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I am in the process of installing two "Tech Lighting" pendant kitchen lamps (each with their own transformer, but on the same dimmer switch).

My question is: Can I use MR16 gu5.3 50w 12v halogen bulbs with LED transformers, until I find aesthetically pleasing LEDs (the fixtures showcase the bare bulbs and currently have two MR16 halogens)? I was told the LED transformers should be fine to handle the halogen bulbs, but I shouldn't use halogen transformers with LEDs. I just wanting to confirm before proceeding.

Thank you!

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closed as off-topic by Elliot Alderson, laptop2d, Dwayne Reid, Anindo Ghosh, RoyC Jan 9 at 13:46

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you all for the information - much appreciated! Will report back results once installed with the outcome. \$\endgroup\$ – Vinny_Bayview Jan 6 at 16:59
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Check the rating of the LED supply: if it's less than 8 amperes or less than 100 watts, it certainly cannot handle two or more 50 W halogen lamps. (Actually, startup surge current for an incandescent lamp may be five times higher, i.e. 40 amps!)

It is unlikely a power supply designed for LED lamps, which use perhaps 10 W maximum per lamp (for ~850 lumen lamp, equivalent to 60 W incandescent lamp) could handle even one 50 W halogen (incandescent) lamp. If you try it and are lucky, the LED supply will refuse to start, or a fuse will blow in the supply... if not, the supply will burn itself out.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ A constant current LED driver would just run up to its current limit, would it not? \$\endgroup\$ – Transistor Jan 3 at 23:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ The power supplies for parallel LED lamps are not constant current -- current limiting is within each lamp, because there are multiple LED's. \$\endgroup\$ – DrMoishe Pippik Jan 4 at 0:54
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No it's (probably) not fine.

  • LED are current regulated, the driver will regulate the current flow and not the voltage.
  • Halogen are driven with a constant Voltage.

Furthermore, halogen lamp will have a very small startup impedance, so your driver probably will see that as a fault or might not be able to start at all.

There might be some exception to that, like LED that controls the current with resistors, but it is unlikely to be the case if you have a decent led driver because this is very inefficient.

You can always try, worst case you burn an halogen lamp (or the driver).

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