Expert Electric Blog

What is the Difference Between Low-Voltage and Line-Voltage?

As energy-efficient lighting options have emerged and continued to gain traction in homes and businesses throughout the world, interest in low voltage lighting configurations has been steadily increasing. For this reason, it can be helpful to know the difference between low-voltage and line-voltage lighting. The licensed and experienced electricians at Expert Electric are familiar with all of the different varieties of home electrical systems and we can ensure that your home is as energy efficient as possible.

What does Line Voltage Mean?

The typical configuration for most home lighting systems is line-voltage lighting. This standard in lighting typically supplies 120v or 277v to lighting fixtures directly from the building’s breaker system. It is the same system and amount of power that is supplied to most electrical outlets and junction boxes which means line-voltage fixtures are easy to install and do not require any special transformers or systems to operate in most cases.

What does Low Voltage Mean?

Low-voltage lighting systems uses a transformer to lower the amount of voltage being supplied to a light fixture from 120v or 277v to 12v or 24v. This transformer can be built into the light fixture or located close to the light fixture somewhere along the electrical circuit. While these systems are harder to install and cannot be too far from a transformer box, they tend to be safer due to the reduced amount of electricity running through the light fixture. Low-voltage light fixtures are known for producing a higher quality of light that looks more natural and does not scatter in the same way that light produced by line voltage light fixtures does.

How Do Low-Voltage Lights Save Power?

Although a low-voltage light bulb that requires 50 watts of power does not use less electricity than a regular 50-watt bulb, it produces more light with the 50 watts used and the bulb will also last longer. For this reason, fewer light fixtures are required to generate the same amount of light by using low-voltage lighting. Low-voltage lighting is most useful in areas where the lights will be on most often or where the light fixture being used needs to generate the most light.

To learn more about the difference between low voltage and line voltage or if you are interested in changing your home’s lighting configuration to be more energy-efficient, contact Expert Electric at 604-681-8338. We offer a variety of residential electrical services to homeowners across BC.