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 Post subject: mu16 or gu10 led
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:48 pm 
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I am having to replace or repair my existing 12 volt mu16 halogen spot lights.

What's better and more efficient? Replace with 12 volt mu16 leds (replacing the transformers) or replace with 240 volt gu 10


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 Post subject: Re: mu16 or gu10 led
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:50 am 
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I do not know what a mu16 is? I will guess you mean MR16 which stands for multifaceted reflector 16/8 inch diameter which since a LED often does not have a reflector as such they may replace the MR16 but are not actually MR16 lamps, which with quarts lamps covers GU10, G5.3 and even some E14 lamps.

However that is being pedantic so down to real world. If you have a real transformer then it is simply a case of swapping the bulbs to LED, this is what I did, however in the main we use electronic transformers which are not really transformers but a switched mode power supply and although so will supply from zero to a set maximum for example 105 VA (In real terms VA = Watts) many will not supply under a limit so common to see 35 - 105 VA which means it needs a 35 watt load to work, and also the output is not 50 Hz and most the LED 12 volt lamps MR16 equivalent are rated 50 - 60 Hz so they need a proper transformer.

LED's are current not voltage sensitive and inside the bulb there are components called drivers which convert the lamp from being current dependent to being voltage dependent these components vary and as the user we have really no idea what is inside the bulb, so we also have no idea what will happen if we give a bulb marked 50 - 60 Hz a supply of Mhz range or DC, likely it will make no difference, but we don't know that for sure. You can get MR16 equivalent LED bulbs rated 10 ~ 36 Vdc these would likely be damaged with an AC supply, they are really for caravans and boats to be connected to a battery not a power supply, however these are expensive and your not likely to find them on the super market shelf.

For some reason which beats me, manufacturers some times call voltage regulated DC supplies drivers, really a driver is a current regulating device so rated 340 mA for example 0 ~ 12 volt, where the power supply required for most of the shelf 12 volt bulbs would be fixed at 12 volt and the current can vary, some LED's are 12 volt DC but for the MR16 replacement most are AC rated 50 - 60 Hz. So getting a 12 volt DC power supply may work OK in fact very likely it will work OK I have not found any that will not work with a DC supply, however the bulbs are not marked DC they are marked 50 - 60 Hz which is clearly AC. The whole rating and marking of the 12 volt bulbs and power supplies is crazy and so easy to get it wrong if you don't read the specs carefully.

So in the main using GU10 is so much easier, and the bulbs are easier to change. The 12 volt was to allow thicker filaments, and when electronic transformers were used a more carefully regulated supply to extend as much as possible the life of a quartz bulb, except for special locations with LED we are far better off with 230 volt versions, as with LED most the benefits of 12 volt has gone.

In real terms we as users want to be able to walk into the super market and pick up a LED bulb and for it to work when we get home without having to read all the small print, so the GU10 wins over the G5.3 as unless buying from the internet any GU10 bulb is likely to work OK. Just don't get the L2 holders, British law requires builders to fit so many lights in a house which will not take tungsten bulbs, some GU10 bulb holders have a centre spike which fits into a dimple found only in the LED bulbs so you can't replace a LED with a quartz bulb, theory is OK however many of the LED bulbs don't have the dimple so will not fit the L2 holders, there are three holders, the GZ10 will take dichromatic bulbs which allow heat to go through the reflector the GU10 will not take these bulbs. Using LED either GZ10 or GU10 holders are OK GU10 bulb will fit a GZ10 holder, but not other way around.

Do be away size matters, a lamp 2 inch across really needs to reflect the light off a while surface, but we can get away with it when it doesn't as long as we have enough of them. Many LED bulbs however don't use the full 2 inches, they have cooling fins taking up part of the area, again reflected from which surface or with a defuseder placed in front of the bulb it still can work. But many find when swapping from 2 inch to 1 inch due to cooling fins the light is not good enough.

If swapping the fitting do consider moving from 2 inch to 5 inch as same output works a lot better from a 5 inch lamp and with LED there are surface lamps which look as if let into ceiling but are not.


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 Post subject: Re: mu16 or gu10 led
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:51 pm 
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Ericmarc, Thanks for your insightful comments here. I too have the dreaded Mr16's in the kitchen and 2 bathrooms and have tried to replace dead halogens with LED's. Inevitably it flickers and I have to revert back to the halogens.

Would love to find a deal for GU10 ceiling light fittings and Led bulbs that does not break the bank.


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 Post subject: Re: mu16 or gu10 led
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:58 pm 
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The respected ericmark always gives comprehensive replies that go over my head. In your case I'm not sure what you're saying either but can I point out that you cannot simply replace a low voltage MR16 bulb with a LED version. Although both may be 12 volt, LED needs constant current so you have to change the psu in the ceiling too. That may be why they flicker.


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 Post subject: Re: mu16 or gu10 led
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:22 pm 
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I understand. But is it better to do away with transformers and use 240 v led bulbs, or use the 12volt ones by changing the transformers


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 Post subject: Re: mu16 or gu10 led
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:37 pm 
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If you have the earths required then better going to 230 Vac but some times because there are no earths it means a rewire to change.


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 Post subject: Re: mu16 or gu10 led
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:37 pm 
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Mains lamps are GU10, 12v are MR16, so if you opt for mains you will also have to change the lamp holder. if you opt to stay at 12v you will have to change the transformers too.............but you could always buy a bigger transformer that can run all the LED's
Either way you will have to spend more money :cb

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