Two of the most important components of any low-voltage lighting system are the Transformer and low-voltage cable. Consider the Transformer the brains of the operation and the low-voltage cable as the main arteries! Together, they are what powers the system and bring your lighting to life!
The Transformer converts the power in your house down to 12 volts - the necessary voltage to power the in-lite system. 12 volts is considered low-voltage and is safe to work with and energy-efficient.
The low-voltage cable connects directly to the wire terminals on the Transformer and carries 12 volts of electricity throughout the line. The fixtures you choose to add to your lighting plan attach directly onto this low-voltage cable using the Easy-Lock Connector (found in the box with all fixtures).
You require both the 108W Transformer and a low-voltage cable to power your in-lite lighting system. This blog post will show you how to install the in-lite 108W Transformer and lay your low-voltage cable in just 5 simple steps! We list the tools and materials required, however most of the tools you need are provided in the 108W TRANSFORMER box!
Tools & Materials
- 108W TRANSFORMER
- 132 FT LOW-VOLTAGE CABLE (14/2) or 246 FT LOW-VOLTAGE CABLE (12/2)
- 5/16" Masonry Bit (if mounting on Concrete or Brick)
- Philips Screwdriver or Bit
- Power Drill
- Plastic Screw Setters (not included)
- Screws (included with transformer)
- Light Sensor (included with transformer)
Step 1: Choosing your location
First you must determine the location for your Transformer. This unit is completely sealed and can be installed directly outside on a wall, fence, or shed, for example. Choose a location within 2 feet of a working GFCI outdoor outlet. This location should also be in an area where it will receive natural light as the light sensor (included with Transformer) will require this to operate correctly.
Once you have chosen your location, the next step is to mount your Transformer to a hard surface. You must mount the Transformer at least 18 inches off the ground. If you have chosen to install your Transformer in an enclosed area such as a shed or garage, you can extend the distance of the light sensor using extension cables (available in 3 feet and 9 feet). Extension cables are sold separately.
Step 2: Mounting the Transformer
Once you have decided where you're going to install the Transformer, it's time to mount the Transformer to the wall. To do so, start by holding the Transformer up against the wall and marking out two small dots where you will be drilling your screws. Use these two dots to make two small pilot holes with your drill and bit. A pilot hole is a small hole drilled as a guide for the insertion of a nail or screw, or for drilling a larger hole.
If mounting your Transformer on concrete or brick, use a power drill to drill the hole and insert plastic screw setters into the holes once complete. The Transformer box contains the screws needed to mount the unit. These screws should be inserted into the plastic screw setters.
Step 3: Install Light Sensor
This is the component of the Transformer that will sense natural light (dusk and dawn) allowing your lights to power on automatically during dusk and power off automatically during dawn. It is very important to ensure the light sensor is not influenced by artificial light. This means mounting the Transformer in an area what will receive only natural light from the sun and will not be affected by streetlamps or line voltage fixtures around your property.
Mount the light sensor to a hard surface using the included screws that can be found in the 108W Transformer box. If you need more distance between the Transformer and light sensor, our 3 ft or 9 ft extension cables can be attached to provide the desired distance (sold separately).
Step 4: Connect the Low-Voltage Cable to the Transformer
Underneath the switch of the Transformer, you will see the wire terminals. This is where you connect your low-voltage cable to the Transformer. To prepare your low-voltage cable to connect to the wire terminals you will need to strip the wires and attach the provided cable clamps (found in the box with the 108W Transformer).
Prepare the wire terminals and feed the cable plugs through the base of the Transformer and ensure that the connection is secure using a Philips screwdriver - it is not advised to use a drill for this step.
Step 5: Laying your Low-Voltage Cable
Now that the cable is connected to the Transformer you can begin laying the cable throughout your yard. Make sure that you leave enough slack especially around corners and where you plan to install fixtures. It is common to run cable through garden beds and around the sides of your home or foundation. It's recommended that you lay your cable against a permanent structure like a fence, foundation, or rock bed wherever possible. This will not only prevent damage to the line, but allow you to easily locate the cable if you would like to add fixtures to the system at a later date!
Step 6: Bury Cable and Connect Transformer
The final step should be done only once you have installed and connected all of your chosen lighting fixtures. Once all your fixtures have been connected, it's time for you to bury your low-voltage cable, fixture leads, and connections underground. All of in-lite's cables and connections are rated for direct-burial meaning they can be buried under mulch, dirt, gravel, sod, and more.
You do not have to bury the cable deep into the ground. It can be buried at a distance that is hidden, yet easily accessible for future modifications or servicing. However, you must ensure it is buried deep enough to avoid damage from mowers, weed wackers, and garden shears.
Lastly, plug your Transformer into the GFCI outlet and you're done! You've officially setup the in-lite system.
Now you can enjoy all the new lighting fixtures in your front and backyard!