/ Any sparks? Low energy lights help.
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?
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.
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.
> 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.
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
Looking at that thread though you can get 12V leds so a simple swap is possible.
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.
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.
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...
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!
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.
These LED drivers are DC
> So the upshot is - I've just spent £250 on bloody lightbulbs!
Welcome to the future!
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