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LED Light Bulbs – A Quick Guide

June 2, 2010   

Zenigata 4.5w GU10 LED Light BulbLED light bulbs represent the very latest in household lighting technology. We at YourWelcome are seeing a large number of our customers replacing existing halogen bulbs with LED alternatives. Despite a higher initial purchase cost, they soon allow users to save money on electricity bills, thanks to their extremely low power consumption.

LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs are now beginning to develop into a usable alternative to halogen bulbs, they come on immediately, are around the same size as standard lamps and offer extremely long life. The downside of the technology is the fact that they are often considerably more expensive that halogen equivalents and some are not compatible with dimmer switches.

Can I simply swap halogen light bulbs with LED’s?

The simple answer is yes – they will fit and work, however there are some really fundamental differences in the light they produce. An LED will produce a more concentrated beam which will travel a long way whilst a Halogen will usually produce a more widespread and uniform beam. If you choose an LED with a narrow beam then place in above a table you will see a bright circular area with an obvious edge – this makes them perfect for focused lighting but not so good for general purpose lighting. If you need lamps for general lighting then you really need to look for a wider beam for it to be usable. You will also notice that LED lamps do not generate the heat that their equivalent halogen and incandescant counterparts do. Halogen lamps especially create a lot of heat, most average power LED lamps can still be handled directly after being switched off, only feeling warm. This is partly to do with the energy they use, it is directed into providing a light source and not for heating your ceiling void and light fitting!

Whilst the output of LED bulbs is definitely improving, you need to be aware that the higher light output lamps will appear expensive BUT they will still pay for themselves many times over in terms of power savings and you have the advantage of a usable and attractive light – with LED’s you really do get what you pay for. In many cases up to 90% energy saving can be achieved compared to the halogen and incandescant equivalents.

Where can I use LED light bulbs?

LED bulbs are used for both general and special purpose lighting. They are available in many different colours, which are produced without using filters. This greatly improves their energy efficiency over a white light source that generates all colours of light before removing unwanted colours with a filter.

LED sources are compact, giving flexibility in designing light fixtures and good control over the distribution of light with small reflectors or lenses. They are also very durable in comparison to many existing technologies – there are no glass tubes to break and all internal parts are rigidly supported making them resistant to vibration and impact. They also do not contain any mercury.

LED bulbs are intended to be interchangable with incandescent lamps are made in standard light bulb shapes, such as an Edison screw base, an MR16 or GU10. They are available in both low voltage (12v) and mains AC (220v-240v).

Browse our range of GU10 LED bulbs.

3 Comments
v bogen
September 13, 2010 at 11:39 am

hello i have been buying your GU10′s for some time and notice variable lifespans ??? but the main query i cannot get answered from the techies @ my dimmer swich supplier [varilight] is why when a bulb blows does thi salso blow the dimmer on the switch unit ?
i have blown 1000 watt dimmer switches driving 12 GU10s 3 times [at about

admin
September 17, 2010 at 6:24 am

Thanks for your question – I guess the problem is that GU10 lamps are prone to blowing when there is a spike on the mains voltage – low voltage lamps last much longer as they are protected by a transformer which is able to absorb these spikes which clearly a dimmer switch is not able to do.

Your problem will be that few low energy lights (or LED’s) are dimmable so although they might work they will not dim. The only exception to this is the Toshiba 8.5w GU10 – expensive but very good – this has a 3 year warranty and will cause no issues with your dimmers.

Regards

Richard

admin
November 15, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Hi Nigel,

OK let’s deal with the colour problems first. The early LED lamps were indeed all blueish – the ones you still see in the DIY sheds are this colour but if you see lamps described as “warm white” on our site the you will find they are very similar in colour to a halogen lamp.

The size problem is still an issue. Usually if the retaining clip does not fit it’s because the lamp is too wide in the body and will not push back into the fitting. We’ve checked our LED lamps with both standard and fire rated fittings and they fit fine but of course the only way to be certain is to try one and see. We do offer a money back guarantee if they are not what you expect of like.

We do have standard CFL GU10 lamps which are compact and cheaper but be warned they do take a minute or 2 to wake up properly.

I hope this is of some help.

Richard

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