LED closet lighting, 120V AC or 12V DC?

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-12-21, 09:40 PM
P
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 248
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
LED closet lighting, 120V AC or 12V DC?

I am adding lights to 2 closets. What are the advantages of 12V DC LED over 120V AC LED? Is one (lower voltage) safer than the other?
 

Popular Reply

 
01-13-21, 06:59 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Tolyn Ironhand
Tolyn Ironhand is offline
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 13,914
Received 283 Votes on 247 Posts
If you install lights in a closet beware there are specific clearances that need to be followed.

The type of light you use will depend on the size of the closet. If it is a small closet the only place you can locate a light fixture is above the door.

I have installed LED strip lights around a door frame in our pantry that is switched by a magnetic switch on the door. All that is needed is a receptacle for the wall wart.

 
  #2  
Old 01-13-21, 06:15 AM
B
Member
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Ct.,USA
Posts: 1,965
Received 104 Votes on 91 Posts
You can use bulbs that operate from 120 vac or 12 vdc. Your home electrical system most likely has components that are UL approved and connected to meet National Electrical Code requirements. All components have primary voltage of 120/240 vac. For 120 vac bulbs, just add the components rated for 120 vac and connect them to existing electrical system. To use a 12 vdc bulb, you need to engineer another electrical system. You need a 120 vac to 12 vdc converter with a wattage rating exceeding the 12 vdc bulb rating times number of bulbs. You need to determine where to place the converter between the breaker panel and the closet and size the wires for 120 vac and 12 vdc appropriately. I would also fuse the 12 vdc source.
 
  #3  
Old 01-13-21, 06:28 AM
P
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 24,674
Received 782 Votes on 719 Posts
I prefer line voltage (120VAC) fixtures. In end it really doesn't matter because the LED is powered the same. The difference is a separate power supply and wiring... more complex. I like having the power supply as part of the fixture. With a 12 VDC system there needs to be a separate power supply to feed the fixture and I don't like the idea of using two things when one can do the job.
 
  #4  
Old 01-13-21, 06:31 AM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 9,708
Received 311 Votes on 280 Posts
Go with the standard 120v system. That way you can use either LED 12v (with built in electronics) or the typical light bulb.
 
  #5  
Old 01-13-21, 11:32 AM
Z
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 5,654
Received 172 Votes on 153 Posts
I'd definitely go for a 120v fixture. Unless there's a good reason to go 12v, it'll give you more options in terms of fixtures and future replacements.

They also have motion activated fixtures and switches which I personally like for closets as it turns the lights on and off without worrying about forgetting to turn them off.
 
  #6  
Old 01-13-21, 02:24 PM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 9,708
Received 311 Votes on 280 Posts
also have motion activated fixtures and switches
Sometimes that's not possible. But they are great when they can be used.
 
  #7  
Old 01-13-21, 06:03 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 61,373
Received 1,397 Votes on 1,294 Posts
I've installed a number of 4" LED recessed fixtures in closet ceilings. They run on 120v.
I like using Lithonia and Halo. Two high quality companies. Roughly $20 per fixture.
I use the ones with the separate driver box for better heat control and longer life.
I carry a 4" carbide hole saw for installing them anywhere.

4" recessed LED


 
Zorfdt voted this post useful.
  #8  
Old 01-13-21, 06:59 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 13,914
Received 283 Votes on 247 Posts
If you install lights in a closet beware there are specific clearances that need to be followed.

The type of light you use will depend on the size of the closet. If it is a small closet the only place you can locate a light fixture is above the door.

I have installed LED strip lights around a door frame in our pantry that is switched by a magnetic switch on the door. All that is needed is a receptacle for the wall wart.

 
zoesdad, Zorfdt voted this post useful.
  #9  
Old 01-14-21, 09:39 AM
Z
Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,306
Received 35 Votes on 34 Posts
If it is a small closet the only place you can locate a light fixture is above the door.

Really good point. That’s exactly what I found when I did mine – had to be above the door. I remember rules like 12 inches from shelves and 24 inches from rear, or something like that, and other dimensions. Only above the door would satisfy the requirements. Think you have to read the NEC.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: