We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Does "Low Voltage" Mean?

By B. Turner
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Low voltage refers to electrical power supplies that produce relatively low power levels. For example, main power distribution lines are considered high voltage, while low voltage systems include things like lighting or doorbell chimes. These systems use special transformers to reduce the main power supply down to a lower voltage. All of these systems pose a greatly reduced risk of injury or death than traditional, or high voltage, systems.

Each country uses its own set of standards to define electrical power levels. Both international and British standards consider an alternating current below 50 volts, or direct current below 120 volts to be low voltage. The United States (US) does not have a specific standard for voltage being low, but defines high voltage as any power source greater than 600 volts. For comparison sake, a standard household electrical outlet supplies 120 volts in the US.

All high voltage systems are extremely dangerous, and pose significant risk of both electrical shock and electric arcing. Low voltage systems pose some risk of shock, but little to no risk of electric arcing. Ultra-low voltage poses little risk of either shock or arcing, making it the safest of all power supply types.

The primary advantage associated with low voltage wiring is that it is much safer than traditional wiring techniques. For example, running low voltage landscaping lights in the back yard poses much less risk of injury or death than running standard power lines in the walls of a house. The increased safety of these systems also means that installation standards are less strict. This eliminates the need for burying lines or using expensive conduits in many applications.

For the average user, lower voltage systems are also much easier to install. They can be modified with relative ease at a later date, and offer users much more control over basic home power systems. Modern LED or halogen lights are designed to work with lower voltage transformers, as are most door security and hardware systems.

One of the major drawbacks to lower voltage is that fixtures must be installed close to the power source or transformer. The length of wire runs are relatively limited, though this will have little effect on most everyday applications of this technology. Low voltage must be used with small electrical systems only, and may not be appropriate for commercial or large-scale electrical projects. Some people criticize that this type of wiring also offers less durability over time due to a lack of conduits and other protective devices.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.