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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 129288  
Subject: Re: Weird landscape lighting issue Date: 10/8/2012 8:53 AM
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Just tonight I notice that on both sets only one light is lit (that doesn't mean it started tonight of course).

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.

I'm going to assume you haven't done any inspection, but there are different bulbs for different systems, although almost all of them are the "push in" "pull out" variety. Just expose the bulb, grasp it with your fingers, pull it out. Somewhere down at the bottom will be (in very tiny print) a model number, which will tell you what the replacement bulb should be. Failing that, there may be a small ball of colored glass inside thye bulb which indicates the bulb wattage. (Orange, purple, blue, red, etc.)

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).

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).

If you have to replace a fixture, good luck in finding a match. If you can, the wiring it usually placed just a couple inches below the surface in one continuous string from timer to the end, and "snap on" plugs with little teeth "puncture" the wire to bring current to each fixture. Dig up, figure out how the "snap on plug" snaps on, remove (you can bandage it with black electrical tape if you want, but that's overkill), snap on your replacement fixture, done.

Again, the number of lights and the wattage of the bulbs are all controlled by the timer/driver. Because it's low power DC it isn't the same as the circuits in your house where you can just add any bulb to any circuit without much thought.

[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.]
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