The Motley Fool Discussion Boards

Previous Page

Personal Finances / Building / Maintaining a Home


Subject:  Re: Weird landscape lighting issue Date:  10/8/2012  7:40 PM
Author:  DeltaOne81 Number:  122460 of 137312

[In very rare occasions some people use regular voltage lighting systems, which can be dangerous if not installed and maintained correctly. If you have little "black box" timers which "hum" when on, then you have a low voltage system. If not, you want an electrician.]

I do have that, although I'd call it a quiet ticking rather than a hum, but I assume that's the same idea?

Low voltage lighting is notoriously cheaply made. The bulbs don't last long, and when one goes the others receive more voltage and tend to burn out even faster. If you don't replace one, you quickly lose 2, then three, then all of them.

Replacing the bulbs seems to have fixed about 75% of my problem. The line near the house now works, and the one heading down the driveway works for the first four (up to and including the broken one), but not for the last 5. I replaced the bulb in the first two of those 5 also, turned the power back on, and quickly found out I was no longer doing any good.

Go to the home store and replace like with like. You can use any bulb, practically, but because the total voltage of the line needs to match the voltage being put out by the timer, if you use the wrong ones they will burn out sooner, or produce less light than optimum (but last longer).

The ones going down the driveway were more 'bulb like' and the one I had said 18W. The ones near the house were more LEDlike and weren't labeled, but they are pretty darn bright spotlights, so I bought the highest I could find in that shape (20W). They seems similarly bright to what I remember.

If the decorative housing is cracked, that's no big deal. If it's the housing around the base of the bulb that might be (although it's still low voltage, so it's not like you're going to electrocute somebody).

It's the decorative housing, I'm was just worried that it could have damaged the electronics if some water got in. But that's the one that was always working.

So now I'm left with task of trying to figure out why the last 5 driveway lights aren't working... I'll need to wait until I get daylight back tomorrow. I can go out with my little multi-meter and try to figure it where the electricity stops.

Since each is clipped on with those little "puncture teeth" as you call them, that means they're effectively in parallel, right? So if all 5 are out does that imply there is something wrong with the main line? Any hunches or tips on how to figure it out?
Copyright 1996-2018 trademark and the "Fool" logo is a trademark of The Motley Fool, Inc. Contact Us