How to troubleshoot an outdoor low voltage lighting problem

Written by patrick nelson
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How to troubleshoot an outdoor low voltage lighting problem
Like any outdoor products, low-voltage lights can be susceptible to weather damage and need repair periodically. (Court yard image by Heng kong Chen from Fotolia.com)

Outdoor low-voltage lighting is a simple and easy solution for beautifying your yard and walkways. Like any outdoor product, they can be susceptible to weather damage and need repair periodically. They are also quite easy to damage with a weed trimmer---so be careful. The kits are cheap, so replacing parts can be simply a mater of cannibalising a new kit. If you continue to have problems, you can troubleshoot the lights.

Skill level:
Easy

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Reduce the resistance of the cable if your lights seem dim. Change it from 16-gauge to 14-gauge, and so on. Even if you are well within the limits for the cable gauge, number of lights and transformer power, this is worth a shot.

  2. 2

    Use the full capacity of the transformer. If your transformer can handle 100 watts, use 10, 10-watt lamps, for example. Always use at least half the capacity of the transformer to reduce premature bulb failure.

  3. 3

    Reduce load on the transformer. If the lights blink on and off all the time, the transformer is overloaded. The total lamps wattage must not exceed the transformer's rating.

  4. 4

    Replace the bulb if the fixture doesn't illuminate. Also check that the connectors are squeezed together as tight as possible.

  5. 5

    Change the cable if you get lower light output at the end of the cable. The transformer's wattage determines minimum cable gauge. 217-300 watts needs 12 gauge; 157-216 watts needs 14; 121-156 watts needs 16 and 0-120 watts needs 18.

  6. 6

    Verify that you have at least 10 feet between the transformer and the first light if bulbs keep burning out.

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