Help Me Understand The Difference Between 12v And 120v Under Cabinet Lighting - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


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Old 05-30-2009, 07:21 PM   #1
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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

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Old 05-30-2009, 07:29 PM   #2
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Help me understand the difference between 12v and 120v under cabinet lighting


"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.

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Last edited by Yoyizit; 05-30-2009 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 05-30-2009, 09:00 PM   #3
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Help me understand the difference between 12v and 120v under cabinet lighting


about 108 volts

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Old 05-30-2009, 10:39 PM   #4
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Help me understand the difference between 12v and 120v under cabinet lighting


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
"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.
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Old 05-31-2009, 10:12 AM   #5
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Help me understand the difference between 12v and 120v under cabinet lighting


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Originally Posted by niceguymr View Post
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.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 05-31-2009 at 10:14 AM.
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