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The Advantages of Low Voltage Landscape Lighting Over Line Voltage

Advantages of Low voltage landscape lighting vs line voltage

Outdoor lighting can greatly enhance the beauty and functionality of any landscape. There are two main options when it comes to powering outdoor lights - low voltage (12V) and line voltage (120V). Each has its own pros and cons. In general, low voltage lighting tends to be the better choice for most residential landscape lighting applications. Here's an in-depth look at the differences between low voltage and line voltage landscape lighting.

What is Low Voltage Landscape Lighting?

Low voltage landscape lighting runs on 12V power and is safe for DIY installation. The system consists of a transformer that steps down your household 120V current to 12V, low voltage landscape lighting fixtures, and wiring to connect them. The key advantages of low voltage lighting include:


  • Low voltage systems operate at only 12V, dramatically reducing the risk of dangerous shocks. Line voltage poses serious risks, especially in wet outdoor areas.


  • Low voltage cables can be buried just a few inches underground, without conduit. Fixtures can be easily positioned and moved.

Cost Savings

  • Low voltage lighting fixtures, transformers, and installation cost significantly less than line voltage systems which require professional electricians.

More Design Choices

  • There is far greater variety in low voltage fixture sizes, styles, and aesthetic designs compared to the bulkier and more utilitarian line voltage options.

DIY Installation

  • Low voltage systems can be installed by homeowners, without the need to hire electricians. This further reduces costs.


  • It's simple to modify low voltage systems by adding new fixtures or rearranging existing ones. Line voltage changes require complex rewiring by professionals.

Ideal for Smaller Spaces

  • Low voltage lighting works beautifully for accenting architectural features, ornamental gardens, patios, and smaller residential spaces.

Large Area Lighting

  • Line voltage is better suited for illuminating very large areas like commercial properties, parking lots, or residential yards with massive trees or acreage.

Final Thoughts

For most typical residential homes and gardens, low voltage lighting is safer, more affordable, easier to install, and provides greater aesthetic design options compared to line voltage systems. Low voltage is the right choice for beautifully accenting smaller outdoor living spaces.

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