Lighting Style and Trends Blog

Low vs Line Voltage Landscape Lighting

Posted by Gavin Martin on Mon, September 21, 2009


LOW (12v) VS. LINE (120v)
understanding the difference

The homeowner should make an informed decision when purchasing residential outdoor lighting. Low voltage systems are generally more flexible in residential settings; line voltage systems are better suited to permanent commercial and institutional applications.

 12v  120v

Flexibility when installing or relocating; cable can be repositioned


Wire must be buried 18 inches and placed in a protective conduit; easy to install if area is pre-wired                        

Designed for wet locations and operates safely when exposed to moisture             

All fixtures and connectors must be absolutely waterproof (shock hazard potential when wet)

Lamps are small allowing fixtures to be smaller and blend with the landscape      

Lamps and fixtures are larger and less fixtures are required for a complete lighting plan

Lamps available in low watt type and many beam spreads; precise lighting effects can be achieved with low energy   Higher watt lamps and one or two beam spreads produce high light levels and can be wired into home's electrical supply
Can be plugged into existing outdoor receptacles; no need for an electrical contractor in most cases     Must always be installed by a licensed electrical contractor; local permits may be required

Transformer to convert electrical current from 120v to 12v required; voltage drop (dim lights) can occur if improperly installed and inadequately sized cable used

No transformer required; voltage drop not as critical



Hinkley Lighting

Hinkley Lighting is our featured brand of landscape lighting and Lighting Catalog has all of your Hinkley Lighting needs. is an online leader of Hinkley Outdoor Lighting, Hinkley Path Lighting and Hinkley Landscape Lighting.  We are a member of the Network of Online Stores. Free Ground Shipping on all orders over $99. Large selection, low prices and excellent customer service. The Home Lighting and Outdoor Lighting leader. Why shop elsewhere?


Tags: Design tips, Landscape Lighting, Path Lighting, Line Voltage, Low Voltage

Subscribe to our blog

Lighting Blog Search


Posts by category