Landscape lighting transformer - SPA RATED - low wattage option?

firefox2017

Active member
Mar 24, 2017
26
Uniontown
#1
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!
 

CJadamec

TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
2,194
Quaker Hill, CT
#3
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.
 

AftonJeeper

Bronze Supporter
May 11, 2017
1,147
Twin Cities, MN
#4
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.
 

firefox2017

Active member
Mar 24, 2017
26
Uniontown
#6
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
 

CJadamec

TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
2,194
Quaker Hill, CT
#7
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."