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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:58 pm 
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I have 4 halogen spotlights in my bathroom. One of them being integrated into an extractor fan which is over the shower (with no waterproof cover). The 3 spotlights all have individual little transformers in the ceiling, with "20-60VA Transformer for LV-Halogen lamps" written on it. The extractor fan has a slightly different one but also says "20-60W/VA".

A couple of the spots have blown, and I was intending to replace with LED lamps. Is this safe? If yes...

1. What LED bulbs do I need? The halogen ones in the 3 spots are 12v/35w, and the one in the extractor is 12v/20w.
2. Do I need to replace all 4 of them in one go given they are on the same circuit but all have individual transformers?
3. Do I need a special bulb for the one in the extractor fan over the shower?

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 8:33 pm 
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:welcome: I shall try and explain.

LED lamps do not like AC, your "transformers" output is AC
Also your "transformers" have a minimum load of 20W, most single LED lamps are rated less than 10W

You have 2 choices.

1) Change the transformers to "LED Drivers"
2) Change the whole fitting as required to accept mains GU10 LED (except the shower one, that has to be 12v)

You can change them on an "as and when" basis, no need to change them all at once.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:28 pm 
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So all this "most halogen transformers are ok to run LEDs aswell as long as you get an equivalent LED wattage bulb (like approx 4-5w to replace a 35w halogen)" is rubbish advice?


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:41 pm 
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I guess it depends on how the advice was meant to be taken.

They appear to be saying that the light output of a 5w led is the equivalent of a 35w halogen.

The fact is most transformers will only work when they "see" a minimum load, in your case that minimum load is 20w.

You are more than welcome to not believe me, go and buy a 5w led lamp and try it and find out for your self.

To be slightly pedantic about it, I should also point out that Watts are a measurement of energy, so a 5w led lamp cannot be the same as a 35w halogen lamp.
Light is also measured in LUX
Then there is the question of colour, most LED lamps are available in warm white (a yellow / orange tint) or cool white (a blue ish tint) that is a matter of personal taste.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 7:13 am 
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The advice was basically....buy these 4w LEDs, plug them in where your 35w halogens were, and they will just work. But, I don't want to buy them, find they don't work, and then end up having to change transformers.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 9:16 am 
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In that case as I said previously they will not work.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:13 am 
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Ok cool. Thanks for all the help! I've ordered some halogens!!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:02 pm 
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someone-else wrote:
:welcome: I shall try and explain.

LED lamps do not like AC, your "transformers" output is AC
Also your "transformers" have a minimum load of 20W, most single LED lamps are rated less than 10W

You have 2 choices.

1) Change the transformers to "LED Drivers"
2) Change the whole fitting as required to accept mains GU10 LED (except the shower one, that has to be 12v)

You can change them on an "as and when" basis, no need to change them all at once.



Just to add to your points.

The GU 5.3 base LED lamps will in most cases work on AC, they will of course, as you say, not work with a transformer if they are below the minimum load of the transformer.

Another option is.

Bin the transformers and change the fitting holder from a GU5.3 to a GU10 holder and buy a 230V GU10 LED lamp. Now this depends on the actual fitting but is something I have done many times and still kept the old fitting.

eg something like this
https://www.nationallighting.co.uk/elec ... -50w-white

Cheaper than buying new drivers or fittings if you can get away with it.

As for the shower light, as you said, that will need a new 12 V driver.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:48 pm 
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Thanks!!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:11 am 
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LED spots are designed for AC it is often written on them 50 Hz, however although your electronic transformers do give out AC they are in kHz range not 50 Hz and will not work with less then 20 watt. You would need toroidal lighting transformers like these Image which are 50 Hz and have no minimum output.

However since with LED there is little gain using extra low voltage, if the location will permit I would change to low voltage (230 volt) units instead, also LED lamps need cooling so often the lamp does not cover the whole 16/8 inch (2 inch) with cooling fins taking up some space, if they shine onto white surfaces which reflect the light OK, but if not then they can seem darker as the floor etc absorbs the light, so you may want to fit larger diameter units.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:19 am 
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All v confusing, just putting halogens back in!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:25 am 
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someone-else wrote:
1) Change the transformers to "LED Drivers"
2) Change the whole fitting as required to accept mains GU10 LED (except the shower one, that has to be 12v)

In the main LED replacement for MR16 with G5.3 pins are AC units with 50 Hz printed on them, LED Drivers are normally DC not AC true drivers control the current, although lighting industry do seem to also call voltage regulated units drivers, however they are used with those strips of LED's that are often used under counters, but not the spot lights.

You can get DC LED spot lights, normally a lot more expensive, and designed for use with a smooth supply often rated 10 - 30 volt really for battery operation, the 12 voltage regulated driver could damage these lamps as in general not smooth enough to supply the lamps built in driver.

Image If you look carefully you can see 50 Hz on the base.


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