memory function 

Con

  • Hard user interface

#2. Malibu 120 Watt Power Pack – Budget Choice

Malibu 120 Watt Power Pack

Specifications:

  • Power: 120W
  • Input: 120V AC
  • Output voltage: 12V AC
  • Dimensions: 4.7 x 3.4 x 7.5 in

Malibu is one of the leading brands in the market, and its reputation is no coincidence. The first reason for this popularity is its excellent performance without digging deep into your pocket.

This device is compatible with many lights and converts 120V input to 12V output risk-free. However, the manufacturer requires the lighting power to be 75% less than the supply.

Made of hard plastic, this version is ideal for outdoor installation. You can mount it on the wall or simply place it above the mailbox. Ease and fast are all that can be said for this process. 

Then, feel free to enjoy its performance with confidence because the tough outer layer protects the transformer from extreme weather, rust, and corrosion. 

The time it arrived at our home was a heavily rainy day in August – the monsoon season in the US. And surprisingly, it stands the test of time after the severe months of rain and thunderstorms. The heavier weight (6.5 pounds)  compared to other models also keeps it sturdy even in strong winds.

The best part is that the sensor for light control creates the ultimate convenience for the user experience. The Malibu can start working without any interference once the sun goes out. Of course, it also automatically turns off at dawn. This outstanding feature saves you time and effort after a long day of hard work.

 Pros

  • Tough outer shell
  • User-friendly sensor system
  • Weather shield
  • Easy installation

Cons

  • It requires correct installation for best usage
  • The sensor becomes less effective after a certain while

#3. GOODSMANN Low Voltage Transformer 120W – Best For Flexibility

GOODSMANN Low Voltage Transformer 120W

Specifications

  • Power: 120W
  • Input: 120V AC
  • Output: 12V AC
  • Dimensions: ‎9.5 x 6.5 x 6.5 in

As sprucing up gardens with different lights has been the trend, Goodsmann takes the lead on the bandwagon by launching this low voltage transformer with outstanding compatibility and flexibility. This feature is not something you would expect from many other brands.

Whether it is a halogen, incandescent, or LED light, this device comes to relieve your stress. In other words, it converts household voltage to 12V AC, suitable for any low voltage landscape lighting system.

Another interesting feature that we must mention in this part is the built-in clock and timer. It offers three modes: on/off at any time, on at dusk and off at a preset time, or off after 4, 6, 8, or 10 hours. With this flexible customization, customers can see the brilliant night view through the window without getting to the switch.

Finally, if you plan to install the Goodsmann outdoors, nothing should stand in your way. Plastic construction reinforces resistance to extreme conditions. Its front side is also equipped with a weather shield to protect the panel from direct sunlight and water splashes.

Pros

  • Replaceable photo sensor
  • Great compatible with a wide range of lights
  • Three user-friendly modes
  • Hard construction

Con

  • Short warranty period

#4. Ring Smart Lighting – Best Smart Features

Ring Smart Lighting

Specifications

  • Power: 200W
  • Input: 120V AC
  • Output: 12V or 15V DC 
  • Dimensions: 2.8 x 7.87 x 6 in

Ring Smart Lighting fulfills your wish if you want to build a smart home, even with transformers. This leading manufacturer provides high-tech solutions to customers through the Ring Smart Lighting Starter Kit.

In detail, it includes the transformer and the Ring Bridge – an accompanying part to connect the main unit to the landscape lights. You can also benefit from notifications, customize settings, and connect to other Ring connections (doorbell, camera, smart lights, etc.). Through the Ring app, you can multi-task to keep your home safe. For example, receive notifications on your tablet or smartphone when motion is detected.

You can enjoy the most advanced way of turning on / off – smart control in the application. Instead of the traditional or touch style, this device allows you to perform actions remotely. Best of all, it is compatible with the virtual assistant Alexa which also features voice control.

In short, Ring Smart Lighting creates ultimate convenience like never before. If you’re worried about installation, the package comes with all the necessary hardware that requires little effort in your work.

Pros

  • Excellent control
  • Great connectivity through the app
  • Compatible with any light fixture
  • Motion-activated notification
  • Weather-resistant

Con

  • Minor errors in timing schedules

#5. Sterno Home GL33200 12V 200W – Best Timer

Sterno Home GL33200 12V 200W

Specifications

  • Capacity: 200W
  • Input: 120V AC
  • Output: 12V 
  • Dimensions: 6.14 x 3.31 x 7.87 in

Most current transformers come with a timer. So what sets the Sterno Home apart from the rivals?

First and foremost, this manufacturer presents a proprietary technology called Sunwise – an astronomical timer. It works based on geographic data and sun position to turn the device on and off. With high precision, it gives customers outstanding time control and energy savings.

After tracking, the device automatically turns on at dusk and off at dawn without any sensors. It features five versatile modes: On, Off, Timer, Auto (dusk-to-dawn), and Sunwise (local sunset and sunrise). 

It is not necessary to worry about switching between options. The product comes up with a simple, easy-to-use interface. The biggest difference is the LED display which shows some tracking readings.

Most notably, the Sterno Home makes good use of these great features for indoor and outdoor installations without photocells. This point attracts customers’ attention and contributes to its popularity.   

Pros

  • LED screen for easy tracking
  • Weatherproof construction
  • User-friendly interface
  • Outstanding timer
  • Various on/off modes

Con

  • Limited compatibility

#6. VOLT 100W LED Low Voltage Transformer – Best Durability

VOLT 100W LED Low Voltage Transformer

Specifications

  • Power: 300W
  • Input: 120V, 60 Hz
  • Output: 12 or 15V 
  • Dimensions: 3.7 x 5.5 x 15.33 inches

A long-term guarantee for quality? – This VOLT transformer does much more. It offers a lifetime warranty that is unique in the industry. The manufacturer commits to the top-notch core, stainless steel housing, and all electrical components for life.

Luckily, you probably do not use this endless benefit much because this device serves outstanding performance. The toroidal core of this electric transformer allows cool and quiet operation than comparable EI laminates. Compared with some electronic products, which usually do not agree with LED circuits, VOLT overcomes large-scale voltage loss and overheating.

It can be said that this changer is a great companion for small to medium-scale lighting systems. Besides the reliable appearance, the manufacturer installs the internals with high-class materials. This promises consistency in quality that is well worth your investment.

The VOLT does not let you down if you care about the protection aspect. It comes with a waterproof lanyard and power cord. Despite its high cost, your experience with this product surpasses some high-end ones. So why not give it a try now?

Pros

  • Excellent after-sale service
  • The smooth combination of productivity and safety
  • Simple installation process
  • Reliable construction

Cons

  • No customization
  • Slightly pricey

Buying Guide For A High-Quality Transformer

Power Parameters

Power Capacity

It is not wise to sleep on the power supply when shopping for a voltage changer. This indicator determines the safety of your electrical system. Remember that you must keep the transformer’s load within its range.

When it comes to landscape lighting, the level from 100 to 200W gives the most suitable productivity. A general rule of thumb is that the highest volume fits most situations.

To figure out the most suitable range, it is best to calculate the total electricity for all existing lights. Then, it helps install the device with no redundancies or shortages. 

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Input & Output

These indicators are no strangers to those who often study electrical equipment. In fact, most manufacturers publish this information on the product itself. There is a clear difference in voltage output between the options. Hence, thoughtful consideration will narrow down your ideal choice.

For input, find it right on the transformer. The diversity may beat your patience at first but stay calm. It is not an impossible mission.

Voltage Range

The manufacturers always try to satisfy the market. Some products have fixed features, while the rest are more flexible. 

Construction

How does a transformer work? Or how long does it last? – Are these things your concerns when searching for a voltage changer? Savvy buyers focus on the high-quality material first, which also determines the performance. No one wants to buy another one after a short period.

Most manufacturers go for stainless steel and durable plastic in production. The first one gets more favor due to its weather resistance. On the downside, it cannot connect to the underground system to avoid electric shock.

In comparison, the durability of plastic coating is worse than that of its rivals. However, it overcomes the minus point of stainless steel and brings a wide application, even in water.

Photocell/Auto Timer

If you care about  energy efficiency, do not ignore these excellent features. First, the photocell senses the sunlight and sends a signal to its integral part – the light sensor. 

This duo frees you from manual on/off. Of course, the outdoor lighting equipment never works unless it is necessary. As a result, this convenience leads to efficient energy consumption.

Moving to the timer, it is most suitable for indoor use. With 1 to 9-hour installation, you can set up in advance, and the device turns off automatically. 

Another latest tech upgrade is the Astronomical Timer. It responds to the sun’s position or the season and directs the light operation like a photocell.

In short, these smart features save you time, effort, and, most of all, energy.

Dimensions

This factor determines the location of your installation. If the device comes in bulky size, you should prepare a spacious space in advance. Weight also affects this process. It is challenging to handle heavy equipment.

Brand

Reputable manufacturers are highly capable of serving customers with top-notch products. Most of your selections from trusty brands are a safe bet.

On the contrary, be careful to buy equipment from less well-known companies. An in-depth investigation is essential for new players in the industry. They must have enough experience to deliver a good service.

Budget

Now, it is time to get back to yourself. In all cases, one piece of advice that holds is “Never go over your budget”. The market may confuse you with price variations, but always stick to your original plan and pay within that range.

Low Voltage Transformer Installation, Operation & Maintenance

Receiving And Handling

Inspection

This step saves you from wasting money on a broken product. Upon receiving your device, immediately inspect it to detect possible damage during transportation. If there are any non-standard conditions, notify the supplier for exchange or repair assistance.

Storage

If you do not proceed with installation right after purchase, pack your item in a clean and dry place. Make sure that there is no invasion of harmful elements. Close the ventilation holes on the box to prevent moisture and dust. 

Manufacturers usually do not have specific instructions for storage temperatures. However, it is best to keep your device away from areas with extreme conditions. Rapid temperature deviation may cause moisture condensation that harms your voltage changer.

Handling

Some transformers are heavy and tall. Thus, slow migration limits toppling under any circumstances. Never leave your device tips on its side to avoid damage. Even weight distribution and safety measures are most useful for both the installer and the equipment.

Pre-Service Test And Start-Up

Though this stage is optional, it ensures the safety of the entire system during use. As you know, small electrical errors can have dire consequences. Some of the necessary checks include:

  • Torque test
  • Insulation
  • Ratio on transformer
  • Connection and clearance

After checking all settings, follow these necessary steps:

  • Fully install the external hardware and close covers/doors (e.g., font shields).
  • Connect the power supply and examine the input.
  • Double-check the safety and performance before regular operation.
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Maintenance

Low voltage transformers require regular inspection and maintenance to correct failures promptly and maintain optimum performance. Here is what users should do:

Periodic maintenance

Make sure the oil level does not drop below the optimal limit. At the same time, you should check the ventilation plate and the breathing hole. If dirt accumulates on these construction parts, use a damp rag to remove it.

Annual maintenance

First, do the intuitive steps described above. Remove the covers and vacuum the coils, terminals, core, and inside of the cabinet. 

Check for signs of overheating (discoloration on coils), insulation, connections, and torque. Moving to the power source, examine the correct loading range and load balance per phase.

Conclusion

Despite a few shortcomings, our list never hinders your experience. Each suggestion deserves “the best low voltage transformer” title for different purposes.

As you can see, the second choice – Malibu 120 Watt, offers a comprehensive feature set with an affordable price tag. The remaining ones are popular for their unique characteristics and provide excellent value to their users.

If you cannot find the right product in this article, we believe our buying tips above can save you time and increase your shopping efficiency.

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