Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Replacing 30-50 W Halogen Lamps With LEDs

Quality LED bulbs will easily match existing incandescent lamps in terms of brightness and of course will outlast them many times over and most importantly they will significantly reduce your electricity bill since they use so little power.

Lets see the next led bulbs from the market:
  • LEDZWORLD 4W Dimmable GU10 LED
  • Edison 6W LED GU10 Bulb, Warm White, 50W Halogen Equivalent 
  • Exergi E2 Hyperbright LED Light Bulb, 4.0 Watt GU10, Wide Flood, Warm White, 2700-2850k 
  • Interlux LED lamps 
  • Philips Dimmable Master LED GU10 7W equivalent to 50W 40 degrees 
  • Cree EvoLux Series 
  • BriLux V Series 
  • Sharp Zenigata Series

The best rule of thumb for matching LED wattage consumption to conventional incandescent bulbs is 1:10 in other words to match a regular 50w lamp you ought to think about at least 5w LED. The web is filled with people bemoaning that their 1.5w LEDs bright enough. Well, duh? How bright do you think the equivalent to 15 watts is? Or other people are selling 2-3w led bulbs saying that this is equivalent to 100 w incandescent bulbs. So many who buy this aftermarket products become very disappointed regarding the led technology.

So lets see what the big brands have to offer in terms of led technology for a 50w replacement bulb:


Nearly all Ledzworld professional products are based on Cree LED expertise, but this particular spotlights makes use of Acriche. The point though is that this is the worlds first semiconductor lighting source (LED to you and me) that operates on AC power without requiring additional conversion circuitry. This is, to put it mildly, a giant deal since its the integral electronics that convert regular mains voltage to a form suitable for powering delicate LEDs that are often the poor relation in plenty of LED products.

Impressively this lamp is dimmable on most common household dimmer switches and has a power factor of 0.9 (to find out a whole lot more about both these issues then checkout this guide to LED lighting). However, the fact that the power factor is said for this lamp where in plenty of cases it is never mentioned tells you something. Put basically 0.9 is excellent and means that total electrical consumption for this product is six.4W; compare this with some LEDs that have a power factor as low as 0.5 meaning that a nominal 4W bulb is in fact drawing a total of 8W (its those inferior internal electronics again).

In fact most, if not all, Ledzworld LED lights (of all kinds, not spotlights) have high power factors and are dimmable. You do however tend to pay a premium for dimmability (usually about 50% additional) but if you've gotten used to being able to vary your lighting between full on and right down low then losing this ability to basically and instantly change the lighting to the situation can be a giant psychological deterrent to switching to low energy lighting. Definitely it is an brilliantly useful feature in plenty of modern kitchens where you need a brightly lit surroundings to prepare food but need to fine-tune the mood when sitting down to eat at the kitchen table.

Be aware though that whereas a halogen lamp goes from bright white to a soft gold color, dimming an LED varies its intensity and does not fine-tune the color. Unless you go for a lamp that incorporates Ledzworlds patented Color Temperature Adjusted (CTA) dimming expertise that fades up an orange LED as the white fades down and mimics this effect well indeed. The particular lamp described above however does not have CTA regular non-adjusted LED dimming.

Edison 6W LED GU10 Bulb, Warm White, 50W Equivalent

These bulbs support worldwide operability (voltages between 85 & 265V AC). Made from Advanced Aluminum Alloy though at 60mm in length this bulb is slightly longer than a regular GU10 but ought to nevertheless fit most standard GU10 spotlight & downlight fittings. Manufacturers warranty for one year from date of purchase. ISO9001/2000, CE & RoHS Certified. A great high quality spotlight.

The manufacturer Edison use their latest LED chips for these & claim a lifespan of 22 years with 88% saving in electricity consumption which a) sounds eminently believable & b) this is established lighting giant Edison not some schmuck on eBay.

Thing to note though, is that whereas most 2 x 1W LED spots are at best a match for a regular 35W lamp, doubling the power does not double the amount of light. LED lighting does not scale in a linear fashion where power is concerned so a 6W LED lamp is probably no over 50% brighter at best than a 3W not once as bright, as you might  have imagined. But brighter is nevertheless brighter & these 6W Edison LEDs are definitely bright to replace 50W halogens.

Edison also manufacture both a 6W MR16 LED & for those who like it , bright a 9W MR16 LED spotlight for use with low voltage systems.

Note though that for low voltage systems you will without a doubt need to also swap out existing 12v transformers for constant voltage LED drivers. These can be ridiculously priced, but you ought to be able to get a superbly reasonable product delivered to your door for about a fiver; this basic ten 50W LED driver sits in that bracket (the postage costs over the item itself, which is not unusual on low cost commodity products) & will power between six & ten 5W LEDs.

Exergi E2 Hyperbright LED Light Bulb, 4.0 Watt GU10, Wide Flood, Warm White, 2700-2850k

Exergi lamps are also obtainable as direct replacements for MR16 (also called GU5.3) and GLS (regular light bulbs shape with a typical ES base) and come in both warm white and icy white variants. The first versions consumed 3W while the newer E2 generation light consumes 4W and matches a 35W halogen well, though 50W is a bit beyond it.

These will save you a giant amount of money over time (try their handy LED Savings Calculator) and are basically obtainable to buy online search for the name or click here for the 4W GU10 LED spotlight
or here for the 3.6W MR16 LED spotlight

Note that whereas the GU10 mains powered Exergi lamps are dimmable using mechanical rotary dimmer switches, they cannot be used with electronic dimmers and the MR16 low voltage version cannot be dimmed at all.


Interlux LED bulbs are available in a variety of fittings, power and color temperatures. So you can pick whatever combination you need: GU10 spotlights versus MR16 spotlights, warm or daylight white, 3W to 5W power consumption, even SMD (surface mounted dies) as against using a lens, and there's deals on bulk purchases (though as ever the advice is to try a small sample first before deciding what most accurately fits your intended applications and personal taste).

Interlux LEDs are supplied through a UK supplier LED Lights4Less but are in fact based on high quality US LED parts from New york based Bridgelux. The supplier explicitly states that these lamps are not equivalent to 50W halogens, however the plenty of favorable customer reviews indicate that where folk have set realistic expectations with the intent to replace 35W halogen lamps then these do a nice job at a reasonable cost.

Philips Dimmable Master LED GU10 7W equivalent to 50W 40 degrees

Philips is of work widely known as an established pioneer in the field of LED & the Philips Master LED series can be controlled by most common domestic dimmer switches & will dim down to 10% of normal brightness. For detailed information & even a list of recommended dimmers follow the links from Philips own Master LED webpage. Note that not all dimmers are supported specifically those push button ones that incorporate an LED indicator.

It has to be said that until recently dimming was not much of an issue since few domestic LEDs were sufficiently bright to need taming. But with modern high brightness LEDs now hitting the market that is all changed & dimming capability can be a key factor for plenty of consumers.

Current Master LEDs are based on a 7 watt LED unit that delivers warm white light with a beam angle of 40 degrees which makes them ideal as direct replacements for the ubiquitous recessed halogen lamp. There's available in a variety of color temperatures & base types & can suit both mains & low voltage supplies. But be aware that like a few LED GU10 replacements they are longer in length.

Cree EvoLux Series

The Cree Evolux R bulb is dimmable using its own built in dimmer that offers preset light levels and also keeps the last dimmer setting so that it automatically resumes at the correct light level when turned on. As an aside, it is worth noting that a requirement to dim a low energy LED light bulb down gives a actual insight in to to how far and quick LED expertise has developed only in the near past.

The Cree EvoLux S and EvoLux R globe LED light bulbs are designed to fully replace normal 100w incandescent bulbs with luminosity of one,000 lumens of brightness which is very bright indeed. Small wonder than that Cree also offer the dimmable Evolux R variant.

These Cree EvoLux LED globe retrofit replacements for 100w incandescent light bulbs utilize a single 13w LED chip with a lifespan of 50,000+ hours. This can produce huge savings in energy costs and even allowing for the current high cost the Evolux LED delivers an unbeatable return on investment with upto 90% saving on electricity consumption.

The Cree Evolux Series fit most types of normal Edison screw and bayonet mount fittings and there is a choice between warm white at 3000k and chilled white at 6000k (most people prefer warm white in a typical domestic situation). There's also EvoLux Sh and EvoLux Rh models with reduced height clearance to suit tight situations where the bulb might otherwise be visible.

For somebody currently looking to buy all round domestic LED lighting (i.e. standard bulbs not spotlights) the Cree EvoLux LED globe light bulb is presently of the brightest available.

BriLux V Series

However, BriLux V3 6w bulbs are now obtainable (each unit contains five separate 2w LEDs, hence the name V3) which compete with halogen lamps in the 35w to 50w range & have a wide angle at 40 to 60 degrees.

The BriLux Series has historicallyin the past offered 3w LED spotlights in a range of colors from warm white at 3500k to 6000k chilled white & in either GU10 mains or MR16 12v low voltage formats. These run chilled, last about 40,000 hours (about twenty years of average domestic use) & are suitable replacements for existing 25w lamps.

Sharp Zenigata Series

A long time leaders of the pack is the Sharp Zenigata Series which offers brightness levels of 80 lumens per watt (for comparison a regular 40w incandescent bulb outputs about 400 lumens which is thus a mere ten watts per lumen) which allows for an LED light bulb that consumes 6.7 watts of power to compete head on with a traditional 60w lamp at 540 lumens.

Zenigata LEDs are obtainable in 5,800 to 6,500 Kelvins which covers normal white and warm white thru to high color rendering white which is in demand for plenty of applications where correct depiction of illuminated objects is necessary. The Zenigata LED is well suited as a direct replacement retrofit low energy bulb for existing halogen spotlight fittings.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing post. Very informative and useful . I am sure this will be of great use to myriad of people. Keep the good work up. You will grow !


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