MR16 dimmable energy saving lamps???

As per title, I've searched the forum but not come across anything conclusive to MR16 lamps specifically. (quite a bit about GU10's though!)

I have literally about 100 of these in my new house and they are killing me in energy!

The led or energy saving equivalents appear to be very hard to find.

All my circuits are dimmable too, so its making the search even harder!

So, in a nutshell, I'm looking for an MR16, warm white, LED / energy saving lamp, which is dimmable and will fit in a normal lamp holder...... oh and doesn't cost the earth to buy in the first place!

Does anyone know where to find them or has anyone got any success stories?

Thanks in advance.


  • An ebay search for mr16 led dimmable throws them up for as little as 99p each from Hong Kong, but the cheapest UK based ones are £13 and decent ones around £25. Whether the Hong Kong or other foreign-based ones are any good I have no idea, but you're very limited for choice, and they may not even be compatible with your current drivers/dimmers in the lighting circuit.

    Perhaps consider fitting lower wattage ordinary ones in various places?
  • Anything I have seen so far on the shelves in the UK as far as dimmable goes have been very expensive. Have you tried Tesco or B&Q? They tend to have quite an extensive range of bulbs but I'm not sure you will get them cheaply. Sorry I can't help more.
  • frozen_wastesfrozen_wastes Forumite
    119 Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    I'd wait a while when it comes to MR16 retrofits. At the moment the best output you'll get from LED MR16 replacements is around 250-300 lumens for which you'll pay about 20-30 quid for such performance. By comparison halogen MR16 bulbs typically produce around 1000lumens, in other words they are 3 times as bright as the best led replacements on the market today.

    Things are improving though, this is the latest MR16 effort from Cree which can potentially offer outputs between 560-1525lumens.

    I guess it will be a few months before it turns into a product you can buy on the internet (at suitably high price!)

    I don't have any personal experience of MR16's, but I've bought some exergi E series GU10 bulbs from
    They aren't bad, but not as bright as the 50W halogens. I won't be replacing my remaining GU10 halogens until the LED technology gets better.
    8.9kw solar.  12 panels ESE,  16 panels SSW.  JA solar 320watt smart panels.   Solar Edge 8KW HD wave inverter.  Located Aberdeenshire
  • noncom_2noncom_2 Forumite
    212 Posts
    I'm in the same position. As an interim measure (as I reckon it'll be 2-3 years before LEDs are a genuine alternative) I've gone for Philips Masterlines. These are "energy saving halogens" which use about 30% less energy than the equivalent normal halogens - ie you replace a standard 50W bulb with a 35W one, and for 30-35W standard ones with 20W Masterlines.

    Not as big a saving as the LEDs obviously, but they are much brighter. They also claim to last longer than normal halogens (about 4000hrs), and I reckon one of these that's on for a couple of hours a day will pay for itself in a year and a bit.

    You can get them for a 2 or 3 quid each on ebay.
  • frozen_wastesfrozen_wastes Forumite
    119 Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    The other thing to note about recessed ceiling downlights, is that they waste energy in other ways than just consuming 50 Watts a piece. You essentially have a hole cut in your ceiling going straight into your loft. These are bad because:
    - There's no loft insulation behind the downlights. You can't place insulation over downlight or you'll get the light and surrounding material dangerously hot.
    - There's a big draught from the room into the loft.

    There's a solution to these two problems in the form of a loft cap:
    I've got some of these, though others do say that ceramic plant pots work just as well.
    8.9kw solar.  12 panels ESE,  16 panels SSW.  JA solar 320watt smart panels.   Solar Edge 8KW HD wave inverter.  Located Aberdeenshire
  • noncom_2noncom_2 Forumite
    212 Posts
    Yes, but you have to be a bit careful, even with the loft caps. To prevent heat loss through the "hole" the lamp is in, you basically need to block the airflow above the lamp with something fireproof. The problem then is that standard halogens radiate a lot of heat out of the back (ie straight up into the roof) and because it will have nowhere to go, the lamp itself will get much hotter than before and bulbs will tend to die quicker.

    The "energy saving" halogens (such as Masterline, or equivalents from other mfrs) claim to work by having a special heat reflective coating in the "mirrored" reflector around the filament, which throws much more of the heat back downwards. This has two benefits - one, less heat is lost into the roof (and therefore it's safer to cover them with a cap or flowerpot etc without the lamp overheating), and two, heat is reflected back onto the filament itself, meaning it takes less power to get it to a certain temperature (and hence brightness) - this is how they achieve their higher efficiency.

    I'm not a salesman for these things, btw: personally, I can't wait until LEDs are a really viable replacement without re-wiring (and preferably working with the existing dimmers). But in the meantime, they do save a significant amount of power.

    I agree with the poster above that these kinds of lights are a "bad thing" in many ways, but unfortunately they were what the previous owner of our house (who refurbished it) installed in about half the house. Our kitchen alone had 900W of halogens in its ceiling (18x 50W bulbs) and was brighter than an operating theatre! We've now replaced 12 of those with 20W Masterlines (it's a bit dimmer in that area, but frankly that's a good thing!) and the other 6 will be changed for 35W Masterlines when I get hold of them. Thus 900W becomes 450W, still not great, but a huge improvement.

    Some other rooms have also been changed from 50W bulbs to 20Ws without anyone in the family complaining that it's too dark.
  • Hello everyone,I have read through the above discussing. They are really useful for a good home lighting. You are talking about the price, heat problem and lumen problems.

    I am the technicals of led factory. welcome for more friends enjoy our discussing. Now I explain you some problems.

    pricing: In your local, the government claim much tax on the profit and the dealer have to hire some workers for his company so that's why the retailing price is much expensive. But in HK 0.9P is of cheapest quality, even in China mainland and from o ur factory, we cannot produce at so low price with reasonable quality. The good one can last more than 10 years with little lumen degrading.

    Heat: some factories want to save cost and use so small shell for 6 or 9W, of course that will make a lot of heat out. And that's destroying the lifespan of the led. For cree 600 ~ 1100 lm that is called face led, but its power is about 10W, so need a big shell.

    If steve still need MR16 of high quality, you can write email to me at
    [EMAIL=""][email protected][/EMAIL] and I will give you some suggestion of led products and of course, welcome more friends to write email me. CCB advocates: " construct consumers' belief". :money:
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