High power led spotlights

Posted by Jeroen van Agt in Energy saving, Led lights 1 Comment»

When I started using High power LED spotlights I have found out that the light of some LED lights where not as warm as advertised. Another problem is that these LED spotlights can start melting when you do not use the right transformer…

HighPower led spotjes

In my quest for reducing my power consumption on lighting my house, I have started to experiment with LED spotlights of 1 Watt each to replace my energy wasting halogen spotlights of 20 Watt each. After some investigations on the internet I have found the following model: 1-Watt-HighPower-LUXEON-LED.

HighPower led spotjes

Two high power LED spotlights

This LED spot light has the following specification:

Colour White
Voltage 8-16 Volt AC/DC
Socket MR16 Gx5.3
Lichtsource LUXEON-LED 1 Watt (25 Lumen)
Beam angle 25° (SPOT)
Intensity 350 Lux/m

Most LED spot lights consist of many individual LEDs. As you can see in the picture, this is not the case here. The spot light consist of a single high power LED of 1 Watt.

New transformer

Before I could replace my 5 halogen spot lights with the new LED spot lights, I had to replace my transformer. The old transformer has a power rating of 150 Watt and even more important a minimum load of 50 watt. When this transformer is used for the LED spot lights there is a chance that the transformer will generate a voltage too high, which can be fatal for my (still expensive) LED lights. 

After some research I found a transformer with a very low minimum load of 10 Watt. I expected this to be good enough because my 5 LEDs will use 5 Watt, so there is only a small difference. Somewhat later, after some smoke in the room, I have been proven wrong…

Blue light

Although the advertisement of the LED mentioned white light, the colour of the LED is somewhat blue. The colour of these LED spot lights are more simular to daylight and does not compare with the warm light of my halogen spot lights. A small disappointment.

Blauw licht van de HighPower led spotjes

The blue light of my new LED spotlight.

To prevent that other people get the same disappointment as me when using LED lights, we will soon publish an overview of LED lights and their measured characteristics on this website. For now you can access the overview (in Dutch) on the Dutch OliNo website

Faint light

The 25 lumen of the 7W LED spot lights produce a lot less light than the original 20 Watt halogen light. In the past the halogen spots illuminated the whole living room that is not the case anymore with these LED spot lights.

Still usable

After I had introduced some warm coloured lights with CFL light bulbs, see also the article Success with CFL light bulbs, I started looking for an good application for these LED spot lights. Fortunately I found something: highlighting my painting on the wall.

Plaatje blauw licht van de HighPower led spotjes

Highlighting my paintings with LED spot lights.


Then it happened. After some hours with the LED lights on, I started to smell some burning. Immediate switched off all power. It was already too late. One of the LED light spots has melted.

Plaatje blauw licht van de HighPower led spotjes

Melted LED spot light.

Root problem: the voltage of the transformer was too high caused by a too small load (5 watt instead of the minimum 10 watt). What a bummer,


For a quick solution (workaround) I have chosen to combine two  LED spot lights together with one “old” halogen spot light of 20W. This generated more load than the minimum load of 10 Watt and still saves some energy. I have measured the voltage, I should have done that in the first place, it is now exactly 12 Volt. As required for these LED spot lights.

Power savings

In the end I was able to save a considered amount of energy by replacing a lot of halogen lights with CFL lights bulbs and LED spot lights. The reduction in consumption is around 0.85 kWh / day and 310 kWh / year. That’s around 10% of a typically Dutch household. See also the article Earning money with energy saving.

1 reply on “High power led spotlights”

Thank you for the ‘heads up’ about the exact 12 voltage for LED lights. Had no idea it was ‘That’ critical. Your advice and experience will save some money and frustration for anyone attempting to switch. This is the next stage coming revolution for the common homeowner. Pioneers are always a great source of advice.

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