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1500w Transformer?

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by JimLewis, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,839

    Can anyone recommend a good 1500w multi-tap transformer? Preferably one with breakers too. Do they even make them this big?
  2. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    Typically none over 1200W.

    You can find a good transformer at CAST Lighting.

    OR, design your system using LED lamps and save about 75% of the required electrical load. The money saved on that huge transformer can go a long way to installing quality LED lamps from www.ledlightsdirect.com (... just sayin' :) )
  3. steveparrott

    steveparrott Sponsor
    Posts: 1,196

  4. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    You may want to check the listing on the Transformer that you choose to install in a Landscape Lighting or "garden lighting" application. There are some transformers on the market that carry what looks like an appropriate UL certification, but when you look deeper (or when you get inspected by a electrical safety inspector) you discover that the approval on the power source is not appropriate for the application in which it has been installed and used.

    Take cUL 506 certifications for instance. The Scope for UL 506 / cUL 506 clearly states:

    "1.2 These requirements do not cover liquid-immersed transformers, variable voltage autotransformers, transformers having a nominal primary rating of more than 600 volts, transformers having overvoltage taps rated over 660 volts, cord and plug connected transformers, garden light transformers, voltage regulators, swimming pool and spa transformers, or other special types of transformers covered in requirements for other electrical devices or appliances."


    As such, a transformer that is listed with UL 506 is not acceptable for use in Landscape Lighting applications.

    There are a number of 1000w and 1200W transformers on the market that are properly approved for use and the CAST 1200W Master Series (UL 1838) is one of them.
  5. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,839

    Anything wrong with the VOLT 1200w transformer?

    This one by VOLT seems to be about 1/3 of the price of This on by CAST. They look very similar. Seem to have similar construction and taps. Any big reason why I should tell my customer she needs to spend 3x as much for the CAST?
  6. steveparrott

    steveparrott Sponsor
    Posts: 1,196

    Jim, the CAST Transformer is not 3x the price - re-check your distributor's pricing. As always - you get what you pay for.
  7. The Lighting Geek

    The Lighting Geek LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 875

    Unique now has a 1838 transformer.

    1838 watts that is. That should cover it! lol
  8. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,839

    Well, that VOLT controller is on sale on that website. So fine. Not exactly 3x. Maybe 2.5x the price. Even if I could talk my distributor down by $200, that's still over twice as much for the CAST one.

    I understand the concept of "You get what you pay for." And in general, I think that's kinda true. But it's also true that some brands are just way overpriced. In irrigation, for instance, Rain Bird is currently a good 20-30% less in virtually every area than their next competitor (Hunter) and yet in my experience, Rain Bird's quality is better in almost every category, their warranty is better, the service I get is better, etc. Similarly, with water feature components, materials from Aquascapes is a good 200% of what the other manufacturers are, and their products, IMO really aren't that much nicer. I prefer to use Savio, Pond Eco, Watermark or several others that have good reliable products at about half the price.

    When it comes to lighting, I think it's generally true that you get what you pay for. I love the Unique Odyssey fixtures because they are just worlds better in terms of looks, durability, construction, warranty, service, etc. when compared to most other brands of lighting (Cast, maybe being the exception. I think they are on-par with Unique). And Unique fixtures are only maybe 25% more than FXL, Kichler, Focus, etc. So for slightly more, I get quite a lot better product. THAT I understand. I am willing to pay a little more to get a LOT more.

    But I am not sure I want to pay 2-2.5x as much for a controller unless I'm convinced there's a really good reason. Which is why I asked the question. I'm looking for someone to give me some good reasons why I'd recommend that my customer spend 2-2.5x as much for a CAST transformer. And I'm not sure the customer's going to suffice for me just saying, "Well, you know you get what you pay for! payup"
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2010
  9. steveparrott

    steveparrott Sponsor
    Posts: 1,196

    Jim, the price you were quoted is the suggested retail price - not the contractor's price.
  10. S&MLL

    S&MLL LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 751

    Steve you know better then anyone...... No talk about pricing. Hard numbers or just discounts off msrp.... NO TALKING

    So Jim Lewis you are more then welcome to talk about lighting here all you want. I think there a bunch of topics on transformers but leave price out of it.

    I Also have never used or seen a volt product. But I don’t really plan on it. Why should my clients be able to access the same material I have so easily online. Not to mention see what I pay.

    So lets compare Cast vs. Kichler. Both made by MDL. Cast has soft start. The rest do not. Cast is very stingy on warrantee work. Use what YOU want to use. Not what your client can and can not afford. I can stick up for Cast and say there taps can be loaded 100 percent. I have used a 1200 watt tranny and had 1060 watts running from the 12volt tap. Most other transformers will burn up a tap running that heavy on the voltage side.

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