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Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

If you'd like to have a question answered, please email to the_doctor at lowvoltagelandscapelights.com or phone our west coast office at (818) 992-6353

  1. Why are my lights dim at the end of the lines?
  2. Can I add lights to my existing system?
  3. The wiring of my system is exposed. Is this a hazard to kids or pets?
  4. My lights all appear to be hooked up correctly and even when changing the bulbs they still don't work. Sometimes they come on when I tap them lightly.
  5. I want to change my light fixtures to better quality fixtures. Can I use the old wiring and transformer?
  6. I have fixtures that do not work even when the bulbs are replaced. What are the possible problems?
  7. I have found a cut wire. How do I re-connect it?
  8. I have well lights that are full of leaves, what can be done about it?

A. Why are my lights dim at the end of the lines?

This is normally an indication that there is overload on a line. This can be the result of

  • Too many lights/too much wattage.
  • Too long of a wire run.
  • Too small of a wire.

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B. Can I add lights to my existing system?

A systems capacity is determined by size of transformer, wattage of fixtures, gauge of wire which helps to determine voltage drop over distance. If your transformer is 200 watts, the sum of your fixtures is 120 watts, you want to add 2 more 20 watt lights and your wire runs are between 0-75 feet there's a good chance that 40 watts added won't strain the system.

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C. The wiring of my system is exposed. Is this a hazard to kids or pets?

Not a huge hazard. If your dog bites through both sides of the wire simultaneously, it shouldn't hurt or cause any grave damage other than his hair standing and seeing stars briefly. The current sent through these wires is approximately 12 volts, whereas normal household currents is 110 volts. It's not recommended to do just for kicks.

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D. My lights all appear to be hooked up correctly and even when changing the bulbs they still don't work. Sometimes they come on when I tap them lightly.

Many lights are connected to a device that presses metal pins through the rubber wire casing thus making contact with the copper strands underneath this jacket. Over time, constant exposure to natural elements compromise the contact. These lights need to be re-connected to make a positive contact.

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E. I want to change my light fixtures to better quality fixtures. Can I use the old wiring and transformer?

It depends. The old system may have used 14 gauge wire for a system that used 120 total watts. If you're using higher wattage fixtures, you may need to use heavier gauge wire adn a more powerful transformer.

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F. I have fixtures that do not work even when the bulbs are replaced. What are the possible problems?

Start by checking the easiest things to see. Look in the transformer. CHECK THE TIMING. The timing just may be set to come on during the day and be off at night. Many transformers have circuit fuses. INSPECT THE FUSE TO MAKE SURE IT HAS NOT POPPED. When a circuit suffers an over load or power surge, such as power outages or wires touching, it will pop the fuse. Reset the fuse and see if it pops again. CHECK THE WIRE CONNECTIONS AT THE FIXTURES. Minimally the wires should have more than electrical tape to cover the connections. Wire nuts, dry splices or gel filled connecters will make for a longer consistent contact. LOOK FOR EXPOSED AND CUT WIRES. Many times the wiring is exposed and has been cut.

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G. I have found a cut wire. How do I re-connect it?

Most systems are put together using a daisy chain method. That is where the wire connects from one fixture to the next. Carefully separate the wire so that it looks like a 'Y' strip the jacket off each of the ends to be connected about 1" then twist the braided copper wire to remove any stray pieces. Then twist one of the exposed pieces from one side to one from the other side. Twist a wire nut on to the connected pieces, repeat with the other side, making sure that the wire nut is tight. If your connection starts sparking and the wire starts to heat up, the system might have a looped wire. If this occurs, take the caps off and reverse the sides in the connection.

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H. I have well lights that are full of leaves, what can be done about it?

Depending on the type of well light you are using there are several types of debris guard available that can keep them clear of such things.

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