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12V Halogen light transformers: Replace with Electronic?

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  • 12V Halogen light transformers: Replace with Electronic?

    Hi all, this is my first post.

    Can I replace a magnetic 120VAC-12VAC transformer with an electronic one?

    I have a dozen recessed lights in my basement, and half of them don't work, even when the bulbs are replaced. I also have literally a couple dozen replacement bulbs, courtesy of the previous owners of this house. Looking at the all work, let's just say it's 'amateurish'.

    I think the step-down transformers are no good. There's power to the primary, but none at the secondary. There's about 1400 Ohms at the primary, and 0 at the secondary, so I think the primary is burnt out.

    I can't find replacement transformers, unless they're electronic. Can I straight replace the old ones with new electronic ones?

    Thanks, happy new year!

  • #2
    Depends on if there is a dimmer. Typically they use different dimmers. Other than that you can swap them out.

    Personally I'd replace them all with standard cans and use LED lamps. I'm not sure if this is feasible in your case.

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    • #3
      Thanks! That sounds excellent. There's no dimmer, just the on/off switch. I found transformers for about $2.50 on ebay, I'll order a few and a couple extras today.

      The only access into the ceiling is the 4" hole at every light, so the less work to do, the better.
      Last edited by .je; 01-02-2015, 02:53 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Speedy Petey View Post
        Depends on if there is a dimmer. Typically they use different dimmers. Other than that you can swap them out.

        Personally I'd replace them all with standard cans and use LED lamps. I'm not sure if this is feasible in your case.
        One last question... do the electronic transformers get hot? I saw some in stores, and some had heat fins, some just plastic case.
        Can they sit on the drywall? Do they need to be mounted up in the air?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by .je View Post
          One last question... do the electronic transformers get hot? I saw some in stores, and some had heat fins, some just plastic case.
          Can they sit on the drywall? Do they need to be mounted up in the air?
          I think it depends on the transformer. If it's just a plastic case I can only assume it'd be fine sitting on drywall. Most electronic transformers I have seen don't get very hot. Magnetics do tend to.

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