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# Are low voltage recessed lights cheaper to operate?

## Are low voltage recessed lights cheaper to operate?

#1
04-24-07, 09:35 AM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 342
Are low voltage recessed lights cheaper to operate?

If you are running 12v recessed lights do they use less electricity than line voltage of the same wattage?

Thanks..

#2
04-24-07, 10:07 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,246
A watt is a watt. That means that a 100 watt bulb will use 100 watts of electricity.

However, the transformer will lose power through heat as it converts line voltage to low voltage.

#3
04-24-07, 10:29 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 342
Now that they have hallogen bulbs available for recessed lighting, what is the point of low voltage? I also bought these small 3" lights with MR bulbs that look just like the low voltage type but are line voltage so size is not a concern.

I'm glad, I just installed recessed lights in my kitchen and I remember reading someone saying that low voltage take less electricity to operate. How does the amperage work in with the equation? I know when I'm working on my 12V car the amps are much higher than 120V of my house.

#4
04-26-07, 04:39 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,694
A bulb with a given wattage would draw 10 times the amps at 12V than the same wattage bulb at 120V would draw.

For instance, a 60W bulb at 12V would draw 5A on the 12V circuit, a little more that .5A on the 120V side of the trasnformer (accounting for the transformer losses).

A 60W bulb at 120V would draw .5A directly.

A low voltage lighting system allows some forgiveness in fixture design and isntallation, than a direct 120V powered fixture cannot due to electrical safete 120V devices require, at the expense of having a trasnformer, and relatively heavier wiring between the transformer and lights, and the possible lossof dimming.