Comparing Line Voltage and Low Voltage
This month, Randall tackles a cost/efficiency comparison between line voltage and low voltage light sources.
Low voltage recessed adjustable fixtures, using 12V halogen lamps, provide 100W of dazzle for 50W worth of power.
Randall, in the middle of a family room remodel, my customer’s architect recommended low voltage recessed lights (MR16). But the less expensive alternative is line voltage 4-inch recessed lights. Can you provide a cost/energy-efficiency comparison between low voltage and line voltage?
I often hear people saying that an MR16 bulb uses less electricity than a 120V reflector bulb. In truth, a 50W MR16 bulb uses as much power as a standard 50W reflector bulb. The difference is that it gives you close to 100W worth of illumination for 50W worth of power consumption. But there is also the issue of lamp life: low voltage bulbs compared to line voltage bulbs. A standard household bulb lasts 750 hours, while a standard reflector bulb lasts 2,000 hours, and a standard MR16 lasts 6,000 hours. Note that this is what is called average rated lamp life, which essentially means that at the rated life, such as 750 hours for a household bulb, half of the lamps would be burned out at the 750-hour mark and half would last longer than 750 hours.
Randall Whitehead, IALD
Latest from ask randall
You do have a tight powder room with an awkward ceiling line. I’m glad you’re thinking about cross illumination at the mirror. I would put the... read full story
Track lighting will provide you with a junction box, but not necessarily centered on the island. Usually track is fed from one end or the other. Here... read full story
You’re touching on what is the major transition point in LED lighting today. It’s not a simple matter of choosing one over the other, you have to... read full story
Archived CEU Webinar: LED Lighting 304: LEDs for Kitchens and Baths With a Focus on Dimming and Controls
This webinar has already taken place, but you can register and watch in on demand here. This webinar was sponsored by Legrand, Lightovation and Tresco Lighting. Learning... read full story
This webinar has already taken place, but you can register and watch in on demand here. Sponsored by Legrand. Webinar Overview:Learning units:AIA/CES LU (HSW) 1.0... read full story
This webinar has already taken place, but you can still watch it on demand by registering here. Sponsored by Emerson and Legrand. Webinar Overview: Learning units:AIA/... read full story