The transition from LED and halogen bulbs is straightforward at first, but as you start replacing your light fixtures, you may have a few questions that come up. Namely, whether or not you have to make a complete transition now (which can be costly and time-consuming) or move slowly (just replacing one bulb at a time). One of the critical factors to this decision might be whether or not you can mix LED and halogen lights on the same landscape transformer.
You can mix LED and halogen landscape lights, but you might run into some lights becoming brighter and some becoming darker. LED and halogen lights use different wattages, so connecting them to the same transformer will cause all of them to perform at the same wattage.
If you can avoid mixing the two and go entirely LED, you should. However, it’s not the end all be all for your transformer, though you should always be as careful as possible with your electricity.
Below, we’ll discuss further the implications of mixing the two different light types on one transformer.
Can You Put LED and Halogen Landscape Lights on the Same Transformer?
Anything having to do with your electricity can be a little frightening.
We’ve all heard horror stories of people who did DIY lighting jobs, got a nasty shock, or even worse, started a house fire.
The transformer itself can also be an intimidating piece of equipment, and approaching with caution is a good instinct.
You can put LED and halogen landscape lights on the same transformer without fear of any safety concerns. However, the transformer will cause your lights to run at the same wattage, which may lead to uneven brightness across your LED and halogen lights.
Let’s take a closer look at what happens when you put LED and halogen lights on the same transformer.
Mixing LED and Halogen Landscape Lights on One Transformer
If you’re making the switch from halogen to LED lightbulbs, the process can be a little daunting.
Should you do them all at once as you go through and change your lights? Or can you move a little more slowly, replacing one light at a time and mixing halogen and LED lights in the meantime?
Your transformer works just the same whether it’s an LED or halogen bobble being lit. However, the voltage and wattage come into play as you replace your bulbs.
When it comes to mixing and matching lights, what matters most is your bulbs.
Bulbs have different voltages and wattages, which is just to say they consume energy differently.
If you have a transformer that can only handle a certain amount of wattage or voltage, then increasing either unit will make it difficult for the transformer to work.
Going from LED to halogen shouldn’t be an issue, as LED is more energy-efficient and uses less power.
This could be an issue if you’re switching the other way around.
As we mentioned, your transformer will work just the same if you mix LED and halogen lights on the same unit.
This in itself, though, may be a reason not to do it.
If you switch to LED bulbs to conserve energy and save electricity, you won’t be making much of an impact with halogen lights still in.
Your transformer will still have to exert the same amount of energy to power the ten, five, or even one halogen bulb.
How Your Transformer Works
Transformers are landscaping tools that help your large-scale voltage “transform” into smaller voltages for outside lights.
Your house runs on a high voltage because there are things inside that need it.
From your dishwasher to your fridge to the lights in every room, there’s a lot of electricity inside your home.
Outside of your home is a little different. You may have even a hundred landscape lights, but they’re usually only on for half of the day and are dimmer than your indoor lights.
For this reason, you’ll want to power them with something of a lower voltage than what powers the lights inside your home.
This is where transformers come in. Typically, you’ll just hook it up to an outdoor outlet, and it’ll do its thing.
This video from Lowe’s does a great job of explaining how to install a transformer, what it does for your home, and also gives some info on transformers concerning your landscaping:
Your transformer essentially helps the significant energy voltage of your interior transform into something smaller, more appropriate, and more manageable for your landscape lights.
The Difference Between LED and Halogen Landscape Lights
Sure, LED lights are more energy-efficient and preferable to halogen lights, but what does that even mean? How are they more energy efficient? And why should you be switching your halogen bulbs for LEDs in the first place?
LED lights are greener than halogen lights.
LED light bulbs last longer, use less energy, and work as efficiently as other light bulbs. The lower energy use will save you money in the long run as you switch your halogen lights to LEDs.
Some countries and states are phasing out your classic bulbs, called incandescent bulbs.
They use more energy to do the same job and burn out much quicker than LED light bulbs, making them less ideal for green initiatives.
Halogen light bulbs are more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs but are still not as efficient as LEDs.
You can mix LED and halogen landscape lights, but it’s important to remember that your transformer will still use more energy if it has to power any halogen bulbs.
Also, you may have some uneven lighting as your transformer tries to power two different kinds of lights.
Moving toward a greener home is a process that requires baby steps.
If it makes sense for you to tackle this project one light at a time, don’t let these potential issues stop you.
Eventually, you’ll have a full set of LED landscape lights.