How to Minimizing Voltage Drop in Outdoor Landscape Light?

        Knowing how a low-voltage outdoor landscape lighting system operates can give insight on how to take care of or prevent issues from occurring. This can help ensure that a low-voltage outdoor landscape lighting system operates at optimal levels. 

        One issue to look out for is a voltage drop. This blog will explain what a voltage drop is, why it is an issue for low-voltage outdoor landscape lighting systems, and some ways to minimize voltage drop.


What is a Voltage Drop?


        A voltage drop is when the amount of voltage decreases as electricity runs through a wire. Longer wire runs or a higher electrical current can result in bigger voltage drops. In other words, the fixtures further down the line in a low-voltage outdoor landscape lighting system do not get the same voltage as the first few fixtures in the system. 

        A voltage drop is a common issue in low-voltage outdoor landscape lighting systems, but there are ways to minimize it.


Why is a Voltage Drop an Issue?


        One of the biggest issues of a voltage drop, is that there isn’t a uniform amount of voltage running to all of the light fixtures. Lights positioned farther away from the transformer can be dimmer than those closer to it. Regulating the voltage ensures that all lights get the proper voltage.

        But it’s not just about dimmer lights. Incorrect voltage levels going to the outdoor lights can lead to an increase in wear and tear of the light fixtures. Ensuring that the outdoor light fixtures receive the proper voltage levels can help maintain their functionality and longevity.

        Many factors can affect voltage drop such as the length of the wire run, wattage, spacing of the light fixtures, and transformer output. Keep in mind the following tips to minimize voltage drops and their effects on low-voltage outdoor landscape lighting systems.


Minimizing Voltage Drop


        Here are six tips to minimize voltage drop when installing a low-voltage outdoor landscape lighting system:

  • Plan and Design for it: Prepare for voltage drops by building in some safeguards while planning and designing a low-voltage outdoor landscape lighting system. For example, select the proper size cable based on total wattage load and length of cable run.
  • Refer to Manufacturer’s Specifications: The manufacturer of the outdoor light fixtures will give the recommended voltage to ensure the light fixtures are durable and functioning properly.
  • Use multi-tap transformers: They compensate for voltage drop by providing several higher voltage taps.
  • Test using a voltmeter: Use a voltmeter to ensure the lights along the wire run are receiving the proper voltage.
  • Count the Lights: Be careful to not overload a wire run with too many lights. Break up a large amount of lights into smaller bunches thereby shortening wire runs and minimizing voltage drop.
  • Wiring Method: Choose the best wiring method for the outdoor space. It will not only minimize voltage drop, but can also decrease laborand the amount of wire used, thus saving time and money. A future blog post will detail the different wiring methods in outdoor landscape lighting that can help minimize a voltage drop.


Shop Low-Voltage Outdoor Landscape Lighting at LightCh8in


        Understanding what a voltage drop is and taking steps to minimize voltage drops will help the performance and longevity of a low-voltage outdoor landscape lighting system.

        At LightCh8in, we have everything you need to install a top-quality low-voltage outdoor landscape lighting system. Our extensive inventory includes brass and aluminum light fixtures, LEDs, cable, and more. Log in to your account or sign up for an account now to get started!