On this page we will give a brief introduction to the different kinds of transformers that are used in our Monorail Systems. Some products may relate exclusively to Tiella and Tech Lighting Items.
Selecting A Transformer
The transformer is the key to a low-voltage system. It reduces standard line-voltage, 120V to 12 volts, which is safe to touch. A 12V transformer can power a run with 300 watts per power feed (600 watts for dual-feed) running up to thirty feet in each direction from the power feed.
The total output wattage of the transformer determines the total wattage of the heads or pendants that can be used on the system. For example if you are putting together a monorail lighting system, a 300 watt transformer can power up to six 50 watt heads/pendants (6 x 50 = 300).
There are several transformer options from which you choose. Knowing the advantages of each will help you to select the best transformer for your application. To see the transformers that we have on our website please visit the Tech Lighting Accessories page.
About Surface Transformers
Surface transformers mount to a standard 4″ junction box with round plaster ring (provided by electrician). The surface transformer for a monorail system must be placed directly above the system. The surface transformer for a Cable Easy Kit must be placed within two feet of the system.
Surface transformers have a specific minimum drop depending on the wattage of the transformer – this dimension must be considered in determining how far the run will drop from the ceiling. Longer drops can be achieved by adding a power extender. Tiella’s magnetic surface transformers come standard with an integrated debuzzing dimming coil to reduce noise when using a low-voltage magnetic dimmer.
About Remote Transformers:
The remote transformer can be anchored to the wall or ceiling with screws or toggle bolts and should be installed no more than twenty feet from the power feed. It is important that the electrician supply the correct gauge of THHN wire from the transformer to the junction box to prevent excessive voltage drop, which can cause fixtures to appear dim. See the chart below for proper wire gauge. For optimum performance, remote transformers should be loaded to at least 80% of capacity.
|12 Volt||5 ft.||6-15ft.||16-20ft.||21-40ft.||41-60ft.||61-90ft.|
|150 Watt||#12 GA||#8 GA||#6 GA||#4 GA||#2 GA||#1 GA|
|300 Watt||#10 GA||#6 GA||#4 GA||#1 GA||1/0||3/0|
Power taps: Magnetic remote transformers have multiple secondary power taps to compensate for variations in voltage. An input voltage exceeding 120 volts may result in more than 12 volts on the system, which can shorten lamp life. Follow the installation instructions packaged with the transformer to determine which power tap to use.
Voltages: Tiella transformers are standard for 120 volt input. Other input voltages are available upon request.
In order for you to understand what each transformer is made to do, we have made a comparasion so you can make the choice that is most suitable for your project.
Remote Transformers vs. Surface Transformers
Remote transformers are preferred for their clean look and range of power feed options. They are mounted in accessible locations, but out of view. Power is brought to the Monorail system through a power feed option, which is sold separately.
Surface transformers are decorative and will be visible in the room. They are best suited for applications where there is an existing junction box in a finished ceiling. The surface transformer has an integral power feed – there is no need for a separate power feed, however, the surface transformer must be place within the range of the monorail system.
Magnetic Transformers vs. Electronic Tranformers:
Magnetic transformers have historically been the choice of lighting professionals due to their reliability. We offer a wide range of output wattages for magnetic transformers. When dimming a magnetic transformer, it is important to use a low-voltage magnetic dimmer.
Electronic transformers are much smaller and lighter than their magnetic counterparts and have the advantage of being resettable at the wall switch in the event of a system short circuit. We offer a 12V electronic surface transformer with 150 watt output that is dimmable with a standard incandescent or a low-voltage electronic dimmer