Bruce owns a small farm and loves to grill since his early childhood. He’s a professional cook, but hiking and enjoying the great outdoors is his no less favorite part of life.
Last updated: March 13, 2021
BackyardStyle is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
How important is a low voltage transformer? Well, if you are looking for a way to have lighting around your landscape or yard, you certainly would appreciate these marvels of technology. The best low voltage transformers work by transforming the standard voltage running through your home into a lower voltage AC or DC that will power the outdoor lighting system without blowing them up. Using these excellent devices, you will connect LED lights and other lighting systems that will make your home look beautiful.
Now, there are numerous models available on the market. This begs the question of the best options that you can buy. Well, we have done our research and testing, done all the heavy lifting for you, and have come up with this list of top-rated low voltage transformers. In choosing these models, we considered important factors like the capacity, input, output, automatic protection, dimensions, and warranty. We shall consider all of these in detail below, so stay tuned!
"This is a value pick that offers you impressive automation. It is versatile, durable, and has several useful safety features.100W capacity.12V DC output.Short circuit, overload, over-voltage, over-current, high-temperature protection."
"This premium option offers all you might want from a low voltage transformer. It accepts various wires sizes and is fitted with several safety features.100W capacity.15V DC output.7A magnetic circuit breakers, automatic thermal breaker in core (with auto-reset)."
"This is the best smart option. It is connected to not just the lights but to your smartphone and App. You can therefore control it at your convenience.200W capacity.12V or 15V DC output.Weather-resistant."
"This excellent unit offers plenty of versatility in a compact form. It has a long power cord and comes in a black color that will fit into your décor seamlessly.45W capacity.12V AC output.Built-in photocell."
"This model is a trustworthy unit that comes with several safety features. The compact size is great for installation and maintenance purposes.75W capacity.12V-15V AC output.Auto-reset thermal circuit breaker, 7A magnetic circuit breaker."
The Lightkiwi W9715 is the top choice on this list. This is an excellent low voltage transformer that is made out of high-quality materials. At first glance, it is clear that this is a reliable model. The unit is made of stainless steel. Therefore, it is built to last for quite some time and survive the rigors of use. It has a relatively compact dimension, although it isn’t the most compact that we will consider.
The model is designed with a 120V AC input port and a multi-tap output design of 12-15V AC. The benefit that you get from this is that you can connect stuff that needs longer wires. The core is a high-quality option that ensures the proper and reliable flow of electrical current.
Inside the transformer is a circuit breaker. This addition comes as a welcome feature because it improves safety and durability, as well as protects your connected lights.
It offers one of the quietest operations that we have come across as well. Therefore, it can be installed anywhere you want. It is compatible with light sensors, which will help to save power and increase your convenience.
What we liked: This is an excellent transformer that offers nice aesthetics and good power performance. You get plenty of protection and compatibility with smart devices.
What could be better: It would have been better if the timer and photocell were included in the package. So if you want to upgrade it, you’ll have to buy them separately.
Up next is this low voltage transformer with arguably the best collection of safety features you can imagine. Despite all of these and other features, it is an affordable transformer that converts your AC to DC power and offers the best value for money. With the numerous safety features, you have a unit that will protect you and your light fixtures from damage from different sources. With the detectors in place, the system will shut off when overloaded or overheated.
Because of the overcurrent feature, the unit will always give the correct amount of power to the connected devices at all times. This will improve energy savings and also protect the devices or lamps.
The build is also nice. It comes with a sturdy, waterproof design that allows you to set up the transformer even in unfavorable weather conditions.
The LightingWill 100W Low Voltage Transformer comes as one of the best automated models. Its features run on their own and do not need your intervention.
What we liked: This is a value pick that offers you impressive automation. It is versatile, durable, and has several useful safety features.
What could be better: There is almost nothing to complain about. The only issue is that the voltage leads are rather short, and we wish they could be longer.
It might be the premium option, but the VOLT 100W LED Low Voltage Transformer is certainly worth the cost. It looks and works as a high-end low voltage transformer.
This magnetic unit comes with some unique features that you will not find on other models on the market. Due to these features, you have a transformer that can be easily connected to a plethora of lighting components. One of the best things about this model is the multi-tap design. Why is this great? Well, this design offers excellent versatility.
As with the model reviewed above, it delivers a constant voltage to the devices and remains functional even under strenuous conditions without compromising safety and efficiency. Aside from having a premium appearance, the internal parts are also made of similar high-grade materials.
Safety is important with this model, and you find that it is fitted with waterproof cords and a safety cord. It is one of the most functional options on the market as it comes with the ability to accommodate wires of various sizes with no fuss.
What we liked: This premium option offers all you might want from a low voltage transformer. It accepts various wire sizes and is fitted with several safety features.
What could be better: Unfortunately, the unit is not customizable.
This next model is a contender for the best low voltage transformer on the market right now. The performance is simply stunning, and you’ll be hardpressed to find a model that will give you similar results to what you obtain from this unit. First of all, it is a lightweight model. But do not be fooled by the lightweight nature because this is undoubtedly one of our best models.
Some of the features here are so good that you won’t find them in models at this price range. For example, it allows you to schedule ON and OFF timers. Additionally, you have a manual override system that will let you switch off or on whenever you like.
Other notable factors include the design to prevent overheating. The system that is responsible for heat dissipation will help you avoid any potential heat damage.
You also have a big LED display that shows you all the important parameters of the model. You can easily change any setting and have an easy time handling the model.
Installation is easy as well as overall use. All the instructions lie on the device’s surface and are easy to understand.
What we liked: This model comes with several useful features that let you get the best performance and safety.
What could be better: One thing that could be better is that the device should be compatible with dimmers.
When choosing a low voltage transformer, one of the most important things that you should consider is the build. Well, you get a wonderful, sturdy build with this model. It comes with a solid, corrosion-proof, and water-resistant body. Therefore, the internal parts enjoy protection while providing you service that will last for several years. When used correctly, you have on your hands one of the most durable options in this category.
Setting up the DEWENWILS 120W Outdoor Low Voltage Transformer is quite easy and straightforward as well. The model already has mounting holes for easy attachment to the wall. Also, a long power cord gives you plenty of options for installation. There are other useful features like the circuit breaker.
There is a sensor that ensures that there is no need to worry about installing a timer or stuff like that. The lights will automatically come on at night and switch off when it is day time. Apart from that useful feature, you also enjoy the countdown timer.
What we liked: This is an automated system, and almost all the things you need are included, such as a countdown timer and sensor.
What could be better: It is an excellent option overall. The only thing that we feel could be better is the size of cable connections, as they are quite small.
Are you thinking about getting a low voltage transformer to handle your outdoor lighting system? Then the Sterno Home GL33120 is an excellent option. This is the perfect fit for most of the lighting systems in and around the home. It is a versatile option, and a part of the appeal of this unit are the clear LCD screen and the impressive ease of installation.
Another thing that we enjoy about this model is the implementation of the brand’s technology. The Sunwise technology uses your location and detects the rays of the sun to switch ON or OFF the lights. This serves several benefits, especially in the area of energy savings.
Aside from this very useful feature, you have the ability to power ON or OFF your lights by yourself. You also get the timer function and more. It is a durable model that you can use in and around the home.
What we liked: This is a durable option that is made of corrosion-proof plastic. It offers you a 1-year warranty and comes with features that ensure energy savings.
What could be better: Although the specified capacity is 120 watts, a few people said that it could switch off at 100 watts.
Are you looking to smarten up your lawn or landscape? Then this transformer is just what you need. All you need to do is connect your compatible lights to the transformer and get plenty of functional features. It is a unique proposition out of all the models that we have considered, as it even comes with an app. With smart control, you can connect to the transformer and adjust it from the comfort of wherever you are.
Despite the sophistication, this transformer is quite easy to set up. It comes with all the necessary hardware required for installation.
Once you have this setup, you can connect it to your virtual assistant and control it using just your voice. With a 200W capacity, 120V AC input, and 12V-15V output, you have a relatively powerful option that will certainly take care of your power needs.
What we liked: This is the best smart option. It is connected to not just the lights but to your smartphone and App. Thus, you can control it at your convenience.
What could be better: The product does not indicate power consumption. There are also some hiccups with the timing schedules.
This model offers 45W capacity and is sure to work for a long time without giving any reason for alarm. It is fitted with a photocell. Why is this great? Well, the addition of this feature helps you forget about making constant schedule adjustments.
While this is one of the smallest models on this list, it is a relatively powerful option that will ensure that you have all the lighting you need whenever required. The material of construction is plastic, which isn’t the most durable, at least when compared to the stainless steel options others have. Still, we found it to be very manageable.
You also get different timer settings. The good thing about this is that you can adjust these settings based on what you want.
As a compact option, it is one of the easier models to set up in and around the home for improving your landscape lighting. Another reason why this is an excellent option is the presence of a long power cord. Therefore, you will be able to connect everything with ease.
What we liked: This excellent unit offers plenty of versatility in a compact form. It has a long power cord and comes in a black color that will fit into your décor quite seamlessly.
What could be better: This is an excellent option, but its settings are relatively limited.
Moonrays might not be as popular as some of the other brands that we have considered, but they are known for the high quality of their devices. Well, this option comes with a nice, simple design and offers plenty of power under the hood. With this model, you will find it quite easy to control your landscape lighting. Like some of the best models on the market, you have several adjustable settings that let you get the most of the device.
The build reveals that it is made to be used outside the house. No wonder that it comes with a durable casing that will survive the toughest weather. As with some of the best options, it also comes with an extended cable that makes installation easy. In addition, all the hardware that is required for installation is included in the package.
There is a photocell here to assist with power settings. It will open the circuit during the day and close it at night. Thus, you will not suffer from any energy-wasting. You get a timer setting as well, which certainly comes in super-useful for you.
What we liked: This is one of the most customizable low voltage transformers on that market. It is easy to set up and has a durable design.
What could be better: Although the casing is durable, it is not aesthetically pleasing.
Lightkiwi is one of the best-recognized brands on the market. The brand makes plenty of high-quality products. It is no surprise that we have a couple of their products on this list of the best low voltage transformers. If you are looking to light up your yard or lawn at night, then this package is an excellent option.
It is a compact model that has a rating of 75Watts. This is often enough to power your outdoor or indoor lights.
As a compact option, it is pleasing that this model is a quiet option. Therefore you will find it comfortable to install at different parts of the home. Despite the compact form factor, it is made of high-quality parts. The heavy-duty stainless steel build ensures that the device lasts for a long time. Aside from protection from physical elements, the unit also comes with overcurrent and overload protection.
This model supports ranges from 10V to 15V. With this range, you will have that flexibility you need. The settings are easy to adjust, as well.
What we liked: This model is a trustworthy unit that comes with several safety features. The compact size is great for installation and maintenance purposes.
What could be better: While it is a very cool model, the terminal block doesn’t support heavy gauge wire.
Things to Consider
In the product review guide above, we considered the top-rated low voltage transformers that you can buy right now. There are numerous options on the market, but with these selected options, you have a narrowed list to choose from. Now, there are certain factors that you should consider before you make a final choice. In the buying guide section, we consider some of these features and other important things that you ought to know about these units.
How to pick the best landscape lighting transformer
These days, many homeowners are looking for ways to spruce up their landscape and home. They clamor for low-hanging pendants, moody under cabinet lighting, outdoor lights, landscape lighting, and other stuff that illuminate the home and make it give off a magical appearance. As the Christmas season approaches, these demands rise even higher. None of these lighting fixtures will function without the low voltage transformer. This transformer is a device that changes the high-voltage electricity running through the home to 12 volts so that fixtures can use the power without blowing up.
Choosing the right one can be a hard task, especially if you do not know what to look out for. Well, this section will help you to identify the important factors to consider.
One of the key parameters to keep an eye on is the capacity of the transformer. The power capacity will determine what can be safely powered. For the regular transformer, the power capacity should be around 600-2000 watts. But when it comes to landscape lighting and all the fixtures that come along with it, you will need somewhere around 100-200 watts.
For electric transformers, you cannot load it beyond its range. Before you get the transformer, it is important that you calculate the total amount of power that you will require – and this will be affected by the number of lights you are looking to power.
So, get the wattage that will be needed. Once you have that, you can then determine how much capacity the transformer should have. In most cases, 200W transformers are adequate. The Moonrays 95432 Solar Electric Power Pack, for example, comes with 200W capacity.
Input and output
The input and output are also very important features that will determine the efficiency of the transformer. First, you should consider the current that is required. You should also consider whether you will go for a 12V AC or DC. Many users have discovered that the best way to know the voltage that you need is to consider all the light fixtures, look at their requirements, and get a transformer that fits that rating.
When you are making a buying choice, one of the best ways to eliminate unsuitable options is to find out the voltage of the transformer and compare that with what you would need.
Most of the products come with a description of this parameter. In the USA, most of the power sources are in 120V, but there are some transformers that can use up to 265V without any hassle, such as seen with the LightingWill 100W Low Voltage Transformer.
Some of the models on the market have a fixed voltage range. However, some have a wider range, like the Lightkiwi W9715. Also, if the lights require 12V and the transformer offers 15V, you must be careful because this will cut their lifespan.
Your low voltage transformer might be quite an investment considering all the other lights and fixtures that are connected to it. Therefore, it is important that it comes with features that will ensure durability. Well, when choosing a low voltage transformer, one of the important features that you should keep in mind is automatic protection.
This protection will save you from extra costs and damage to the device and the lights that are connected to it. Some of the things that the automatic protection feature will safeguard against include short-circuiting, overloading, over-voltage, over-current, and over-heating. With this feature, you will have a more durable product that will work for a long time and give you the rest of your mind.
Several of the options that we have reviewed above come with the feature. For instance, the LightingWill 100W Low Voltage Transformer has the automatic protection feature as well as several others that we reviewed.
Dimensions and weight
The dimensions and weight are some of the essential parameters that are considered when choosing a product. It is no exception with the low voltage transformers too. You certainly have to look at how big the transformer is before you get it.
The dimensions are important because it will affect where you can install the transformer. If it is a large model, you will obviously need a bigger space before you can successfully set it up. Smaller and more portable models do not usually have this limitation. But they might lack the power that you need to power all the light fixtures.
The weight will also affect the installation process, with heavier products being somewhat more difficult to install.
Photocell and timer
The photocell is an important feature of any landscape transformer. It is so essential if you want a model that will give you the best performance possible. As such, the photocell works to track the sunlight and ensures that you have the best conditions for performance.
When choosing a low voltage transformer, you must consider the quality of the transformer’s photocell and timer. When these are of good quality, you will observe that your unit will help you to save energy. It will not turn on the lights when they are not needed. Instead, it will work to sense the lights when everywhere goes dark and will also note when the whole place is bright. This way, it will open the circuit during daylight hours and close it at night. You will not have to switch on or off the lights manually. Hence, you will have much lower energy consumption.
When making a buying choice, you certainly are not looking to change the low voltage transformer the next month, right? To that end, you’ll want to buy a transformer that is durable. Apart from coming with safety features, it is also important that you consider the materials of construction of the device.
Some of the best models on the market come in a stainless steel box. This will protect the device from damage due to impact. If the transformer is designed for outdoor use, it is also essential that the material you choose is designed to withstand the elements.
Some options are designed with a lock system. Thus, there is a prevention of unauthorized access to the device. It also helps to make it safer.
This factor is a very important one to consider when you are choosing your low voltage transformer. The warranty will ensure that you are covered in cases of damage or when you need replacements.
The longer warranty period indicates that the manufacturer is confident that their product will hold up to prolonged use. It will help you in cases of damage or replacement as you can get this done at no additional cost to yourself.
There are some brands that are known for the high quality of their products. Therefore, the chances that the model you see from the brand is a good choice are quite high. Others are more obscure in nature, so you must be careful not to purchase one from a manufacturer that isn’t trustworthy.
As with other products on the market, low voltage transformers come in a wide range of prices. Before we continue, you need to take note of your budget and look for a model that is within the budget.
The LightingWill 100W Low Voltage Transformer is the value buy and offers your excellent features at just about $35. On the other hand, our premium models cost around $150. In between, there are plenty of decent options with excellent specs.
There are numerous products from several brands on the market. One of the major ways to differentiate them is through the price. The products that we have considered above come at different prices. Therefore, you should choose based on the applications and the price. Most of the options that we have provided are relatively affordable.
Aside from the initial cost of the device, you should also consider stuff like the cost of installation of the whole setup.
The installation of the low voltage transformer can be easy or difficult, depending on the model and your level of expertise. Installation of the transformer involves certain steps. First, you should choose the right location for the transformer. After you have decided on where to set up the transformer, you should mount it. Next, install the light sensor and connect the low voltage cable to the transformer. This will involve laying the cable in the ground.
It can be a source of frustration when the lights suddenly stop working, and you can’t identify any problem. When this occurs, the best thing to first do is to carry out some troubleshooting. You might discover the fault yourself without the need to hire a repairman. One of the major problems that are experienced is a lack of power. Determining whether the transformer is working is quite easy. To test whether it has power, plug in an electrical device and see if it powers the device. If not, then you need to get power to the outlet.
The number of bulbs that can be connected to the transformer depends on the transformer’s wattage. The higher wattage will allow the transformer to handle more bulbs. To know how many bulbs you can connect, calculate the total wattage of the bulbs. If you have 10 bulbs with 20 Watts each, then the total wattage is 20 x 10, which is 200Watts. Therefore if you want to power all of these, you should buy a transformer with a higher rating, say of about 300 watts.
Our number option is Lightkiwi W9715. It is an excellent transformer that offers nice aesthetics and good power performance. With it, you get plenty of safety features and compatibility with smart devices.
The LightingWill 100W is a value pick that boasts impressive automation. It is versatile, durable, and has excellent heat dissipation.