It might be difficult to tell the difference between line voltage and low voltage landscape lighting, but things will get easy for you with this article. Don’t get confused; keep reading to know the difference between low voltage and line voltage landscape lighting.
For an average homeowner, it’s not easy to maintain line voltage lighting. Line voltage can also be referred to as high voltage or standard voltage. They can be used in areas such as the parking lots, outdoor security lighting, or as giant spotlights to help in illuminating bigger areas within your property.
The cost of running line voltage landscape lighting isn’t cheap. The bulbs may be large and expensive. Again, replacements are complicated; therefore, you need a reputable professional.
On the other hand, low voltage landscape lighting is better than line voltage. It uses the transformer to help in power step down and thus reduce power consumption, making it more energy-efficient.
Low voltage lighting utilizes 12-24 volts instead of 120 volts. Bulbs and other fixtures are less expensive to buy and consume less power. You may only utilize as many fixtures as your transformer’s overall wattage allows when it comes to landscape lighting.
As a result, even low-voltage landscape lighting has restrictions. Luckily, the risk of shock is significantly reduced, but the low-voltage bulbs don’t last long. They must be changed regularly.
Generally, low voltage and high voltage form the two major forms of landscape lighting. Both have advantages and disadvantages. The one you choose will be determined by a number of criteria, including the number of lights you want in your setup, your skills, pros and cons.
Low Voltage Vs Line Voltage Landscape Lighting: Overview
Low Voltage Landscape Lighting (12V)
The most frequent landscape lighting option is low voltage. They are easier to install, cheap, and safe, and you don’t need to be a certified electrician to deal with them. The 12V landscape lighting reduces the risk of shock because the wiring system doesn’t need to be buried deep in the group. Again, that’s why it’s easy to install.
Notably, there is a wide array of wattages, bulbs, styles, and high-end low voltage fixtures, giving it good satisfactory performance to any customer. 12V landscape lighting is preferred and more popular than 120V landscape lighting in most home applications.
- Safe in wet locations
- Easy to install
- It’s safe to be used in areas where pets and children dig and play
- Cables don’t have to be in conduit
- A wide array of bulbs and lighting fixtures
- When making home improvements or rearranging the landscape, lighting fixtures as easy to relocate
- Elegant designs are available
- You need to have a transformer
- Possible dimming of the bulbs is you don’t use the cables of appropriate size
Early Verdict; Most homeowners prefer low-voltage landscape lighting for Outdoor Lighting. By a huge margin, the advantages exceed the minor drawbacks.
Low voltage landscape lighting is energy efficient and has superior safety ratings-It lower dangers of shock, works in damp conditions, and is suitable for children and pets. The two aspects make it appropriate for residential settings.
Safety and energy efficiency of low voltage lighting doesn’t rule out the usage of high-voltage landscape lighting; continue reading to discover more.
High Voltage/Line Voltage Landscape Lighting (120V)
Commercial properties, security firms, and public amenities are some of the areas where line voltage (120V) landscape lighting is commonly used. Line voltage outdoor lighting is time-consuming to install and necessitates the services of an electrician.
In addition, the 120V landscape lighting line also needs to be buried 18 inches underground, installed in conduit, and connected with sealed junction boxes.
When it comes to uses, the 120V line voltage lighting is mostly used for illuminating vast areas by using fewer but brighter bulbs or in residential applications with considerable up-lighting on a huge canopy of enormous trees. The modern low voltage lighting fixtures have power for this application.
Line voltage landscape lighting fixtures are often large and produce a large amount of light. The voltage loss on a lengthy series of lights has often been used as a reason for utilizing line voltage.
However, unless the runs are exceedingly long, this is typically not a concern for low voltage systems using contemporary LED technology and multi-tap transformers.
- Line voltage fixtures are bright thus suitable for public, commercial, and security uses.
- No chances of dimming
- You don’t need a transformer
- A skilled electrician is required for installation
- Connections need to be waterproof
- Cables need to be buried inside the conduit or 18 inches deep
- Large fixture
- Fewer lighting and fixture options
- Relocation and installation is difficult
- Higher chances of shock make Line voltage landscape lighting more dangerous
Low Voltage vs. Line Voltage; Which Is The Best Voltage For Your Landscape Lighting?
The winner of the Low Voltage vs. Line Voltage head-to-head comparison is Low voltage landscape lighting. However, low voltage landscape lighting is for the average homeowners.
Of course, if you want landscape lighting for commercial, security, and public amenities, you need to go for line voltage landscape lighting.
Low voltage landscape lighting is potentially the winner because its benefits outweigh the limitations. On the other hand, the high voltage outdoor lighting carrier has more negatives than positives. High voltage lighting works better in areas like parking lots and public spaces.
Low voltage has the highest recommendation if you want landscape lighting within your property. Whichever brand you select for your landscape lighting, ensure that the fixtures are made from aluminum, brass, and stainless steel to give your home’s exterior an amazing look.
Watch this video to see how the low-light landscape lighting works.
High Voltage Landscape Lights
High-voltage lighting is often used outdoors in public or commercial spaces because it provides a lot of illumination. It carries 10 times the voltage of low-voltage systems and can connect many lights to one circuit.
High voltage lights are designed to use 120V of power.
The risks of installation are high, and a licensed electrician is needed—because of the high power involved, all wires and connections must be installed to code. Sometimes permits are required.
Why Use Low Voltage Lighting?
Low voltage landscape lighting is a great solution for any home or business that wants to add some spooky ambiance without running the risk of electrical damage.
It provides a safer option for outdoor lighting installations as well because the lower voltage presents less risk of serious electric shock when exposed to moisture or rain.
Also, low voltage lighting has a longer lifespan than traditional voltage systems, which means you won’t have to worry about replacing your lights or upgrading them as frequently. The combination of lower wattage and LED technology is creating long-lasting bulbs that are more efficient than their predecessors: incandescent and halogen lightbulbs.
Lower voltages also allow the use of smaller bulbs, giving designers more flexibility in coming up with lighting designs. These smaller fittings are better suited for lighting small, confined spaces that would otherwise be difficult to tackle with standard-sized fixtures.
How to Install Line Voltage Landscape Lighting
For any installation using line voltage (120V), it must be installed by a licensed electrician. To ensure safety, always check local building codes and refer to the National Electrical Code® before starting work on this type of electrical project.
In some cases, permits are needed.
This is required in order to comply with the local building regulations so you can pass inspection and certification. Local codes vary, so check with your building department before beginning work.
Your electrician will probably suggest that the line voltage wiring system be installed underground. Underground installation is safer and far less likely to result in accidental damage.
All cables that run underground should be enclosed in PVC conduit and connected with solvent-welded connectors—a continuous run. The buried cable needs to be at least 18 inches beneath paths or patios and 30 inches below lawns or beds with plants.
Ensure you’re clear on what kind of cable or conduit to use, how deeply it should be buried, and the type of weather-tight fixtures you’ll need.