Low voltage distribution systems (LVDS) can offer an efficient and cost-effective alternative to traditional high voltage systems, but until recently were relegated to path lighting and decorative accents. With the advancement of LED technologies, LVDS can finally move inside and be utilized as the backbone for a general lighting strategy. LV lighting systems have voltages that are lower than 30 volts DC and use a Class 2 power source, and they are considered much safer during installation, maintenance, and use. Consequently, these systems carry different and more lenient electric safety code requirements.

This course will explain the background context of traditional and low voltage systems, including their common uses and code requirements, and will explore the benefits of combining a LV distribution system with LED lighting for general lighting systems. Also, this learning unit will address installation, insulation, maintenance, and potential cost savings associated with specifying an LVDS for general lighting. Finally, this course will look at how LV systems can be used effectively to address emergency lighting requirements.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how low voltage distribution systems (LVDS) operate compared to traditional lighting systems
  • Discuss how a LVDS can reduce time and cost for installation of a general lighting system
  • List the maintenance benefits of specifying a LVDS general lighting system
  • Explain how LVDS can effectively support emergency lighting requirements