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Jupe Blue 02-15-2011 10:09 PM

Low Voltage Exterior Stair Lights
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Two plus years ago, a customer had new concrete & brick stairs installed. The installer wired for stair lights but never completed the job. He left behind the transformer.

Last year my customer asked me to hook up the lights and get them working. I hooked up the transformer but some of the fixtures did not have lamp holders, others were corroded.

I got some replacement lampholders (probably not wet rated) and got the lights working. The customer has said that the lights work for about a month and then burn out.

They want me to come up with a permanent fix so the lights actually work.

Here's what I know about the system:

The stair lights themselves have 14/2 UF to each fixture.
The transformer output is 12v at the first fixture.
The lamps are 12v rated lamps.
The fixture housing are embedded in concrete.
The UF wiring is not sleeved to the fixtures.
I do not see any brand name on the housings.

I'm having a hard time coming up with a permanentfix. Any thoughts on a retro fit system that might work in this situation? The customer would like a line voltage system so they don't have to look at the transformer.

kbsparky 02-16-2011 02:51 AM

I'd look into using some LED lights, and keep the transformer. They should have a much better life span, and it would be a safer installation than going to line voltage.

oberkc 02-16-2011 06:28 AM

I use LED lamps in all my exterior landscape lighting. I highly recommend them. However, with a relatively small load, some transformers voltage can go too high. Pay attention to this.

Solder and protect from the elements all connections. One can purchase weatherproof connections. I have used silicone and wire nuts with some success.

I cannot help with lampholders, but a little of that conductive grease (I use the type the sell for automotive headlamps) would likely help protect that connection between lamp and socket.

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