Lighting up your garden always gives a pleasant ambiance; it is needed to bring a quality experience to your backyard. Low Voltage lighting is often chosen as the most preferred way of decorating your gardens. Hence, it is important that all your fixtures are getting the proper voltage. Lack of which may lead to improper functioning of your landscape lighting system. In addition to voltage issues, there are several other factors that may impact functioning. That is why you need to test low voltage outdoor lighting.
To strategically resolve the issues with your landscape lighting system, you need to first understand what the problem is?
Once the problem is identified fixing the issue gets much easier.
No all you need to know is How to test low voltage outdoor lighting based on the issues being experienced.
Key issues that any landscape lighting system may exhibit are one fixture not lighting up, all lights are dim, the whole system is intermittent. Also, lights do not turn on/off as expected.
1. One Fixture is Not Lighting Up
Firstly, check for the failed bulb. This can be quickly checked by swapping the bulb with a fixture that is working properly. If the bulb is intact and working properly, the next step would be to test the voltage. Now, for this, you would need to get your hands-on voltmeter.
Voltage requirements for proper functionality depend upon the type of fixture used. LED system to have a bigger operational voltage range, i.e. is 9~16v. Whereas halogen bulbs have much tighter voltage requirements i.e. 10.8 to 11.3 v. if the fixture does not have prescribed voltage range it would not work.
2. Fixtures are Dim
First, look for if all the fixtures dim or some of the fixtures are dim. You need to be patient and observe your system performance, look for the clues.
If your lights are getting dimmer as you go further away from the transformer, the issue is related to voltage drop, usually, an issue is prominent with daisy chain installation. If all the fixtures are dim check for the mainline voltage, to be certain of the root cause you would need a voltmeter, so to troubleshoot a landscape lighting system, the voltmeter is a very basic tool that you would require.
3. Lights running All Day
the root cause of this issue is at the transformer, most of the transformers have photocell attached to them, which are most of the time the main contributor to this issue. A photocell works with light i.e. the circuit would be open during the day when there is sunlight, thus keeping you landscape lighting off.
However, when it is dark the circuit closes and your transformer is turned on and powering your landscape lighting system.
4. Check with the Transformer
It is better to have a check with the transformer of your low voltage lighting system. Check for any obstruction to the photosensor, is it blocked by landscape overgrowth, over covered by dust or other debris, clean the photocell and that should resolve the issue.
5. The intermittent or flickering landscape lighting system
This one of the most difficult problems to resolve as it is very difficult to find the source of the problem.
There are 2 main issues reasons for this behavior: Firstly, loose connection or wire load leading to getting the wire too hot and melting. Finding a loose connection is a more difficult issue as the issue could be anywhere along the length of the wire. The load on a wire can be checked by checking the amperage on the wire at the transformer where connections are made.
The best solution for both these problems would be to run the wire again and make sure the connections are secure, and wire runs are not overloaded.
With these simple procedures, you can solve most of the issues with your landscape lighting system.
These are very basic and simple steps to identify the root cause and take corrective action, moreover, get your young kids involved this would be a fun activity for and at the same time teach them basic engineering principles.
If you can understand and implement these tips for How to test low voltage outdoor lighting, then there is no need for you to call a landscape lighting specialist.
Things can be sorted well in your home by using simple techniques that need your basic household tools.
This would really help you to save your valuable time, efforts, and most importantly money. Higher your maintenance frequency, lesser will be your maintenance costs for the rest of the years.