Issues with Wiring Outdoor Lights
Our expert, Randall Whitehead, IALD, troubleshoots a troublesome wiring issue with low voltage outdoor lights.
I installed new low voltage wire to my exterior light fixtures after an animal chewed through the old wire. After the sun set and the lights came on, they were only half power — if that. The transformer is not overloaded. The wires are connected properly. The lamps are new. What’s wrong?
If the fixtures all are at low output, you may have the incorrect voltage of lamps. See if you have 24V lamps instead of a 12V. (The boxes look the same.). Also, most transformers are multi-tap for numerous voltages. Make sure that you have connected to the voltage that matches the lamp voltage. If the fixtures are dimmer at the end of the run and brighter at the end closest to the transformer, then you may be using the incorrect gauge of wire, resulting in voltage drop. There could also still be a tear in the wiring, resulting in power “leaking” into the soil. Or your house may have been built over a graveyard like in “Poltergeist.” Make sure your daughter has not disappeared into the television.
Randall Whitehead, IALD
Latest from ask randall
I would find a nice large pendant to go over the dining room table that complements the fixtures in the kitchen, but doesn’t match them. If you have... read full story
If the fixtures all are at low output, you may have the incorrect voltage of lamps. Check and see if you have 24V lamps instead of 12V (the boxes... read full story
For me, and most of the lighting industry, fluorescents are no longer a part of the equation. They have never had a high enough CRI. Their quality of... read full story
Sponsored by Legrand and Bulbrite. Wednesday, October 5 at 2 p.m. EDT Register for this free CEU webinar here. Webinar Overview:Learning units:AIA/CES LU (HSW) 1.0... read full story
This webinar has already taken place, but you can still watch it on demand by registering here. Sponsored by Emerson and Legrand. Webinar Overview: Learning units:AIA/... read full story
This webinar has already taken place, but you can still watch it on demand by registering here. Webinar Overview:Learning units:AIA/CES LU (HSW) 1.0 Learning UnitIDCEC (IIDA/... read full story