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Low Voltage Light Transformers - Magnetic or Electronic?

Posted by akrobin (My Page) on
Thu, Oct 23, 08 at 19:30

Hello again. I'm the one whose closet lights are making her crazy (see Closet Lights - Fluorescent, Halogen or LED??). Turns out I have low voltage rail light issues too.

My husband and I recently purchase a 1960's Panabode house in semi-rural Alaska. Panabode's are made of 2" x 4" cedar logs...they look like Lincoln logs. It's pretty cool, the interior walls are made of the cedar logs and the ceiling is also cedar, with cathedral ceilings that are about 12 feet high at center and 7.5 at the wall. Our living/dining room is long, something like 30' x 16', with a huge beam bisecting the length of the room and an equally impressive beam splitting each half of the room in half again.

I want to run 16 feet of rail lights along both the outside beams to light up the living room area and spotlight our art. We've settled on halogens as having the smallest fixtures and providing good light to showcase art. My question is regarding the transformer. Which is better, electronic or magnetic? I like the cost of eletronic, but worry about RFI as this is the room where we will have our television, radio and computers. Also, do I need to worry about a voltage drop along 16 feet of rail? We'll be using a 300W surface mounted transformer and plan to use 35 or 50W lamps.

I'm not trying to cheap out and will definitely spring for the magnetic transformers if that is what we really need. My husband, the computer geek, will not be happy if we have intference problems from the transformer. On the other hand, I'd hate to spend the money if I don't have to.

That's in for now...I still need to buy a security light for the back yard so you may be hearing from me again.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Low Voltage Light Transformers - Magnetic or Electronic?

Actually, good quality electronic are generally more expensive than magnetic. Also, your voltage drop worry is a good one.

If you can actually hide a magnetic transformer, I'd suggest using that style. It's what I use at home. Overall (granted, by small percentage), they'll be more reliable. Of course, all quality being equal as well.

RE: Low Voltage Light Transformers - Magnetic or Electronic?

We're getting our system from LBL which I guess is a good one...they're certainly expensive enough.

I won't be able to hide anything as our electrian has told me that the transformer will have to go on the ceiling. Not sure why. In any case, I think I'll go with the magnetic and hope for the best.

Thanks for your help!

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