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DIM lights towards end of wire

I have a Malibu ML300RTW Power Pack. I have 260 Watts of lights using 12 Gauge wire. There are about 14 lights on the wire. I have about 88 yards of wire. The last 4-5 lights appear to be real dim. What is my issue?

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I have a similar issue with my low voltage outdoor lights. However, my power supply is large enough to accomodate all the lights. I tested the voltage at the supply and it was fine. Then I tested it at the end of my 250 foot run of wire and it was less than 12 volts. I was also using 12 gauge wire. The solution, unfortunately, is to use either 10 or 8 gauge wire which is much more expensive. Instead, I added another wire to the power supply and moved some of my lights. It helped a little but did not solve the actual issue.

Posted on Oct 16, 2012

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You need a bigger supply. 14 lights at 20w each running in parallel is 280w.
if you are running anything bigger than that, then you need a supply at less 360w or better.

Posted on May 29, 2009

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I have the ML300RTW can I use 16 guage wire with this unit ? I will be having [4] four lights . Thank You

16 gauge wire is fine.
Check if wire gets hot.
Make sure bulb wattage matches 300Watt output of transformer.
If you have less than 300Watts, then bulbs will burn out faster and transformer will burn out.
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I have a ML300RTW Malibu transformer (S/N ML300RTW) that I bought 7/31/08. I'm pulling 170 watts from that transformer. I purchased new trippers from Northern Lights Electrical Supply. I have replaced...

You can buy cheap plug-in timer, set power pack to override and then plug power pack into cheap timer.
Otherwise there are no repair parts for power packs other than on-off trippers.
Power packs come with 5 year limited warranty, so you are within warranty period. Good job saving the date of purchase, you outshine with that detail.

For more information on Intermatic/Malibu power packs showing troubleshoot steps, replacement trippers, useful links, warranties and tips:

Add a comment with your experience so others with same-similar problem can benefit.

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I have a Malibu ML300RTW transformer with a 50 ft. length of 16 guage cable supporting (4) 20w lights. Can I splice on another 100' of cable and add 4 more 20w lights or is there a cable length limitation?

Usually 50 - 75 ft. is as far as you want to go, especially with 16 gauge wire. What happens is the lights get dimmer as the length of the run increases. If you don't mind the lights getting noticeably dimmer, go ahead and add the other 4 lights. Using a heavier (12 gauge) wire will help a lot. You'll want the 12 ga. to start at the transformer, preferably running the whole length. Also, using a smaller watt bulb will help.

If you have a 120 volt outlet near the approximate middle of the new (total 150 ft.) run, you could relocate the transformer to that location and have two 75 ft. runs in 2 directions.

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300W transformer shuts off after 1-3 hrs (231w: OK w 181 watts)

The following might apply to your situation, or not.
Malibu recommends matching wattage of bulbs to wattage of power pack.
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Based on other folks questions to fixya, this condition can burn out the power pack.
Has your power pack overheated and been damaged?
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For more information on Intermatic/Malibu power packs showing troubleshoot steps, replacement trippers, useful links, warranties and tips:

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I just purchased some spotlights to add to my already installed malibu landscaping lights. I upgraded my transformer to 300 watts since the total wattage used comes out to 220. The lights on the end of...

Yes, using a larger wire will help, as will using more than one run. If you want too, you can leave the 16 gauge wire in place, then run the new 12 gauge wire and transfer most of the lights to the new run.

The fewer lights on a run, the less dimming will occur, so put more lights on the 12 gauge run.

Also, the longer the run, the more dimming will occur.
You may want to reconsider the location of the transformer, if possible. In your case, it would be better to locate the transformer in the middle of the current run, and just split the run in half to make a run in each direction. Of course, that depends if you have a 120 volt outlet available in that area.

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For more information on Intermatic/Malibu power packs showing troubleshoot steps, replacement trippers, useful links, warranties and tips:

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Dim lites at end

You have a bad case of 'voltage drop my friend. Your transformer is probably undersized. Add up your bulbs and you have 234 watts. You're probably using a 200 watt x-former, right? Either lower the bulbs wattage to 11 watts, or get a 300 or 400 watt x-former.

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