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LED Downlight Retrofit Guide

Installing LED GU10 Downlights in your home or business is most often a case of simple, plug and play. There are however a few factors that you’ll need to consider should you be running dimmable LED downlights, 12V LED Downlights or a combination of both. Here there are some requirements to ensuring that your LED downlights operate 100% while also protecting them from unnecessary damage.

Popular LED Downlight Installation Scenarios - There are four basic scenarios for installing LED Downlights within your home or business which include whether you are running your downlights off the Mains Alternating Current (AC - 230V) or a Direct Current (DC-12V via a transformer) and whether or not either application will be dimmable:

230V AC GU10 Downlights - This is the easiest and most common application for LED Downlights as it just requires a straight retrofit. Simply reomove the existing GU10 lamp and replace with the LED GU10.

Dimmable 230V AC GU10 Downlights - If your existing GU10 lamps are currently dimmable, you will need to make sure you order dimmable LEDs. You will also need to purchase a good trailing edge LED dimmer like the Shuttle 500W to ensure smooth dimming performance. Dimmable LEDs work best of a bell-press dimmer switch.

12V DC MR16 Downlights - If your current downlights run off a 12V transformer you will need to check if the transformer is a Magnetic (Wire-wound) Transformer or an Electronic Transformer. LED MR16 lamps operate very well on Magnetic Transformers but sometimes have issues with Electronic Transformers. The best recommendation is to cut out the existing transformer and MR16 holder and wire a GU10 holder to the downlight fitting. This will ensure smooth operation as well as further improve energy savings as there is no transformer drawing a load. This job can be done easily by a trusted electrician.

Dimmable 12V DC MR16 Downlights - Dimming 12V MR16 LEDs is troublesome due to an array of compatibility issues between the lamp, dimmer module, and transformer. It is therefore recommended, as above, that you replace the MR16s with GU10s by cutting out the transformer and MR16 holder and installing a GU10 holder with a dimmable GU10 lamp and trailing edge dimmer module.

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