Choosing LED bulbs – what are the options?

Whereas upgrading to LED bulbs has multiple benefits – ranging from cost and reduced lighting maintenance to energy efficiency – there is one difficult part of the process – namely deciding which options to go for.

Key considerations when choosing between the various types of LEDs include figuring out how it fits in with your lighting set-up, your individual preferences, and the effect you want to achieve. Other factors also include light quality, colour, price and function. There are many advantages to choosing GU10 LEDs, R50, R63 and R80 LED reflectors and MR16 LEDs – but knowing the difference between them can be tricky.


If you are aiming to replace halogen lights, GU10 LEDs – with a bayonet fitting – may be the ideal replacement. Although they look very similar, the LED version allows households to cut their lighting costs by almost  90 per cent. Customers can choose between a variety of different colour temperatures, with the selection differing from room to room according to the desired effect. Consider whether you would prefer brilliant white, or a more subtle, general-purpose tone, before making your decision.

Certain GU10 LEDs can also be used with dimmer switches, giving people complete control over light intensity, according to their mood, the time of day, or the tasks they are conducting. Furthermore, the bulbs are very durable, shock-proof and resistant to moisture, which makes them a safe option for use within the home.

R50, R63 and R80 LEDS

These LED reflector bulbs – which include R50, R63 and R80 LED versions – provide a low-cost lighting option, helping users to reduce their energy bills and carbon footprint. These are different from other bulb types in the sense that they incorporate special reflective surfaces, which guide light in a certain direction. This provides a narrow, concentrated cone of light – such as in a spotlight – or a broader, more diffused beam.

Before deciding on LED reflector bulbs, take into account factors such as beam angle and light output, the latter of which is measured in lumens. If you are considering installing these bulbs, also remember the diameter of the screw fitting and the bulb itself, as the last thing you want to do is buy an LED bulb with the wrong connector for your light fittings.


These replacements for 12v halogens use a variety of high power LEDs to replace low-voltage 20w and 35w halogen fittings. The MR in ‘MR16’ stands for ‘multifaceted reflector’, while the numeric value represents its diameter in eighths of an inch. Correspondingly, these bulbs are 16 eighths of an inch, (two inches) in diameter.

As MR16 LEDs run on a lower voltage than GU10s, you need a transformer or ‘ballast’ to limit the electrical current if you are planning to use these in your home. The diminutive size of the bulbs may be seen as an advantage by some people, in addition to high degree of beam control and wide choice of colour temperatures, enabling a personalised touch.

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