Why we no longer sell MR16 LED’s

Why is the MR16 LED different than a GU10?

The low voltage MR16 tungsten halogen lamp has a comparably larger diameter filament than the GU10 110v USA and 240v UK spotlight. Therefore it is able to operate at proportionately higher operating temperatures and efficiency, in terms of light output. Furthermore, the filament is more robust than the higher voltage GU10 version and is therefore, less susceptible to vibration. However the MR16 version has one major drawback, it requires a well regulated power unit to provide the low voltage necessary from the usual high voltage of 240v in the UK. A variation of 1% of the 12v supply can have a disproportionate effect on the life of the lamp.


Why does this matter?

With the unveiling and introduction of LED versions of both types, the advantages of the lower voltage temperature are eradicated and several other potential complications have come to light, namely:

  • Radio Frequency interference


  • Incompatibility with existing transformers originally intended for halogen units.

Radio Frequency interference can cause a multitude of problems; the most frequent can be interference with DAB radio reception particularly in areas of low/weak radio signal strength, moreover reports of failure of digital television reception have also been reported. Whilst there are generic methods of reducing the interference to acceptable levels, they are not available for implementation with this type of bulb, owing to the design of the MR16 lamp holders/arrays. GU10 version LED units as a rule, do not generate interference to the same level due to the design of the internal power module and various built in filtering components.

Transformer incompatibility with LED lamps can cause various issues, the most common being 'bulb flicker' and 'total failure to illuminate'. Generally the only way to check for compatibility and suitability, is to purchase and test the LEDs in situ and hope that they will function without issue. 

What can be done to overcome these issues?

As most MR16 low voltage installations already have a 240v power supply fed to the small transformer in very close proximity to the lamp, a simple solution to alleviate both RF and transformer issues is:

  • Simply remove the transformer and fit a GU10 base with a GU10 LED unit. (Remember to take care to observe the usual safety rule of ensuring the electrical circuit is isolated and safe before any work is attempted).

Replacement of the bulb base (Socket), and removal of this transformer, is a fairly quick, easy and inexpensive option and will allow immediate usage and compatibility of a 'GU10' bulb in virtually any EXISTING MR16 bulb housing/installation. The two bulbs have almost identical dimensions.

piggyPower Batteries and bulbs are extremely passionate about only offering our customers the very best in LED lighting solutions, which will perform impeccably, last for years to come and save you money. This is why we once again made a market leading decision, not to retail MR16 LEDs and instead to only offer for sale, GU10 LED units, encouraging customers to make a simple switch to the GU10 fitting and enjoy the guaranteed, more reliable performance, combined with the longevity and longer term benefits.

Note: There are clearly a limited number of special instances whereby low voltage lighting should ONLY be used, for example: sauna units and for these types of installation, professional guidance should ALWAYS be sought and safety standards followed.