/ Any sparks? Low energy lights help.

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
andy - on 09 Nov 2012
I think one of the reason my electricity bill is so astronomical is the very large number (c40) low-voltage down lighters, some of which are on almost permanently, in our house (it's a converted bungalow with a central hallway with no windows).

So I want, in the interests of naked self-interest and being greener, to use a low energy equivalent. I can see lots of MR16 LED bulbs, but I'm assuming I can't just plug those into the existing transformers. I know it's going to cost me some money initially, but to be honest I'd rather do a room at a time and get the new ones in - but if I can get away without replacing all the fittings that would be brill.

Are LEDs the answer or is there another option?

ta
EeeByGum - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to andy: I know it is the hallway, but could a single uplighter with energy saving light bulb be the solution? You could then save the big light for special occasions and to tie you over until you put the lamp on?
Tall Clare - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to andy:

One of my brothers has been replacing halogen bulbs in his house with LED ones, with no re-fitting that I know of - apparently it's making a big difference to his electricity bill. We need to do the same in our kitchen and bathrooms.
andy - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to EeeByGum: I don't really want to fit any extra lights, and there's no room to put anything floor standing in. I know I can get LED mains voltage lights that will replace the existing ones for about 20 a go, but that'll be about a grand to do the whole house, as well as the pain in the bum of having to pull all the fittings out etc.
andy - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to Tall Clare: so do they work with the existing transformers? Oldfields in Skipton didn't seem to think they would.
TomBaker - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to andy: This totally depends on the LED bulbs you buy, some are made to fit directly into old style light fittings others aren't.
andy - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to TomBaker: The MR16 LED bulbs will fit - it's just I'm not sure if the transformers will work, or whether I need new transformers, or no transformers at all!
JH74 - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

The trouble with led replacements/gu10 mr16 is that they are rated for 30,000 hours for example (some are 50k etc) and yet their guarantee is for 1 year only. If you spent 10 quid a bulb and it definitely lasted for its intended period then the choice would be simple - go with led. Thing is it only takes for 1 or 2 to fail prematurely but after the guarantee period for many/most payback scenarios to be blown out of the water, and they do fail still.

I built my house with 51 2.4watt downlighters at a cost of 8.95 each (what an idealist nob I know) and if I were to do the whole thing again I'd have a single ceiling bulb in every room (low energy to comply with building regs etc) and light the place using table and floor lamps which is what we've ended up doing anyway. Much nicer having uplights/mood lights I think. Exception to this is kitchen but that is only 1 room.

Keep it simple and effective with minimal initial outlay is my advice.
Tall Clare - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to JH74:
>
>
> Keep it simple and effective with minimal initial outlay is my advice.

The OP already has the halogen lights fitted.

Just had a mail back from my brother - he swapped his over with no need for a different transformer.

ebygomm - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

But were they low voltage? If they were 240v spotlights you can make a straight swap which is what we did, if they're only 12v it's more complicated.

OP, this thread may be helpful

http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/led-downlighting-why-12v-mr16-and-not-240v-gu10
ebygomm - on 09 Nov 2012

Looking at that thread though you can get 12V leds so a simple swap is possible.
JH74 - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

My point still stands about installing 40 leds at x per bulb. Consider getting lamps and don't turn on the downlights? Year on year the price will come down until one day they're reasonable and maybe a bit more reliable.
elsewhere on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to andy:
You'll still need a transformer or the electronic equivalent to get the 12V as I doubt the wiring is rated for mains voltage.
Transformers often have a minimum power output but a version suitable for LEDs is not expensive. You can get away with cheaper less powerful LEDs in the hall using the existing wiring/fittings as you don't need bright light to read by.
Wulfrunian - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to andy:

Some low voltage MR16 LEDs will work with existing transformers, some won't. The spec for the lamp will usually say so. It is usually the more expensive ones, from a reputable manufacturer that will work.

Have you considered adding in a couple of sunpipes? Mind you, if the loft is now a living space, this may not be feasible...
andy - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to Wulfrunian: Thanks all - just spoken to a chap who says they test various LEDs with various transformers and he's come up with some that will deffo just plug in. The dimmable ones (at twenty quid a pop - ouch) are Phillips and have a 5 year warranty. The others are a tenner - (which is 5 times the price of normal MR16s but are cooler and will get our money back in a year or so).

Sunpipes/structural changes not an option, and as you surmise we have bedrooms upstair now anyway.

So the upshot is - I've just spent 250 on bloody lightbulbs!
teflonpete - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to andy:

I think 12V MR16 halogens usually run on 12V AC from fairly cheap transformers whereas 12V LED lamps run on 12V DC from more expensive constant voltage convertors. I don't know if you can get LED replacement lamps that will run on existing AC transformers.

http://www.screwfix.com/c/electrical-lighting/led-transformers/cat4750088

These LED drivers are DC
ads.ukclimbing.com
JH74 - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to andy:
> (In reply to Wulfrunian)
> So the upshot is - I've just spent 250 on bloody lightbulbs!

Welcome to the future!

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.