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Thread: Replacing MR16 halogen downlights with LED alternatives

  1. #1
    Member Puffin's Avatar
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    Replacing MR16 halogen downlights with LED alternatives

    This is a re-examination of the same question as here from 6 years ago:
    https://www.nzhuntingandshooting.co....s-sparky-6956/

    I've been deferring making a change for a few years now, waiting for improved LED technology to make its way into replacements. 2019 and I think it may be time. Here are my criteria:

    - can replace just the MR16 bulbs, or at each location replace the whole fitting - existing diameter is 80mm,
    - can use the existing 12V transformers or can retire these and run direct from 230VAC,
    - 2700K - I think this is probably the best colour match for halogens but I'm prepared to stand corrected,
    - would like the replacements to deliver similar illumination to the working surfaces below, equiv intensity & angles,
    AND I would the replacements to either be sealed (if complete fittings) or permitted to run with covering insulation.

    This last one is what has had me waiting for LED efficiencies to rise. Is it now possible to get equivalent illumination from a LED source for a 50W halogen that doesn't also mean significant heat loss into the roof cavity?

    Would you kind forum members who have done the research and with a successful outcome please share your wisdom ?

  2. #2
    Member 199p's Avatar
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    When i replaced my downlights to led i went with bright white in key areas and softer light in bedrooms
    Konus binoculars " The power to imagine"

  3. #3
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    Down lights are cheap, just replace the whole fitting, most have 3 light intensity setting, the ones in my en-suite can dimmed by turning the switch on and off 3 settings
    Boom, cough,cough,cough

  4. #4
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    replace whole fitting with 240 V ones. 3k in living areas and bedrooms 3-7k in kitchen and work areas.

  5. #5
    Member Cordite's Avatar
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    Remember, you lose a localised heat source with every change to LEDs. Not a problem in living room where your heater likely lives, but think of the kids' bedrooms at the back, etc.
    OPS-4 likes this.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cordite View Post
    Remember, you lose a localised heat source with every change to LEDs. Not a problem in living room where your heater likely lives, but think of the kids' bedrooms at the back, etc.
    I think you loose more heat through the funnel effect than heat gain from the bulb in those old fittings.
    @Puffin I’ll bring a couple of cheap commercial LED fittings around for you to test and play with.
    Micky Duck likes this.
    Remember the 7 Ps; Pryor Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

  7. #7
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    make sure u get ones u can cover with insulation.
    some of the older or cheaper ones cant be

  8. #8
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    Robus is a good brand to go for, some are switchable from 3k 4.5k and 6.8k so 3k for bedrooms/living. 4.5k for kitches and 4.5 or 6.8 for workbenches (pretty harsh light for working under )
    Maca49 likes this.

  9. #9
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    Replacing the entire fitting with an LED fitting is the best way to go. Just measure the cut-out size before you replace. Halogen transformers don’t have a long life span, MR16 lamp holders are pretty crap too. You can get LED downlights from $20 to $70+ at wholesalers. If you don’t mind spending a bit, I’d recommend Switch downlights, they’re NZ made and are very good quality. Also, I wouldn’t go brighter than 4K in a home, and keep the colour the same throughout.
    More meplat, more better.

  10. #10
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    K rating is colour temperature not a brightness level which is measured in lumens, the higher the K the whiter the light and the slightly more "blue glare" , great for working on intricate things but too high and its a bit much for eg watching
    TV. i have my whole house in 4k but the poise lamp over my workbench is 6.5K

  11. #11
    Member Puffin's Avatar
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    Thanks for replies, things to consider.
    Has anyone gone out of their way to fit only high CRI lights?
    450lm is going to be about right to replace 50W halogens, and at current efficiencies that would be about 7W for a 2700K-3000K LED. I'm hoping I can run with this level of dissipation in a sealed light or one that can be run with insulation over the top and not have a significantly accelerated drop in light output over time.

  12. #12
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    one big thing to consider is the spread of the led beam, you dont want too narrow a spread or you will end up with pools of light and dark patches between. take into account ceiling height and angle of spread before you purchase.
    2700K is a bit yellow
    all mine are 4000k and 12 watts each, think i may add more to the kitchen soon

  13. #13
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    I'm not sparky, but have been progressively replacing 'standard' downlights ( R80's?) and MR16 halogens with LEDS in our place. Current fittings are only 16 years old, and some were pricey so have typically replaced the whole unit for the downlights, and just the lamps and transformers/drivers for the MR16's. Did find in some cases that the older transformers wouldn't fire up the LEDS ( MR16 lamp swaps) so needed to replace them. Have been fitting both 3700 and 4000K.

    Agree with Tanqueray that Switch fittings are good quality, but again not cheap.

    Have been getting mine from suppliers like J A Russell, or Ideal.........if you can haggle with them to give you trade price (or something approaching that) they will be heaps cheaper than say for Mitre10 or Bunnings.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonetropo View Post
    K rating is colour temperature not a brightness level which is measured in lumens, the higher the K the whiter the light and the slightly more "blue glare" , great for working on intricate things but too high and its a bit much for eg watching
    TV. i have my whole house in 4k but the poise lamp over my workbench is 6.5K
    Yeah I know, I kinda worded that wrong. Puffin, if you work out what you want hit me up, we’ve got accounts at most of the electrical wholesalers so I can get them cheaper than you can most likely.
    More meplat, more better.

  15. #15
    Member Puffin's Avatar
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    Closing off this investigation. Thanks for the replies.
    This links to what I believe are the best readily-available replacements for MR16 50W halogens at the moment.
    Costly though. Three colour temperatures available, four beamwidth angles.
    Designed for spotlighting artwork or displays. CRI of 97%.
    MASTER LEDspot ExpertColor LV LED spots - Philips

 

 

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