Benefits of Low Voltage Lighting
Energy-efficient line voltage lighting, especially fluorescent, receives all the attention, it seems. But unheralded low voltage lighting saves energy, too, and offers benefits not available with line voltage lighting.
Low voltage lighting, by definition, operates at 30 volts or less. A transformer, either integral (part of the fixture) or remote (located in a service area), steps down line voltage to either 12 or 24 volts.
When powered properly, low voltage lighting produces two-and-a-half times as much light as line voltage incandescent lamps. Stated in other terms, a 50-watt low voltage lamp generates as much light as a 125-watt line voltage lamp.
The per-lamp savings for each 1,000 hours of operation can reach up to $7.50, based on a kilowatt-hour rate of 10 cents. This caliber of energy efficiency produces a compelling case to consider low voltage lighting for task, accent, and even general lighting applications.
Other reasons to consider low voltage lighting include: light quality, design flexibility, safety, and lack of waste.
It’s the Light
Mood also can be established with the design flexibility of low voltage lighting that allows a variety of dimming and beam control options. Lighting systems using remote transformers enable full-range dimming from 0- to 100-percent of light output. And, the comprehensive range of lamps and fixtures available makes it easier than it is with line voltage lighting to control the light spread for wall washing and grazing, focusing on tasks, or accenting.
Let There Be Less
Optimizing Safety, Minimizing Waste
Also of concern is waste disposal. New low voltage lamp designs and materials have increased lamp life up to 10,000 hours. If the lamps are dimmed to 50 percent, for example, life expectancy can double to 20,000 hours, further cutting disposal and maintenance costs.
Another way to reduce waste is proper transformer selection. Remote transformers are warranted for 25 years, which practically eliminates them as a waste issue.
The package of benefits that low voltage lighting offers for enhancing commercial environments deserves consideration for a range of applications. And that’s fair.