Have some lights in bedroom that are old and tatty - they are recessed ceiling spotlights. I would like to replace with new LED lights - not sure if I need a bit of a rewire in the room or can I just change each one individually?
In the main recessed ceiling lamps are MR16 units. That means multifaceted reflector and 16 x 1/8" across, not a clue why not called 2"?
These can be broadly split into two types, GU10 is normally 230 volt and swapping to LED is easy you just take old out and fit new. There may be a different spread of light as LED's don't use multifaceted reflectors so are not really MR16 but they are compatible.
The GU5.3 however is often 12 volt AC. There are real transformers (toroidal) and electronic transformers the latter is not really a transformer and often has a minimum output. So with real transformers (quite heavy) you may be able to just swap but with electronic transformers likely the transformer will need replacing.
LED's at current devices and required a driver to control the current, this is normally built into the package so you buy a voltage dependent unit but the built in driver may not like the peaks from a transformer but want a smooth DC supply. The word driver is also given to the constant voltage DC supply so you need to read what it says to ensure it is constant voltage not constant current. It should be marked 12 volt not 3 ~ 12 volt the latter is constant current.
Often where GU5.3 lamps are fitted it is better to convert to GU10 rather than mess around renewing transformers.
My lamps do have a proper toroidal transformer, but when I fitted some cheap LED GU5.3 lamps they only lasted 6 months. May be more expensive lamps would work better but I really don't want to waste my money.
My GU10 lamps have worked well, not one has failed in fact non of my LED lamps other than those 12 volt ones have failed. All my LED lighting is running from 230 volt now I was about to call them low voltage which is technically correct. 12 volt is extra low voltage. But so often lamps are incorrectly labelled. Always read the voltage.
Last one fitted to replace a halogen tube was actually 85 ~ 265 volt rated quite common for same lamp to work with 110 volt or 230 volt but not always, so either buy local or be very careful to read advert. Many sold for US market only.
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