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Low Voltage Landscape Lighting

Author£ºAdmin Hit£º226 Time£º2012/5/3 13:56:25

Many lighting websites recommend that you use low voltage lights for your outdoor lighting requirements because it reduces your power bills. Obviously you cannot do this for your interiors because it’s you cannot use a low voltage light in your ordinary light socket. In fact most CFL lights are low voltage and the reason why they cost so much is because they have a small transformer in each fixture that reduces the voltage.

Many people therefore go with low voltage outdoor lighting because they feel that it will reduce their electricity consumption. Well they’re in for a shock because their electricity consumption will not necessarily reduce.

The difference is that although there is a relationship between wattage and voltage, it is not necessarily a direct one. There is no guarantee that just because you reduce your voltage, your wattage too will reduce.

Without going into the science behind electricity, Voltage means the strength of the electricity, while wattage refers to the amount of electricity. Thus if you reduce the voltage it just means that you are reducing the strength of the current. By reducing the voltage from 120 to say 12 you are ensuring that you will not get a shock because the strength of the current has been reduced. The wattage however will remain the same, which means that the light fixture will consume the same amount of electricity.

If you see any light bulb it will give you both the Voltage as well as the Wattage. Thus a bulb that says 120 V and 60 W means that it will work at up to a current strength of 120 Volts and will consume 60 Watts.

If you reduce the Voltage to 12 but retain the same 60 Watts there is going to be no difference in the power consumption at all. The only advantage of going with low voltage bulbs is that nowadays you get very high efficiency low voltage bulbs that will give you more output with less electricity consumed. You get bulbs that need just 20 watts of power to give you as much light as a 100 Watt incandescent bulb.

If you go with these, you will obviously get a savings in terms of electricity consumed. Also you save a little more because low voltage bulbs tend to last longer which means that they don’t have to be replaced as often. As to whether this savings is sufficient to offset the additional expense of installing a transformer, getting new light fixtures, and rewiring is up to you.

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