Following on from 12 volt vs 240 volt outdoor lights, part2. The final part on low voltage outdoor lighting.
In the early days when I started in the garden lighting industry in early 2001, nearly every one was using mains lighting. Extra low voltage was available, however the only large range of low voltage outdoor lights came from New Zealand, USA and a few small UK distributors. The main draw back regarding low voltage at the time was the dreaded voltage drop which when using 20watt, 35watt, 50watt or the all powerful 75watt halogen MR16, led to cable issues. Although you could run extra cables or larger cables to compensate for the drop it often became uneconomical and labour intensive. Another draw back in the early days of low voltage lighting was the transformer surge, which often mean all circuits had to be upgraded to C type breakers.
Now with the huge advances in LED’s, the problems with voltage drop have been greatly reduced, with only very long cable runs requiring special consideration. It’s always good practice to ensure 11-12volts at the end of each cable run to ensure the life of the LED’s. However, most good quality MR16 lamps made for outdoors have a tolerance for between 9-24volts.
G&L Lighting supplies wall lights which are both 12v and 240v. However, all our landscaping lights are 12v. Such as our copper spike spot lights – link –
Till our next blog, keep the lights shining!