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MR11 bulbs

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MR11 bulbs

All MR11 bulbs (also known as GU4 bulbs) run at a low voltage, 12 volts to be precise. This means that all MR11 12v bulbs require a transformer before they can be connected to the mains electricity supply. In most cases the transformer is built into the light fitting that makes use of the MR11 light bulbs, but in some instances the transformer might well be a separate unit.

Because of the small size of an MR11 bulb, (just 35mm) they are often used for decorative purposes rather than for general lighting. They can still produce a lot of light, but not as much as their larger relatives, the MR16 bulb.

Some vehicles and caravans use MR11 bulbs as interior lights, or map reading lights. In these situations, it's usually a good idea to consider replacing the relatively high energy MR11 halogen bulbs with a much more energy efficient LED version. LED MR11 bulbs can produce a lot of light, but being an LED they will use much less power. This puts less stress on the vehicle electrical system, and the battery will be drained much more slowly.

We have two different types of MR11 replacement lamp that use LEDs. The MR11 LED cluster bulb type that have multiple low powered LED in them, and the MR11 high power LED type that make use of a single very high power LED.

The high power version is usually much more expensive than the cluster type, but it will produce a lot more light, even though the wattage might be very similar. LED lamps also have the added benefit of having a very long life span. Most LED lamps have a rated life of 50,000 hours in optimal conditions.

GU4 bulbs

GU4 bulbs are the generally the same as MR11 bulbs. technically, 'GU4' refers to the electrical connector on the bulb. There are 2 pins four millimeters apart. So when referring to a GU4 bulb you are talking about the size and type of the electrical connector. Most of them are GU4 halogen bulbs, although GU4 LED bulbs are also available.

'MR11' indicates the type of bulb, 'MR' stands for Multi-faceted Reflector, and '11' is the diameter of the bulb in eights of an inch. MR11 bulbs are reflector bulbs that are 11/8ths of an inch in diameter.

So technically, an MR11 GU4 LED bulb with a LED, might be more accurately described as a GU4 bulb rather than an MR11 bulb as it probably doesn't have a 'multifaceted reflector'