Innovative Landscape Lighting of Kentucky, LLC   (859) 537-5249

Line Voltage (120Volt)


Line voltage or 120V systems basically became the old technology in the mid-1990’s. Prior to that timeframe the majority of all landscape lighting systems were 120V and consisted primarily of R lamps and PAR lamps (PAR 38 mostly, with some PAR 30’s and PAR 20’s). There were multiple problems with these systems that low voltage halogen solved (and now LED’s as well).

  • Fixtures & associated lamps are large in size: Low voltage halogen lamps are small in size yet more powerful than line voltage lamps. Their associated fixtures are thus smaller and therefore easier to install.
  • Line voltage lamps have limited beam accuracy: Much light is wasted and goes in unintended directions besides the task at hand. Low voltage lamps have a greater variety of beams and wattages for landscape lighting effectiveness.
  • Line voltage lamps have shorter lamp life and require higher wattages: Low voltage lamps typically have longer life hours than 120V incandescent and required much lower wattages to illuminate similar areas. This calculates to significant energy savings when running a low volt halogen or LED system versus a 120V system.
  • Line voltage systems required conduit to protect the 120V cables and is therefore more difficult to relocate or adjust: Low voltage systems do not require cable to be run through conduit. It is therefore easier to bury (recommended to bury at least 6” below the ground surface) and relocate if the landscape areas mature or are modified.

A recent trend with 120V systems is to illuminate houses with lights placed under the eaves. This is not an accepted lighting designer’s practice since the light sources create glare points that distract the human eye from the overall scene you are creating via an even illumination of the house. It is easy for builders to offer this option on new homes. It seems like a nice upgrade to the homeowner. However, using this option will create headaches down the road. Who is going to change the lights as they burn out, the homeowner, a contractor? This will end up as a nuisance or just plain costly. Additionally, these fixtures are difficult to relocate or aim. Again, major negatives compared to the much more effective low voltage halogen or LED systems, that when properly installed, incorporate hidden light sources.

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Phone: (859) 537-5249