How to Troubleshoot Issues with Low Voltage Lighting Systems

How to Troubleshoot Issues with Low Voltage Lighting Systems


Low voltage lighting systems provide an attractive and energy efficient way to illuminate outdoor areas like patios, walkways, and gardens. However, like any electrical system, they can develop issues that prevent them from working properly. Troubleshooting problems with low voltage lighting allows you to get your lights back up and running without the hassle and expense of calling an electrician. In this guide, I'll walk you through the common issues that arise with low voltage lighting and how to systematically diagnose and resolve them.

Checking Connections and Wires

The first step when troubleshooting low voltage lighting is to inspect all of the connections and wires. Simple loose connections or damaged wires can prevent the entire system from functioning and are easy to overlook.

Testing the Transformer

If you've checked all of the connections and wiring, the next step is to test the low voltage transformer. This converts 120V household current into 12V or 24V low voltage power. Use a multimeter to test transformer output.

Checking Light Fixtures

If the transformer is operational but lights still won't turn on, the problem may be with the individual light fixtures.

Checking the Timer and Dimmer

For systems with a timer or dimmer control, issues with these components can also cause outages:

Contacting an Electrician

If you've systematically checked all components and connections but can't determine the cause of the problem, it's best to contact a licensed electrician. Troubleshooting and repairing low voltage lighting requires working with live electrical connections, which can be extremely hazardous. For your safety, some issues are best left to the professionals.


With low voltage outdoor lighting, most problems stem from fairly simple causes like loose connections, transformer failure, or fixture issues. By methodically inspecting connections, wires, transformers, and lights, you can troubleshoot and repair many lighting problems without professional help. But for more complex electrical issues or those involving hazardous live wiring, don't hesitate to call a licensed electrician.