GU10 Lights, Bulbs and Lamps
With new technologies emerging and advancing at a rapid rate and energy costs forever rising, now is the time to review the type of lighting bulbs and lamps you are using, below is a buyer’s guide to the different types of GU10 lamps and bulbs that are available today.
Halogen GU10 Bulbs
The light produced by a halogen lamp is without doubt the best in terms of colour temperature and brightness, however they produce a fairly narrow beam of light, the most common types are the 50 watt and 35 watt versions and these are relatively cheap compared to the energy saving types.
The major disadvantage of halogen lamps is that because of the narrow beam of light that they produce even a small room would need several down lights to produce an adequate amount of lighting. For example take a room measuring 5 x 3 metres you would need a minimum of 10 x 50w halogen lamps, that is 500w or half a Kilowatt in total which will prove very costly to run, especially with ever increasing energy prices.
It is possible to reduce energy costs by using lower power bulbs in areas that do not require bright lighting such as parts of the room that are not used often, in these areas you could use 35W bulbs, roughly a 30% saving compared to the 50w bulbs.
Some disadvantages of halogen lamps are the intensity of heat that they produce, this can be dangerous especially when installed in a ceiling where there is fibreglass insulation is present. Although cheap to purchase halogen lamps have a relatively short life, often quoted at 4000 to 6000 hours, the reality is only well known brands such as Osram tend to achieve this, many cheap unbranded bulbs often have a very short working life making them more expensive in the long term when compared to the branded bulbs.
Low Energy GU10 Bulbs
Low energy 7w, 9w, 11w and 14w bulbs are available and they will go a long way to reducing energy costs, low energy bulbs produce a similar light to halogen bulbs and can be a good alternative, they are more expensive, however they have a long life often around 15,000 hours which is about 2 years of constant use, so if used for even 6 hours a day you could expect a life of around 8 years.
Unfortunately low energy bulbs are not suited to areas where bright light is needed the instant the light is switched on, this is because they take around 30 to 60 seconds after switch on to reach maximum brightness, so would not be suitable in a hallway for example.
Low energy bulbs are larger than the halogen type and will not be suitable for some light fittings so before purchasing a large quantity, check the dimensions and maybe try a sample to ensure it is suitable for your light fitting. Also ensure that you are happy with the light produced which can be a little cold when compared to the halogen type.
GU10 LED Light Bulbs
LED bulbs are fast becoming the most popular choice for people looking to reduce their energy costs. The LED bulb is available in a range of light power equivalents from 35w to 50w. The majority use a 12 volt power supply and a special constant current transformer is required.
The reason these LED bulbs are becoming so popular is because of their low energy consumption, for example a 6w bulb will produce the same amount of light as a 50w halogen, now if you have 10 in a room you are reducing power consumption from 500w to 60w, this is going to reduce your energy bills dramatically.
LED bulbs cost more than the low energy and halogen types but the energy savings along with an extremely long working life make them more cost efficient in the long term and the higher initial cost will be recouped very quickly.
LED bulbs are not to every ones liking, mainly because they can produce quite a cold blue light which is fine for bathrooms and kitchens but not ideal for a living room, however it is now possible to purchase bulbs with a warmer light so it is important that you look at the colour temperature in the bulbs specification before purchasing, and again try a sample before purchasing a large quantity.
The advantages of LED bulbs are numerous, cool running, extremely long life of up to 50,000 hours, minuscule power consumption, a range of colours such as blue, green and red and a range of beam widths.