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600w transformer - balancing load?

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by starry night, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,535

    Just when I think I know a little, I find I know too little.

    First time considering working with a 600 watt transformer. Instructions say the load should be balanced on the two 300w circuits. "If you load one side with 240 watts, you should put 240 watts on the other circuit."

    Are these numbers critical? What if you put 240w on one circuit and only 200w
    on the other? What happens?
  2. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,535

    OK, trying to think this through on my own: The balance is for the purpose of voltage to the lights and a not a problem of effect on the transformer itself ??
  3. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    You will be fine with that scenario. Chill.

    The 600W transformer is actually 2x300W cores. So if you were to load one side to say 260W and the other had only 60W, you would probably see a discrepancy in secondary output voltages between the two sides. (most transformers 'drop volts' when they are loaded up to / near capacity) If you are 240w on one and 200w on the other there may be some small discrepancy, but nothing you should really worry too much about.

    Of course, if you were to use LED lamps, you would not need such a large transformer and never would have this issue. :) Just sayin'
  4. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,535

    Yes, Jim, I agree LEDs would be the way to go. Unfortunately, I'm working for a little ol' lady who had a Malibu "system" put in. She had been charged as much for the Malibu (Intermatic) transformers as it should have cost for
    professional transformers. I told her I couldn't do anything else with her setup until I replaced the transformers. She has enough halogens to load up a 600w in the front and another one in the back yard. So even with the savings of smaller transformers, I couldn't save her enough to retrofit all LEDs.
  5. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,535

    Sorry, I just noticed I typed Jim instead of James.

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