Which MR16 Downlighter Bulbs should I choose?

Over the last 2 decades halogen downlighter spots have very much come into fashion. They are used extensively in kitchens and bathrooms to produce clear bright lights in those rooms where clear vision is of importance. Then to add to this they are now incorporated into a large number of modern and contemporary design schemes to bring an upto date look through the introduction of state-of-the-art technology.
Whilst the look is still good then the conventional MR16 halogen downlighter does have two distinct disadvantages over the latest new technology offerring. Firstly, the halogen MR16 bulbs are quite inefficient and typically you will need an array of say 6 to 8 downlighters of typically 35W output to illuminate the space. This means that your electricity consumption will be high as 8x35watt bulbs consumes 280 watts! Secondly, as a result of the high power consumption and the small size of the MR16 bulbs then they do get very hot. This can manifest itself as an inconvenience, but more importantly it can be a potential fire risk if care is not taken during insulation and operational use. With the recent advancement in technologies in energy saving light bulbs then there are now product offerings that will give you improved efficiencies and that can also provide environmental benefits.

Energy Saving MR16 CFL
MR16 CFL Bulb The energy saving MR16 which uses the compact fluorescent lamp CFL technology will offer some real energy saving benefits. A MR16 CFL rated at just 11 watts will give you the same output as a 50 watt conventional halogen bulb. That is a phenomenal saving in electricity and as a result of the reduced consumption, the bulb will only reach a fraction of the temperature of the traditional halogen bulb. The bulb is of similar proportions to the standard halogen bulb but the looks are different as you will see the fluorescent spiral tube tucked away inside the reflector and to give maximum output from the bulb quite often there is no cover glass. This means that there is no light energy lost in the cover glass to maximise output and reduce heat levels. Now there is one very important word of warning. The CFL MR16 does generally need a special 12 volt transformer that has the right specification for the bulb and they invariably will not work with normal halogen 12 volt transformers. So, make sure that you get the right transformer to match the bulb and if in doubt check with the bulb supplier.

LED MR16 Bulbs

LED MR16 Bulb For the ultimate in energy saving MR16 spots then the LED MR16 has definitely got to be the choice. The LED MR16 Bulb is highly efficient which means that you can get the same light output from a 3 watt LED that you would get from a traditional halogen 35 watt bulb which is a massive energy saving. Now there are 2 types to choose from from an aesthetic perspective. The illustrated bulb has 3 single unit 1 watt high power LED units to make up the 3 watts output. However, conversely the bulbs can be made by using a multitude of small LED’s, which would be 80 for a 3 watt unit, that means that visually you will see a spectrum of illuminated dots. The multiple LED bulbs are cheaper to manufacture and give a more high technology look, where the high power units produce a more uniform beam. The final consideration is the environment, assuming that is on your agenda!. The LED bulbs will last typically 30000 hours which is 3 times longer than the CFL bulbs which means that landfill is reduced. Additionally the LED bulbs do not contain any mercury, unlike the CFL’s, which means that end of use disposal is more straightforward.

2 thoughts on “Which MR16 Downlighter Bulbs should I choose?”

  1. Great article! Thanks for that, it seriously helped me make a good decision on which down lighter I should buy. Thanks a ton, and best wishes on doing great on your site.

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