Low Voltage Lighting: Everything You Need to Know


Are you looking for the perfect lighting to complete your home or workplace? Low-voltage lighting is one of the most popular and versatile options out there.

Low-voltage lights use less electrical energy than normal lighting. Therefore, they are more efficient and cost-effective. Plus, you can use them in various places—indoor or outdoor lighting fixtures, and they come in all shapes and sizes.

This article will walk you through everything you need about low-voltage lighting.  So, let’s dive in!

How Does Low-Voltage Differ from Standard Voltage?

When it comes to electricity, there are two different types of voltages. They are low-voltage and standard voltage. Both types of voltages can power electrical devices. But there are some key differences between them.

Low-voltage systems are for lower-powered devices, such as doorbells or security cameras. These systems have a voltage of 12 volts or less.

In contrast, standard voltage systems are for higher-powered devices. For example, display lighting applications. These systems have a voltage of 120 volts or more.

Low-voltage systems are less powerful than standard voltage systems. But they are much safer to use. The reason is that the lower voltage reduces the risk of electrical shock.

For this reason, we prefer low-voltage systems where safety is a concern. Yet, standard voltage systems are more efficient. Also, it can provide more power to devices than low-voltage systems (such as architectural features). As a result, they are a better choice for applications where performance is a priority.

Using low-voltage lighting in gardens

Using low-voltage lighting in gardens

What Is Low-Voltage Lighting, and How Does It Work?

Low-voltage lighting uses a transformer to convert 120 volts to a lower voltage (12 or 24 volts). Then you can use this lower voltage to power light bulbs as they are much smaller and more energy-efficient LEDs than standard incandescent lighting bulbs.

Also, you can use this lighting for various purposes, including accent lighting, task lighting, an additional fixture, and even general illumination.

Moreover, low-voltage lighting is safer and easier to install than standard 120-volt lighting. For these reasons, the 12-volt low-voltage lighting system has become popular recently.

LED strip with power supply for voltage of 12 volts

LED strip with power supply for voltage of 12 volts

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Low Voltage Lighting?

Low-voltage lighting pros

  • Safety: Low-voltage lights operate at a lower voltage than standard light bulbs, meaning there is less risk of electrical shock. And this is why they are ideal for homes with children or pets. Additionally, low-voltage lights are often cooler to the touch than standard light bulbs or string lights, which makes them safer to handle.
  • Movability: Unlike standard light bulbs, you can move low-voltage lights around. So, they are ideal for use in areas where you may need to change the placement of lights. For example, using it in a child’s bedroom or a home office.
  • Energy saving potential: They use less electricity than standard light bulbs. So low-voltage lights can help you reduce your energy consumption and lead to significant savings over time. Therefore, low-voltage lighting may be a wise investment for any homeowner.

Low-voltage lighting cons

  • Potential of voltage drop: Low voltage light uses a transformer to get a lower voltage. This process can cause a voltage drop, affecting your lighting system’s performance.
  • Limited load capacity: Low-voltage lighting systems have a limited load capacity, which means they can only power a certain number of lig. Thus, if you need to add more lights to your system, you may need to upgrade the transformer.
  • Increased complexity for inspection: Low-voltage lighting systems are often very complex, making it difficult to troubleshoot or inspect.
  • Installation and maintenance challenges: Low-voltage lights can be difficult to install. As you must connect the wiring and transformers must in the right way. Also, low-voltage lighting systems may need licensed electrician maintenance or repair.
Installing low-voltage lighting on cabinets

Installing low-voltage lighting on cabinets

How to Choose Between Line Voltage and Low Voltage Lighting?

To determine which lighting is best for your needs, you should consider where you plan to use it. Also, the safety concerns associated with each type of system.

Line voltage lighting is a light fixture that uses high-voltage lines to power the light. And it is ideal for use in areas with no other power source, such as in a remote cabin or shed.

Also, line voltage lights are much more energy-efficient. Therefore, they are a great choice for eco-conscious homeowners.

And because they are so easy to install, line voltage lights are also a great DIY project. Therefore, they are perfect for those who want to add a personal touch to their home decor.

On the other hand, Low-voltage lighting is a great way to add extra light to any room without using much electricity. Here are a few ideas of where you can use a low-voltage landscape lighting system can create the perfect look:

  • Indoor or outdoor kitchen under kitchen cabinets to brighten up the counter space
  • Inside bookshelves or display cabinets to highlight favorite items
  • Under the dash lights in your car or truck for better visibility at night
  • In the bush yard lighting, along pathways, flower beds, or in gardens to create a softer, more inviting ambiance, landscape light.
Using low-voltage lighting in kitchens

Using low-voltage lighting in kitchens

How Can I Transform High Voltage into Low Voltage?

High-voltage electricity is dangerous to humans, and low-voltage electricity is not. So, How does one transform high voltage into low voltage?

The answer lies in the use of a transformer. A transformer is an electrical device that transforms high-voltage electricity into low-voltage electricity. Transformers come in various shapes, sizes, and power ratings. Some types of transformers include:

Magnetic Transformers

A magnetic transformer is a type of transformer that uses an iron core. This iron core surrounds the primary and secondary coils that make up the device.

When electricity flows through the primary coil, it creates a magnetic field. This field passes through the iron core. Then it generates electricity in the secondary coil. This process is induction. It allows the transfer of electricity between coils with little loss of power.

Electronic Transformers

An electronic transformer also uses coils of wire to transfer electricity. Instead of an iron core, it uses semiconductor devices such as diodes or transistors.

The main idea is to convert the (AC) power source from a wall outlet into direct current (DC) power. You can use this to power low-voltage electronics.




In summary, line voltage lights are great for those who want to save on energy bills. Low-voltage lighting is perfect for those who want to add some extra light to any room or outdoor living space.

So now you’re all set on the basics of line voltage and low voltage high-quality light. We hope this article has been helpful; feel free to reach out if you have any more questions.

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