An MR16 bulb is a light bulb where the MR stands for multifaceted reflector and the 16 stands for the size of the bulb. MR16 light bulbs are available as halogen bulbs and as LED bulbs. The most common MR16 light bulb is a halogen lamp. The multifaceted reflector of the bulb allows for the beam of light to be focused and is used for directional lighting. These lights have both commercial as well as residential uses where there is a need of a high intensity beam of light.
Choosing the Right MR16 Bulb
Choosing a MR16 bulb for your lighting needs may seem a bit complicated, as you need different bulbs for different applications. The best way to select the right MR6 bulb for you depends on the following:
- The beam angle needed
- The beam candle power necessary for your purposes
- The rated life of the bulbs in order to know how often you would have to change them
- The beam quality and the color temperature needed for your purpose since this varies from manufacturer to manufacturer
- The heat generated by these lamps, say, if your lighting needs are heat sensitive, you can choose the MR6 bulb that has a coating that reduces the temperature of the bulb
MR16 Halogen Bulbs vs MR16 LED Bulbs
· MR16 Halogen Bulbs
An MR16 LED bulb is similar in shape to the MR16 halogen bulb and can be used in fixtures meant for a MR16 light bulb. These LED lamps usually do not have a reflective surface but depend on the optics of the LED to control the beam width. This MR16 bulb is much cooler in operation than a halogen lamp. It also tends to throw a much cooler light at the blue end of the spectrum.
The LED lamps though do not give out as bright a light as the halogen lamps and also their beams are not as precise.
Most MR16 lamps use a low voltage between 6 and 24 volts, though the most common bulbs use 12 volts. These bulbs need a transformer to reduce the voltage from 120 volts to the voltage of the MR16 bulb. These bulbs can be dimmed with the use of a low voltage dimmer.
MR16 halogen lamps are the most common lamps used, and these lamps offer many advantages. The size of these lamps is around 2 inches and they are quite small compared to other directional lighting lamps, which allows them to be used where there are constraints to space. These lamps though produce quite a bit of heat and care must be taken to see that they do not get in contact with inflammable material. The compact size of these lamps and the different beam sizes available make these lamps ideal for spot lighting different size areas.
A disadvantage of these lamps, however, is that they are not as efficient as florescent lights for ambient lighting. Another disadvantage of the MR16 halogen bulb is that if it is not handled properly, it may become inefficient or hazardous.