When you are looking for the best low voltage transformer, there are a lot of things that you need to consider. From cost to size to demand on power, each product has its benefits and its pitfalls.
That is exactly why we have written this article – to help you find the perfect transformer for your specific needs.
Whether you are using this tool for a specific, work-related function or during your international travels, it is critical for you to find a product that not only stands the test of time but fits your needs exactly.
With countless styles, manufacturers, specifications, and brands, it can be overwhelming to hunt down exactly what it is that you need.
If this describes your situation, then you are in luck – simply read on and discover the best transformers the market has to offer. Enjoy!
- 0.1 What is a Low Voltage Transformer?
- 0.2 What is the Best Low Voltage Transformer For Landscape Lighting?
- 1 Top 10 Best Low Voltage Transformer Reviews
- 1.1 01. Malibu 300-Watt Power Pack – Ideal Heavy-Duty Transformer for Outdoors
- 1.2 02. GOODSMANN 120-Watt Power Pack with Sensor – Perfect for Large-Scale Operations
- 1.3 03. Best Pro Lighting 300W – Terrific AC (Alternating Current) Option
- 1.4 04. DEWENWILS 60W Outdoor Low Voltage Transformer with Timer – Fantastic All-Weather Choice
- 1.5 05. VOLT 300W LED Low Voltage Transformer- High-End Automaton, Great For Peace of Mind
- 1.6 06. Lightkiwi W9715 Landscape Lighter – Fantastic Low-Volume Transformer for All Purposes
- 1.7 07. Sterno Home GL33120- Ideal Option for Extreme Power Demands
- 1.8 08. Lightkiwi U2184 75-Watt Heavy-Duty Transformer – Great For Diverse Electrical Needs
- 1.9 09. John Timberland Outdoor Transformer – Low Wattage & Power Saving Choice
- 1.10 10. Moonrays Electric Power Pack – Smart & Modern Transformer Option
- 2 Buying Considerations of Best Low Voltage Transformer
- 2.1 01. AC/DC Compatibility
- 2.2 02. Automatic VS Manual
- 2.3 03. Weather Circumstances
- 2.4 04. Connection Considerations
- 2.5 05. Safety Features
- 2.6 06. Outlet Requirements
- 2.7 Installation of Low Voltage Transformer
- 3 FAQ’s About Landscape Lighting Transformer Reviews
- 4 Wrap it up
What is a Low Voltage Transformer?
This piece of machinery is a unit that converts power through the use of resistance allowing the user the opportunity to safely use all types of lighting and power sources.
Once upon a time all power sources and electrical units were made the same. Nowadays, however, there are so many different market choices and international suppliers that it is important to account for compatibility.
Taking this into consideration, the ability to convert raw power into something usable (or transform that power) it is critical to have a high functioning transformer at your disposal.
Low voltage simply refers to the nature of the unit. Provided you are not using this for international purposes, the low voltage should be sufficient for your needs.
What is the Best Low Voltage Transformer For Landscape Lighting?
This depends entirely on the lighting demands themselves. If you are looking for modern, the best choice is one that is energy efficient and works with LED lighting.
If you are looking for a small-scale option, seek out something that is lightweight and easy to install.
In the case that you are wanting something for a vacation and security deterrent, the best choice is something that will allow you automatic controls with a safety failsafe.
Take a look at the choices above – they represent a thorough cross-section of the options now on the market. There is something for everyone, so seek out what works best for you.
Why Malibu, GOODSMANN, Best Pro Lighting, Sterno Home, Lightkiwi are the best brands for low voltage transformers?
Not only are these trusted brands by all safety and regulatory standards, but they are also user-friendly as well.
It is especially clear when you check out the positive reviews from customers all over the world.
These brands have been on the market for a significant amount of time meaning that they have proven function over multiple seasons and sold countless units.
In this day and age, it is easier than ever to find the truth about product reliability and these are the ones that stand apart from the crowd.
When in doubt, take a gander at product reviews and know that it is one of the best ways that markets regulate – through the contribution of purchasers everywhere.
Top 10 Best Low Voltage Transformer Reviews
01. Malibu 300-Watt Power Pack – Ideal Heavy-Duty Transformer for Outdoors
This awesome product is popular due to its sturdy metal structure and generally agreeable size.
The tool itself is only a few inches in size and relatively lightweight, meaning you can store and tow it with ease.
Another great benefit you will see with this item is the outdoor-friendly design. If you are one for the outdoors (camping, hiking, photography, etc.) then this is the tool for you.
Chances are that you will not be actually storing the item outdoors, but it is good to know that if a sudden rain or snowstorm hits, the transformer will not break down and degrade.
Since it is so easy to set up and install, it makes for quick and light work when establishing the system as a whole.
The arranged time makes it easier than ever to plan ahead for your needs (whether they are pet care or otherwise).
You are sure to love the design that is set up to automatically detect light meaning you will not rack up a huge power bill by leaving it plugged in during your absences.
- 5 x 5.1 x 8.5 inches
- Suited for low voltage lighting
- Run-on a timer
- Automatic design (light detecting capabilities)
- Safety features included
- Features automatic shutdown for power surges
- Light sensing capabilities
- Weatherproof design
- Relatively high on the pricing spectrum
- Since it is a metal package, the item is subject to overheating
02. GOODSMANN 120-Watt Power Pack with Sensor – Perfect for Large-Scale Operations
This heavy-duty option is a great choice for those with large scale outdoor demands.
If you take pride in your barbeque events and love hosting company to view your landscaping feats, this is a great choice for you.
Chances are that you are loosely familiar with the demands on a transformer, so the most important thing to know about this option is how well equipped it is for whatever is thrown at it.
I am a huge fan of this choice due to its general success in dealing with everything from lighting to water features.
The tool has light sensors meaning it is low cost to keep operating throughout the year and automatically shuts off when the sun hits it.
One of the things that set it apart is the sleek appearance it holds. The smooth black box integrates seamlessly wherever you put it, meaning no matter what your design plans are, this will not interrupt them whatsoever.
The simple installation makes for light work and lets you free up time for landscaping feats to keep that yard shining.
- Safety features included in the design
- Protected against weather
- High voltage capabilities
- Smooth and chic design
- Attractive design
- Simple installation
- Low budget option
- Subject to damage in extreme cold
- If one component is damaged, the entire machine breaks
03. Best Pro Lighting 300W – Terrific AC (Alternating Current) Option
This awesome choice is ideal if you are looking for a versatile tool with a long shelf life. If the electrical demands your project are diverse, then this is the tool you need.
Anything from 12 through to 15 voltage items can apply to this transformer, making it ideal for all of your outdoor needs.
The stainless-steel design looks smooth against any setting and the heavy-duty features are great for all-weather situations.
If you are in heavy rain or light sleet, it is a great chance to avoid rust and prevent overall degradation.
It comes with a heavy-duty cord that ranges 6 feet so that you can reach any plugin. This in itself sets the tool apart from others on the market.
It also has a photocell and timer allowing for 9 hours of leeway so that you can override indoor photocells or unusually dark atmospheres.
The magnetic core makes it extra charged so that you are able to throw even the most demanding equipment at this piece and it will keep on trooping forward with a great performance.
- Photocell override capabilities
- Plugin with an extension cord
- Compatible with LED bulbs
- Works with A/C circuitry
- Long extension cord
- Stainless steel design
- Versatile item
- 3 pronged outlets only
- A timer is not 24 hours
- Relatively heavy
04. DEWENWILS 60W Outdoor Low Voltage Transformer with Timer – Fantastic All-Weather Choice
Do you live somewhere with extreme weather conditions? Strange lighting circumstances? If you fit the bill, then this is an ideal tool for your specialized needs.
It stands apart from the others on the market with its automated features and DC capabilities, meaning it will work safely in all electrical situations.
The timer setup makes it so that your system is able to remember whatever you throw it’s the way. It is designed so that you can set it up anywhere on your property and it will automatically turn on and off based on how you program it.
It works in intervals of 2 hours (up to 8 hours into the future). The failsafe even accommodate power outages so that you (and your yard) will be well equipped during all circumstances.
Do you live in a particularly dry environment? Find that your area is frequently on alerts or fire bans? All the more reason to select this highly safety-focused option with a built-in shutdown feature.
You can set it up in any location and easily mounts it onto outdoor locations. The lightweight seamless designs mean that you will be able to accessorize without interruption.
- Inbuilt circuit breakers
- Weatherproof design
- Resists dust and impact damage
- Works with AC and DC sources
- Industry-leading safety features
- Sleek black design
- Automatic shutdown functions
- Memory extends only 8 hours
- Relatively high cost on the pricing spectrum
- The two-pronged cable can fall loose
05. VOLT 300W LED Low Voltage Transformer- High-End Automaton, Great For Peace of Mind
If you are someone who is looking for simplicity, then this is the ideal option for your needs. One of the best features of this tool is the fact that it is easier than others on the market to set up.
Installation only takes a few minutes and the modern features make it better than others on the market for those seeking an LED installation.
Assuming you are setting up a small to the medium-sized area, this has everything that you need for an unbelievable yard.
With a photocell actually built into the timer, the turn on and off functions are entirely automated.
Once you insert the stripped wire and shut the system, there is literally nothing left to do except sit back and reap the benefits.
Since it is so sleek, the slim design fits with any yard design meaning it will not intrude on your outdoor décor or stand out in any way.
Another key benefit is that, even when you leave it out where the sun can shine on it, the cool design literally keeps the internal components chilled preventing damage due to overheating.
- Quiet operations and function
- Sleek design
- Weather-resistant features
- Automated timer
- Instant setup design
- Lightweight features
- Relatively high on the pricing spectrum
- Requires mechanical aptitude for setup
06. Lightkiwi W9715 Landscape Lighter – Fantastic Low-Volume Transformer for All Purposes
The greatest part of this component is how many different outputs you can benefit from.
Chances are that you are going to use your transformer on more than one item, and if so, this is the exact tool you are going to want.
It is larger than some others on the model, meaning it will stand out if set up somewhere that is otherwise designed, however, the benefits of its heavy-duty operations by far outweigh this tiny pitfall.
Another fantastic draw is that this piece is a really quiet transformer.
This way, when you are hosting friends or having a quiet evening in the yard, nether your music or conversation will need to compete with an obnoxious humming often found on heavy-duty transformers.
Since it is such a high-efficiency model, it means that you can expect a reasonable power bill for an extraordinary performance.
The safety features are also top of the line, preventing common pitfalls like overheating and electrical circuitry and fires.
The circuit breaker runs on a magnetic operation, meaning it will still work during a power failure or other extraordinary situations.
For those that are looking for the top of the line function from their transformer, this is an ideal choice.
- Industry-leading safety features
- 4 x 6.2 x 13 inches
- Able to run long wires
- Multiple outputs
- Runs quietly
- AC output and input
- Multiple outlets
- Only AC functional
- Relatively large option
- Somewhat complicated setup
07. Sterno Home GL33120- Ideal Option for Extreme Power Demands
If you are passionate about landscaping, chances are that you spend a great deal of time and effort making your yard look as great as it possibly can.
Of course, when you put this much effort into something, it is important to highlight it as best as you can – which is exactly where this transformer steps in.
An industry-leading model that is compatible with most everything on the market, this will allow you to shine a light on all of your hard work.
It is extremely energy efficient, meaning that while you highlight your greenery you can also rest easy knowing that you are making the green choice.
A really cool feature is that it uses technology that functions based on your location in time and space, using this information to determine when to turn on and off. This high-tech feature s uncommon on the market and saves a lot of time and effort.
The user-friendly design makes it so that no matter who you are, this system is super simple to use.
The setup is straightforward and most everything is automated so that you can focus on the landscaping (not lighting it up).
- All-weather functionality
- Easy to use design
- Lightweight and energy efficient
- Simple setup and usage features
- Sleek plastic casing
- Minimal output options
- Plastic casing subject to impact damage
08. Lightkiwi U2184 75-Watt Heavy-Duty Transformer – Great For Diverse Electrical Needs
This option is great for those looking for a voltage range making it acceptable to use any type of machinery you desire in this transformer unit.
The AC input and output range as high as 15 volts and still come with the essential safety feature making it amenable for any situation or yard style.
Since it is such a high-performance option, it makes sense to worry about power surges or a lack of reliability.
One of the key benefits to this is how trustworthy the function is in any weather scenario and no matter how much strain you put on the system.
If you are especially worried about the demand, the safety features will be music to your ears.
The piece is equipped with a high-end shutdown failsafe, set up with a thermal circuit so that if the system overheats due to excessive demand, it automatically shuts down meaning you can sleep easy (literally).
- 3 x 4.3 x 6.8 inches
- Consistent performance
- Reliable option
- Sleek design
- Small option great for storage
- Designed to resist weather
- No DC or AC input
- Minimal output options
09. John Timberland Outdoor Transformer – Low Wattage & Power Saving Choice
Since this piece is all about low voltage transformers, it makes sense that we are dealing with a 45-watt option. It is great due to the long cord plug-in a feature that needs only 5 watts to function.
This means that you have a wiggle room of 40 watts for your lighting and allows you to contour the system entirely to your preferences.
The small size makes it virtually a pocket item since it is so small and sleek.
Even with this, the cord is really long and allows for high maneuverability. What truly sets this piece apart from the rest is that you can also apply it indoors as well.
While most choose to place it outdoors since it is tough enough for landscaping, is that you can also use it for indoors for all of your lighting arrangements.
It even has three different settings allowing you a range of 4 through to 8 hours in your automatic settings.
The simple setup makes it so that you will have nothing to worry about once it is set up.
Basically, it is as simple as a plug-in, hit a button, and you are as good as done.
- 5 x 2.75 x 3.5 inches
- Long cord
- Automatic and manual settings
- Tamer settings
- Landscape lighting compatible
- Limited safety features
- Subject to weather damage
10. Moonrays Electric Power Pack – Smart & Modern Transformer Option
This fantastic weather-proof option wonderfully and powerfully resists the elements, whether they are sun or wind or rain.
Because of this, if you live in a tempestuous atmosphere, then this is an ideal product for your needs.
One of the weather safety applications of the design is the resistance to dust and dirt, as well as the propensity to prevent scratching altogether.
Given the high-tech nature of this piece of equipment, it makes sense that the piece also has light-sensing capabilities.
It is able to automatically tell whether there is light around or not and naturally shuts itself off in the presence of solar light (as early as the sun hitting the horizon).
You can program it in intervals of 4, 6 or 8 hours meaning that once you have it set up, you can simply walk away and put it out of your mind.
The simple installation is the cherry on the sundae making it easier than ever to mount and establish the system in your back yard shining lights on all of your hard landscaping work.
All it takes is a few minutes of quick wiring and you will be set to go on your journey of landscape lighting glory.
- Simple design and easy installation
- Automatic light sensing controls
- Weather-resistant technology
- Easy setup
- Low cost
- Automatic sensors
- Old fashioned appearance
- Relatively limited timer settings
Buying Considerations of Best Low Voltage Transformer
Now that you have a good idea of the best options on the market, it is time to pick and choose what of them matters the most to you.
Chances are that what one person with a large yard value most will not be the same as what someone with a small fenced-in area value.
It is important to consider all of the angles of these pieces before making your purchase including:
01. AC/DC Compatibility
Depending on what you are going to use this transformer for, it will make a significant difference to the success of function based on AC or DC compatibly. Take a look at the lighting system you plan to plug into the unit.
Is it alternating current? Direct current? Use this to gauge which item you will purchase and then select your ideal item accordingly.
Otherwise, you may find that while you have an awesome transformer, you will need to entirely reoutfit your lighting setup.
Save yourself the hassle and plan ahead. The specs on all of these items clearly specify which type of current it takes, so just take a glimpse at the notes.
02. Automatic VS Manual
Are you the type of person that likes to control the situation entirely? Are there going to be some days where you want the lights on and others when you want them off? What about leaving for vacation?
These factors are all considerations for whether you are best suited for an automatic or manual establishment.
Manual allows you to turn on and off the lights every day, meaning you will need to flip a switch in the morning and again at night.
While this can result in a higher power bill, it also allows you full control of what you are doing with the lighting.
If you are planning on a vacation or are simply looking to make the entire process easier, and automatically programmed setup governed by sensors is the easier way to go. Consider what works best for you and decide from there.
03. Weather Circumstances
Do you live somewhere with the extreme hot or extreme cold? Does your area get a great deal of rain or snow? Perhaps the place you live in is prone to random lightning in the area.
Maybe it is a dry and arid region with a significant amount of dust in the area at any given time. All of these contribute to the value of a weatherproofed item.
The types of weatherproofing differ, though to be safe it is generally better to select something that avoids rust and works in all temperatures.
This not only prevents damage to the exterior but also helps you to avoid dust getting into the connectors and causing potential circuitry issues.
To be safe, it is always good to enlist weather protection, though how intense that protection needs to be is entirely up to you.
04. Connection Considerations
This one is relatively simple, though warrants mentioning since it can cause a heavy hiccup to come installation time.
This consideration is whether the plug-in is three or two-pronged. Now, there are pros and cons to each of these items.
When you are thinking of a three-pronged plugin, it is necessary to have an according to an outlet that can accept the plugin.
Without this, you will have a much more difficult time with installation. Otherwise, if you are considering a two-pronged approach, there is the benefit that all plugins accept the cord.
Unfortunately, these are generally less stable than their three-pronged counterparts and can wiggle out (often without prompting).
Check out which option is best for you – though if you have pets it is usually best to choose a three-pronged transformer.
05. Safety Features
Something that should never go without consideration is the essential safety features that you need to keep your property secure and free of electrical risks like fire.
One of the chief parts of this consideration is thinking about how much time the transformer will spend unattended.
Are you planning a week’s long vacation? If so, then seek out something with an automatic shutdown in the event of overheating.
Are you going to be sleeping while the machine is on? The magnetic inner coils effectively and quickly trigger a failsafe in the event of a surge.
There are also options that come outfitted with a circuit breaker in the event of a storm. Depending on your specific needs, the safety requirements will differ so take a moment to think about which suits you best.
06. Outlet Requirements
Lastly, before clicking the buy button, think about which options will be able to accept the demand you plan to put on them.
If you need to plug in three different lighting systems (different types, colors, etc.) then you will need a system that can handle that kind of demand.
If there is only wiring for one, then you will have a harder time with setup or need to sacrifice that you would otherwise not have to.
Take an inventory of the lighting you plan to establish and check the specifications of your potential transformers to be perfectly sure that you are getting what you need.
Installation of Low Voltage Transformer
Once you get your transformer (or are readying to make that purchase) and are looking for what you need to be ready for setup, it is great to learn the steps for installation.
The setups range from quite straightforward to fairly convoluted, so we have broken down what you need to know in order to make the process smooth and seamless.
While each piece is a little bit different, there are some common denominators amongst all of the units including:
01. Unpackage Everything
We are starting with the easiest step. This involves some unboxing (so pull out your scissors).
Recycle all the packaging and sort everything out so that nothing gets lost. Make sure to find the instructions and user manual since you will need it for the steps to come.
In the event that your unit’s lights come disassembled (and fair warning they usually do), your next essential task is to put the pieces together. Connect the connections and fit the fittings.
Start with the simplest and move your way up to things involving tools. Once everything is put back together you can safely and comfortably move onto the next step.
02. Location, Location, Location
This next step is all about finding the perfect place to establish your transformer unit.
You need to place it far enough off the ground that it will safely avoid unwanted stray electricity and the danger it brings with it.
Also needed is a close-by electrical outlet that is reachable by the extension cord.
Save yourself a few moments by pulling out a measuring tape and figuring out which is closest to the unit and make sure it has suitable prong acceptance.
If you chose an option with an unwanted appearance, find somewhere that it won’t be too apparent. Otherwise, any place is a fair game.
Bear in mind that even though most are weatherproof, it is best to find somewhere that will not tempt the fates.
If you can find shelter for the units, do so. Now that you have found the ideal spot, you can move on to the next step.
03. Mount the Unit
Drill small holes according to the needed size of the transformer. This is where your anchors will go.
Once those holes are in place, you can simply pop in the mounting screws and then set it up with ease.
Make sure that you mount it on a sturdy enough surface that is able to withstand the weight.
When setting up anchors, remember that slow and steady wins the race and that if you go too fast you risk damaging the materials themselves and compromising the structural integrity of the mounting surface.
04. Lay Out the Cable
Choose first where you wish for the lights to go. Are they forming a path? Lining a fence? Marking an area?
When you make this selection, you can set out markers for yourself and make it easy to lay down that cable. Strong the wires along that path so that it will be easy to clip on the lights.
When you are looping in the lights you will need to simply clip them on in most cases.
The connectors will be easy to use in most cases, but to add an extra layer of simplicity, weight down the cables as you go and remove these blocks when you finish.
05. Hiding the Cable
Now that you have set up the lights it is time to ground the cable safely in your yard. Find the end furthest from the transformer and dig a hole.
Place the wire into the hole and fill it in, leaving only the exposed wire with the lights. Now, as you re-approach the transformer, you can remove the blocks as the unit will be safely weighted down.
06. Loop in the Transformer
Pull out your handy wire cutters and find the end of the cable that is closest to the transformer. Strip the protective casing (insulation) from the wires to leave them exposed.
A couple of inches should be sufficient. The user manual should tell you how much space you require specifically.
Now comes the important part. Connect the according to wire to the necessary space at the back of the transformer unit.
Use clamps or pincers to do this task and make sure that you wear gloves on your hands.
Take all necessary precautions and ensure that you loop the correct wires into the right locations. Once you have finished this step, place the piece on the back and ready for the best part.
07. Turn the Transformer On
Now is time to plug the unit into the power source. If you followed these steps and stuck to the user manual and instructions, you will be all set and your lights will be glowing.
Peruse the manual and ensure that you are comfortable with the controls. From here it is easy and bright sailing into a well-lit and exciting landscaping experience – designed to your particular tastes.
FAQ’s About Landscape Lighting Transformer Reviews
How many lights I can connect with a low voltage transformer?
This depends both on the type of lights and the transformer itself. If you are using a light that takes minimal power (such as an LED setup) then you should be able to put hundreds of lights in just a couple dozen meters of line.
If you are establishing a power-draining light onto the line, then it would engage most safety shutoffs due to excessive demand on power.
If you worry about having enough lights, consider the necessity of proper spacing as it can make all the difference in lighting the area that you need.
That said, if you are looking for substantial brightness, consider LED as the best option for eco-friendly action and luminescence. With this choice, both the environment and your yard benefit equally.
What is the best low voltage lighting?
The best low voltage lighting is commonly accepted as LED. Nowadays, the world is shifting towards an environmentally friendly focus. This comes with dual benefits.
One is to the planet. The other is to your pocketbook. These lights tend to burn with more lumens (units of brightness) and that will allow you to have more while still using less power than other conventional types of lights.
They are generally low voltage (especially when you compare them to older models like fluorescent lights and incandescent options).
LED gives the brightness with less electrical demand on your system meaning that it will be easier to run over the long term.
Do you need a special transformer for LED landscape lights?
The special transformer needed for this type of light is to account for the heat placed on the system by these lights themselves.
When you set up LED lighting there are intense benefits and significant risks. The benefits are by way of reduced power demands and limited electrical demands.
The other side of the coin is the extra heat that they place on the system. Since electricity and heat are essentially composed of similar energies, this needs to balance with the resistance of the transformer unit.
The specialized transformer units optimize this resistance and balance it with power supply without having to undergo large-scale electrical renovations.
Wrap it up
Overall, it is clear that everyone has different transformer needs. It is also just as clear that they are necessary tools designed to keep yards lit and safe.
By choosing an option that suits your particular needs (whatsoever those maybe) you ensure that your power bill and environmental footprint stay as low as possible without forgoing the lumens that make your yard a wonderland.
In selecting a low voltage transformer, you are embracing outdoor landscaping at its best and most modern.