Total Transformers Blog

Valuable information from Transformer & LED Driver experts.

  • Using WiFi with the Smartest LED Low Voltage Landscape Lighting Transformer!

    TLS100-UNV Smart Transformer TLS100-UNV Smart Transformer

    We continue our video series on our TLS100-UNV LED low voltage landscape lighting transformer and its amazing flexibility and ease of use. In this video, we demonstrate how simple it is to use WiFi or use your existing home automation system with our WiFi Compatible outdoor lighting transformer. There's no downloading and installing of any an app. Use the one you already have. You won't believe it until you see it. Yet another reason the is the smartest outdoor low voltage lighting transformer.

    TLS100-UNV Information Page

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    Tags: LED low voltage lighting, Smart Transformer, WiFi Transformer, Home Automation, Smart Lighting, Wireless

  • Using a Photocell & Timer with the Smartest LED Low Voltage Landscape Lighting Transformer Video

    TLS100-UNV Smart Transformer TLS100-UNV Smart Transformer

    We go into great details to show you how to use a heavy duty photocell and mechanical timer with the smartest LED low voltage landscape lighting transformer ever made ? Complete with voltage diagrams outlining the flow of electricity and how to quickly and easily troubleshoot issues if they should arise.

    TLS100-UNV Information Page

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    Tags: Smart Transformer, WiFi Transformer, LED transformer, Photocell, Timer

  • Testing the Smartest LED Low Voltage Landscape Lighting Transformer Video

    TLS100-UNV Smart Transformer TLS100-UNV Smart Transformer

    So you have your TLS100-UNV, the smartest low voltage landscape lighting transformer ever made, in our opinion, already to go but your lights are not coming on? In this video we walk you through how to test your transformer to easily and quickly get your yard magical :)

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    Tags: Landscape lighting, LED Lighting, Smartest Transformer

  • Unboxing the Smartest Landscape Lighting Transformer Video

    TLS100-UNV Smart Transformer TLS100-UNV Smart Transformer

    In our unboxing of the smartest LED low voltage landscape lighting transformer ever made video, in our opinion, we go over all the features our customers wanted in an outdoor landscape lighting transformer. Plus we include some helpful tips for getting the most out of the transformer and using it out in the field :)

    TLS100-UNV Information Page

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    Tags: LED low voltage lighting, Smart Transformer, WiFi Transformer

  • Meet the Smartest Landscape Lighting Transformer - Video

    TLS100-UNV Smart Transformer TLS100-UNV Smart Transformer

    It's the smartest because it meets the needs of so many of our customers. It's the smartest because it will work with any home automation system, It's the smartest because it's easy to use. It's the smartest because it tell's you if it's working. It's the smartest because it's simple and easy to use. It's the smartest because . . . well we could go on. Watch the video and see for yourself :)

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    Tags: Landscape Lighting Transformer, LED low voltage lighting, Simple Transformer, Smart Transformer

  • 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.

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    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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