Line Voltage vs. Low Voltage Recessed Lights

Old 01-19-06, 10:59 AM
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Line Voltage vs. Low Voltage Recessed Lights

I am planning on adding recessed lights to my living room. I am trying to decide between line voltage vs. low voltage. Are there any advantages to installing low voltage other than appearance (personal preference), brightness, etc. It appears the low voltage option is more expensive as well. I am assuming there is no difference in decreasing the load on the breaker as a 50 watt halogen bulb is the same as a 50 watt incandescent bulb. Thanks.
Old 01-20-06, 05:55 PM
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Examine installations of both in the homes of your friends or in lighting stores. If you're satisifed with the appearance of line-voltage fixtures, then install them. Line-voltage fixtures are much simpler (no transformer) and cheaper. But if you find that only low-voltage fixtures satisfy you, then go with it.

And yes, 50 watts is 50 watts. They cost the same to run, and put the same load on the circuit.
Old 01-22-06, 04:54 PM
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Low voltage is limited on how many fixtures and how far from the transformer they can be. At lower voltages, the voltage drop is a much bigger factor, often requiring larger cable and fewer lamps per transformer. Low voltage wires are easier to run with fewer rules for wiring than 120 volts. You cannot use just any dimmer to dim a transformer. You have to put the transformer(s) near a voltage source, where it cannot be enclosed (heat) and must be accessible. Low voltage is slightly less effecient. It loses power in the transformer and the low voltage cable.
Old 01-22-06, 05:40 PM
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If given the choice I would go with line voltage. There is less to go wrong. I have low voltage under cabinet lights and the transformers seem to last about 3 years.

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