Using Low Voltage Lighting Indoors

Low voltage lighting has become very popular for outdoor lighting and lately it has been coming indoors. Using low voltage lighting indoors will save money, obviously, because less voltage is being used.

But your electricity is delivered as line voltage, 120 Volts; how is low voltage achieved? The answer is that a step down transformer is used – this will take your 120 volts and drop it down to 12 volts.

Common Indoor Applications for Low Voltage Lighting

Some of the most common uses of low voltage lighting is in recessed lighting (also known as can lights) and track lighting. One problem with low voltage is that the lumens of the available light is decreased.

To a large extent this has been corrected with the MR 16 family of bulbs. These bulbs are available as floodlights, spotlights, and wide floodlights and come in a variety of colors.

Track lighting is an especially appropriately application of this lighting. Imagine in the kitchen, being able to direct the lighting exactly where you need it.

In many cases the track is bendable and the lights move on a monorail system. A fluorescent or incandescent light on the ceiling is adequate for most purposes but at some point or another you find yourself looking into your own shadow with the light at your back.


Another fine application for using this lighting indoors is installing wall sconces in hallways. This will give you plenty of light to navigate different areas in the home while generating a comfortable atmosphere.

Bathroom vanities are another great place for this light. Typically these fixtures hold from three to six incandescent bulbs which adds up to an incredible waste of energy. Why not save money and enjoy a lighting configuration with less glare? Who needs that the first thing in the morning anyhow?

The bedroom is a perfect room for a low voltage light for reading purposes. It will give you just the amount of lighting that you need without disturbing any other occupants.

If you have any questions regarding usefulness and design issues, there are many vendors who are glad to help you with these issues.

Low Voltage Safety Issues

If you are planning to install recessed lighting in your home, there are a few precautions to be aware of. Some states in the U. S. require “air tight lights”. Currently these states are California, Washington, and Colorado, and 30 other states. Be safe; check with your local electrical codes.

There is also the issue of “IC” and “Non IC” light housings. These stand for “Insulation Contact” and “Non Insulation Contact”, respectively. This is a rating that deals with the heat emitted by the light fixture. Again, be safe and play by the rules.

IC requirements and air tight requirements sometimes operate together so do all your research before you spend any money on either fixtures or bulbs.