Many homeowners are eager to make the switch to LED downlights and say goodbye to halogen bulbs. While switching to LEDs is a smart move – they use less energy, run cooler, and last far longer than halogens – it’s not as simple as just swapping out the globes. LED downlights aren’t always compatible with halogen fittings. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most common problems that can occur when LED downlights are installed in halogen fittings.

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Common Problems With LED Downlights And Halogen Fittings

Installing LEDs in halogen fittings can cause a few problems with your new lights. To get the maximum benefit from your new LED downlights, have an electrician check your circuits and fittings to ensure they are compatible with the lower-wattage LEDs. If you don’t take this preventative measure, you could have problems like:

Transformer Issues: Halogen transformers provide much, much more power than LED downlights require. In some situations, you’ll need to replace this transformer with an LED driver to regulate the voltage. Otherwise you risk the excess power blowing the LED. This is especially true if you live in an area with frequent voltage spikes. A good way to tell if you need to change the transformer is to check if the halogens have pins or pegs to connect them to the circuit. Pins require a new transformer, pegs don’t, but it wouldn’t hurt to install an LED driver anyway.

Lower Light Output: It sounds counterintuitive, but the higher voltage from a halogen transformer can actually damage the LED and lead to lower light output. LEDs draw such little power that they never pull the minimum wattage that the transformer is rated for. The end result is a transformer that can’t do its job and lights that are dim or don’t turn on at all.

Buzzing, Dimming, or Flickering Lights: This is a common problem when LED downlights are used without an LED driver. LEDs run on DC power, not AC. Using them in an AC circuit will lead to voltage fluctuations that will cause the bulbs to flicker, buzz, or dim erratically.

Shorter Lifespan: LEDs need a constant DC current to maintain optimum efficiency. Fluctuations in power from an AC outlet will shorten the lifespan of LEDs.

Voiding of Warranties: Using LEDs in fittings that are incompatible may void any warranties they have.

Make A Smooth Transition From Halogen To LED Downlights With Help From LEDified

Contact LEDified for a thorough review of your lighting situation. We can assess your current lighting demands, determine if you can replace your halogen globes with LEDs straight away or if you need to add an LED driver, and we can even do the installation work for you. Learn more about LEDs in the home on our residential section.