Musings of an infosec nerd

Replacing GU10 Halogen lights with LEDs

Well the title says it all really. One of the Halogen bulbs in our kitchen blew a week ago and I've been looking around to find a replacement.

70% of the bulbs in our house are energy saving CFTs and we are quite proud of that fact, but I always felt a little guilty looking at our live energy monitor whenever someone turned on the kitchen or bathroom lights. You see, they are very stylish Halogen downlights and a quite stylish Halogen chrome, bendy, thingy , well, pics later ;)

The thing is while our assorter CFTs run between 8W and 11W each,  every one of the Halogen GU10s runs at 50W. That means my kitchen draws 350W (not including the dining area), the bathroom draws 200W and the toilet draws 100W. Yikes.

With mouths to feed and the price of electricity going the way of the international space station I figured I've give LED bulbs a try. Now, I've looked at these before in places like B&Q and they have always been washed out, weak and expensive for what they are. They were always sold as "decorative" and never to be used to provide actual light. Not particularly useful. Time to hit the tubes and see what's what.

After much googling I came across a UK based company selling LED replacement bulbs. As I am in the position of only having to replace 1 bulb I thought I take a punt and see what the current state of the art can offer. I ordered the GU10 3 x 1W (Day White) and it arrived yesterday.

image0First impressions were that it is at least as bright as the 50W Halogen that it replaced. It has a large heat sink body that makes it a little larger than the standard GU10 but in the light fixture that it was in it actually looked quite good. My only complaint and it was my mistake was that it was a very while light compared to the warm yellow of the other 6 59W Halogens. It was quite noticeable in the area that it was lighting.

I have just ordered a GU10 48 SMD LED Low Energy Light Bulb ( Warm White ) and I will replace the above with this one. I am going to move the day while bulb to the other end of the light fixture and use it to illuminate the cooker, which has always been a bit dark. If that doesn't look right I'll move it upstairs and try it in the toilet.

image1If this one is warmer than the first then I think I'll order a job lot and replace all of the Halogens in the house. It might be a little expensive to start with but with the Halogens failing quite often and the long life of the LEDs coupled with their low low low power consumption I think it will be a good investment.

The personal blog of a UK based penetration tester