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MR16 bulbs are very common low voltage spot light bulbs. They all require a transformer to convert the mains voltage of 230v down to the 12v that these bulbs require.
MR16 is also known as GU5.3
We stock a wide range low voltage bulbs of including various wattages, LED bulbs, energy saving bulbs and even coloured bulbs. If you need something that you can't find here, please contact us as we can almost certainly help.
MR16 bulbs are the big brother of MR11 lamps. They are also low voltage bulbs that require a transformer, but they are available in much higher power ratings. No matter what the power rating, they are all 12v bulbs.
Recently a new type of MR16 light has become available, with new IRC (infra-red coating) technology! This makes the MR16 light bulb more efficient by re-using some of the heat that it generates to produce more light. This means that less electricity has to be used, resulting in more light for less power. These new MR16 IRC lamps are more expensive the standard type, but over their life time will usually pay for themselves in reduced energy bills.
MR16 lamps all incorporate a reflector to direct the light forward in one direction. Different shapes of reflector will produce different beam angles. A wide beam angle will provide a wide spread of light, and a narrow beam angle will produce a narrow spread of light. For general lighting purposes, a wider beam angle is much better as you are not left with dark patches between each narrow beam. Narrow beams are more suited to lighting specific objects with little over-spill of light.
Each MR16 lamp uses either a dichroic reflector or an aluminium reflector. A dichroic reflector is designed to reflect heat backwards in the opposite direction to the light, and aluminium reflector is designed to reflect heat forwards with the light. Your light fittings will be designed to use only one type of reflector. Using the wrong sort, could damage your light fitting, and could cause heat damage to the objects surrounding it. Make sure that you choose the right type of reflector when ordering your MR16 replacement.
The Lighting Research Center has a lot more information about MR16 lights.
GU5.3 bulbs is another name for MR16 bulbs. 'GU5.3' refers to the electrical connector, as there are two pins 5.3 millimeters apart. 'MR16' refers to the diameter of the bulb, which is 16 eighths of an inch, or five centimeters. The 'MR' stands for 'Multi-faceted Reflector', as this is what most GU5.3 lamps use.