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MR16 LED - Halogen equivalence puzzle

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MR16 LED - Halogen equivalence puzzle

Posted by Denis McMahon on Aug 14, 2019 8:44 am

Here are two MR16 style lamps I spotted for sale, almost side by side, recently . A 4·5 W LED lamp and a pair of 50 W halogen lamps.

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  1. The LED lamp claims light output 345 lumens.
  2. The LED lamp claims equivalent to 50 W halogen.
  3. The 50 W halogen lamp claims 680 lumens.
Clearly these three statements cannot all be true simultaneously. What is the typical customer supposed to make of this contradiction? Which statement is true and which is false? I believe the second statement is false, but then I am an engineer.

I do not wish to single out GE; other manufacturers are making similar claims. In fairness to GE, at least it is displaying on its packaging the output in lumens more prominently than anything else, in line with consumer recommendations. Some manufacturers display the equivalent wattage of older style halogen or GLS lamps more prominently than anything else. This is a practice that I deprecate; it is counter-educational and pays no regard to the not-too-distant future, when tungsten lamps will be all but forgotten.

So by what criteria can I make a judgement? I do not have access to an integrating sphere, where I can test these lamps individually for light output. Ideally I would look towards industry and official international standards for specified light output. But LED lamps are still a developing technology; it is not likely that any firm standards have yet been established. I believe that there are official standards for halogen lamps, including MR16 style, but access to these is not easy for me, now that I am no longer in service. It seems I would need to shell out a three-figure sum to purchase a book of as many pages, just to consult a table which probably occupies less than one page. I'm not prepared to do this.

One standard I do know about, however, is BS161 for tungsten filament GLS lamps. This is an obsolete standard, last revised around 1957, I presume then to incorporate coiled coil lamps, which were beginning to penetrate the market. According to that standard, a 60 W pearl lamp gives 665 lumens. Given that halogen lamps are more efficient than ordinary tungsten, it is reasonable to presume that if a 60 W lamp could give this much light all those years ago, the a 50 W halogen can give something similar. This seems to support the 50 W halogen claim of 680 lumens.

Let's look at the situation around 30 years ago. Compact source fluorescent lamps (CSF) were on the market as plug-in replacements for GLS tungsten lamps. Performance of these new lamps was sometimes over-claimed, e.g. 11 W low-energy lamp equivalent to 60 W tungsten, when in fact the 11 W CSF lamp delivered only around 500 lumens. This was the cause of some discontent among consumers and low-energy lamps received a bad press. Nowadays the claims of LED GLS replacements offer good value - 800 lumens as equivalent to 60 W tungsten; in fact this is more like 75 W tungsten. So why are the MR16 LED lamps over-claiming?

Can anyone suggest how this claim of MR16 LED lamp equivalent to 50 W halogen can be justified? Can anyone point to an official standard that will clarify the issue? If I have missed some vital point, I don't think I am the only one.
Denis McMahon, BSc, MIET, MBCS, PGCE

Re: MR16 LED - Halogen equivalence puzzle

Posted by Alasdair Anderson on Aug 14, 2019 9:07 am

Denis,
An excellent question and one I have not considered before as I have so far only bought one LED lamp as a replacement (and that for a 40W lamp when I was expecting the replacement to be brighter - it was). I have done a bit of searching and found the following:
https://www.any-lamp.com/lumen-to-watt
This seems to back up your comments but a further complication is that the LED is probably claiming equivalence to an incandescent lamp of 50W rather than a halogen 50W lamp which would produce more lumens output than the incandescent.
Alasdair

Re: MR16 LED - Halogen equivalence puzzle

Posted by Denis McMahon on Aug 15, 2019 2:10 pm

Thanks, Alasdair. This is a useful chart. I have only occasionally seen this type of thing in shops and I think that all shops should display it. The columns list lumen ranges, which makes sense because to try to specify output for every type of lamp would make it  complicated. Going back to my comments about comparisons involving CSF lamps, an 11 W CSF can be shown by this chart to be in the same "league" as 60 W incandescent. However it does not justify a 4·5 W LED as equivalent to 50 W. It appears in the same "league" as 40 W incandescent, which according to BS 161 has light output of 390 lumens, which is a good match.

Some manufacturers go to weird extremes when they quote equivalents. A few years ago I needed a replacement halogen linear capsule lamp, 240 W, for an outside floodlight. I had difficulty in finding one at first, then looking again at one I had come across prominently rated at 300  W I concluded that this was the equivalent output of a GLS lamp. Another customer agreed with me that the labelling of lamps was confusing and misleading. To my thinking it is madness to compare two lamps like this, totally different in construction and with very different applications. Besides, how many people nowadays have even seen a 300 W GLS lamp. It must be a good 40 years since I last set eyes on one (special theatre floodlight).

The LED lamps on the chart seem to have a rather optimistic light output, based on over 100 lumens per watt. The new surface-mounted-diode corn lamps can achieve this but have had little penetration on the domestic market so far. As usual, the domestic market lags the commercial by several years.

Charts like this are helpful as a starting point to find a suitable lamp, but product information needs to be more accurate, to confirm a choice.

 
Denis McMahon, BSc, MIET, MBCS, PGCE

Re: MR16 LED - Halogen equivalence puzzle

Posted by Alasdair Anderson on Aug 15, 2019 2:28 pm

Denis,
Absolutely agree that the claim for the LED lamp is optimistic. It made me think they had used a similar chart and thought "we are at the high end of the range so probably more than 40W but not enough to claim 60W - let's call it 50W". I agree with you that a chart in the shop with all lamps marked with output in lumens would be a much more useful starting point. I actually found that chart after reading your post - a lucky search on Google - and I thought it too good not to share as like you I have battled for years trying to work out what lamps to buy. While I have only bought one lamp as a direct replacement I have bought quite a few for replacement fittings for a new house (at least new to us) and going from a single pendant bulb to a three lamp or five lamp fitting does not give a good comparison.
 

Re: MR16 LED - Halogen equivalence puzzle

Posted by M. Joshi on Aug 16, 2019 6:40 pm

One set of lamps is GU10 (230V) and the other set is MR16 (12V).  Typically when compared to a halogen equivalent, the MR16 are usually brighter.  This webpage may help to explain:

https://www.lyco.co.uk/advice/led-gu10-mr16-good-for-what/

Re: MR16 LED - Halogen equivalence puzzle

Posted by Alasdair Anderson on Aug 19, 2019 9:41 am

Interesting web-page, but it just adds to the debate :  The Sylvania is rated at 350 lumens, equivalent to a 50W GU10 halogen bulb, but consumes just 5.5W of power
This is the the same lumen output and wattage equivalence to the GU10 lamp in the picture, but more than 20% greater power consumption.
Alasdair

Re: MR16 LED - Halogen equivalence puzzle

Posted by Denis McMahon on Aug 21, 2019 2:54 pm

M. Joshi:
One set of lamps is GU10 (230V) and the other set is MR16 (12V).  Typically when compared to a halogen equivalent, the MR16 are usually brighter.  This webpage may help to explain:

https://www.lyco.co.uk/advice/led-gu10-mr16-good-for-what/

Thank you, M Joshi, for your interest in my thread. I would reply as follows.

The author of this feature of this dealership seems at first to have the terminology slightly confused. He is comparing GU10 with MR16 - a comparison which I do not think is valid.

MR stands for multi-faceted reflector, and the number following relates to  the size. I believe that these were originally rated at 12 V, but mains voltage versions subsequently appeared. These are still multi-faceted reflector. They have different caps, to prevent insertion into the wrong supply. The mains version uses the GU10 cap, push and twist to lock, while the 12 V version uses a bi-pin cap described as GU5·3. So GU10 and GU5·3 can be compared side-by-side, referring to caps or volts rating.

Let us now compare halogen with LED. The construction of the LED versions are not strictly multi-faceted reflector, but the description MR tends to stick because they are plug-in replacements.

The statement that the lower voltage yields greater efficiency is quite correct. Efficiency is a function of operating current. You can see this effect on the BS161 list; as wattage increases, so does lumens per watt. However the difference in efficiency is marginal. I do not believe that a 230 V 50 W halogen GU10 gives only half the light of a 12 V 50 V halogen GU5·3. Again compare BS 161; 240 V 60 W GLS gives 665 lumens. Even 240 V 40 W GLS beats the LED at 390 lumens.

Later the author states: "A bulb like the Sylvania LED GU10 is incredibly versatile and will fit into the same fixtures as a traditional Halogen MR16 model, using the GU10 base and being of a similar size." So this is clears up the original misconception; GU10 represents the "base" or cap (the bit that plugs in) for mains voltage. Other pages on this web site list an impressive range of lamps, many claiming to be equivalent to 50 W halogen. But this claim is not backed up by reference to any standards or other official sources of reference. The dealership is merely passing on the misinformation provided by manufactures.  

I feel I should like to refer this matter to the Advertising Standards Authority for clarification. However I am unable to give pukka sources of reference. An obsolete standard, over 60 years old, is not likely to impress; neither is my memory of former situations or my perception of how things are now. Hence these exaggerated claims continue. I suppose that, given that LED is a developing technology, and sales departments - essential as they are to all firms - come from a different planet than engineers, this is to be expected.
 
 
Denis McMahon, BSc, MIET, MBCS, PGCE

Re: MR16 LED - Halogen equivalence puzzle

Posted by Dbat on Sep 10, 2019 11:03 am

Looks like the LED replacement actually exceeds a 230v GU10. Like-for-like this is the LED replacements true equivalent, not the 12v one you compared it to originally
https://sparkssupermarket.co.uk/products/ge-gu10-lamp-50w-36-240v?variant=35245613580
GE_GU10_50W_36_1024x1024.png?v=149788372

Re: MR16 LED - Halogen equivalence puzzle

Posted by Benyamin Davodian on Sep 10, 2019 12:58 pm

Hello to my friends,
This article is a preliminary article for an upcoming guide on how to make a cool LED billboard (LED). As I was writing this guide, I realized that I needed to lay bare minimum basics to strengthen the electrical understanding of LED circuits before introducing the project itself. And it is before you.

It is important!
This article (or for that matter any article / guide / other coverage on the "Hands" website) should not be considered a recommendation to carry out this or any other project that is invalid and / or requires a valid permit, including electrical work and electronics. Responsibility for the actual operation.

When I was working on the article and the guide, I didn't even think about the possibility of using a switched-mode power supply (see "Efficiency" in the comments below). After a short research on the matter, I decided in the near future to try this approach too, and tell you what came out. thanks for sharing.
 
What is LED
A light-emitting diode (LED) is an electrical component that allows the flow of electrons in an electric circuit in only one direction, and the semiconductor material composition of which the light-emitting diode (hereinafter, LED) allows the emission of light as the current passes through it (for further reading) .

LED Today, the LED can be found on almost any self-respecting electronic device (at least as an indicator light indicating the working condition of the device), especially on screens (from huge televisions to wristwatches), traffic lights, streetlights and cars, headlights, and many other products .
As an electronic component that can be purchased in a single unit, we can find LEDs in dozens and perhaps hundreds of different types. The simplest consists of a material that looks plastic in the form of a rounded cylinder at one end (the light itself), and has "two legs" (the thin). By default, the longer leg is the positive leg.

Why LED?
Red_led_x5 The question "Why LED" has many answers. Some of them I detailed in the article "LED it be". Here in the article, only one sentence is said - LEDs are cheap, last for a long time (50,000 ~ hours), physically resistant (no breakable glass), emit less heat (high efficiency A), and give more light per watt (high efficiency B) ). While not all details are accurate in this table, it does give some idea.

Why not just buy?
The ready-made LED lights and stripes are simply expensive.
With little learning and work we can make LED lighting fixtures ourselves. Unlike incandescent or CFL lamps, precisely in LED, we can actually make LEDs ourselves (with purchased components of course). Another way of saying this is that commercial LEDs are simply a box that aesthetically and hermetically closed components that we have access to - power sources, resistors, LEDs, and if we really want to be fancy cases, even heat sinks and even a small fan. The bulbs we make, if we invest enough, will not be significantly different from the LED bulbs we buy in the store.
Electricity on one leg
We will not now go over all the theory of electricity in a direct current (or at all, in any current), because while we are here for the theory, we are ultimately project oriented. Does not go into theoretical depth (just a little, which is impossible without it). Anyone who doesn't get along and lacks a background is worth completing. A brief flutter can be used in the Joshua Goma electronics course to establish some basic concepts.

Direct current electric circuit
On one leg (as we promised), a direct current electric circuit is a closed circuit that is connected to some source of energy (some kind of battery or solar panel, for example) and various consumers (light bulb, buzzer, resistor, motor, etc.). In each such circle, for our purposes, there are four relevant sizes:

Voltage (V, Volt) - The difference in electrical potential between two points in space. In the context of a direct current electrical circuit, the "voltage source" is the energy source, the battery. In analogy to water flow (as you can see in the animation below) the voltage is equal to the difference in heights between the upper and lower tank. Note that animation with low and high "tension" can be played.

Current (A, Amps) - Motion of charged particles between the two points at which the potential difference is measured. In order to generate a current there is a "close circuit" and for this we need "pipes" or electrical wires in which the current will flow. In the analogy, the current is the rate of the water increasing as we at once raise the pump operation (voltage source) from low to high.

Resistance (Ω, ohm) - Without diving into theory, it is possible to say that electrical resistance is the electrical voltage between two points in the body divided by the electrical current between them. Or in the formula, V / I = R (voltage divided by current equal to resistance).

[Electric] Power (W, Watts) - The electrical power of an electrical circuit is the amount of electrical energy per unit of time that goes into it and is converted into other forms of energy. So, when we say that the bulb has a power of 60w, we mean the amount of energy that the bulb emits in the form of light and heat together, two forms of incandescent light that "generates" or converts electrical energy into them. The ideal formula for calculating power is I * V = W ( Double Current Voltage Equal Power).
Attached files
Regards, DAVODIAN BENYAMIN

Re: MR16 LED - Halogen equivalence puzzle

Posted by Denis McMahon on Sep 10, 2019 1:39 pm

Dbat:
Looks like the LED replacement actually exceeds a 230v GU10. Like-for-like this is the LED replacements true equivalent, not the 12v one you compared it to originally
https://sparkssupermarket.co.uk/products/ge-gu10-lamp-50w-36-240v?variant=35245613580
. . .

 
OK, Dbat, thanks for this. If this is a genuine spec for a 240 V 50 W halogen MR16, then the LED replacement claim is justified. However I find it very surprising that a 50 W halogen gives less light than a 40 W GLS. I should be interested if anyone can explanation further.
Denis McMahon, BSc, MIET, MBCS, PGCE

Re: MR16 LED - Halogen equivalence puzzle

Posted by Benyamin Davodian on Sep 10, 2019 1:58 pm

I hope my explanation is helpful,
Let's start with a statement that may sound surprising, but it makes perfect sense - the voltage level settings vary from one state to another, and as a result, the voltage ranges that meet the "high voltage" and "low voltage" settings differ from one country to another. For example, US ANSI C84.1-1989 divides voltage levels into "low voltage" which is from 600V and below, voltage between 600V and 69kV is defined as "medium voltage", voltage between 69kV and 230kV as "high voltage", And a voltage between 230kV and 1,100kV as "particularly high voltage". The voltage range extending from 1,100 kV or higher is called "ultra high voltage". In Israel, on the other hand, the Electricity Regulations (Licenses), 1985, define as "low voltage" voltage up to 1,000 volts, "high voltage" is defined as 1,000 volts or higher, while "upper voltage" is a voltage in operation Exceeds kV33 between conductors.
What are the differences between Volt, Watt and Ampere?
Electricity concepts can confuse anyone who is not engaged in the field, or who has not read it neatly and is fed by bits of information roaming the network. The three common basic concepts concerning electricity and its consumption are Volt, Watt and Ampere. In order to explain their differences, let's take an example we all know - irrigation pipe and water flowing through it. The volt, if we use this comparison, the water pressure in the pipe will be measured in volts. But, the water pressure is just one of the two factors that determines in which stream the water came out of the pipe, because the diameter of the pipe also determines. The "diameter" of the pipe, in the case of electricity, shall be indicated on the ampere. It will tell us how many electrons can pass in the width of the "pipe" (in the case of electricity, the same pipe is conductive). Further to the analogy - if the water pressure inside the water pipe is strong it is called "high voltage" and in case the water pressure in the low pipe is called "low voltage".

Since in Israel, domestic electricity is moving around 230 volts, the higher the amount of amperage (remember? The amount of water passing through the water pipe diameter), we can consume more electricity.

We were left with the watt, which is easier to explain. Watt will measure how much water is flowing from the pipe in a certain amount of time. That is, in case we have a 230 V voltage and a 40 amp conductor, the maximum power consumption will be 9,200 watts per hour (230X40). The power consumption of devices is marked in watts to let us know how much of the same total current they consume
Regards, DAVODIAN BENYAMIN

Re: MR16 LED - Halogen equivalence puzzle

Posted by Denis McMahon on Sep 10, 2019 9:06 pm

Benyamin Davodian:
. . . That is, in case we have a 230 V voltage and a 40 amp conductor, the maximum power consumption will be 9,200 watts per hour (230X40). The power consumption of devices is marked in watts to let us know how much of the same total current they consume

Benyamin - you are doing a grand job but I need to pick up on one point. You can't talk about "watts per hour"; that is dimensional nonsense. 230 V at 40 A is simply 9 200 watts. The watt is the rate at which energy is expended. You could call this joules per hour if you like, but that is bringing another unit into the discussion.

If I may respectfully make another suggestion. This is effectively a new topic and an interesting one. Would it not be better to make it a new post? With a new, appropriate, title it would attract more attention from people interested in this subject.  You could cross reference both this post and the new post to each other, to make sure everyone picks up the  story. Your call.
Denis McMahon, BSc, MIET, MBCS, PGCE

Re: MR16 LED - Halogen equivalence puzzle

Posted by Benyamin Davodian on Sep 11, 2019 7:27 am

Great, I agree to a new post.
Regards, DAVODIAN BENYAMIN

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