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MR11 Light Bulbs

Some general information.

When people started implementing track lighting for certain kinds of retail situations, one of their biggest complaints was that the actual track heads were just too big. It didn’t matter what bulb was used in the size was usually too large for a store or living space that had a lower ceiling. That was one of the significant benefits of MR11 light bulbs that they delivered a lot of light that was a halogen source and yet it was something that was relatively compact. It meant that the size of the track heads could be smaller and could be used in lower areas and some ways disappear into the ceiling. These lamps have a tremendous lighting effect and are excellent in delivering a certain sense of drama to the lighting scheme. One of the things that people like about these is that they have a considerable variance in beam control. You can get everything from a broad flood, a narrow flood, a spot or a narrow spot beam spread, anything you would need for your particular lighting application. These typically have a warm white color somewhere around a white 3000K light color, but they do come in other colors as well. These are halogen lamps that operate on a 12-volt circuit most of the time. If you have a 12-volt lighting system, that’s considered low voltage, and you will see a transformer usually on the track and sometimes that needs to be replaced along with lamps.

Saving money with LED.
Because of increased energy efficiency with LED bulbs, many people are considering replacing their MR11 GU4 halogen bulbs if they haven’t already. It’s a great way to save energy while still maintaining the same quality of light that you have now. The prices also come down on those to the point that it will deliver a good payback. If you want to know how much the LED MR11 reflector bulb will save you over time, make sure to download our free energy calculations spreadsheet that’s on the left-hand column of our website. It will tell you exactly how much you can expect to save on your switch to an LED MR11. All you have to do is put in some of the data of your current system comparing it to one of the products that you would purchase from us. Most of the time it’s merely a light bulb change, no other rewiring is necessary. So it probably makes this one of the best ways to retrofit existing halogen with LED to get those extra energy savings. Most people see a payback anywhere from a few months to a few years depending on how they use it. There’s never been a better time to take a look at how you can save money by reducing your energy costs by merely changing from a halogen flood light bulb to a highly efficient dimmable LED.

Thinking about lamp life.
But for those of you who are sticking with the halogen version, we have a vast array of this type of lamp for your replacement needs. It still has an excellent color rendering, and you can get any beam angle that you choose. Even though LED can be a very close approximation of what the halogen was, there are times when only the halogen version will do. The color rendering is probably better in the halogen typically because it is an incandescent source of light. Its white light has often been associated with excellent color rendition and color temperature for any video or photography. The rated life on these is not particularly useful. They’re generally somewhere around an average life of 2000 hrs. Most of the LED light bulbs are rated anywhere from 25,000 to 35,000 hours, and you can see that that’s going to be significant savings in the future.

Be careful.
One of the things to keep in mind about halogen lighting is that it gets very hot. You never want to change them while they’re still hot, you should turn off the lights and wait for them to cool and then you can change them. Because of the dichroic coating that these have on the inside of the multifaceted reflector, some of the heat is drawn back through the lamp. The back portion of the light is very hot even more so than the outer rim. Use every precaution and make sure that you’re not doing something that could injure yourself. There were many times in the past when customers would have a specific complaint about a particular kind of coloring that will come out the back of the lamp. This was often a problem in track lighting that had an open back MR11 lamp holder. One of the things that this dichroic coding does is that it paints kind of a rainbow color behind the lamp. This is usually something that people don’t want, but we do have remedies for that if you're going to stay with MR11 halogen bulbs. We have a black-backed or silver back version that doesn’t allow any of that to go out of the back of the lamp and onto a wall. It’s the one way you can alleviate that problem. The other way to do that is to move to an LED once again. The LED version of these lamps is probably the remedy for most of the problems that people have had with this type of bulb. We have many choices of LED on our website that could replace nearly anything that you would have. If you’re thinking about it and are unsure whether you need to go in that direction, make sure you call or email us with any questions that you may have.

Buying quality in bulk.
If you use a lot of these and are looking to make a more significant purchase,  contact us with that information and how many are looking for. We can get you some excellent pricing on those now, and you can save by buying in a bulk quantity. The brands do matter, and we have many choices that have excellent quality and are just some kind of cheap import. That was a problem in the past where some of the cheapest stuff was brought in from China without regard to whether it was good-quality or not. You’ll still see some of that the big box stores which are a funnel for Chinese products. What all the purchasing agents from those companies know is whether the price is cheap. We don’t deal with that kind of product. We only deal with vendors and manufacturers that have the best quality bulbs that are going to stand the test of time. We stand behind all the products and most people get their rated life all the time, never really any complaints with this lamp type.

The base.
The base on this lamp is merely a two pin base which is often a 4-millimeter bi-pin base spacing. There is other pin spacing is a GU10 base. The 12-volt version is almost always the 4 millimeter, and you might see it designated as a 10w 12v MR11 possibly. If you’re having trouble identifying which base or bulb you have, you can always call us with any of the information from the back of the lamp. If you don’t have that or it’s burned off, you can still send us a picture by email or text, and we can probably identify it for you as long as we know something about the wattage limitations of the track light fixture that you have. And speaking of track light fixtures, we have a complete selection of those in LED which have no lamps to replace. If you’re the type of person that is tired of changing light bulbs altogether, then this is a proper direction for you. It has an integral LED which doesn’t require changing ever, and the life of that light fixture should last you many years. Most of them come with a five-year warranty some even with a seven-year warranty, and that’s from the manufacturer, and it’s easy to get a replacement if it’s gone bad within that warranty.

How can we help you today?
If you’re unsure of which way to go with any of the new LED options, make sure to call us because we have a lot of expertise in this area. One of the beautiful things about those is that you can go to an entirely different color such as cool white, you don’t have to stick with warm white color. With all these choices such as MR11 floods or MR11 spots available it can be a little bit confusing, but that’s where we can help you determine what might be the best course of action in replacement. You may want to stick with your MR11 light bulbs the way they are, and it looks great for you. There’s nothing wrong with that, and we have plenty on hand to take care of your lighting needs. But if you’re looking for an upgrade to LED, we can also help you get the right one that’s going to match up best for your lighting application.
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