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-   -   Help me understand the difference between 12v and 120v under cabinet lighting (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/help-me-understand-difference-between-12v-120v-under-cabinet-lighting-45606/)

niceguymr 05-30-2009 06:21 PM

Help me understand the difference between 12v and 120v under cabinet lighting
 
I don't think I'm understanding the difference between 12v and 120v under-cabinet lighting except that with 12v systems, you need some sort of transformer to connect the lights to whereas 120v lights can connect directly to an outlet. It would seem that 120v systems would be easier to work with since you can also 'string' them together whereas with the 12v, they all have to connect to the same place. Please help me understand what I'm not understanding :jester:

Yoyizit 05-30-2009 06:29 PM

"the lower voltage lamps have a correspondingly thicker filament than their thinner higher-voltage counterpart. Because they are thicker and thus made up of more material, they are able to be run hotter for the same lifetime before the filament evaporates." so they are less sensitive to mechanical shock.

These 12v 'former types are a bear to troubleshoot, especially those with electronic 'formers.
If you touch the glass you have to wipe finger oils off the bulb or the lamp will fail prematurely, and they give off harmful UV rays.
The less lamps that are hooked in parallel to the same 'former, the higher the voltage and the less lifetime each one has.

erics37 05-30-2009 08:00 PM

about 108 volts

:D

niceguymr 05-30-2009 09:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Yoyizit (Post 280659)
"the lower voltage lamps have a correspondingly thicker filament than their thinner higher-voltage counterpart. Because they are thicker and thus made up of more material, they are able to be run hotter for the same lifetime before the filament evaporates." so they are less sensitive to mechanical shock.

These 12v 'former types are a bear to troubleshoot, especially those with electronic 'formers.
If you touch the glass you have to wipe finger oils off the bulb or the lamp will fail prematurely, and they give off harmful UV rays.
The less lamps that are hooked in parallel to the same 'former, the higher the voltage and the less lifetime each one has.

From what you're saying, it's hard to imagine why anyone would want to go with 12v yet so many of the under-cabinet light sets are 12v and not 120v. I had no idea about the harmful UV rays.

Yoyizit 05-31-2009 09:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by niceguymr (Post 280710)
I had no idea about the harmful UV rays.

They use special glass to filter it out but I think they warn you not to look at the light.

The trend seems to be to go from pear-sized lamps of medium brightness to zero-size lamps of infinite brightness where the glass gets very hot.
I don't much like it.

If you drop the voltage to the bulbs with a dimmer or a series resistor (a few feet of skinny wire) you'll get a lot more lamp life with not much brightness reduction.
For incand., a 10% drop in voltage gives a 30% drop in brightness with a 3.5x longer life.


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