Total Transformers Blog

Valuable information from Transformer & LED Driver experts.

  • Two Shipping Myths Big Business Doesn’t Want You to Know

    Two Shipping Myths Big Business Doesn’t Want You to Know

    Who doesn’t like saving money? How many times have you left a website because they didn’t offer free shipping? As a small family-operated online retail company, we get hundreds of questions a day. However, the most popular questions we get are about shipping prices. Almost everyone wants free shipping.  Today we are going to share the top two myths big business doesn’t want you to know.

    Myth 1: Free Shipping Always Saves Me Money!

    The other guy offers free shipping, why don’t you?  We get this question every day, and every day we tell our customers the same thing. “Shipping isn’t Free.” In all our years of business, we haven't found a single carrier who is willing to ship our orders for free. In fact, every week, our shipping carrier sends us that pesky little invoice requesting payment for service. 

    Shipping CostSo how does that other guy get away with calling it free shipping then? Here is what they don’t tell you. Let’s say you order a recessed trim for $21.41 with free shipping, and live in a state with 10% sales tax. The cost of the trim is $2.41 and the shipping cost is $19.00. However, you are getting free shipping so these two costs are combined into 1 line item. The 10% sales tax on the $21.41 trim is $2.14, making your total order $23.55. It is only $2.14.”I can’t get a cup of coffee for that much.” “I am getting free shipping, so I don’t mind giving away my money.”

    What if the other guy decided to charge you shipping?  Let’s find out. Back to our favorite $2.41 recessed trim. Because they charge you shipping, the $19.00 is a separate line item. This means the 10% sales tax is only being applied to the $2.41 trim, making the order total $21.62 instead of $23.55. You just saved $1.93!! Still not a cup of coffee, but savings is savings.

    Now that we know sometimes free shipping isn’t always the best deal. I bet you are wondering “Why does it cost $19.00 to ship that $2.41 trim.” You are not alone. Let’s see why.

    Myth 2: The Cost Of Shipping Depends On The Cost Of The Order.  

    How could something so inexpensive, cost so much to ship? This recessed lighting trim has to go into a box so it gets to you undamaged. No one wants to delay their DIY project due to a cracked or dented trim. To prevent this mishap, the warehouse puts bubble wrap, air cushions, or paper inside the box to prevent movement. Then they tape, and label the box. We want to focus on the shipping cost, not the handling costs, right?  We use UPS to ship this trim; however, all the common carriers are about the same. 

    How are shipping costs determined? All the popular shipping carriers have a shipping calculator on their website. This calculator asks for the delivery location, the dimensions of the box ( Length, Width, and Height), and the weight of the box. With that information, they will tell you how long and how much it cost depending on when you want the package. We use ground service as it is the least expensive. In our $2.41 trim example, we enter the following information: Miami, Florida, 11” x 8” x 8”, and 1 pound. Why Miami? We have been shipping a lot of boxes there right now, but you can go to UPS.com to test this for your location. 

    UPS Billable WeightIf the box weighs 1 lb, why is the billable weight 5 lbs? All shipping carriers combine the weight and the size of the box to determine the actual cost to transport your package from us to you. The industry calls this “dimensional weight.” After plugging all this information in the shipping calculator, the cost to ship this trim ground from New Mexico to Miami, Florida is $19.00.

    What if I put a $5,000 diamond ring into the same box, would it cost more? The delivery location is the same, the box dimensions are the same, and it weighs less than a pound. Using the handy shipping calculator, we find that it still costs $19.00 to ship UPS ground from New Mexico to Miami, Florida. 

    If shipping isn’t free, why do we offer free shipping? First, we know that is what people want. Many times that is the first thing consumers seek out when buying online  Second, we need to stay competitive, and offering “free shipping” on some of our products helps us do that.  We are a small family business and we have to try to compete.  If you run a small business you know how hard this can be.

    Same Box Size

    Why do we still charge shipping on some items, if people want free shipping? Well, we want to give our customers the opportunity to find the best deal for their project. Many times a customer can save money having shipping as a separate line item, especially when buying larger quantities or heavier items.

    We know you have choices out there, and hopefully, after reading this you are a more informed consumer that will choose Total Lighting Supply for your next lighting project.

     

     

    Posted in:

    Tags: Big Business, Dimensional Weight, DIY Projects, Family Operated Business, Free Shipping, Getting a Deal, Myths, Saving Money, Savvy Shopper, Shop Local, Small Business

  • Two Shipping Myths Big Business Doesn’t Want You to Know

    Two Shipping Myths Big Business Doesn’t Want You to Know

    Who doesn’t like saving money? How many times have you left a website because they didn’t offer free shipping? As a small family-operated online retail company, we get hundreds of questions a day. However, the most popular questions we get are about shipping prices. Almost everyone wants free shipping.  Today we are going to share the top two myths big business doesn’t want you to know.

    Myth 1: Free Shipping Always Saves Me Money!

    The other guy offers free shipping, why don’t you?  We get this question every day, and every day we tell our customers the same thing. “Shipping isn’t Free.” In all our years of business, we haven't found a single carrier who is willing to ship our orders for free. In fact, every week, our shipping carrier sends us that pesky little invoice requesting payment for service. 

    Shipping CostSo how does that other guy get away with calling it free shipping then? Here is what they don’t tell you. Let’s say you order a recessed trim for $21.41 with free shipping, and live in a state with 10% sales tax. The cost of the trim is $2.41 and the shipping cost is $19.00. However, you are getting free shipping so these two costs are combined into 1 line item. The 10% sales tax on the $21.41 trim is $2.14, making your total order $23.55. It is only $2.14.”I can’t get a cup of coffee for that much.” “I am getting free shipping, so I don’t mind giving away my money.”

    What if the other guy decided to charge you shipping?  Let’s find out. Back to our favorite $2.41 recessed trim. Because they charge you shipping, the $19.00 is a separate line item. This means the 10% sales tax is only being applied to the $2.41 trim, making the order total $21.62 instead of $23.55. You just saved $1.93!! Still not a cup of coffee, but savings is savings.

    Now that we know sometimes free shipping isn’t always the best deal. I bet you are wondering “Why does it cost $19.00 to ship that $2.41 trim.” You are not alone. Let’s see why.

    Myth 2: The Cost Of Shipping Depends On The Cost Of The Order.  

    How could something so inexpensive, cost so much to ship? This recessed lighting trim has to go into a box so it gets to you undamaged. No one wants to delay their DIY project due to a cracked or dented trim. To prevent this mishap, the warehouse puts bubble wrap, air cushions, or paper inside the box to prevent movement. Then they tape, and label the box. We want to focus on the shipping cost, not the handling costs, right?  We use UPS to ship this trim; however, all the common carriers are about the same. 

    How are shipping costs determined? All the popular shipping carriers have a shipping calculator on their website. This calculator asks for the delivery location, the dimensions of the box ( Length, Width, and Height), and the weight of the box. With that information, they will tell you how long and how much it cost depending on when you want the package. We use ground service as it is the least expensive. In our $2.41 trim example, we enter the following information: Miami, Florida, 11” x 8” x 8”, and 1 pound. Why Miami? We have been shipping a lot of boxes there right now, but you can go to UPS.com to test this for your location. 

    UPS Billable WeightIf the box weighs 1 lb, why is the billable weight 5 lbs? All shipping carriers combine the weight and the size of the box to determine the actual cost to transport your package from us to you. The industry calls this “dimensional weight.” After plugging all this information in the shipping calculator, the cost to ship this trim ground from New Mexico to Miami, Florida is $19.00.

    What if I put a $5,000 diamond ring into the same box, would it cost more? The delivery location is the same, the box dimensions are the same, and it weighs less than a pound. Using the handy shipping calculator, we find that it still costs $19.00 to ship UPS ground from New Mexico to Miami, Florida. 

    If shipping isn’t free, why do we offer free shipping? First, we know that is what people want. Many times that is the first thing consumers seek out when buying online  Second, we need to stay competitive, and offering “free shipping” on some of our products helps us do that.  We are a small family business and we have to try to compete.  If you run a small business you know how hard this can be.

    Same Box Size

    Why do we still charge shipping on some items, if people want free shipping? Well, we want to give our customers the opportunity to find the best deal for their project. Many times a customer can save money having shipping as a separate line item, especially when buying larger quantities or heavier items.

    We know you have choices out there, and hopefully, after reading this you are a more informed consumer that will choose Total Lighting Supply for your next lighting project.

     

     

    Posted in:

    Tags: Big Business, Dimensional Weight, DIY Projects, Family Operated Business, Free Shipping, Getting a Deal, Myths, Saving Money, Savvy Shopper, Shop Local, Small Business

  • How Coronavirus COVID-19 is disrupting the Lighting Product Supply Chain

    VirusMany of our customers have asked how the Coronavirus / COVID-19 virus is affecting our lighting supply chain.

    They are concerned about stock running out on many of our lighting products such as track lighting, recessed lighting, LED T8 retrofit conversion lighting, LED low voltage outdoor landscape lighting and lighting parts, accessories and LED light bulbs that are almost all manufactured in China. They have large projects underway and the lighting must be installed at a specific point in time or the project is put on hold as the finish work can not be completed without it in place.

    In November, our primary factory told us to order for the annual Chinese New Year closure and  include one more month after, to ensure that the factory can have time to gear up after the holiday season. We did so and increased our order 30% just to be safe. This all took place before the Coronavirus took center stage in China and world. Then the virus hit and the factory remained closed and did not restart production.

    Container Ship SunsetWe purchased enough product to cover us until the end of March. 

    We expected that the factory would be back to work on a limited basis by the first week of February and we would have new product on the water (i.e. in a container ship heading our way to the United States) by the middle of the month. Unfortunately, this did not happen. We are now at the second week of March and there is very limited product in production and the shipping and delivery dates are still not guaranteed. We have some products expected by the end of March and the rest will arrive sometime later. You will see on our website that some items that are out of stock do not have an expected delivery date as they are not in production yet.

    We have had large delays before, the last big delay was back during the last dock worker union port strike in Los Angeles. It was very disruptive and it went on much longer than expected.

    Warehouse Full ShelvesIf you have a project that has a construction time-line, please contact us so we can ensure you have product in hand or on the move to avoid costly delays and pricey air shipping expenses.

    We do our best to help you from going over budget and get your project delivered on or before it is needed.  All of our orders ship complete unless you tell us to do otherwise. Incomplete shipping can create greater confusion, frustration and disruption that you simply don’t need added to your project. We want to avoid this at all costs.

    Communication is the most important factor in guaranteeing success.  Feel free to contact us. We are here to help.

    Shipping ContainersFor now, check your project schedule, wash your hands with soap and shut off CNN. We like websites like John Hopkins University, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) website for real facts on the virus, not “news” reporters running around like chicken little.

    Thank you for reading our update and feel free to contact us with questions and project schedules. Again, we are here to help :)

     

     

    Posted in: .

  • What you need to know about our LED EMCOD MLE Transformers / Drivers

    EMCOD MLE Tape Strip Light TransformerWe have been supplying transformers and drivers for LED tape and strip lights to professionals for years. The old standby has been the popular magnetic transformer in AC and DC in both 12volt and 24volt. We will say that the DC has been the most common about two to one. Professionals have been using these for years with great success and when using a magnetic approved dimmer have achieved some impressive results. We plan to keep stocking the magnetic for years.

    Now as technology changes the LED strip tape light manufacturers have been upping their game. And so have we. The new LED strip and tape light products are coming out with higher performance and the expected dimming on these must be smooth and complete, offering the best dimming curve possible. We have the transformer driver to meet these demands and we would love to work with you on your projects.

    Check out our full offering as we have a number of approved and tested dimmers from a number of manufactures that work perfect.

    Warm White LED Tape LightHere is what you need to know today:

    • Constant voltage output
    • Full range of available wattages
    • Compatible with Forward phase, Reverse phase, Triac, MLV, ELV Dimmers
    • Cooling by free air convection
    • Flicker-free dimming
    • Dry and damp location
    • cULus Listed, Class 2 on 96W per circuit and below
    • Power Factor of 0.95
    • Driver dims from 1%-100% on compatible controls.
      Tested Compatibel Dimmers
      Forward Phase
      • Lutron Skylark® C.L: SCL-153PR-WH**
      • Lutron Diva® C.L: DVCL-153PR-WH**
      • Lutron Diva® C.L: DVWCL-153PH-LA**
      • Lutron Skylark® Contour C.L: CTCL-153PDH-LA**
      • Lutron Toggler CL®: TGCL-153PR-WH**
      • Lutron Toggler CL®: TGCL-153PH-WH**
      • Lutron Skylark® Contour C.L: CT-600PR-IV
      • Lutron Skylark® Contour C.L: CT-600PR-WH
      • Red LED Tape LightLutron Diva®: DV-600PR-BL
      • Lutron Diva®: DV-600PR-WH
      • Lutron Toggler®: TG-600PR-LA
      • Lutron Toggler®: TG-600PR-IV
      • Lutron Toggler®: TG-600PR-WH
      • Lutron Toggler®: TG-10PR-WH
      • Lutron Skylark®: S-600PR-WH
      • Lutron Maestro®: MRF2-6ND-120-AL
      • Lutron Nova T*®: NTLV-600-277-WH
      • Lutron Nova T*®: NTF-10-277
      • Leviton True Touch™ : TTI06-1LZ
      • Leviton : 6602
      Reverse Phase
      • Lutron Maestro®: MSCELV-600M
      • Lutron Maestro®: MEF2-6ELV-WH
      • Leviton Renoir™ II: AWSMT-EAW
      • Leviton Renoir™ II: AWSMT-EAW (277V)
    • Driver is designed for use with forward phase, leading edge, MLV, Triac, reverse phase, trailing edge and ELV Dimmers.

    The tape light manufacturers rarely collaborate with anyone on their new product development so this transformer group was designed to work with older LED tape light styles and 99% of all the new LED High output tape light products. We always recommend to our professional Installers to bench test anytime a LED Tape product changes to insure it will work with the transformer and dimmer before you install in the clients home. This will insure compatibility and eliminate "call-backs". Always install with approved methods and NEC standards to avoid non-passive failure.

    EMCOD MLE led drivers transformersWe are thrilled with the quality and reliability of these EMCOD transformers and drivers. The constant voltage output flicker rate of the MLE series is 400Hz-500Hz, providing a much better quality light output compared to the older magnetic LED hybrid driver that provides a flicker rate of about 50Hz-to 100Hz. The improved dimming quality and wide range of dimming compatibility solves a multitude of issues with older dimmable driver technology currently on the market. The housing of the MLE was designed to be as compact and slim as possible without hindering the ease of installation. See the specifications on this product as well as the factory wiring page included below with each of our drivers.

    The MLE transformer is the go-to transformer for our professionals that insist on the best product that gets the job done without issues and drama.
    Affordable, stable, reliable and repeatable makes this our #1 choice for LED tape and strip light transformers.

    Posted in:

    Tags: LED Drivers, LED Tape and Strip Transformer, Tape Light, Strip Light

  • Top 10 Features of our 100watt Semi-Pro LED Outdoor Landscape Lighting Transformer

    Our semi-Professional outdoor landscape lighting LED transformer is packed with quality components and features making it stand out from the rest. If you're looking for an outdoor low voltage transformer that's built to last and withstand the outdoors like a champ this one is for you. Watch our video for a more in depth review :)

    Purchase our 100watt outdoor landscape LED Transformer here.

    Need an outdoor lighting kit? Here you go

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    Posted in: .

  • EMT Outdoor landscape Multi-Tap LED Lighting Transformer Overview & Tips

    The LED EMT Multi-Tap Transformers video provides a general overview of this professional grade outdoor transformer that is assembled and supported in the USA, including how to use the optional photo control and timer and the benefits of the multi-tap 12volt, 13volt, 14volt & 15volt AC output terminal blocks. Designed for simultaneous runs at varying distances, this heavy duty transformer brings flexibility in outdoor landscape LED lighting for virtually any outdoor low voltage lighting application!

    Posted in:

    Tags: video, Overview, EMT, Multi-Tap, LED Lighting, Tips

  • Buying cheap LED bulbs doesn't always pay off - Video


    Don't make the same mistake as one of our customers. He bought on price from a popular online retailer that sold him the wrong LED MR16 lamps for his low voltage track lights. Was it the retailers fault? Not necessarily but they offered little to no help. The customer simply was not educated on what to purchase. Had he purchased the light bulbs with his track lighting purchase his costly mistake could have been avoided. Please, if you are buying lighting products purchase them from a lighting company that knows the products and can answer your questions. It will save you money, time and grief!

    Posted in: .

  • Just saying Hello!

    LED TransformersWe have not posted in a while and just wanted to say Hello!

    We currently have AC, DC magnetic and electronic transformers for indoor or outdoor installation. In a wide selection of housings, wattages and voltages, there is one to meet many low voltage electrical needs!

    Need to 24volts for LED? We have plenty to choose from! 12volts for outdoor lights? We have that too! Replacing a bad transformer in your light fixture? We have 12volt and 24volt electronic transformers!

    Check us out and see what we offer!

     

    Posted in:

    Tags: led, DC, AC, Electronic, Magnetic, indoor, outdoor

  • Heading to Washington DC - Here's why!

    US Capital BuildingTechnology allows smaller businesses like Total Lighting Supply here in Rio Rancho New Mexico to reach customers across the nation and the globe and expand their business. Changes to online trading can be a game-changer for their long-term success and sustainability.

    That’s why we are sending one of our own to Washington D.C. on April 29 and 30 2014 for eBay Inc.’s 9th annual U.S. of eBay Advocacy Day. Our time will be spent encouraging lawmakers to support policies that promote small business growth and success. During the trip to Washington we will share with lawmakers the proposed way Internet sales tax legislation will create a huge tax burden for small business owners selling their products online.

    The Marketplace Fairness Act would force Total Lighting Supply and thousands of businesses like ours to collect sales tax from our customers for any state to which we sell, which would mean collecting and remitting taxes for up to 9,600 tax jurisdictions nationwide. That's a lot of paper work! Total Lighting Supply and eBay are advocating for greater equity for small online businesses like ours so that we can continue to grow and contribute to our local New Mexico economy.

    Additionally we will be discussing the importance of eliminating trading barriers for small and medium-sized enterprises.

    Thank you for reading :)

    Have a blessed day!
    Total Lighting Supply

    Posted in:

    Tags: DC, Government, Internet, Taxes

  • Defective electronic transformer? Here's a simple solution to save time and money

    Think you may have a defective electronic transformer? Getting no voltage on your meter? Lights won't come one? Watch the video below and it could save you time and money.

    Posted in:

    Tags: electronic transformer, defective, bad, broken, fix, solution

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