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Thread: Landscape lighting transformer - SPA RATED - low wattage option?

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    Landscape lighting transformer - SPA RATED - low wattage option?

    Hey guys,

    We are installing landscape lighting soon around the pool- approx 5-6' from water... only problem we have is finding a transformer setup with timer and photo eye (or astro timer) that is 12VAC, spa rated, and low wattage. The lighting manufacturer also requests transformer have magnetic core to work with their LEDs. Since we are using all LED our total will be less than 75W. If I could find a good 75 or 100W option. So far best we can find is Vista MT 300 - just seems like overkill.

    We originally were going to go with the VOLT transformer since all the lighting will be from them - but their units are not "spa rated"

    Thanks!

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    GDN's Avatar
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    Re: Landscape lighting transformer - SPA RATED - low wattage option?

    Something similar to this? No timer or photo eye, but you could find that separately and plug this transformer into the timer.

    https://www.amazon.com/Intermatic-PX300-300-Watt-Safety-Transformer/dp/B003M60V4O?th=1

    Greg -
    11K gal, IG Pebble Sheen (Aqua Blue) with sun ledge and attached spa, Pentair Intelliflow 3050 VS/SVRS (3HP), Pentair ET 8 with Screen Logic, Pentair Racer with 3/4 HP booster pump, 400KBTU Pentair Mastertemp, Pentair 60 sq ft DE filter, J&J Intellibrite LED in spa, Zodiac Nature 2 (not used), Stenner pump/liquid Chlorine, build completed in August 2015

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    CJadamec's Avatar
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    Re: Landscape lighting transformer - SPA RATED - low wattage option?

    The lighting you are installing is low voltage and over 5' from the wall of the pool you don't technically need a spa rated transformer as the lights aren't going in the pool. I'm guess the transformer itself will be even further away from the pool/spa than 5'.

    If for some reason you were to run metal conduit to the lights you would need to bond the conduit to the boning grid. I'm also guessing the landscape lights won't have any conduit at all.

    As GDN suggested with the intermatic transformer you can easily add a daylight sensor or timer to it if you really want to go with a spa rated transformer. If your lighting requires a certain type of transformer make sure to get that type otherwise you end up with a lot of failed LEDs.
    Chuck-
    15x30 AG, Pentair Superflo VS, 19" sand filter, TF-100 test kit
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    AftonJeeper's Avatar
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    Re: Landscape lighting transformer - SPA RATED - low wattage option?

    I run about 20 led lights around my property off of a transformer similar to this one. You can set it to turn on for a certain number of hours from dusk till dawn or at a certain time or however many hours you want. This is my second year with it so I'm not sure how long it will last, but I am happier with it than the last plastic transformer I had.

    I have not heard of "spa rated" with regards to lighting/power supplies. I would guess the "magnetic core" they are referring to is the relay that is built into most transformers to switch the power on. They are either mechanical (like most Intermatic) or magnetic.
    20'x48' 40,000 gal. Vinyl, Pentair Intelliflo 2 VST, Sta-Rite PLM300 System 2 Cartridge Filter, and a Pentair Mastertemp 250 heater all controlled by Pentair Easy Touch with Screen Logic. Dolphin Premier pool attendant.
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    CJadamec's Avatar
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    Re: Landscape lighting transformer - SPA RATED - low wattage option?

    Magnetic core refers to the core of the transformer. There are different types of transformers and some are much better at regulating output voltage.
    Chuck-
    15x30 AG, Pentair Superflo VS, 19" sand filter, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: Landscape lighting transformer - SPA RATED - low wattage option?

    Our local code refers to NEC 2014. From what I find online about 2014 they allow lighting within 5' of the pool if the voltage is less than 15V, you use UL or other listed fixtures, and use spa/pool rated transformer. Vista unit still seems good or maybe that Pentair... wish there was something in the middle

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    CJadamec's Avatar
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    Re: Landscape lighting transformer - SPA RATED - low wattage option?

    You started by saying that the lights are 5-6 feet away form the pool wall.

    If you are not closer than 5 feet the NEC code doesn't say you have to use a pool or spa transformer. You only need that type of transformer if your lites will be closer than 5 feet.

    From NEC 2014 Sec 680.22 (B)(6)

    "Listed low-voltage luminaries not requiring grounding, not exceeding the low voltage contact limit and supplied by listed transformers or power supplies that comply with 680.23(A)(2) shall be permitted to be located less than 1.5m (5ft) shall be permitted."
    Chuck-
    15x30 AG, Pentair Superflo VS, 19" sand filter, TF-100 test kit
    Aqua Comfort ACT750 heat pump / 6x20 ground mount solar panel / DIY automation

    Photos of 2016 Build, Inside Your Breaker Panel, Free Copy of 2017 NEC code
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    Re: Landscape lighting transformer - SPA RATED - low wattage option?

    True... I did say that. For some reason I was thinking 10' or less still... I'll double check distances after pool is built and if >5' is good to go

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