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Is Low Voltage Lighting Right for Your Property?

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Most homeowners don’t give lighting much thought. You flick a switch, and your lights turn on. There isn’t much else you need to know. However, when the time comes to undertake renovations, learning about lighting becomes important. It might even cross your mind to research house and yard lighting when you receive your first electricity bill. 

Many homeowners are now exploring low-voltage lighting for their interior and exterior lighting needs. If you’re not yet convinced that this form of lighting is right for you, the information in this guide can help you make an informed decision. 

What Is Low Voltage Lighting?

You might not consider low voltage lighting for your home unless you know what it is. However, to understand what it is, you need to know the alternative. Most homes have light fixtures directly connected to the electrical system. This is called line voltage, high voltage, or household current. As a result, most lights are 120 volts because that’s the voltage of standard junction boxes and outlets in the United States. If your home has ceiling lights or sconces, these are often line voltage products. 

Low voltage lighting differs by often being less than 50 volts of power. Most standard low-voltage lighting products on the market are 12 volts or 24 volts. Their voltage is lower than traditional lighting because they have power packs to reduce it. They can be located remotely or connected to the lights themselves. 

Low-voltage lighting was initially developed for landscaping lighting. The lower the voltage, the safer it can often be for an outside setting. However, the more refined low-voltage lighting became, the more suitable for indoor use it was. Now, it’s not uncommon to find many low-voltage lighting products in homes, such as in-ceiling lighting. It’s particularly favorable for homeowners who want to reduce energy consumption

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Where Can You Use Low-Voltage Lighting?

Low-voltage lighting isn’t a traditional offering. As a result, not everyone in charge of making lighting decisions will know what options are available to them and where they can install low-voltage lighting. While some homeowners in the United States use 12-volt low-voltage lights in their homes, they can also be suitable for: 

  • RVs
  • Cabins
  • Off-grid housing
  • Boats
  • Commercial vehicles
  • Campervans 

Generally, consumers can choose from a range of low-voltage lighting options, such as: 

  • Strip lights
  • Cabin lights
  • Ceiling lights
  • Downlights
  • Reading lights
  • Outdoor lights
  • Work lights
  • Awning lights 

If you’re unsure whether your chosen location is suitable for low-voltage lighting, talk to your local lighting company. They will be more than happy to match products to different parts of your property.    

Benefits of Low Voltage Lighting

Browse your local lighting store or garden center, and you’ll spot many low-voltage lighting products. With so many options available for indoor and outdoor use, you might be curious why homeowners prefer them in many situations. Everyone’s reasons are different, but some of the following benefits typically help low-voltage lights stand out from the crowd. 

Energy Efficiency

Many governments worldwide are encouraging their citizens to be more energy-efficient. Using less energy can mean lowering pollutants like greenhouse gas while sometimes decreasing water usage. In the grand scheme of things, energy efficiency can even promote energy security. 

Homeowners can’t single-handedly reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, but every small change helps. You can do your part for the environment by introducing low-voltage lighting onto your property. 

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Lower Electricity Bills

Given how powerful the lighting from an average low-voltage light can be, it’s hard to believe your electric bill would decrease after installing them. However, that can often be the reality. Transitioning from 120-volt lights to 12-volt and 24-volt lights might make more of a difference than you think. Low-voltage lights consume far less energy, meaning they can be less of a drain on your wallet in the long run. 

If you cannot make dramatic lighting installation changes on your property, you’re not without options to decrease your electric bill. The United States Government also recommends LED solid-state lighting. Compared to traditional incandescent lighting, LED lights use up to 90% less energy and last up to 25 times longer. 

Extended Lifespan

Few things are as frustrating as walking around your beautifully-lit garden and realizing that many of your lights are no longer working. You then have to spend a great deal of money replacing the bulbs or the entire light units. 

No light will last forever, but low-voltage lighting is bound to impress with how it stands the test of time. ETL and IP68-rated low-voltage lights can typically last multiple times longer than incandescent and halogen bulb lights. You might feel confident installing more lighting around your property, knowing it’s less likely to be a significant financial burden. 

Reduced Heat

Lights running on traditional 120-volt lighting systems can generate a great deal of heat. This can be a frustrating problem for homeowners using such lighting systems to illuminate their prized plants outdoors. Heat-sensitive plants can suffer under direct light.   

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Low-voltage lighting options tend to solve this problem. They can remain cool even after being on for several hours. They do not produce much heat, and many low-voltage lights are manufactured with thermal-reducing outer casing. 

Safety

While cost and efficiency play a massive role in why many homeowners choose to install low-voltage lighting in their yards, safety is undoubtedly a leading factor. Low-voltage lighting systems with 12-volt and 24-volt lights offer a reduced shock risk. If you had 120-volt lighting in your outdoor area, exposed to the elements, the consequences could be severe. 

Cost-Effective Security

While you might install outdoor lighting purely for aesthetic reasons, it can also often be an excellent deterrent for would-be thieves. When your property is lit up with low-voltage lights, there are few places to hide from people passing by. Thieves may be less likely to target your home as a result. However, outdoor lighting is no substitute for a quality security system. Pair your lights with security cameras, and you might feel much safer in your home at night. 

There can be much to consider when you start exploring new lighting options for your property. However, after learning more about low-voltage lighting, including its benefits, you might be convinced to explore this lighting type further. 

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