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uglybains 12-26-2007 09:24 AM

Pot Lights consumption worry
Thinking of having pot lights in ceiling but am worried about high electric bills!
A dozen or so bulbs will consume power.
Can one fit a dimmer switch to these halogen type minature bulbs?
What's the lowest available wattage on these bulbs?
What's the alternative? Have a full size pot light using those energy saving flo bulbs?

lockie 12-29-2007 01:27 PM

You don't have to worry about using too much electric if you use low voltage lights. they do cost more to buy as they come with a small transformer.

In total I have16 of these in my kitchen and they actuall cost less than running the 3 old ligt fittings I had originally.

Just be sure they are the low voltage. the bulbs I have in mine are all 50 watts but seeing as each one only runs on 12volts, it doesn't cost much to have them on.

Also, instead of having a dimmer, how about splitting the curcuits in 2. have a double switch fitted, one does one half, the other does the other half?

uglybains 12-30-2007 05:27 AM

I have chandeliers from Canada that I used a step down transformer to bring it to 120v. The brightness of lights is same as if i had bought a UK chandelier using 240v. Are you saying if I change every lamp to 120v that I will save money? Doesn't make sense somehow.
Surely 50watt is 50 watt.:confused:

Yes I was originally thinking of splitting the room in two circuits.

By the way I use dimmers on those chandeliers but they're not halogen or spots.
Will dimmers work with spots?

lockie 12-31-2007 02:38 AM

I was advised not to use dimmers on halogenlight, not sure why though?

50w is 50w but because of the transformer, basically it doesn't need as much voltage to get that, and it's the voltage that costs the money really. sure, it would save you a bit ore if you used 25w halogen but not as much as reducing the voltage from 240v to 12v

MgMopar 12-31-2007 02:36 PM

I am not sure about overseas. But in the USA we are charged by the kilowatt hour. Basically a rating for wattage used. A watt is " Amps x Volts" So the transformer that brings the voltage down to the lower 12 volts will draw the amperage it would take to run the wattage at the higher voltage anyway so yes Watts is Watts even if the voltage is lower the supply consumption will be the same or even possibly higher to inefficiencies in the circuitry including losses from the transformer. Compact florescent would be the more efficient if light are to remain on for extended durations of time other wise there are low and high voltage halogens that can use dimmers. Most dimmer circuits are use before the transformer on the low voltage lighting. You CAN NOT use dimmers on florescent lights. I have yet heard to much about them yet but the way of the future will be LED lighting. They have practically no energy loss from heat they can be very bright (they are prototyping them for automotive head lamps) and should be able to be dimmed. I think it will be the way of the future and plan to research them more before my next project. Either low voltage or high voltage It will all be dropped down for the LED anyway.

uglybains 01-01-2008 07:44 AM

The future looks bright then:) The room is smallish so I won't fit full size pot lamps but will go for tiny halogens. I'll try dimmers failing that will put in a lamp or uplighter in corner for long stays. Pots of any type so long as it increases the value of our home, knowing technology and advancements will swap like for like. Or else building regulations will come down heavy on pots similar to what is happening with phasing out of tungsten.

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