MR16 is a standard format for halogen multifaceted reflector light bulbs. MR16 LED lamps are the compatible version using solid-state lighting diodes as luminaire. Compared with typical halogen lamps ranging up to hundreds of watts, LED lamps which use only several watts should definitely attract your attention.
As most manufacturers and suppliers would stress, MR16 LED lamp exceeds in the following:
- It’s efficient: commercialized LEDs for illumination now can generate light output on the orders of tens to over one hundred per watt. In this respect, it defeats quartz halogen (~24lm/W), tungsten incandescence (~15lm/W).
- It’s “cool”: the output from LEDs don’t contain infrared radiation which warms up the environment. Their heat is generated within the junction, which is dissipated by heat sinking.
- It lasts longer: average rated life, as quoted by manufacturers, is typically 30,000-50,000 hours depending on the product in question.
However, there are drawbacks for this new illumination technology, and these drawbacks become more significant in small-sized ones. For example, MR16 LED bulbs which is only 50mm in diameter and 50 to 80mm in height to comply with its standard.
- Luminous Power: the restricted space limits number of LEDs that can be mounted. Typical spotlights with 1 to 9 devices (or 1~9 W in power) are still second to their halogen counterparts despite of its efficiency of several times.
- Beam Accuracy: LED lamps avail embedded optics and individual reflectors for beam control, and light are relatively complemented from different LEDs in the array. In this respect, halogen MR16s are more accurate with single multifaceted reflectors equipped. Moreover, slight variations in the LEDs may also deteriorate the situation.
- Heat Sinking: It’s critical to conduct heat away from LED as prolonged heat can shorten the useful life. Locating LED systems in an insulated and relative small space will likely result in increased junction temperature and degraded performance, which is just the case for MR16 LED systems. LEDs in MR16 often operate at 70~80% of the rated current to complement the fault in heat sinking.
So how to get a perfect win in the competition with the halogen counterpart? The answer is almost there but the solution is still on the way. The luminous efficiency is improving rapidly, record are being broken by lists of LED manufacturers such as Cree, Osram and Nichia. More and more companies are involved in the research and development of manufacturing, packaging, designing. Moreover, more and more people are using LEDs in their household or commercial applications.
In general, as a cutting-edge and innovative products, MR16 LED bulbs have their unique advantages and inherent drawbacks. Multiple elements should be considered when applying for halogen replacements, especially for critical illumination tasks.
It’s good idea to check our listings if you are new to MR16 LED lights and other LED lamps and fixtures.
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