Getting Ready for Summer: An Easy Guide to Installing Deck Light Transformers
Installing deck light transformers can seem like an intimidating task, but if you have already done the wiring for your deck lights, you’re left with just a few steps to get it completed. Generally, you’ll need to have a low voltage transformer, since this type of power supply will plug into a wall socket rather than being hardwired like other household power supplies.
The first step is to select the transformer that best suits your deck light needs. Keep in mind, you’ll want to select a low voltage transformer, as this will convert power from 120 volts to 12 volts, which makes it ideal for use outdoors. If you choose a timer or photocell, factor in the total wattage of the deck lights for the transformer. If you’re using 8 step lights at 12 watts, and an additional floodlight at 20 watts, then you’ll need an estimated 116 watts for the transformer.
The next step is to determine how far the wires from the deck lights will stretch and to check whether you need to install a new receptacle. You’ll also want to combine the wires into one circuit cable and ensure that the cable size matches the total distance that the wires need to cover. For example, a 12 gauge wire should cover between 0-50 feet, a 10 gauge wire should cover between 50-100 feet, and an 8 gauge wire should cover 100 feet and over. If your wires will be exposed, consider hiding them underneath the deck, or stapling them to the stairs or somewhere that isn’t as noticeable.
Once you’ve gotten your wire in order, it’s time to actually install the transformer. Your manufacturer’s installation guide should provide you with detailed instructions. Most of the time, you’ll need to mount the transformer by drilling screws into the side of the wall. Connect the correct wires to the labels on the unit, taking note of their names (A, B, 12v, Common, etc.). When this is done, you can connect the power cord to the receptacle to give the transformer power for the deck lights.
Finally, test the circuit to be sure everything is working as it should. If you notice any problems, double check your wiring, connectors and labels before contacting a professional. By following these steps and exercising caution, your deck light transformer will be up and running in no time!