Let's take a look at the options on a case-by-case basis and see what alternatives are available when switching from halogen light bulbs to LED light bulbs.
Replacing double-ended halogens with LEDs
Double-ended halogens can be replaced directly with GU10 LED light bulbs. The bulb socket connectors are the same and operate at the same voltage (220 – 240 V) without the need for a transformer.
This type of halogen is more frequently found in lamps, although they are now being used in some recessed ceilings.
Replacing bi-pin halogens with LEDs
Bi-pin halogens have an MR16 connector, also known as GU5.3. They are most commonly used in bathrooms and hallways or living rooms. As part of the electrical installation of these lights, there is a transformer that converts a house's normal voltage (220 - 240 V) to 12 V.
Due to the presence of this transformer, when switching this type of halogen light bulb with LED light bulbs, there are two available options:
- Removing the 12 V transformer from the circuit: This is the most recommended option, although you will probably need help from an electrician. When removing the transformer, you can change the fittings to work with double-ended light bulbs (GU10).
- Using LED light bulbs that are compatible with 12 V: Bi-pin light bulbs (MR16) are now available on the market to replace halogen light bulbs. This allows you to maintain the transformer and save on your consumption on lighting.
The 12 V current transformer also consumes a little residual power (between 3 and 5 W), in addition to making a light noise.
Therefore, as indicated, the first option is always preferable, replacing halogen light bulbs with double-ended GU10 LED light bulbs.
How much can you save by switching from halogen light bulbs to LED light bulbs?
To produce the same amount of light (lumens), LED light bulbs need approximately 20-25% less wattage. In other words, you can save more than 20% of your expenditure on lighting by switching out halogen light bulbs for LED light bulbs.