Replacing Halogen MR16 with LED MR16 - transformer or driver?

sjw

Well-known Member
I've recently decided to replace the MR16 50W Halogen bulbs in the bathroom with 5W LED ones. I'm aware of the general feeling against MR16 bulbs and preference of GU10's but they're not real options in this situation..

There's a lot of information available on this and lots seems to be from a few years back and I'm just wondering have things changed with newer LED's. For example, you generally read LED's 'need' DC but that doesn't actually seem to be the case now - is this due to some circuitry in newer LED's maybe?
Anyway, currently I have 4 off 50W MR16 halogens - each powered by an individual transformer. A couple of months ago one of them failed and I replaced it with one of these. It's been fine.
Anyway, I thought the LED's would be a simple retro fit and that would be it... unfortunately, one of them occasionally flickers slightly - and another goes off after a while. Looking at it I think it's because the LED's don't draw enough power from the transformers so it either flickers or the transformer literally powers off as it doesn't sense a sufficient load. Make sense?

Given I've tried the bulbs and they 'work', I see two options:
  • wire the 4 bulbs in parallel to the new electronic transformer which should then bring it to the 20W 'minimum'?
  • buy a Driver (this?) and wire the bulbs to this instead? What would be to gain by going the Driver route - given they work individually with the transformer?

(also, back to my physics days..., wiring these in parallel is just a case of wiring each light into the output of the transformer/driver isn't it? i.e. I could wire the two output wires into a terminal block and then one wire from each fitting goes to one side and the other from each fitting goes to the other. From memory this basically increases the load and maintains the same brightness - whereas in series the load would be the same and they would dim (for 'traditional' bulbs)?)

Screenshot 2021-03-15 215832.png
 

Jamie

Distinguished Member
If the transformers are wired in directly to the fittings it seems an ideal arrangement to replace with GU10 to me. It's harder when you've not got mains cabling to each light.
 
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sjw

Well-known Member
If the transformers are wired in directly to the fittings it seems an ideal arrangement to replace with GU10 to me. It's harder when you've not got mains cabling to each light.
I hear what you're saying and was expecting it but as I said initially, it's not as simple as it could be in this case.
 
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larkone

Distinguished Member
Buy some of these
Amazon productand convert them to GU10 (240V) and ditch the transformers. It is what I did to the 52 MR16 units in my house. GU10 bulbs are cheaper than MR16
 
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