IES LD+A Research Matters: Electrical Compatibility of MR16 LED Replacements

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Due to the increased availability and cost-effectiveness of LED multifaceted reflector (MR) lamps, residential and commercial users are looking to these products for an energy-efficient alternative to traditional, halogen MR sources. While the energy savings associated with this switch are easy to see, actual product performance may be less clearcut.  Consumers have experienced performance issues including visible flicker and audible humming, which have been linked to the use of the LED lamps with certain types of electrical components including some types of dimmer switches and low-voltage transformers.

To help better understand the current state of the LED MR market and associated performance issues, researchers at CLTC evaluated a cross-section of commercially available LED MR16 lamps, the most common type of MR lamp, to better understand the product’s compatibility with electrical components designed for use with traditional halogen sources. Resarchers conducted performance evaluations of 20 commercially available LED MR16 lamps operated in conjunction with multiple types of low-voltage transformers, LED drivers and dimmer switches.  The primary study objective was to identify links between poor lamp performance, specific LED driver designs and other standard electrical components.

The CLTC research is published in the May 2015 issue of the LD+A magazine.