Halogen Downlights

Halogen downlights have been around since the new millennium and had been peoples choice of lighting way back then. We are now discovering full right that this type of lighting was no good for any home. We get constant calls from clients telling us that there halogen downlights are not working even when they have changed out there old globes. There could be a number of issues relating to your halogen downlight not working, which either could be, the globe, transformer or lamp-holder.

These days we are now using the moderate LED fitting which uses an LED chip to emit light in the form of lumens.

3 Components

The transformer – the electronic transformer works on alternating current which uses pulse waves to to supply a globe, it basically transforms your 240v down to either 24v or 12v dependant on the type of your transformer you have. The 240v will connect to the incoming side of the transformer as the lamp tails will connect to the load side of the transformer to alter the voltage to 12 volts. Installing the incorrect transformer for your lighting can lead to down-lights flickering, or even having no light at all. When upgrading halogen globes to LED’s its a must that the transformers will also need to be changed to control the voltage that is required to run the LED globe. Having a transformer with a higher wattage than the LED globe will result in poor light output and possible flickering of lights.

Lamp leads – the globe connects to the head of the lamp lead while the tails connect to the secondary side of the transformer. Depending on the type of globe you have, either MR16 or GU10, the MR 16 is your 12 volt 2 pin globe and the GU10 is the 240 volt lamp. Nowadays we don’t use lamp leads as we have an LED chip to emit light instead of the out-dated GU10 or MR16.

Globe/Lamp – ever wonder why your downlights start to flicker when you have replaced your MR 16 globes from halogen to LED? The likely problem is your halogen transformer is Not compatible with your new LED globes. So when purchasing new LED globes they must be also compatible with your lighting transformer. LED drivers are mainly used for LED lighting while the electronic transformer transforms power to your halogen globes. The main difference between the two transformers is the voltage output, the LED voltage output is DC and the halogen transformers output is 12/24 volts AC.

L.E.D Drivers Over Electronic Transformers

As we briefly discussed in the last chapter, the fundamental difference between the electronic transformer and LED driver was its voltage output. Nowadays we use LED chips to deliver the light source and a bridge rectifier consisting of a bank of diodes resulting in the transformation of DC voltage to the LED light. Most of the problems when trying to change from halogen to LED come from the transformer as the LED will mostly run off a DC supply which is not designed to run on the AC halogen transformer.

There are two main types of AC transformers – the electronic transformer which is widely used today for halogen and the wire wound transformer used in the old days when low voltage started to come into play and this type of transformer is hard to find in to-days market.

To operate the electronic transformer we use electronic circuits consisting of transistors, RF filters, copper winding’s {primary and secondary}, thermal fuses and the PCB board all to modify the voltage. Typically a transformer will need to operate on about a 3rd of its output voltage, so if the transformers rated output is 100 watts, it will probably need about 30 watts to function. When we try to run our new LED globes through the electronic transformer, we have lights flickering due to the insufficient current passing through the switching transformers primary winding.

The iron core transformer known as the ferromagnetic transformer is the simplest known method of transforming voltage. This is simple but inefficient to other transformers and is known to create buzzing noises when dimmers are also in circuit.

How does the modern LED downlight work

The modern LED downlight is now integrated in one whole unit. The older version of the downlight, which is still readily available on the market today consists of a led driver separately attached to the LED downlight. The light output is dispersed by LED chips which are semiconductor diodes and are soldered to the PCB board. A thermal heat sink is used to dissipate heat and a ceramic base is used to bond the chip. One of the most appealing characteristics of this design is the ability for the downlight to produce light without generating much heat, making it safer for daily operation.

Advantages of using integrated LED downlights

  • Built as a whole unit with less components, no transformer attached which can be easily damaged or disconnected during installation.
  • Longer life span due to the lesser

Got a query about LED Downlights, contact Ken today on 0405 838 383