I wish to hang several pandant-style light fixtures from my kitchen ceiling.
Why would I opt for low-voltage halogen with a transformer and realtively
high cost for the fixture(s), when I can install plain fixtures with
screw-base sockets and use screw-base 120V halogen bulbs with the same
The only reason I can think of is that there are many decorative fixtures
like monorails and cables that don't come in line voltage. In my opinion, if
it comes in line voltage, especially with a screw base, use it.
Low voltage MR16 lamps can offer greater energy efficiency, better
light quality (a brighter, crisper, white light) and often longer
A standard 50-watt, 120-volt GU10 MR16 produces roughly 1,000 lumens
(20 lumens per watt) and has a service life of 3,000 hours. It's
colour temperature typically falls in the range 2,750 to 2,800 K.
By comparison, a Philips 45-watt, low-voltage MR16 produces up to
1,180 lumens (26 lumens per watt *) and has a service life of 5,000
hours. And in this case, the colour temperature is 3,000 K, so the
light appears to be less yellow (the difference is unmistakable).
* Allowing for transformer related losses, actual lumens per watt may
be closer to 23 or 24.
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