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Low voltage lamps are not wired directly to the mains. A transformer is used to reduce 220-240v mains to a lower voltage (usually 12 volts). The transformers listed here are for internal use, see exterior section for outside transformers. If you want to understand more about how transformers work and the differences between transformer types see the bottom of this page.
Transformer that reduces mains voltage to less than 25 volts are called low-voltage transformers. They are often used to reduce mains voltage in the home from 220 volts to 12 volts. A wide variety of light fixtures use these transformers to power smaller lamps. Both electronic and magnetic transformers are in common use, each having its own advantages.
Understanding the Electronic low voltage transformer
The electronic transformer contains a miniature magnetic transformer with a iron core. In addition, it incorporates an electronic inverter. The inverter changes the frequency at which the alternating current into the transformer changes directions and allows the transformers to be much smaller than magnetic transformers.
Advantages of electronic low voltage transformer
The size and weight of electronic transformers is a major advantage over magnetic transformers and they can easily be incorporated into many light fixtures without compromising the design. Dimming most types of electronic transformer is easy and relatively quiet compared with magnetic transformers.
Disadvantages of electronic low voltage transformer
Electronic transformers often need replacing within a five to ten year period Electronic transformers often do not perform well when subjected to higher operating temperatures – do not cover them, or install them in insulation. The output of electronic transformer has a high frequency of 20,000-50,000 Hertz. This incurs a substantial voltage drop if the wires carrying the current are long, thin, or far apart. Lighting manufacturers do not always use the best quality electronic transformers and this cost saving exercise can present the user with problems when dimming is required or transformer fail prematurely.