Why Do I Need a Transformer for my Lighting Project

The power coming from your wall outlets is AC, or Alternating Current, at 120V. If you are electrocuted by 120V AC current, it can kill you. As LED lighting is low voltage, you cannot just plug your LED lights into any wall outlet. You need an AC to DC Transformer to make your lighting installation safe and reduce the chances of a fire breaking out.

LED Transformers and LED Drivers are low voltage DC, or Direct Current, transformers that take the 120V AC from your wall outlets and step it down to a manageable 12V or other voltage and regulates it so it is safer for your lighting needs. The transformer keeps you from being electrocuted. A power zap from a 12V DC transformer will shock you but most likely won’t kill you.

LED DC Transformers only supply electricity 20 feet in any direction away from itself. Therefore, when configuring your kitchen, plan to have your transformer placed in the middle of your lighting configuration. It then supplies power 20 feet in any direction. Every 20 feet, you need another transformer or power supply to push the current another 20 feet.

Note: LED Transformers and LED Drivers are both power supplies that transform electricity from 120V to 12V. It really depends on the manufacturer as to which name they use. Some manufactures will power their lights with LED transformers and others will power their lights with LED drivers. It is recommended that you use the same manufacturer for your lights and power supplies.


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