HELP! Changing recessed spotlights - completely befuddled!

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xner
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HELP! Changing recessed spotlights - completely befuddled!

Post by xner » Tue May 14, 2019 8:44 pm

Apologies for bumping an old thread if it's against the rules. I have the same light fittings and wanted to ask for some more details on changing the fitting. There are metal prongs in the black connector as shown in the attached image. How do I go about finding a new fitting that connects in the same way? I want to replace the light with brighter ones - is there a limit to the wattage of the new lights?
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Re: HELP! Changing recessed spotlights - completely befuddl

Post by xner » Wed May 15, 2019 9:26 am

Can't edit the OP but this post was moved from help-changing-recessed-spotlights-compl ... 95559.html

For context, I'm trying to change the recessed spotlights in my flat but they don't look like normal bulbs. The fitting has a black wire connector and clips in to a black wire coming from the ceiling. The text on the side of the fitting says 'MR16-7W 4000K'.

Is there a transformer in the ceiling? Can I take it all out and replace with a fitting that will take normal light bulbs?
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Re: HELP! Changing recessed spotlights - completely befuddl

Post by Bob225 » Wed May 15, 2019 3:25 pm

it will have a power supply as it a ccfl (Cold-cathode fluorescent lamp) I cant quite make it out but I think its a MR 16

iirc ccfl are high voltage

edit. if you want to replace them with leds you will need to rewire
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Re: HELP! Changing recessed spotlights - completely befuddl

Post by someone-else » Wed May 15, 2019 5:47 pm

Change the whole fitting, that way you can have what ever you like
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Re: HELP! Changing recessed spotlights - completely befuddl

Post by xner » Wed May 15, 2019 6:42 pm

Please tell me how I can change the whole fitting/how to find a replacement? I am no DIY expert.
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Re: HELP! Changing recessed spotlights - completely befuddl

Post by someone-else » Wed May 15, 2019 7:16 pm

You take the old fitting out, measure the size of the hole left and install new lights that fit the size of the hole.
You get new fittings almost any diy shop, but you could start at screwfix

What you appear to have is a dedicated fitting. The idea was that you can only replace it with what is already there (CFL lamp) there was also a similar idea with pendant lamp holders (The ones that hang down and you put your choice of lamp shade on) there were some that had 3 "holes" so you could only use a "special" CFL lamp. People did the obvious, took the lamp holder down and put up a normal one.
You need to do the same.
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Re: HELP! Changing recessed spotlights - completely befuddl

Post by xner » Sun May 19, 2019 12:05 am

Do I need to replace the transformer to install LEDs?
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Re: HELP! Changing recessed spotlights - completely befuddl

Post by OnlyMe » Sun May 19, 2019 7:34 am

Is there only one transformer for all the lights. Any markings on the transformer?
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Re: HELP! Changing recessed spotlights - completely befuddl

Post by ericmark » Sun May 19, 2019 7:46 am

Since a cold cathode lamp no idea of voltage or any other details of the power supply, MR16 means it has a multifaceted reflector and is 16/8" across, but 12 volt (extra low voltage) normally G5.3 base, and 230 volt (low voltage) normally GU10 base, use the same name.

A 12 volt LED MR16 will work from a 12 volt transformer, but will not work from most electronic transformers.

But a cold cathode lamp may have a ballast rather than a transformer, so you need to find it and read what it says on the unit. Building regulations at one point required a set percentage of lamps in a new build to be of a type with less heat output, we had as already said the BA22d fitting with three slots instead of two, and the GU10L1 fitting which was same as the GU10 but with a dimple in middle so standard tungsten bulbs would not fit, the problem was neither would most LED bulbs.

I think the Part L1 building regulations have changed, as not seen the special holders that would not take non energy saving for some time, but I can't find any info on what you have, so you will likely need to find the power supply and take a picture of the label for anyone to know what it is.
Bob225 wrote:it will have a power supply as it a ccfl (Cold-cathode fluorescent lamp) I cant quite make it out but I think its a MR 16

iirc ccfl are high voltage

edit. if you want to replace them with leds you will need to rewire
I am reasonable sure they are not high voltage, I suspect well under 1000 volt, we are not in USA, in the UK up to 50 volt is extra low voltage, the site 110 volt supplies (55-0-55) is reduced low voltage, and normal house hold supply is low voltage. There are some high voltage supplies to neon lights, but sure not used in domestic homes?
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Re: HELP! Changing recessed spotlights - completely befuddl

Post by ericmark » Sun May 19, 2019 7:47 am

xner wrote:Do I need to replace the transformer to install LEDs?
No using the GU10 base you can get 230 volt LED lamps.
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Re: HELP! Changing recessed spotlights - completely befuddl

Post by ericmark » Sun May 19, 2019 7:49 am

OnlyMe wrote:Is there only one transformer for all the lights. Any markings on the transformer?
Is it a transformer, or a ballast?
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Re: HELP! Changing recessed spotlights - completely befuddl

Post by xner » Sun May 19, 2019 6:36 pm

I had a dig around the ceiling and this is what I found (couldn't get it out of the hole). I believe the bulb is an MR16 GU5.3
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Re: HELP! Changing recessed spotlights - completely befuddl

Post by someone-else » Sun May 19, 2019 6:51 pm

As I said previously your light fittings were installed with the idea you will use cfl lamps. (The ones you have now) but as we all (now) know CFL lamps are rubbish. So again, the item (ballast) in your picture will have to go.

Oh, and the bad news is, every light you have (That has a curly lamp) will have a ballast.
But look on the bright side, you only have to get rid of them once, then you can have halogen lamps, warm white LED Lamps, cool white LED lamps, RGB LED Lamps. What I am saying is there are many more options open to you if you get rid of all those CFL lamps and the gear each one has.
Fret not, a forum is a collection of opinions. Above, are mine.

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Working on anything electrical? have you got a multi meter? why not? Would you hit a nail with a shoe?

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Re: HELP! Changing recessed spotlights - completely befuddl

Post by xner » Sun May 19, 2019 7:16 pm

Thanks. I assume this will need wire stripping etc and I am better off getting an electrician in?
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Re: HELP! Changing recessed spotlights - completely befuddl

Post by someone-else » Sun May 19, 2019 7:56 pm

Some alterations will be needed yes. If you feel confident you can do it, but you don't need an electrician. You need some one like wine~O, he is a handyman, who knows how to change lights, switches and other things. So he would cost less than an electrician and could still do the job, or you could (as I said) DIY
Fret not, a forum is a collection of opinions. Above, are mine.

Which is correct? Metre or Meter? Click the link to find out more.

Working on anything electrical? have you got a multi meter? why not? Would you hit a nail with a shoe?

If gloom had a voice, it would be me. :mrgreen:

:idea1: How to post a picture on this forum Click here
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