globes with a transformer

This week on our social media we were asked a question we haven’t been asked in a while and we thought we’d write up a comprehensive answer for anyone else who wants to know.

If your current downlights have transformers do we upgrade them during an LED Upgrade?

The short answer is no, we don’t upgrade your transformer.


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Transformers are required typically in MR16 downlights.

“MR16 halogen downlights require a transformer for each globe. Most transformers/drivers installed with halogen downlights are rated as either 50 or 60 watts (or VA). This means that they are rated to supply lamps that draw up to 50 or 60 watts more than the energy they consume to energise themselves. In other words, they are designed to be connected to a single 35w or 50w halogen lamp. They can be either a magnetic transformer or an electronic driver. The magnetic transformers are a true transformer and consume between 5 to 15 watts to energise themselves. Therefore a 50w halogen lamp connected via a magnetic transformer will present an aggregate load of between 55 watts and 65 watts.” (source)

So, if you have MR16s at home (or in your business) our electricians will take this into account when completing an LED upgrade. They will check your existing transformers are compatible with our MR16 globes and if they’re compatible then they’re all good for a simple switch.

In most cases our globes are compatible but there are the rare occasions when they’re not. We do have a list of compatible transformers on hand, so if you already know what model your transformers are you can give us a call and ask (1300 788 776). However, if your transformers are incompatible with our globes your next option would be to upgrade your fittings. We recommend our IC Rated premium downlights. We have a great post here on what an IC Rated downlight is and why they’re considered ‘premium’.

Unfortunately, an upgrade to your fittings is not 100% covered by the subsidies for LED upgrades available within the VEU program so there will be a charge per globe. This will range from $9.95 – $15.95 dependent on the upgrade and globes you choose. Our IC Rated premium downlights are $15.95, but we have other options available. It’s best to speak with us to discuss your specific requirements.


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