Posted on November 20, 2012

Transformer Compatibility Challenges

One of the current challenges in the LED industry is transformer compatibility for low-voltage LEDs. MR16 LEDs are at the forefront of the issue, but not an issue with the LED MR16s themselves. The issue exists with the transformers.

Transformers are designed to control a given load. For example, a 300-watt transformer can often handle up to 80% of their load, or 240-watts. It's the minimum load that the transformer can handle which is the challenge for LED MR16s. With halogen lamps, the transformer was controlling four 50-watt halogen MR16s, totaling 200-watts. When these four halogen lamps are replaced with LED alternatives, the new load on the transformer can result in 40-watts or lower. While some transformers can control a load of only 10% of the transformer rating, many of them cannot, and the minimum load could be closer to 40% of the transformer rating. In the example above, this would result in 120-watts causing poor performance from the LED MR16, such as completely not illuminating or flickering. In some of the worse cases, it can result in the transformer failing and needing to be replaced.

Unfortunately, the average consumer will see the failure to light/flickering/strobing of the LED MR16 as a lamp failure. This is not a lamp defect. It is entirely a compatibility issue with the transformer. The transformer is not capable of recognizing and/or controlling the low wattage LED MR16.

With the launch of Solais' new LMR16 lamps, transformer compatibility testing is of high importance. At 10-watts and delivering 600 lumens, it produces more than 20% more light than the closest competitor. We didn't stop there; it has a smaller form factor than the previous generation, meaning it now fits within the shape of a standard halogen MR16. It is fully dimmable and available in 15, 25, & 40 beam spreads.

About PowerSecure Lighting: PowerSecure Lighting designs and manufactures the lighting industry's highest-performing LED lamps and fixtures. With superior lumen output, center-beam candlepower, and overall aesthetics and performance, PowerSecure Lighting's LED products enhance the retail, supermarket, commercial, museum and hospitality environments of the world's leading brands. PowerSecure Lighting relentlessly pushes the innovation envelope to create products that replace traditional lighting technologies with zero compromise to aesthetics and performance. To learn more about PowerSecure Lighting, visit us in person in Stamford, Connecticut, or online at

Two of our new product lines are now available to order!
The XC3, XC5 and XC7 modular cylinders come in a variety of finishes and mounting options. The WW asymmetrical track wall wash fixtures come in two sizes. Yoke mount versions are coming soon!