12 Volts Question


Old 10-28-18, 04:27 PM
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12 Volts Question

My 50's mid-century modern home has a 12 volt lighting system. I want to put a ceiling fan with a light in the bedroom. Wondering if typical residential ceiling fans will work? If not, what might my options be? Thank you.
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Old 10-28-18, 06:15 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
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Are you sure that the lights are 12 volts or are they only controlled with 12 volts? In the 50's it was popular to use low voltage switching to control the lighting, the lights were still powered with 120 volts as it is normally done today. You would have a panel someplace with a bunch of relays that does the switching.

That said, it is very likely that the junction box in your bedroom is not rated to support a ceiling fan and will need to be replaced. Depending on your skills, this could be a medium difficult task.
Old 10-29-18, 04:50 AM
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Where are you located? Have you actually checked the flavor (volts, AC vs DC...) of the electricity in your home with a multi-meter?

In all but the most remote locations most home wiring is AC and not DC. DC is sometimes used for lighting but even then it's usually used for things like landscape lighting.

All ceiling fans are AC powered. Ones in North America are intended for 120 volts at 60 hz while fans in other parts of the world work on the local current. While some fans have DC motors the ceiling fan is actually AC powered and uses electronics to convert AC to DC for powering the fan motor.
Old 10-29-18, 07:43 AM
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Yes, it is low voltage switching (AC) as you described. So, the junction box issue aside, a typical residential ceiling fan of any motor size will work?
Old 10-29-18, 10:36 AM
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Yes....a typical AC ceiling fan will work there.

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