16
Feb

Cable Lighting is Safe and EffectiveWhen you look at cable lighting with its exposed wires it’s natural to be somewhat leery and question the safety of this kind of a system.

Looks really great, but can you really  LEAVE it up there like that? What happens if the parakeet lands on it? Or how do I exchange the bulb without getting electrocuted?

Having encountered questions like this for many years and relied on what I read in the helpful manuals by Tech Lighting (AND my own hands-on-experience : No, it doesn’t even hurt if you touch the wires while the lights are on; I tried it.) I wanted to have a more precise response.

I therefore went to the website of US patents and found this: “Track lighting using line voltage must have guards to prevent the user from touching the conductors, whereas in low voltage track lighting the track is often open and unprotected because there is no danger of electric shock. A variety of low voltage track lighting, termed cable lighting, comprises two, parallel conductors in the shape of metal wires or cables which are mounted several inches apart strung out between anchor points in walls or ceilings and at one end connected to a low voltage transformer. In most cable systems the cables support light fixtures via contact organs which rest upon the cables or are attached to them by means of of some kind of clamping device.” (http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/5340322/description.html)

“There is no danger of electric shock”. That’s it. Of course you have to be careful like around anything with electricity, but since the 110V household current is stepped down to 12V through the transformer there is actually not enough current running through the wires to cause any harm to you – or your parakeet (if he stays on one wire and doesn’t get cocky and tries to straddle both wires. That might wake him up!)

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