MR-16 LED Replacement Lamps: Electrical Compatibility and Performance

Publication Date: 

As light emitting diode (LED) MR16 lamps become more prevalent in the commercial market, both residential and commercial end‐users are considering these lamps as replacements for currently installed halogen incandescent MR16 sources. While the energy savings associated with LED lamp replacements is evident, the compatibility of LED MR16 lamps with existing electrical hardware is not. In one‐to‐one lamp retrofits, MR16 LED lamps often demonstrate negative performance characteristics such as visible flicker and audible humming. Generally, these issues are linked to the use of an LED lamp combined with a dimmer or electronic low‐voltage transformer.

Because of these types of performance issues, and in an effort to better understand the current state of the MR16 LED replacement lamp market, PG&E funded CLTC to evaluate a cross‐section of lamps from the LED MR16 product category for their electrical compatibility with application‐appropriate, low‐voltage transformers and phase‐cut dimmers.

Authors: Daniel Stuart, Nicole Graeber, Keith Graeber, Michael Siminovitch

​Prepared for: Pacific Gas and Electric Company