900w Multi tap Transformer, which one?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by brentsawyer, Nov 30, 2004.

  1. brentsawyer

    brentsawyer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 663

    I am new at lighting so I thought that I would teach myself at my parents house and do a good size lighting system there first. First off it is currently 490 total watts with another 20-40 to go making the 600w transformers a little underpowered. It is also around a pool with longest runs reaching 130' and all lamps are connected by #8 wire throughout. What I'm looking at is the MT-900T transformer from Vista and purchasing throuh JD Landscapes for approx $450. I want/need a MT transformer of 12,13,14,15 taps to power the system, obviously. What I'm looking for are other transformers just as good maybe a little cheaper or maybe some are better. Basically I'm looking for a good transformer to stack up against the Vista if there are better alternatives coming from some of you that have used a few.
  2. cleancutccl

    cleancutccl LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 698

    From what I've been told you would want to use a transformer with as close to the wattage you need as possible. In your case you should use the 600 instead of the 900.
  3. brentsawyer

    brentsawyer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 663

    80% total rated wattage is recommended on all transformers and for 600w that would mean that 480w is highest total recommended watts. Also, for a little more money, I want room to grow.
  4. activelandscaping

    activelandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 241

    To be honest the only advantage I could see to using a closely matched transformer is from the manufacturing end, when you have to upgrade you will have to purchase an additional transformer.:D

    The way the Vista transformers are put together, at least on the 300 W and above, is by combining individual 300 W units to come up with the total wattage. IE: 600 W = (300W X 2), 900W = (300W X 3), etc..........

    Based on my limited knowledge of the way transformers work the only real disadvantage I could see in buying a larger transformer is a minimal power expense. Simply flipping the breaker, there will be 3 on a 900 W transformer, for the unused contacts would negate any power loss. In the unlikely event one of the transformer units failed after the warranty expired, you would have a backup.........or room for additional expansion. Personally, oversizing Vista transformers is a method I both practice and endorse. :)


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