Installation of 12v LED lamps in a chandelier instead of halogen ones

Now there are a large number of 12v halogen chandeliers on the market and everything would be fine, but some want to save on electricity or prefer neutral white light to yellow. It would seem that everything is simple, you need to buy LED lamps with the same base as halogen lamps, install them and the chandelier will work fine. But here lies one problem that pops up after installing LED lamps. Let’s figure out how to get around the problems when replacing lamps.

Why is it difficult to install LED lamps?

I want to write right away that everything described in this article is related only to chandeliers that use halogen lamps with an operating voltage of 12v.

The fact is that in chandeliers with 12 volt bulbs, transformers (or power supplies, call it what you want) are used that convert the 220 volt alternating current of our electrical network into the 12 volt alternating current that is needed for halogen bulbs. In this case, the output voltage is not stabilized. And for LED lamps you need a stabilized constant voltage. This fact already causes problems for many. For example, flickering of LED lamps visible to the human eye is possible, which happened in my case. Trust me, it’s annoying.

The second problem you may encounter may be due to the low power consumption of LED bulbs. The fact is that some transformers automatically turn off if the consumed load is too small, and this is just our case. For example, the power of one halogen lamp is more than the power of ten LED lamps (the power of a halogen lamp is 20 watts, and an LED lamp is 1.5 watts). In my case, this did not happen, but do not be alarmed if, after replacing the lamps, the chandelier goes out or flashes.

And the third problem that I faced is very strange, but be prepared for this turn of events. The fact is that I have a chandelier with a control panel, and when I changed all the lamps to LEDs, the control panel could only turn on the lamps, but not turn off or change the mode. In general, we can say that the remote control has stopped working. As soon as I returned a few halogen lamps (only a part) to their place, the remote worked (the picture shows that the halogen lamps give yellow light). I think this is happening again due to insufficient load.

Halogen lamps along with LED in the chandelier

Replacement of transformers

The case of a mixed type of lamps does not suit me, so I decided to replace the transformers of the halogen lamps with power supplies for LED lamps. I opened the chandelier and found inside 3 transformers for halogen lamps (one 160 watt transformer for one group of lamps and two others for the second group of lamps), 1 control unit and 1 control unit for LED lighting (the chandelier can flash red and blue light).

Chandelier insides: halogen lamp transformers

Now you need to calculate the total load on the power supply. I have two groups of lamps 8 and 9 in my chandelier, with a LED lamp power of 1.5 watts, it turns out, respectively, 12 and 13.5 watts. Also remember that after installing the power supply, in no case should halogen lamps be inserted into the chandelier!

I bought a pair of 12V DC power supplies from the store. Navigator capable of withstanding a load of up to 15 watts and suitable for me in size (will fit inside the chandelier), see the picture. In addition to the main function, such a power supply protects against short circuits, power surges and overloads.

DC voltage source 12 volts Navigator

Then I soldered the wires from the transformers (see the first photo below), since I didn’t want to unwind the twists, and connected them to the power supplies Navigator, through the terminal blocks (see second photo below). If you can’t solder the wires, for whatever reason, then you can just bite the wires.

Disassembled transformer for halogen lamps

Power supply for Navigator LED lamps

After I replaced the halogen lamp transformers with power supplies for LED lamps, I got rid of two problems: the LEDs stopped flickering and the chandelier began to work properly from the control panel. As a result, the insides of my chandelier began to look like this.

The inside of a chandelier with power supplies for LED lamps

And all this naturally fit inside the chandelier.

The interior of the chandelier after conversion to work with LEDs

External view of a chandelier with LED lamps

My chandelier uses plinths G4 and I found LED lamps almost the same size as halogen ones. These are light bulbs LUNA LED G4 1.5W 4000K 12V in a silicone case.

LED lamp with G4 base and silicone housing

This LED bulb is slightly larger in size than the halogen bulb. And someone may not like how the lampshades look when turned off, but it seemed normal to me. Below in the photos you can see what the ceiling lamp looks like with a halogen lamp and LED.

Plafond with halogen lamp with G4 base

Plafond with LED lamp with G4 socket

And when the chandelier is turned on, you won’t see anyway if the LEDs or halogen lamps are on.

Chandelier after installing LED lamps instead of halogen lamps

Should I change halogen bulbs to LED bulbs?

So, let’s sum up all the work done. In total, I spent 2053.50 rubles on the modernization of the chandelier. (17 LED lamps for 80 rubles. + delivery 100 rubles. + DC sources 593.50 rubles) and a couple of hours of work. And now my chandelier has become energy efficient and shines with a neutral white light, just like I wanted. Color was the deciding factor for me, but others may like the economy (25.5W total for LED vs 340W for halogen) and LED life (30,000 hours for LED vs 4000 hours for halogen). But keep in mind that a 20 watt halogen lamp shines about twice as brightly as a 1.5 watt LED lamp (300-440 lumens for 20 watt halogen lamps versus 150-230 lumens for 1.5 watt LED lamps). If the brightness is not enough, you can use more powerful lamps, for example, 2.5 watts, but the physical size of such lamps will be larger. This must be taken into account, because The lamp must fit inside the lampshade.

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