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Thread: Landscape lighting transformers

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Landscape lighting transformers

    Hi All,

    I'm in the market for some new low voltage (12VAC) landscape lighting transformers. I currently have two Solos 200W models (built-in photosensor and countdown timer) but I'm not liking them (LED displayed burned out within first season). I have many options for control since these are located near my pool panel. I could use stand-alone types with photosensors and count down timers like the ones I currently have. They just plug into my 120V GFCI utility outlet mounted on the pool panel. Another option is that I have some open relays in the pool automation and I could use the EasyTouch relays to turn on and off the lighting. In that case all I would need is the transformer without any photosensor. The downside is losing the automatic photosensor and having to adjust time on/off four times per year as the daylight hours shift. Of course, if they had a photosensor then that could still function with the automation panel controlling the time on/off...

    So I'm looking for some feedback on what people have used reliably. I'd like to get as much longevity out of these transformers as possible. Also, if anyone has any particular feelings on stand-alone versus pool panel automation, I'm all ears.

    Thanks,
    Matt
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Landscape lighting transformers

    I have my low voltage lighting on my Irrtrol landscape irrigation system. I have the PC Control 12 which allows me two lighting "circuits". I can set it to come on at sunset and go off at a predetermined time or sunrise. Its all controlled by a program on my laptop. I have two Intermatic pool rated transformers. You can use the pool automation but mine is full.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Landscape lighting transformers

    Thanks for ideas. I've been thinking of upgrading my current X-Core irrigation controller with something that I can connect to via wifi. I'll give Irritrol a good look.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Landscape lighting transformers

    I run a separate PX300 (Intermatic) through the Easytouch for the landscape lighting. I like being able to schedule it with ScreenLogic and control through my phone.

    IMG_20151128_185206_231.jpg
    -Brian-
    33K Pool/Spa, Pentair Equipment
    POOL BUILD
    Davis Custom Construction - Home Page

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Landscape lighting transformers

    Yeah, that might be the way to go for me. All I really need is the transformer as I can use the EasyTouch for control purposes. I would be nice to integrate a photosensor into it....something to tinker with I suppose.....
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Landscape lighting transformers

    I ran the wiring from the relay to a generic photocell and then on to the transformer. Set the timer to come on around 4PM, photocell handles it from there...timer shuts it off.

    The photocells are inexpensive if they go out and I've had great luck with the PX300s.
    -Brian-
    33K Pool/Spa, Pentair Equipment
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    Davis Custom Construction - Home Page

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Landscape lighting transformers

    Quote Originally Posted by bdavis466 View Post
    I ran the wiring from the relay to a generic photocell and then on to the transformer. Set the timer to come on around 4PM, photocell handles it from there...timer shuts it off.

    The photocells are inexpensive if they go out and I've had great luck with the PX300s.
    Thanks, that sounds like a good setup. Any particular photocell make & model?


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Landscape lighting transformers

    I'm impressed with my Vista Pro 600 (600 watts) transformer which includes the photocell and timer. Lifetime warranty. I'm running a variety (15) of Kichler halogen landscape lights off it.

    Both the Vista MT and CTS transformers are quality multi tap transformers.
    Pool: 13k gal. in-ground; Stonescape Mini Pebble - Tropics Blue; Connected Spa - dual spill-over; Aqua Rite T-15 SWCG; AquaLogic PS-4 Automation; Sta-Rite DE Filter; Sta-Rite Max-e-Therm 400k BTU pool heater; Intellifo 2-VST Pump; Stenner 45mp2(25psi/10gpd) acid injection; Bulbwizard color LED pool lights; Poolvergnuegen 2 wheel side suction cleaner; FAFCO rooftop solar. TF-100 w/ speed stir.

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Landscape lighting transformers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaimslaw View Post
    I'm impressed with my Vista Pro 600 (600 watts) transformer which includes the photocell and timer. Lifetime warranty. I'm running a variety (15) of Kichler halogen landscape lights off it.

    Both the Vista MT and CTS transformers are quality multi tap transformers.
    Thanks. I'll give those brands a look. I probably don't need more than my current 200W units as I run all LED landscape lighting. Even my 50W-equivalent LED spot lights only use about 4.5W of power.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Landscape lighting transformers

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    Thanks, that sounds like a good setup. Any particular photocell make & model?
    Photocell...Nothing special. I've yet to have one fail; one has run dusk/dawn everyday for over 6 years now
    -Brian-
    33K Pool/Spa, Pentair Equipment
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    Davis Custom Construction - Home Page

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    Re: Landscape lighting transformers

    Wasn't sure if you had a pair of 300 watt transformers.

    FYI: $455 for the Vista Pro 300 with Photo Cell CTS 300 RP. As is the case with the Vista transformers, the timer is a plug in vs integrated into the transformer which is nice as it avoids dumping he transformer becuz of the timer going bad. Mine came with a mechanical timer...switched it out for an inexpensive digital timer. The photo cell is also a replaceable plug in module with countdown timer. ($37).

    Still not happy with LED cost of replacement nor some of the LED designs vs halogen, though it has been a while since I looked into advances in LED lighting. I did a cost comparison energy wise between LED and halogn. With the small amount of time I have them running, not a significant savings with the LED. I actually prefer the Halogen bulbs becuz of the heat...evaporates the landscape water that falls onto some of my up lighting spots.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I sometimes wonder if pool owners realize just how much of a visual impact is made with even just a few low voltage spots placed around the yard...even lighting up a plain wall with a splash of light really can create some real visual snap to one's backyard when the sun goes down.
    Pool: 13k gal. in-ground; Stonescape Mini Pebble - Tropics Blue; Connected Spa - dual spill-over; Aqua Rite T-15 SWCG; AquaLogic PS-4 Automation; Sta-Rite DE Filter; Sta-Rite Max-e-Therm 400k BTU pool heater; Intellifo 2-VST Pump; Stenner 45mp2(25psi/10gpd) acid injection; Bulbwizard color LED pool lights; Poolvergnuegen 2 wheel side suction cleaner; FAFCO rooftop solar. TF-100 w/ speed stir.

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Landscape lighting transformers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaimslaw View Post
    I sometimes wonder if pool owners realize just how much of a visual impact is made with even just a few low voltage spots placed around the yard...even lighting up a plain wall with a splash of light really can create some real visual snap to one's backyard when the sun goes down.
    I have landscape lighting around my pool to illuminate the boundary of the pool, throw some light on the waterfall and light up a few trees (orange and Flowering Plum). I also have lighting in the rest of the back yard around the BBQ area and the second waterfall (yes, over my objection, the wife wanted a second, separate rock waterfall near the fire-pit which is a royal PITA to keep clean and running but that's for another thread).

    I absolutely need lighting or else my back and side yards just look like black holes.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Jaimslaw's Avatar
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    Re: Landscape lighting transformers

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    I absolutely need lighting or else my back and side yards just look like black holes.
    Black holes..lol.
    Pool: 13k gal. in-ground; Stonescape Mini Pebble - Tropics Blue; Connected Spa - dual spill-over; Aqua Rite T-15 SWCG; AquaLogic PS-4 Automation; Sta-Rite DE Filter; Sta-Rite Max-e-Therm 400k BTU pool heater; Intellifo 2-VST Pump; Stenner 45mp2(25psi/10gpd) acid injection; Bulbwizard color LED pool lights; Poolvergnuegen 2 wheel side suction cleaner; FAFCO rooftop solar. TF-100 w/ speed stir.

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    Re: Landscape lighting transformers

    Having everything wired into the easy touch panel worked best for me. I can change times on my laptop in seconds for landscape lighting and all pool features












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    jv92red's Avatar
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    Re: Landscape lighting transformers

    I recently purchased a "bestprolighting" 300W transformer. It has built in timer and a photo eye that's replaceable but I'll be bypassing the timer control feature as I will be connecting it to my Jandy Z4 automation system. But I'll set a early start time on my automation and allow the photo eye to control the turn on since I don't want to bother with changing the start times throughout the year on the automation. For $120 and a lifetime warranty it's the low cost winner for sure.
    http://www.bestprolighting.com/trans...r-12v-15v-p-20
    15'x35' IG 16,500 gallons w/attached raised 18" spa continuous coping w/underneath spill and ledger stone wrapped, NPT mini pebble aqua blue w/2x pigment & abalone shell finish, 2"x24" travertine coping, 3x Jandy Color LED lights (2 in pool), Jandy Flo Pro 2HP VS pump, Jandy LXI (low NOx) 400K BTU heater, Jandy CL460 cartridge filter, Jandy AquaPure Ei SWG, Jandy Z4 automation with iAqualink and remote poolside PDA, 1,300 sqft Belgard Catalina paver deck with drainage, fire pit that matches the spa with travertine coping and wrapped in ledger stone, Elitewood insulated patio cover, Vinyl gates, back vinyl fence coming soon...
    TF-100

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