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How to test lighting converter.

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by White Gardens, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    So I'm starting to get into installing lighting for some of my customers. Nothing major, just mostly for accents in the landscaping.

    One of my customers has a Toro converter box, and I want to know if it's still good or not.

    What kind of test do I need to run to figure it out. I'm guessing a voltage tester will be needed, but what numbers am I looking for.

  2. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    "Toro Converter Box"?? Do you possibly mean a Transformer?

    I seem to recall hearing that Toro took a brief stab at Low Voltage Outdoor Lighting some years ago but it didn't work out very well for them. Here are some clips from google:

    TORO® low voltage outdoor landscape lighting, replacement parts and accessories are no longer available. For warranty assistance on existing systems please call:

    Acquired Lunalite, Inc., a marketer of low-voltage outdoor lighting.

    Wal-Mart is the major distribution channel for Toro, said Pete Klukken, a marketing specialist. Toro projects a 5% market growth for low-voltage lighting from a 1996 base of $107 million in manufacturers' shipments. The three major factors driving the low-voltage market are to beautify one's home, add safety to steps and walkways, and provide more security against crime. Toro and Malibu control 90% of the market, Klukken said, while Brinkman, Twilight and direct imports from the Orient account for the balance of 10%. At Wal-Mart in Tom's River, N.J., the opening price point for an 11-light Toro kit is $29.95, while a 16-light kit, with 10 path lights and six floods, retails for $54.96.

    The transformer you have there might be just fine. You will need a digital multimeter/ammeter if you want to do any significant work in this area so go get yourself a Greenlee CM-80 or Fluke equivalent to start.

    Best of luck
  3. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 6,464

    O wow, so basically its malibu crap! Well thats just nice...
  4. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Was there ever any question about that Ryan? :)
  5. SamIV

    SamIV LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    Guys, I make a very comfortable living in another field, but I truly enjoy designing and installing outdoor lighting systems. I do this part-time and am quite successful at it. I do lurk here from time to time but don't participate much at all, due to my schedule but other factors weigh heavily.

    White Gardens asked a simple question but in response received responses that were not deserving. Those of you who treat people as if they were somehow lessor of yourself will truly never make it to the top of the ladder.

    Seems there is very little participation here lately and this is not relative to just the economic times. Maybe take note of what just transpired.

    White Gardens, feel free to PM me for advice.

    Burt Wilson
    Accent Outdoor Lighting
  6. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Burt, I think you will have to be more specific.

    I dont see where my response was out of line. The information I provided for instance was factual. I am not treating "White Gardens" as if they were somehow lessor... just A: trying to understand what exactly he means by a "lighting converter / converter box" (transformer? controller? what exactly are we talking about?) and then B: stating what I know and quoting what I found online about Toro's involvement in LV lighting products. Followed by C: advice on what meter will be required to get started in diagnosing and installing systems.

    As for the slam on Malibu... well that was just having fun with Ryan. And we all know that Malibu is substandard product.

    To White Gardens: When you get your meter feel free to ask us here how to diagnose that Toro unit. Also take down some specifications from the label which will help us help you.

    Have a great day.
  7. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 6,464

    Well i used to be in the mowing business and Toro is top of the line...But your right i shoulda known better...especially since i never heard of it!
  8. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 6,464

    Its all in good fun in this section!! He needs to post some pics so we can see the condition. I think James' answer was fine...Just trying to get a feel for the guy and what hes got.
  9. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Dang, I wasn't trying to stir up controversy.

    Thanks for the info about the toro stuff the initial response to my post.

    I'm guessing that it's the transformer that I've been looking at. I'll try to take a pic of it today and I'll post it later if I can. We got 2 inches of rain last night so I ain't doing crap today. :p

    I haven't done my homework yet for lighting setups and I thought I'd start here first. I understand that it's a low-voltage system though, and from what I can tell it's not that hard to get it right the first time. This job I'm doing is very unique in it's design, and I would love to see some real lighting and not the solar crap you see everywhere.

    Thanks again, I haven't taken any offense to the posts, I just don't things personally, especially on the Internet.:rolleyes:
  10. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    If your interested you may PM me your contact info and I could get you information on our next educational lighting course in your area. My Illinois rep could contact you witha ll you need to get your lighting educationa nd buisness up!

    Let me know!!

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