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
Lastest from ask randall
You know how I feel about trying to make one type of light fixture do all of the work. This is the master bath, your very special and personal domain... read full story
I was just working on a project with the same need. We found some nicely done back-lit mirrors that were more in the "wrist-and-ankle" price range.... read full story
I'll tell you what we are doing on projects to cover up a recessed fixture that is no longer in use. We actually use a speaker cover to make the... read full story
Sponsored by Access Lighting, Kichler Lighting, Kimberly LED Lighting, Auroralight and Antares Lighting. The lighting marketplace is changing more rapidly today than at any... read full story
A question that many designers and consumers are asking is whether LED lighting is ready for general home use. In this seminar, we will discuss answers to that question by... read full story