Your guide to MR16 LED spotlights

23 March 2015

Your guide to MR16 LED spotlights
Your guide to MR16 LED spotlights

Want to know more about MR16 spotlights?

Well you’ve come to the right place. Check out our handy guide to help you make the right choice.

What is an LED MR16 spotlight?

MR16 and GU10 spotlights are among the most popular LED spotlights around. The main differences between the two is that MR16s have a different base (fitting) which consists of two narrow pins. MR16s also run on just 12 volts, while GU10 spotlights have more flexibility and can run at 240 volts (which is more common in households). This means MR16s need a different transformer to convert the main supply to the required 12 volts.

What transformer do I need to run my MR16s?

The transformer you need depends on how many bulbs you want it to power timesed by the wattage. It’s also advised the total wattage of all bulbs combined doesn’t exceed 80% of the transformer’s wattage. For example, if you choose to power 4 x 4W MR16 bulbs (16W total) from one transformer, you’ll need a 20W transformer. If you want to power 4 x 6W MR16 bulbs, you’ll need a 30W transformer, and so on.

What fitting do I need?

You have a range of different fittings to choose from. At LEDHut, we offer Fire Rated downlight fittings. These have been protected for up to 90 minutes and offer advanced thermal protection, preventing fire from spreading to ceiling, floors and loft space above. We also offer a Shower Rated downlight fitting which (surprisingly) are perfect for bathrooms as they guard against water entry. Both fittings come in different styles. Choose from white, chrome and brushed steel finishes depending on the look you want to go for (see below).

What wattage do I need?

Most people tend to focus on wattage when it comes to measuring the brightness they need. However, it’s slightly different for LED bulbs. Firstly, the true brightness of LED bulbs is measured in lumens. For instance, a 4w MR16 LED spotlight which has 320 lumens produces a comparable brightness to 50w standard light. It just consumes a tenth of the energy. It’s also worth noting how beam angle effects brightness. A narrower beam angle (of 45° or less) produces a more concentrated, and thus brighter, light. A wider beam angle will spread the light and create a more subtle glow.

Which colour light is best for me?

MR16 LED spotlights come in different colours too. These colours are measured in Kelvins. The lower the Kelvin, the warmer the light, the higher the Kelvin, the cooler the light. You can choose from Cool White, Warm White and Daylight colours. Where you use these colours is entirely up to you. If you want an idea, many customers use Warm White for cosy living areas, Cool White for bathrooms, while Daylight offers a happy medium. You can read more about our post on colour options here to see how they could look in your home.

What beam angle do I need?

Beam angle is measured in degrees. A wider beam angle covers more space with light. Your choice of beam angle, like colour variant, is completely down to you. As a guide, we’d advise using wider beam angles in living spaces where many people are gathered round. Narrow beam angles, on the other hand, are often used for decorative purposes or areas where you need focus.

How much will an LED MR16 cost? As with everything, you need to guard against paying peanuts for a product that doesn’t feature the latest technology or is made with dud components, while still getting value for money. At LEDHut prices can vary from under £5 for the lowest wattage bulbs, to approximately £10 for the brightest bulbs. All are made with the highest quality parts and are designed to last 25,000 hours.