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    MR16 LED Downlights Review


    Only three lights were truly compatible with the vast range of existing transformers.

    Way back in 2009, Lighting Matters founder James Stapledon began a quest to find a retrofit bulb that delivered an equal amount of comparable light to a 50 watt halogen bulb whilst retaining the existing downlight fixture and halogen transformer.

    "At that time, the understanding was that it couldn’t be done, mainly due to heat dissipation abilities required from the small form factor and the minimum load requirements from the halogen transformers" James said.

    "After coming to the realisation that there were few products that were compatible with an existing halogen transformer, we delved into the world of LED downlights that came with their own transformers."

    “We tested so many of the products on the market that were simply not good.

    “Some of the common issues we found were poor light distribution, poor colour rendering quality, and just not enough output.

    "The prices of the MR16 retrofit products we tested ranged from around $8 all the way up to $70 and in the full kit form from around $20 up to $300.

    "We tested our MR16s against competitor products from all over Australia.

    "We found that the best products nearly always had reflectors to shape the light and that the colour temperatures and colour rendering index were much more pleasant with the name brand products from Philips, Brightgreen, Osram and Megaman."

    "The beam distributions on many of them were quite narrow and produced sharp circular pools of light which would in a real life situation create hot spots on the floor with dark patches, whilst others had such wide spreads of light that the actual delivered level of light was so low that you could barely see anything other than the bright glare from the light source.

    "Another unfortunate factor was how the lights worked with a simple 12V AC transformer - some flickered like crazy and under camera would flash consistently (these are shown in the photos as half a light beam, or ones with a cut through them) whilst some others only lit to half brightness as they would only accept a 12V DC source instantly dismissing them as a retrofit bulb.

    "In short we came to the conclusion that the 3 bulbs that we stock, the Philips 7W MR16, Brightgreen DR700 and Indice 5/8W, were the only ones that were truly compatible with a vast range of transformers and produced the best quality of light without any significant colour differences."