Lights power consumption

15 Jan 2008
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United Kingdom
Over the festive period i have fitted a set of Ikea 'string' lights as effect lighting at home. They are powered by a transformer to reduce the voltage to the light fittings to 12v and came with 5no. 20W MR16 lamps. I'm thinking of replacing the bulbs with low energy bulbs or even LED lamps as they are currently a bit too bright and i figure i may as well reduce the energy they use. However, my question is, if they are powered by a transformer, is it the transformer that consumes the power and therefore it wont make any difference what wattage or type the bulbs are, it will still consume the same amount or power?
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The transformer only takes a tiny amount of power - insignificant. So if you use lower power lamps you will save electricity.

Be aware that some (many) transformers have a minumum load requirement, and if you go below that, depending on the type of transformer, it may not work at all, or it may put out too much voltage resulting in shortened lamp life.

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