08:53PM | 01/16/01
Member Since: 01/09/01
15 lifetime posts
My camper has a low voltage system and I was wondering if it is possible to put such a system in the new house we are gong to build this summer. Such as the lamps and wall lights. How about fans ? Concerned about motors over heating if left on all the time. There must be a way to power down some of the things in a home. Any sites on the net to this subject ?


03:34AM | 01/17/01
Member Since: 03/13/00
1675 lifetime posts
Somebody correct me if wrong, but I believe that low voltage light bulbs and motors get just as hot as those designed for higher voltages. I think the only advantage to low-voltage devices is that they have fewer building code restrictions. On the other hand, you'll spend more $$ for them in the long run. Compare prices for low-voltage light bulbs versus 120v bulbs.
If you want more control while you're out of the house, use timers and programmable devices.

[This message has been edited by rpxlpx (edited January 17, 2001).]


05:14PM | 01/18/01
Member Since: 01/09/01
15 lifetime posts
Thank You, but a friend showed us how to us a converter much like he has in his house van. He says it does not cost him much for bulbs and they last as long or longer then the regular ones, only problem is the amount of light that is put out is low but not bad if you are just using it to read by. He is now looking at setting up a system to turn the lights on when he walks into a room and off after he leaves but does not stay in the room much like that used outside in our drive.


09:54PM | 02/01/01
Member Since: 11/14/00
333 lifetime posts
Home Depot sells a motor/transformer that monitors energy consumption of electrical devices so they do not draw more current than they need. It is marketed as a way to save energy, but it will also reduce heat. You should use one of those instead of change the voltage. Low voltage lights get just as hot. MOREOVER, the transformers to drop the voltage down to 12 volts get rather hot, themselves, which I would consider more of a safety hazard than mere light bulbs. (You do not have a transformer in your car/camper because the system runs at 12 volts already).

I frankly think you are over-thinking the problem. Heat from normal light bulbs or fans really is not a problem, even if you are away. Also, reading lights should be BRIGHTER than normal lights, not dimmer (the "dim but enough to read by" comment). Reading under low lighting conditions strains your eyes and adds to any eye problems. Thus, specially-marketed "reading" bulbs/lamps are brighter, not dimmer.

The only advantage I can think of with low voltage lights is that they just have fewer Code restrictions (because of the lower voltage) and are thus more flexible than full voltage lighting; that's the only benefit. They also can use smaller filaments, and thus smaller bulbs, thereby creating a different "look:" pinpoint halogen lights instead of big honkin' incandescents. I plan to install them in my Kitchen to create a more contemporary look.

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