Future proofing for LED

28 Oct 2008
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United Kingdom
I am currently planning a new house and I would like to use LED lights but the price is putting me off. Because of their low power consumption, LED lights seem to need special transformers and dimmer switches. You can't use the standard transformers that you would use for halogen lights - you need constant current or constant voltage ones and these seem to cope with a maximum of 16w or 25w load. Similarly, existing dimmers do not seem to be geared up for LEDs as they are designed to handle much greater power loads.

Can anybody think of a way that I could start with a halogen downlighter setup, complete with touch switches, where I am not going to have to rip out all the switches and transformers should LED lamps become reliable and cheap enough to make them a reasonable choice? Is anybody aware of any products that are designed to handle both halogen and LED?

Thanks for your help.
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There getting better now, some on display in WF are well bright now, not cheap though.
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Leds have really improved but you pay a lot of money for the good ones. Local Asda has collingwood 9watt (3 X 3watt) ground lights fitted outside and they are bright! But they are about 60 quid each.
I saw some colour-changing ones in Sainsbury's last week. I think they were in enclosures to fit BC lampholders. They were only a few pounds but I thought they were a silly idea.
RE: Brightness, I think you should read this: http://www.blue-room.org.uk/index.php?showtopic=36230

Obviously talking about a completely different market, but can sort of be scaled down to, for example an LED GU10 spot and a 50W halogen one.

Basic maths tells me that if the LEDs light an object to 40% the level of a 500W tungsten lamp, then they are equivalent to a 200W lamp (give or take for efficiency). However personally I wouldn't like that unit sitting in any room of my house!

Just goes to show though that top of the range LEDs are getting there brightness wise, if not quite there yet.

Colin C
Why transformers at all? Why not just use 230V fittings/lamps?

EDIT: Doh - necro-post

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