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Bulbs that use the GU10 fitting (a newer form of the MR16) run at mains voltage (240 volts). First developed by Havells Sylvania in 1997, the GU10 has quickly overtaken the MR16 when it comes to popularity, combining the same high quality light and compact design, while removing the need for a transformer.

GU10 bulbs are available in three main formats; halogen, CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) and LED (Light Emitting Diode).

Halogen bulbs really are a more recent version of the standard incandescent bulb. Because of ease of manufacture and availability they are undoubtedly the least expensive from the three technologies. However, they're also the most expensive to run and also have the shortest life expectency, meaning the overall cost from the bulb ends up working out often a lot more than the initial price paid.

CFLs are a compact version of the fluorescent tubes commonly present in offices. They are more costly to purchase than halogen bulbs, but take advantage of a lower running cost. While manufacturers have overcome the dimensions limitations related to creating a CFL-compatible GU10 Bulb, they still hold a number of drawbacks. The most common criticisms levied against this type of bulb is it creates a "cold" light, it loses a lot of its brightness overtime which takes a very long time to reach full brightness after being switched on.

Of the three bulbs, CFLs will also be one of the most environmentally controversial. Fluorescent based lighting requires a little bit of Mercury vapour as part of its operation. While the amount found in a CFL is just about enough to cover the nib of the ball point pen, even a microscopic amount of mercury can cause massive environmental damage. This makes their disposal difficult and potentially dangerous.


LED GU10 are the newest technology available on the market and that's why are the most expensive. However, LED GU10s recoup the majority of this initial cost by lowering lighting bills and reducing the quantity of replacements required. LEDs also offer a number of other advantages too, including lower operational temperatures and a greater option of colors.

Although the cost of LED GU10s continue to be high, this price is predicted in the future down very soon. When that happens, LEDs will end up the most popular lighting format available.

Most existing transformers utilized by MR16 spotlights are incompatible with LED technology. Because of this many purchasers find it simpler and cheaper to upgrade their lighting system to mains voltage GU10 LED Bulbs.
Topics: GU10 LED
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