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DIY Low Voltage Landscape Lighting Transformer


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I have gone through two pretty expensive Malibu 600W landscape lighting controllers and I have concluded that I need to look into building my own.  So I was thinking of a 12V multitap transformer wired with a Insteon In-line relay or switch?  Anyone have any experience or ideas for an ideal landscaping low voltage DIY build?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, I just found HA forums as I was looking for some home automation info unrelated to landscape lighting, but that happens to be a subject I know a fair amount about, so I MIGHT be able to help, but would certainly need more info as to how you blew out these two tranny's (hopefully we're still allowed to use that term for transformers and transmissions!) what you're trying to set up with them, etc. Also, when you mention the DIY part, it sounds like you could be talking about either setting up your own landscape lighting system, OR maybe building your own multi-tap tranny-which if you're very knowledgeable and experienced with that type of electronic gear may not be tough for you to do at all. For me, that's not in the equation, my dad was an electrical engineer but I'm not!


I've done a lot of work setting up progrssively more complicated systems and now that LEDs have certainly reached the price point where I think its definetly the smart move to go with all LED fixtures, both for energy cost savings that will fairly quickly pay for itself, probably not having to change bulbs for literally years and years, but also because they're much less sensitive to voltage drop, which still must be factored in, but isn't the problem that it used to be. With halogen lights, voltage drop and especially for a bigger system with lots of lights and covering a larger space, thus long cable runs, could be a HUGE PITA to deal with.


What exactly are the problems and do you know why the trannys blew out? Also, PLEASE don't take this the wrong way, but Malibu, while I'll give them credit for making decent fixtures when you factor the low prices in, is NOT any sort of top quality brand, it is the low priced, entry level gear and they don't even make a multi tap transformer, which is hard for me to see how many people could make use of a 600 watt unit, that only allows you a 12 volt output. Hopefully I can give some advice if you'd like.

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  • 1 year later...

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