Did you ever wonder how much power a home doorbell uses? It’s a question that often comes up when people are looking for ways to improve their home’s energy efficiency. While we all know it’s not much, we’d like to know roughly how many watts it uses. Here I will explain in detail how much the average house doorbell consumes electricity and do you need to worry.
How Much Power (Watts) Does a Doorbell Use?
So How Much Power (Watts) Does a Doorbell Use? A typical electric doorbell uses approximately 2 watts. This is due to a step-down transformer whose main task is to convert 120 V to an 8 to 20 V which then uses a power of 2 watts when the bell rings. If you use your home doorbell each day for 6 hours, it will cost you around 0.57 cents per year.
Therefore, how many watts does a doorbell use depends on the low voltage transformer. Every transformer is connected to a switch that completes the circuit and enables the bell to ring. This electric circuit and low voltage enable the doorbell to work. Most new doorbells work on very low voltage, while the older models require between 8 to 20 volts of electricity to work. If you want to buy a doorbell transformer for your home, check some good models HERE.
While the average doorbell only uses 2 watts of power, there is an option out there that runs on solar energy and only needs 1 watt to function!
How Many Watts Does An Doorbell Transformer Use?
How many power (watts) electric doorbell transformer use depends on the model. The way you can calculate the exact power of your doorbell transformer is to look at the label that is located at the bottom of your device. You will find that electrical ratings will be stamped in terms of Watts (W) or Voltage (V) and Ampere (A). To determine the exact wattage of your transformer use the following formula:
Watts (W) = Volts (V) x Amps (A)
To calculate the electric consumption of Doorbell transformer in kWh you need to use these two factors:
- The capacity of your doorbell transformer expressed in watt.
- The number of hours that your transformer was in use in one day.
If you want to make things easier, you can use this calculator and save some time: Electricity Usage Calculator For An Electric Doorbell.
3 Types of Doorbell Transformers
As I mentioned above, the main task of a doorbell transformer is to reduce 120 V line voltage to a smaller voltage so the doorbell can function properly. Older models used 6 or 8 V transformers. The newer doorbell transformers operate at 12 or 24 V AC. Here we have 3 types of doorbell transformers that can be installed in-house.
1) Fixed-Voltage Transformers
All bell transformers are working on the same principle so they can step down 120 volts to the lower voltage that is required by the doorbell that is being used. The fixed-voltage transformers step the 120 Volts voltage down to 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, or 16 volts.
2) Center-Tapped Transformers
Center-tapped transformers are able to provide a dual voltage output. These outputs can be of 5 and 10, 6 and 12, 8 and 16, and 7 and 14. Keep in mind that any doorbell will operate in the plus or minus range from one volt from its rated voltage. For example, an older 6 Volt doorbell is able to operate with a 5, 6, or 7 Volt transformer, while the 8-volt doorbell can operate with 7 or 8 volts.
3) Multi-Tapped Transformers
Multi-tapped transformers are transformers that are able to supply multiple different voltages. Some models can provide all nominal voltages from a range of 6,8,10,12,14 or 16 volts. These multi-tapped transformer can also be used for home doorbells.
Ring Doorbells and Their Power Consumption
There are 3 types of home doorbells that can be used in-house. Each of them works on a separate principle, and their consumption is stimulated and varies.
- Home electric doorbell consumes about 2 watts
- Battery operated doorbell consumes 3-5 volts and 10 milliamps (mA)
- Wireless doorbell uses less than 5 watts hours per year or 0.0014-kilowatt-hour (kWh)
How Much Current Does a Ring Doorbell Use?
Typically ring doorbell uses a power source that needs a minimum of 16V to 24V AC at 20 to 30 Amps output. It is connected directly to a step-down transformer or to a plug-in adapter.
How Many Volts is a Doorbell Transformer?
Normally a doorbell transformer works on 10 volts, while the chimes work on 16 volts. To estimate how many volts does your doorbell transformer has use a multimeter to measure it. The working principle of the doorbell transformer is to transform the normal household voltage of 120 volts to 8 or 24 volts.
For those who want to know more you can read our article of How Much Power (Watts) Does a Monitor.
How Does Doorbell Electric System Work?
To better understand how many watts do doorbells use, we need to understand the main principle of how they operate. In the text below I will explain the step-by-step process of what is needed for a doorbell to function properly, and how it uses its energy (electricity) to work. So, let’s start.
- The power consumption of an electric home doorbell is about 2 Watts.
- The step-down transformer converts high voltage to low voltage as shown in the figure.
Every household typically have 120 volts for most circuits. There are a few circuits in every home that require 240 volts, such as electric clothes dryers. On the other hand, doorbells need a low voltage which means they need to convert 120 volts all the way down to the 8-24 volts that is required to operate the chime. That’s why the step-down transformer is needed. The transformer works on the principle when the high voltage current comes, to use the transformer to convert it to a low voltage current. Therefore, a step-down transformer is a very important element for the bell to work.
For the doorbell to work, it needs a switch that is connected with a thin wire that leads from the step-down transformer to the doorbell chime. The reason why small gauge wires are needed is that there is a low voltage passing through them. The switch (doorbell button) that is located outside the home interrupts the flow of electricity. Therefore it is needed to push a button to complete the circuit which then activates the doorbell ring.
When the electrical current reaches the chime, it triggers a piston that lets the electricity pass through an electromagnet. That activates the bell (tone) that indicates that someone has come at front of your house. Some models of chime come with separate terminals. On each terminal, you have a different sound so you can recognize at which door the visitor has come. The voltage that is required to produce the sound must be the same for either terminal.
4. Electrical Safety
Although the voltage on the doorbell is very low, you always need to test it first. This applies if you need to work on a doorbell or to test one. Always use the multimeter or some other electrical tester to check the voltage before you start working on the doorbell. If your step-down transformer is broken, then the voltage may be 120 volts which can be very dangerous.
Each of us have a home doorbell in our home that is used on a daily basis. Apart from the fact that it is good to know how it works, it is also good to know how much energy (watts) the electric doorbell actually uses. In this article, we explained what parts each doorbell have of and how much power it takes to work. Now that you are more familiar with this, I hope we have helped you get a better perspective on how much one electric doorbell use watts. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact us.
Do you know How Much Electricity (kWh) Does a Garage Door Opener Use? If not, then I advise you to read this. You will be surprised.