People ask me all the time if a new low voltage LED system will make their electric bill go sky high or if adding onto their current LED system will jack their bill up a lot. Those are really two very separate issues.
A new low voltage LED system uses very little electricity compared to what lighting systems used to use. When the industry moved from incandescent bulbs to LED they cut the power usage to just 10% of what it was before. When low voltage LED systems came around, it reduced it to just 10% of that 10%. So a lighting system now uses about 1% of what an incandescent lighting system used to use. Another added value is that the bulbs today last for years and years compared to months and months of old style bulbs. So a new low voltage LED lighting system will not send your electrical bill through the roof and can actually help you save money on bulbs and maintenance costs over the long term.
Fitting low voltage LED lights onto an existing LED system can be done without a problem, but you might want to consider redoing some or all of the old system. Adjusting a lighting system can re-align the system with any changes to the landscaping or fixtures as well as address any desired changes to the lighting levels you want to make. Retrofitting is done by adapting new low voltage LED lights into an older system through step-down transformers that adjust the voltage flow to the newer fixtures. Just plugging the low voltage LED parts into the older system is not the way to go and can cause some major problems.
It is important to get a professional that has the low voltage LED electrical license to do any work with low voltage LED lighting systems, even just adding some to an existing design. Any time you are stepping down electricity flow, you need to know exactly what you are doing to avoid issues that arise and insure that bulbs, fixtures, and wiring are all the right type for the system requirements. It is why they made it a separate license in the state of Florida requiring more learning. Don’t let people tell you that it is all the same; it’s not. Before you let anyone try and retrofit low voltage led lighting to an older system, make sure they are licensed and trained and know what they are doing or it may end up costing you a lot more in the long run.
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