If this is a simple mains transformer connected to a load of small
incandescent lamps, and not something more high tech ..eg using LEDs, or
able to produce different effects, then yes, it is very easy to fit some
kind of dimmer.
Here are some options:
Look at the voltage and current output of the transformer - it should be
written on it. Buy a power diode of double that voltage and current (eg
from Maplins. Wire that in series with the *output* of the transformer,
with a switch across it. When in circuit, the diode will dim the lights.
when the diode is shorted out, the lights will be on full.
If you want more steps, take the voltage and current details to an
electronics shop (such as Maplins) and get a multi-output power supply
capable of producing that voltage and current. Use that to replace the
transformer supplied with the lights. That will give you as many
brightness steps as there are suitable voltage output settings on the
If you want continuous variation of brightness, get a variable output
supply to replace the existing transformer. Or, fit a suitable rheostat
in series with the lamps. If you want to know what type to get, write
again with all the details from the transformer.
A mains dimmer on the input to the transformer *may* work. However, the
options above are prefereable. The current drawn by the net of lamps may
be too low to allow a normal mains dimmer to work reliably. Plus, it is
not normally best practice to connect a dimmer to a transformer.
What is best practice is to use a thing called a Variac. One of those,
with a suitable rating, and with the lighting trasnformer plugged into
it, will smoothly dim the lights from off to full on.
However, if the "transformer" also allows light effects to be produced,
then one or more rheostats in series with the lamps is probably the
easiest solution. Again if you write back with details from the
"transformer", it should be possible to suggest what rheostat(s) to buy.
Cost? Depends on what you go for. A diode plus switch = <1GBP. A Variac
<50GBP. Rheostat <10 GBP.
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