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rygar 06-30-2011 08:43 PM

Help with pathway light transformer buzzing
I just switched out all my outdoor lights with new ones. The transformer to the best of my knowledge is 120watt. The 5 lights I attached are only 18watt each. I attached it to the cable running underground and all the lights work.

My only concern is that the transformer is buzzing almost like squeeling when the lights are on. i am not sure whats going.

Can someone give an idea on what i should do or what to look for what to change.


rygar 07-01-2011 11:16 AM

so i did more snooping.
the transformer is rated to handle 150 watts.
i have 5 lights using up 90 watts.

Should i leave it as is?
BUy a new transformer?
Add a dimming coil?
Switch to LED bulbs?

bob22 07-01-2011 11:33 AM

From Intermatic site instructions for their 121 Watt transformer. I assume these should be comparable to your's: (I added bolding)

Install OUTDOORS ONLY. Use ONLY with 12 volt low voltage outdoor landscape lighting products.
• Add up all bulb wattages for a maximum total of 121 watts.
• Mount power pack at least 10 feet (3 m) from pool or spa.
• Mount power pack vertically at least 12 inches (30 cm) above ground. Do not lay on the ground.
• Plug power pack directly into an outdoor GFCI outlet with a weatherproof cover marked “wet location.”
• Do not use extension cords.
• Do not use in dwelling units.
• When connecting wire at terminals, do not allow insulation to get under the clamping plate, and
firmly tighten the terminal screws.
• Do not mix solid or stranded type wires under one screw.
Use 16 AWG MINIMUM low voltage outdoor cable.
Keep a minimum of 10 feet (3 m) of wire between the power pack and the first fixture.
• Do not coil extra cable around the power pack. Leave extra cable at the end away from the power pack

oberkc 07-01-2011 12:27 PM

Most of these types of transformers have an audible buzz, from my experience. Assuming your tranformer is nothing more than one of those found at the typical home improvement store, I would be tempted to replace it you believe the buzz is unusually high. If you are staying with incandescent, try another one like it.

I don't believe I would replace lamps with LED without also replacing the transformer type. I would replace it with a regulated power supply to best ensure voltage stays within a prescribed range regardless of load. This is, by the way, the approach I took. My power supplies now are all inside and make no noise that I can hear.

dmxtothemax 07-01-2011 05:29 PM

Most transformers make some noise,
But cheap or loose transformers make even more noise,
Is it a good quality transformer ?
Is it secured tightly in its enclosure ?
Is it an electronic switch mode supply ?
Or is it just a transformer ?

Knucklez 07-02-2011 09:04 AM

4 Attachment(s)
noise is normal for cheapies. the more expensive transformers are vacuum impregnated which is done to solidify the wires so they don't vibrate (and thus wear away the enamel insulation).


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