RobK

LED lighting options

24 posts in this topic

My previous house had something like 60 GU10 spotlights which I bought LED lamps for and worked perfectly.  I've just moved and the new place has 80 spotlights which I was going to put the LEDs in, but I then discovered they're actually GU5.3 MR16 low voltage jobs.  I bought a load of new LEDs to put in them but they flickered horribly due to transformer compatibility problems.  The only ones I've found that work OK are some quite pricey Philips ones, but even those have a slight flicker.

So my options are:

1. Shell out for the Philips bulbs and live with the slight flickering

2. Replace all the transformers for LED drivers and get cheaper bulbs

3. Get rid of all the transformers, fit GU10 lamp holders and use the bulbs I have from before.

Is there anything I need to consider when doing any of that?  E.g. can I put GU10s in bathrooms?  Is any of those options more efficient electrically?

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Transformer replacement would be my way forward.  You could then look at dimmable LED's in future too.

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Personally I'd just remove the transformers and fit GU10's, no problem in bathrooms as it's the housing that gives the correct rating.

Edited by Tipex
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I think the GU10 option is my preferred choice since I already have most of the bulbs and it would work out the cheapest.  It would take ages though and knowing my DIY skills I'd probably knacker a few of the light fittings and/or ceiling in the process. 

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Another vote for getting rid of all the transformers, and fitting GU10 lamp holders.

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There loads of good product now.

 

With 80 odd I'd be thinking of buying some GU10 lamp holders and leads £2.00 each, and dumping the transformers.

Most existing MR lamp cases can take a LED GU10 lamp, dump the transformer, dump the MR holder and lead and as a temp fix you convert all and sundry to LED.

Longer term you need to think about getting half those holes out the ceilings and go for wider spread full fat LED. Four of those babies beat a bathroom with 8 GU10 lamps (44w v 400w). Having 80 torches as lights in a house is so not good, thermal waste, energy waste, money waste, fire passage and worse still it doesn't seem fashionable. 

Trend seems to be floor lamps and wall plugs for lighting, on a double / quad light switch, in addition to whatever the light switch turns on and off.

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Calm Chris said:

There loads of good product now.

 

With 80 odd I'd be thinking of buying some GU10 lamp holders and leads £2.00 each, and dumping the transformers.

Most existing MR lamp cases can take a LED GU10 lamp, dump the transformer, dump the MR holder and lead and as a temp fix you convert all and sundry to LED.

Longer term you need to think about getting half those holes out the ceilings and go for wider spread full fat LED. Four of those babies beat a bathroom with 8 GU10 lamps (44w v 400w). Having 80 torches as lights in a house is so not good, thermal waste, energy waste, money waste, fire passage and worse still it doesn't seem fashionable. 

Trend seems to be floor lamps and wall plugs for lighting, on a double / quad light switch, in addition to whatever the light switch turns on and off.

 

 

Yep, from memory when I bought some about 18 months ago I got Screwfix GU10 LEDs @ £30 for ten, current regulation 240v GU10 holders from reputable seller on Amazon @ £7 for ten, and plain white fittings from B&Q @ £2 each

Only other essential was a 66 or 67mm whole saw!  And if you have OCD like me, a bit of patience with a convex curved wood file to get a nice neat perfect fit

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Some good advice here, thanks all. 

 

11 hours ago, Calm Chris said:

Longer term you need to think about getting half those holes out the ceilings and go for wider spread full fat LED. Four of those babies beat a bathroom with 8 GU10 lamps (44w v 400w). Having 80 torches as lights in a house is so not good, thermal waste, energy waste, money waste, fire passage and worse still it doesn't seem fashionable. 

I'm not a big fan of spotlights either, I find the light is very patchy.   I suspect they've done it this way because it's an old house and the ceilings are quite low.  I had a few of these at my old house and they were great, wish I could just chuck a few of those in!

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We replaced all our halogen fittings with new LEDs and went for the ultra white and cool white wide spread bulbs.  The difference it has made is remarkable.  They're now in the kitchen, utility room, porch, ensuite, downstairs WC and two bathrooms - and they're about to go into an office room and right the way across the landing hallway. 

After that they'll be going in all the bedrooms.  The only rooms we'll have left with traditional lighting will be the living room, dining room and entrance hallway - and that is only because they were too bloody much to bin and are 'feature' lights!

I have to confess I love cool white LED spotlights.  I think they give a feeling of space and light that is almost impossible to match, but it is a classic case of each to their own and you do need to invest in good quality and wide spread bulbs.

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We've got MR16s in both bathrooms, the kitchen and my office too so about 30-odd fittings and then about 15 GU10s everywhere

Only experience I had with LEDs in the past was the eBay chinese jobbies that just looked cr@p: the warm whites were yellow and the cool whites too blue

I'd love to swap out to the more "natural white" halogen MR16s we have and switching to GU10s does seem the way to go them.

The outlay of bulbs, fittings swap, electrician always never seemed worth it when you can buy cheapo GU10s but need to get it done....

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We've had most of our lights in well over a year now.

You might recall how I used to moan about our huge electric bills?  It used to be a subject of much ridicule on here due to our girls and their habit of leaving every light on in every room at every hour of every day!

Since changing to LED's (bearing in mind we still have other rooms to get through) the monthly electricity bill has dropped by 20% (20.3% to be precise. :grin:).  I won't be surprised if we realise a 30% saving by the time we've done the rest of the house.

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3 hours ago, Waylander said:

Only experience I had with LEDs in the past was the eBay chinese jobbies that just looked cr@p: the warm whites were yellow and the cool whites too blue

I had the same experience with the old generation LEDs, they were really dim and the light quality was horrible.  The new Integral 3000K ones I got were brilliant though, very clear white light and really bright.

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2 hours ago, NewNiceMrMe said:

We've had most of our lights in well over a year now.

You might recall how I used to moan about our huge electric bills?  It used to be a subject of much ridicule on here due to our girls and their habit of leaving every light on in every room at every hour of every day!

Since changing to LED's (bearing in mind we still have other rooms to get through) the monthly electricity bill has dropped by 20% (20.3% to be precise. :grin:).  I won't be surprised if we realise a 30% saving by the time we've done the rest of the house.

Ooh nice. My utility bill is ridiculous too. I pay a month what I paid quarterly at old house 

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Evry thing here is now energy saving.

 

The fridge, freezer, washing machine, all the lights, all the TV's aside one juicy plasma unit. Even the CH pump is low enegy.

likely the most power hungry items are the desk top pc's, both have lumpy psu's

 

 Our bill for electric based on washine machine every day, two electric ovens, and four adults in the house is sub £550 a year

 

 

image.png

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As above, switching all the lights to LED slashed our electricity bill, I'd say by at least 30%, possibly even up to 40%.

 

I never realised just how much of the bill related to lighting and how little to everything else, we're far from careful either, many chargers left plugged in switched on when not charging anything, TV's on standby, washing machine and tumble dryer twice a day, electric oven an hob etc etc.

 

Makes me wonder how there can still be threats of electricity shortages in the future when everything we buy is more energy efficient that the item it replaces?

 

We're using far less electricity today than we did ten years ago, despite having more items that consume electricity.

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21 minutes ago, Tipex said:

As above, switching all the lights to LED slashed our electricity bill, I'd say by at least 30%, possibly even up to 40%.

 

I never realised just how much of the bill related to lighting and how little to everything else, we're far from careful either, many chargers left plugged in switched on when not charging anything, TV's on standby, washing machine and tumble dryer twice a day, electric oven an hob etc etc.

 

Makes me wonder how there can still be threats of electricity shortages in the future when everything we buy is more energy efficient that the item it replaces?

 

We're using far less electricity today than we did ten years ago, despite having more items that consume electricity.

Imagine how much you could save if you dimmed them too

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Then I wouldn't be able to see where I was going!

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On 03/08/2016 at 0:02 AM, Biscuits said:

Imagine how much you could save if you dimmed them too

The porch interior lights are on two dimmers.  The new office area lights will be on the same (so we can dim the lights directly over where we will work, over the desk area, to avoid reflection in screens).  The rest are on standard switches.

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I've ordered 50 GU10 lamp holders to get started with, so will have a crack at it at the weekend.  I had a look in the ceiling space above part of the house and if they're all wired up like these it should be an easy job.

lights.jpg

 

i.e. snip off old lamp holder and remove, disconnect transformer, feed new lamp holder wires up and connect to mains.  Mind you even at 5 minutes per light it will still take ages :uhoh:

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Rob. You might find that the heat from the halogen lamps has melted or made the terminal blocks on the top of the fittings brittle, depends how old they are (don't look that old tbh).  I would snip the white 240v cable close to the transformer and connect directly to the new GU10 lamp holder wires, using WAGO connectors rather that connector block (that's sooooooo last century!)  They are awesome, safe and save a LOT of time.

3-way Wago's can be used for pretty much any job: 3-Way WAGO Connectors - Box of 50

Get a pair of these too:  Automatic Wire Strippers

What GU10 LED lamps are you going for ?  If you want to know what ones dim well, have a look here: Rako dimmable LED test results

 

EDIT: The new WAGO lever connectors are a bit smaller and sexier looking :)   New WAGO 3-way connectors

Edited by Biscuits
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I wasn't planning on using the connector block on top of the fitting, I was thinking of connecting the new lamp holder wires up to the block inside the chocbox (or bundle of tape on that one there!) and getting rid of the transformer and wires completely.  I guess using the WAGO connectors might save a bit of time but then there'd be 2 lots of connections.

I'm going to use the lamps I had from before which are these: Integral LED Spotlight Bulb (GU10 5 W).  I don't have any dimmer switches so that's not a concern.  I'll probably get some warmer white ones for the living room though as those ones aren't especially warm looking despite being labelled 3000K.

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4 hours ago, NewNiceMrMe said:

The porch interior lights are on two dimmers.  The new office area lights will be on the same (so we can dim the lights directly over where we will work, over the desk area, to avoid reflection in screens).  The rest are on standard switches.

Good point. I tend to switch off the ones overlying the desk when reporting and use a desk lamp but getting a dimmer switch in a dimmable led gu10s setup should be factored in whenever I get round to making the switch from the MR16s

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