Electrician wants us to avoid low voltage pots

ontariomomApril 17, 2013

Hi all,

I was all set to request some low voltage small pots (2 or 3 inch ones) for various locations in our home (i.e. to highlight art, over a window seat, over the vanity etc). However the head electrician who owns a very reputable company wants us to substitute any low voltage pots for standard voltage pots and just put a LED light into the pot. He said low voltage pots are extremely unreliable and electricians never recommend them. Should I follow his advice even though so much of the research I have done pointed to low voltage being the best fit for the applications? Will a standard pot with a LED bulb be almost the same as a low voltage pots? Or should I insist on using low voltage pots and accept they will need replacing frequently.

Please help me decide.



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That is very practical advice. The cost of a low voltage can will be at least as much as a 4" can + CR 4, if not more.

2" can lights would probably produce less light than 4" lights.

You'd have to weigh the number of holes each solution would need and the associated total cost.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 12:45AM
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Thanks for your advice, Davidtay. I really wanted to use the low voltage light due to the smaller aperture. Is it something we would have to replace yearly if we did go ahead with it?


    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 8:15PM
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It depends on factors such as the type of light used, usage and the temp in the ceiling.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 10:51PM
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Okay, I am driving myself crazy trying to understand the pros and cons of low vs standard voltage pots for accent lights (i.e. to accent art). The books I have been reading were all published 2 - 4 years ago. Perhaps LED pots and other forms of LED lighting will be replacing all need for low voltage lighting (with the exception of exterior lighting)? Perhaps all mention of low voltage accent lighting published in books 2-4 years ago is outdated with the new offerings from LED lights?

Does anyone know where I might read more up to date research (aside from here of course) to understand the pros and cons of standard voltage LED pots and low voltage pots? TIA!


    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 1:38PM
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Low voltage pots will continue to be made, though the bulb may be updated.

If you really want to know the technical side, read the specification sheets for the pots, starting with the sample manufacturer link I provided earlier.

The main difference between the pots is the presence of a power supply in the "low voltage" variant and the normal line voltage pot.

It looks like your need is for wall washing lighting.

The following should give alternate ideas.

Here is a link that might be useful: selux

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 12:13AM
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Thanks Davidtay for your continued help. I just spent some more time on the phantom.com website. Those projector/pots certainly show off artwork in a spectacular way. I will call on Monday to see what would be involved in getting a quote for their recessed downlights/projectors for our home in Southern Ontario, Canada. We are certainly a long way off Texas.

It seems that all their applications use low voltage. So, I am back to asking the electrician to just install low voltage rough in wires and housings, not line voltage wires and housing pots.

I looked briefly at the Selux site but need to spend more time seeing how their products might help. Thanks for that link as well.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 12:01PM
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