From a 5A 240V supply - I have two puck type 12V 10W lights in a cupboard and a round plastic switch. Each light has a 10V halogen bulb. I need to buy a new transformer - will any do? Is the transformer to be wired before or after the plastic switch or does it not matter? Can any size output wire be used or does it need to be relatively small to carry the current to the lamps? Thanks

  • Not enough information for any sort of definitive answer. You should get a transformer that meets the same specifications as the one you're replacing. The switch is usually on the line side, cutting power to the transformer itself, but it wouldn't surprise me to find someone's made a setup differently, putting the switch on the load (bulb) side of a transformer. Impossible to know what switch you have; if you put it on the line side, make sure it's rated for the voltage and current. Wires also need to be large enough, but for low-current applications like this one, that's not very large. – Peter Duniho Oct 22 '20 at 22:52
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    Are you really going to use halogens until the end of time? Do you have a hoard for when they stop being made? You're never, ever going to upgrade to LED? If the answer to any questions is "no" you really ought to seize the moment to switcheroo to LED. The market is mature now and the available products no longer suck (unless you insist on scraping the bottom of the price barrel). – Harper - Reinstate Monica Oct 22 '20 at 23:02

The switch should be prior to the transformer for several reasons. First this kills power to the transformer; if the lamps were only disconnected, even with no load, transformers waste power. This use of power usually increases with age and later it may start buzzing as the core delaminates. The power usage in this case is from eddy currents. Second, with the switch turning off power to the primary, if you need to work on it the circuit is dead, you did not say if this is a hard wired application or a plug in.

The size of the wire would be based on the current the lamps draw. Since it is about .83 amps each or 1.66 amps, if it is not a long distance 18awg wire would probably be fine, but if it is a long distance I would verify the voltage drop.

As Harper mentioned halogens, I would bet you could find replacement LED’s that will last longer and draw ~1/3 the current.

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