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Low voltage lighting


mitch236

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I've been using a lamplinc on my low voltage lighting for years. I actually only allow my low voltage lights to come on to 80%. I found that low voltage lights have a fairly short life span when you allow them to switch on to full brightness. It has to do with a surge when the lights switch on during a zero crossing of the sine wave. At that time the in-rush especially on the secondary side of the transformer is quite high. I have not had to change bulbs since I installed my lights. The other trick that I use is to ramp up my lights over time, just be careful, I did burn out one lanplinc by using a very long ramp time - like 9 minutes. I currently use a ramp rate of 4 minutes and have had no problems. The other problem can occur if the transformer has no load when you use a lamplinc.

The other thing that I do is to dim my low voltage lights in the late night hours. I dim them to about 25%, this way I still have just enough lights for walkways to be safe during the late nights.

 

Clarence

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So using your low voltage idea, I would create a scene where the low voltage module would have a 3 min ramp speed and achieve an 80% max. Then I would create a program that runs the scene when I want it on. To turn it off, would I turn the scene off? Will that use the same ramp speed programmed into the scene?

 

Sorry for all the newbe questions!

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I have used these products successfully, http://www.robertssteplite.com/. What I did was I wired an outlet controlled by a 2476S. I can control the outlet on or off by Insteon commands or scenes. The beauty of Roberts transformers is that they have four channels of output. I then ran each channel through a switch (4) that then runs the low vltage to each zone of landscape lighting. In the winter, I can then turn off the unused (buried in snow) zones.

 

I initially had this controlled by a 2476DH, but found that I never dimmed the lights due to low voltage line drop. I've had this working for four years with absolutely no problems.

 

aLf

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I've used low voltage transformers for years with both X10 and Insteon dimmers. Good quality transformers that are rated for use with dimmers should have no problems. One caveat: "2-wire" X10 wired-in dimmers won't work with transformers (the dimmer must have a white neutral wire). Lamplincs should work fine.

 

I've never seen a problem with operation or lamp life using 100% light level. I use a default ramp rate of .5 seconds on my current Insteon dimmers. Previous X10 dimmer was instant on, also with no problems. Quality of the transformer could make a difference here I suppose.

 

My only problem over the years was a 300W transformer apparently burning out after its secondary breaker tripped and the X10 switch tried to turn it on. So I concur with Clarence that the transformer should not be turned on with no load!

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I have several low voltage power supplies plugged into LampLinc dimmers. I don't want to call them transformers. Transformers, the old wire-wound steel frame devices, are almost guaranteed to function properly. Power supplies are not. I have found that some work perfectly and others have a limited range or do not work at all.

 

I have to believe that only trying them will determine their functionality. If the output is abnormally bright, or if it blinks or flashes, or if the LL becomes hot then it is not going to work. I have not destroyed a LL by testing, only through continued use.

 

Rand

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