Can LED lamps replace conventional lights?

Categories:LED Information

Practically all conventional lighting can be replaced directly or indirectly with LED. This is the biggest market for LED light so far. All major lighting and electronic manufacturers have designed their products specifically to replace conventional lamps directly without the need of any additional equipment or knowledge. These include Incandescent bulbs, Halogen spots (including G4 and G9), Sodium or Mercury vapour (used in warehouses, street, petrol canopy), Fluorescent tubes, Compact fluorescent lamps.

In certain cases the lamp alone cannot be replaced. When considering high output lamps such as Metal Halides these can be replaced by high output LEDs which can go from 20W to 200W chips. These high wattage chips need a very good heat management design which normally entails the use of the complete light fitting acting as a heat dissipator. Therefore the complete light fitting has to be changed.

In other cases you could simply have in-ground or external lights. As mentioned earlier these fittings are sealed to maintain the IP rating. Therefore just replacing a GU10 halogen with a GU10 LED might cause overheating of the LED which could lead to flickering or even just dimming down completely. Therefore it is suggested that also in these cases the complete fitting is replaced since in LED external lights the actual fitting is acting as a heat dissipator.

Why MR16 are replaced with GU10?


MR16 is connector type and relates to the low voltage 12VAC halogen which has been the most widely used to date all over the world. This is because halogen lifetime is prolonged when supplied with low voltage.

It is possible to find direct LED replacement to halogen MR16, however the combination of driver – transformer has risen to a lot of compatibility issues!!

–       The halogen has a transformer to drop the voltage from 240VAC to 12VAC

–       The LED light has an electronic driver inside changing the 12VAC to a direct constant current

LED lamps will work well with a conventional (non-electronic) transformer. The problems arise when you have an electronic transformer since this can result in lamp flickering and stressing the LED driver.

Reliable LED lamp suppliers provide a compatibility table between their MR16 LED lamps and main electronic transformers found on the market. However this is more an exception to the rule.

Beyond that it is hard to explain such an issue to a normal end user who just wants to replace his lights at home. As a result it is always suggested where possible to avoid such complications and changeover straight away to GU10 (direct 240VAC) LED lamps. In this case the transformer is removed completely and the lamp connector changed.



Why do you have to wire some LEDs in parallel and others in series?


Wiring in parallel is the most normally used kind of wiring since voltage across circuits is what is needed.

In LEDs this can change.

ONLY when the LED lights are with an external driver, and when there is more than 1 LED, then wiring in SERIES is a must. This is because in this case the current is important and not the voltage.

Incorrect wiring can lead to LED burnout/damage, therefore proper instructions/guidance and fool-products are ideally used.

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