Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a transformer?
A transformer is a device that varies the voltage. It
is completed by winding two wires around an iron core,
one attached to the primary side and a second wire attached
to the secondary side. In the casing of low-voltage
halogen lighting, the transformer has an input or main
voltage of 120, 230, 240 or 277V and an output or resultant
voltage of 12V or 24V.
2. What is an electronic transformer?
Conventional transformers, as well called electromagnetic
transformers are very large and heavy, and contain an
iron core and the sets of wire. An electronic transformer,
on the other hands, and contains an electronic device,
an inverter, which allows the size of the definite transformer
to be reduced. This electronic device and the reduced
size output transformer make up the most important components
of what we normally call an electronic transformer.
3. How does an electronic transformer work?
The inverter conditions, the current to change path
at a frequency of concerning 20-50,000 times per second
(called 20-50,000 Hertz or Hz) as different to the power
from your wall outlet, which changes direction at a
frequency of 50 or 60Hz. It has higher the frequency
of the current, the smaller the transformer. Most electronic
transformers on the market at present give (high frequency)
4. What is a DC transformer?
A DC transformer is a predictable electronic transformer
where the output is converted to DC with the help of
a device called as a rectifier. The DC output nearly
eliminates drop voltage and reduces radiated RFI. A
DC transformer, although smaller and lighter than a
magnetic transformer, and it is generally slightly bigger
than an AC electronic transformer providing the same
5. What is the advantage of an electronic transformer?
Electronic transformers are enormously small and light
when compared to magnetic transformers, most of the
time small enough that fixture manufacturers can often
take in them within a lighting product sooner than leaving
the customer to come across a hiding place. Even when
not incorporated with the fixture, electronic transformers
are easy and quite simple to handle and install.
6. Can transformers be operated at various
A 60 Hz design is normally smaller than a 50 Hz design.
For kind information please DO NOT use 60 Hz rated transformers
on 50 Hz service. Without exacting designs, higher losses
and greater heat rise will result. Operating 60 Hz transformers
at higher frequencies may simply give less voltage regulation.
7. Can transformers be used in parallel?
It is simply very common for transformers to be placed
in parallel service. To give maximum efficiency, voltage
and impedance values have to match closely for each
transformer involved. A failure to match voltage and
impedances will result in unbalanced loading for the
transformers and possibly will lead to overheating or
8. Why is the transformer case hot?
Transformers are intended to operate at a particular
load. As transformers are overloaded, losses generated
raise, resulting in a potential for case heating. If
a transformer is correctly sized for a particular application,
no excessive heating should be present. Why do transformers
create noise? It's because the hum is caused by alternating
flux in the core and is called as magnetostriction.
The humming can be minimized in manufacturing and in
the course of the use of dampening pads when installed.
9. What is an isolating transformer?
In an isolating transformer, the primary and secondary
windings are related magnetically, but not electrically.
It's also referred to as an "insulating" transformer.
10. Can I connect a single-phase transformer
to a three-phase source?
Yes, the transformer output will be single-phase. It
simply connects any two wires from a 3- or 4-wire source
to the transformer's two primary leads. Three single-phase
transformers can be used for three-phase applications.
They can be made use of in delta-connected primary and
wye or delta-connected secondary. To avoid an unstable
secondary voltage problem, NEVER connect wye primary
to delta secondary.
11. What is the inductance of a transformer?
In very easy terms it is a measure of the number of
turns on the coil, the cross section and the permeability
of the core. We in general talk about the inductance
of a winding, usually the primary. It has the greater
the inductance, the greater the ac resistance or the
impedance of the winding. The impedance of an inductor
rises proportionally to frequency.
12. Why did my transformer blow the moment
it was installed?
Make sure the wiring system. Chances are that you comprise
connected the output (12V) to the power supply, and
the input (120V) to the fixtures.
13. What is an isolation transformer?
An isolation transformer, as well referred to as an
insulating transformer, is one where the primary and
secondary windings are separate, as opposite to an autotransformer
where the primary and secondary share an ordinary winding.
14. How does the use of an electronic transformer
vary from the use of a magnetic transformer?
The output of an electronic transformer, if not it is
a DC transformer, is high frequency. This has the effect
that there is substantial voltage drop if the wires
carrying the current are long or far apart. Always follow
the following rules to avoid a voltage drop. So, use
thick wires on the secondary/output side. The thicker
the wire the less drop voltage you will occur. The shorter
the distance between transformer and lamp the less drop
voltage you will occur. Try to make use of a pair of
secondary wires that are twisted together. The closer
the two output wires are to one another when a transformer
powers more than one fixture, split the output of the
transformer directly into numerous different circuits
rather than carrying all the power in one pair of wires.
The less power per circuit, the less drop voltage you
will occur. I.e. a 300W lamp/circuit will have more
severe fall of voltage than a 50W lamp/circuit.
15. How does one can test an electronic transformer?
Always, keep in mind the following: Observe the wiring
guidelines above. The majority failures happen as a
result of reverse or improper wiring. Check the lamp
and move it around inside the lamp holder. The majority
voltmeters give misleading readings when applied to
high frequency currents. You can simply measure the
voltage on an electronic transformer using a "true RMS"
voltmeter with an enough range.
16. Why do we need transformers?
In nearly all cases, machines and appliances using electricity
are manufactured to operate using a particular voltage
and frequency. Sounds easy, right? Well, let me throw
you a curve - voltage and frequency differ from place
to place. Not all countries - and at times not all regions
within the same country - make the similar voltage and
frequency in their electricity.
That's where transformers appear in. Transformers adjust
the voltage coming into the appliance to the proper
level, and pump the electricity in the course of the
appliance to continue it operating properly. The nearly
all common, and preferred, class of transformer is the
autotransformer - mainly those with a single tapped
winding (as different to isolation transformers with
2 separate windings). Autotransformers are smaller,
lighter, and give greater voltage stability and overload
Despite the fact that transformers do adjust voltage,
they do not - and cannot - change frequency. In nearly
all cases, frequency is irrelevant to the apt operation
of the appliance. Where frequency is a matter - like
with clocks, stereo components, and timers - the appliance
must have both a transformer to adjust voltage, and
physical correction of gears, pulleys, etc. to correct
the speed of operation.
Frequency can, on the other hand, be an issue in cases
of appliances whose motors run continuously, or endlessly
stop and start, like refrigerators and air conditioners.
In these cases, it is a good idea to adjust your voltage
up or down in accordance with the frequency. For instance,
60 Hz motors should be run at 10% less voltage when
operated on 50 Hz, while 50Hz motors should be run at
10% higher voltage when operated on 60Hz.
17. What is an inductor? How do inductors behave?
How do you protect against inductive kick-back?
Inductors are directly related to capacitors; the rate
of current vary in an inductor depends on the voltage
applied across it, while the rate of voltage change
in a capacitor depends on the current through it. The
sign and defining equation for an inductor is where
L is known as the inductance and is measured in henrys
(or mH, uH, etc.) and "di/dt" is the alteration in current
over a small period of time. Putting a voltage across
an inductor causes the current to increase as a ramp
(for a capacitor), supplying a steady current causes
the voltage to rise as a ramp; 1 volt across 1 henry
produces a current that increases at 1 amp per second)
The symbol for an inductor seems like a coil of wire;
that's since, in its simplest form, that's all it is.
Variations contain coils wound on different core materials,
the most popular being iron (or iron alloys, laminations,
or powder) and ferrite, nonconductive, a black, brittle
magnetic material. These are all ploys to multiply the
inductance of a given coil by the "permeability" of
the core material. The core can be in the shape of a
rod, a toroid (doughnut), or still more bizarre shapes,
like a "pot core" (which has to be seen to be understood).
Inductors find heavy use in radio frequency (RF) circuits,
serving as RF "chokes" and as parts of tuned circuits.
A pair of closely coupled inductors forms the remarkable
object identified as a transformer. An inductor is,
in an actual sense, the opposite of a capacitor.
18. What is a magnetic core & coil low voltage
A low voltage transformer is an electrical device that
cuts 120 volts (line voltage) into 12 volts or 24 volts
(low voltage). It is at times made by winding two wires
around an iron core with one wire joined to the primary
side (line voltage side) and the second wire joined
to the secondary side (low voltage side). In the case
of low voltage halogen or low voltage xenon lighting
the low voltage transformer has an input or primary
voltage of 120 volts (sometimes 277 volts) and an output
or secondary voltage of 12 volts or 24 volts. An instance
of a core and coil type transformer is our LS and LT
19. What is an electronic low voltage transformer?
Conventional low voltage transformers, as well called
magnetic core & coil low voltage transformers can be
very large and heavy, contain an iron core and two sets
of wires as described in the previous paragraph. An
electronic low voltage transformer, in contrast, also
contains an electronic device, called an inverter, which
lets the size of the low voltage transformer to be substantially
smaller. An inverter and a small transformer make up
the most important components of what we usually call
an electronic low voltage transformer. An instance of
our electronic transformers is our RS and VS lines.
20. How does an electronic low voltage transformer
The inverter conditions the voltage to change direction
at a frequency of concerning 20,000 times per second
(called Hertz or Hz) as different to the "normal" power
from your wall outlet, which changes direction at a
frequency of 50Hz or 60Hz. It contain the higher the
frequency, the smaller the low voltage transformer can
be. The majority electronic low voltage transformers
supply high frequency AC output.
21. What is the advantage of an electronic
low voltage transformer?
Electronic low voltage transformers are extremely small
and light compared to magnetic low voltage transformers,
in nearly all cases small enough that fixture manufacturers
can often include them within their lighting fixture
rather than leaving the customer to locate a hiding
place. Even when not included within the lighting fixture
an electronic low voltage transformer is simply easy
to install in a small hidden location.
22. What is the advantage of magnetic core
& coil transformer?
The magnetic core & coil transformer contain simply
- temperature rating. When size and weight are not a
matter and a high temperature is required, a magnetic
transformer is a fine choice. Hatch magnetic low voltage
transformers can handle standard operating temperatures
of 180 degree Celsius.
23. What should I check if the transformer
does not appear to be working?
(A) Please make sure that the black and white input
wires (primary side) of the low voltage transformer
are joined to the power line (120 volts or 277 volts)
and that the two red output wires (secondary side) of
the low voltage transformer are joined to the low voltage
light source (12 volts or 24 volts). The majority failures
occur as a effect of reverse or improper wiring.
(B) Make sure the filament of the lamp to see if is
burned out. (Keep in mind the glass envelope of a halogen
lamp should NOT be touched by bare hands since the natural
oil from your hands will cause the lamp to burn out
(C) Make sure the connection somewhere between the output
wires of the transformer (red wires) and the lamp. The
transformer has a difficult short circuit/overload protection
system. If it senses a small or a bad connection or
too many lamps (ie: too much wattage) it will result
problems. Check all the connections for tightness, corrosion,
arcing etc. If all are tight and clean and you do not
have above the maximum wattage of lamps on the system,
then seem at the lampholder itself. Check the contacts
in the lampholder where the lamps plug in are still
tight and do not show signs of carbon.
24. What is low voltage transformer?
A low voltage transformer is an electrical device that
transforms line voltage (generally 120 volts however
sometimes 277 volts) into 12 volts or 24 volts (low
voltage). It is at times made by winding two wires around
an iron core with one wire joined to the primary side
(line voltage side) and the second wire joined to the
secondary side (low voltage side). In the casing of
low voltage halogen or low voltage xenon lighting the
low voltage transformer has an input or primary voltage
of 120 volts (at times 277 volts) and an output or secondary
voltage of 12 volts or 24 volts.
25. What is DC low voltage transformer?
A DC low voltage transformer is a conventional electronic
low voltage transformer in which the output is changed
to direct current (DC) by means of an electronic device
called a rectifier. The DC output cuts radio frequency
interference (RFI) and virtually reduces any possible
voltage drop (the drop in voltage over a long circuit).
A DC low voltage transformer, while smaller and lighter
than a corresponding magnetic low voltage transformer,
is generally slightly larger than an AC electronic low
voltage transformer providing same power.
26. How does the use of an electronic low voltage
transformer be different from the use of a magnetic
low voltage transformer?
The output of an electronic low voltage transformer,
if it is a DC low voltage transformer, is high frequency
(20,000-50,000 Hertz). This indicates that there can
be a substantial voltage drop if the wires carrying
the high-frequency current are extensive, thin, or far
apart. Always follow these rules to keep away from a
large voltage drop. Use thick wires on the secondary/output
side. The thicker the wire, the less the voltage drop
you will practice. The shorter the distance between
transformer and lamp(s), the less the voltage drop you
will occur. Try to use a pair of secondary wires that
are twisted jointly. The closer the two output wires
are to each other, the lower the voltage drop you will
occur. When a low voltage transformer powers more than
one fixture or circuit, split the output of the low
voltage transformer right away into several separate
circuits rather than carrying all the power in one pair
of wires. The less power per circuit, the less the voltage
drop you will occur. That is, a circuit with a total
of 300 watts of load will have a bigger voltage drop
than a circuit with only 50 watts of load. A DC low
voltage transformer offers the only electronic answer
that overcomes this type of voltage drop issue.
27. How do standard transformers work?
Alternating Current (AC) flowing via an input coil (the
primary) creates an alternating magnetic flux in the
core. When another coil (the secondary) is placed on
the core near the primary coil, the magnetic flux will
travel via the core magnetically linking the secondary
to the primary coil. This magnetic coupling to the secondary
coil will make a voltage across the secondary coils
output terminals. The voltage current at the secondary
terminals will be determined by a ratio of the number
of secondary coil turns to the number of primary coil
turns. Coil turns are at times known to as windings.
A larger number of windings on the secondary coil than
the primary coil will end result in a step up in voltage
while less windings result in a step down in voltage.
28. What is Step up Transformer?
A step-up transformer is one whose secondary voltage
is above its primary voltage. This type of transformer
"steps up" the voltage applied to it. A transformer
converts alternating current (AC) from one voltage to
one more voltage. It has no moving parts and works on
a magnetic induction principle; it can be intended to
"step-up" or "step-down" voltage. So a step up transformer
raises the voltage and a step down transformer lessens
29. How does a step up transformer or the step
down transformer work?
A transformer is completed from two or more coils of
insulated wire wound around a core made of iron. When
voltage is applied to one coil (often called the primary
or input) it magnetizes the iron core, which induces
a voltage in the other coil, (often called the secondary
or output). The turns ratio of the two sets of windings
verifies the amount of voltage transformation.
An instance of this would be: 100 turns on the primary
and 50 turns on the secondary, a ratio of 2 to 1. The
Transformers can be considered nothing more than a voltage
With a step up transformer or step down transformer
the voltage ratio among primary and secondary will mirror
the "turns ratio" (excepting single phase smaller than
1 kva which have compensated secondaries). A realistic
application of this 2 to 1 turns ratio would be a 480
to 240 voltage step down. Note that if the input were
440 volts then the output would be 220 volts. The ratio
involving input and output voltage will stay constant.
Transformers should not be worked at voltages higher
than the nameplate rating, however may be operated at
lower voltages than rated. As of this it is possible
to do some non-standard applications using standard