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Variable test load (up to 80 watts)?

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Hi there, I'm doing a bit of testing of various lighting transformers, some of which need a minimum load to work, and some have an overload cut-out.  What would be ideal is if I had a variable load thingy, let's say feeding 12V (AC or DV) in, and a big twiddly knob that let me adjust the load from nothing up to to 80W.  Does such a thing exist off the shelf, or can I construct one?  What's in them?  Masses of high-wattage ceramic resistors?  Cheers, any advice appreciated!

Is something like this the only option?  Prefer something in a box with banana sockets, but can always construct that.

If you do something crazy, like search for "electronic load", you might, and I might be nuts for suggesting this, but you just might find some really good ideas and resources for the right way to procure, use, or even make a variable test load.

'Rheostat' is a common name for the thingy with the big twiddly knob.  :)  Ohmite is one of the big brand names in the field.  If you search ebay for 'ohmite rheostat' you'll find literally hundreds with various ohm and watt ratings.  But you will probably find that the ceramic tapped resistors are a much more economical solution.  I have both types and I've found that they both are useful.


Skimask, I think a bigass resistor is a perfectly good solution here, especially since AC was mentioned. There aren't many AC electronic loads...


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