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Swapping from halogen spotlights to LEDs

Discussion in 'Home and Garden' started by Scotty123, 29 Mar 2021.

  1. Scotty123

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 16 Aug 2010

    Posts: 1,344

    Location: Leeds

    I currently have 17 (!) of these halogen spotlights (MR16/ gu5.3 I think they are, 12V) that are 50W each. I want to change these to LEDs. A couple of years ago I swapped one out with an LED (12 v also) to see what it was like. It flickered, burnt and then went off straight away so went back to the halogen lights and that was that.

    I would like to actually swap them out now as after having a smart meter installed, it has made me realise what they cost. I remembered the above situation where trying one died. After some reading around, it looks like for LEDs you need transformers as it is stepping down the voltage to 12v. The halogens currently there should have a transformer as they are also 12v. Do I need to replace the halogen transformers (not sure I even can, probably in the ceiling somewhere and I don't want to pull the ceiling apart) with LED specific ones or can they handle LEDs? I read LEDs are dc too whereas the halogens will be AC. I thought maybe the halogen transformer caused the LED issues.

    Maybe I just need reputable LEDs. These were some random brand off Amazon (Kakunuo).
     
  2. watercooledman

    Hitman

    Joined: 12 Jan 2021

    Posts: 922

    They are just plug and play
     
  3. Mercenary Keyboard Warrior

    Capodecina

    Joined: 4 Aug 2007

    Posts: 12,491

    Location: Wilds of suffolk

  4. fezster

    Hitman

    Joined: 7 Jan 2007

    Posts: 669

    Most 12v halogen transformers require a minimum current before activating. The problem is LEDs draw such a small amount of current, they may not activate the transformer. You'd have to rewire to run multiple LEDs off of a single transformer.

    There may be a solution to the above, but the easiest thing to do is to get rid of the 12v transformer and fit new gu10 mains voltage spotlight fittings.
     
  5. Scotty123

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 16 Aug 2010

    Posts: 1,344

    Location: Leeds

    I am not sure where the transformers are. Maybe close to the bulb itself. I am in a modern-ish flat (2004). If the transformers can't be pulled through the hole, I would rather not open up the ceiling :p. I don't know if it's a transformer per halogen bulb, or per light switch etc.

    I have two normal bulbs in the flat. I think the normal types are definitely plug and play as the transformer is contained within the bulb base itself?
     
  6. 200sols

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 14 Jan 2018

    Posts: 7,525

    Location: Hampshire

    I'd replace them all with 240v integrated LEDs like Aurora Enlites if possible.
     
  7. lookitsjonno

    Mobster

    Joined: 10 Sep 2003

    Posts: 4,376

    Location: Midlands

    I looked into this and didn't bother. The running cost wasn't worth the reward in time and materials removing the old transformers (under loft boarding with heaps of stuff on top). They cost less than £15 a year to run.
     
  8. fezster

    Hitman

    Joined: 7 Jan 2007

    Posts: 669

    The transformer can almost definitely be pulled through the hole. They can and do go faulty so they should be replaceable (only a moron would make them completely inaccessible).
     
  9. Steampunk

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 1 Jun 2013

    Posts: 8,651

    If you don't want to mess with getting rid of the transformers and rewiring, there are 12 volt MR16s you can buy that should be a straight swap.