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Thread: What switches work with light fixtures that take MR16 light bulbs?

  1. #1

    What switches work with light fixtures that take MR16 light bulbs?

    Hi folks, We have a few rooms in the house with light fixtures that take MR16 light bulbs: In looking at the bulbs, it seems like these are halogen bulbs for 12V light fixtures. Some of these are hooked up to regular dimming light switches, so they must be dimmable, right? Does this mean I can use RRD-6CL switches with them? Or are there low voltage switches? Thanks!

  2. #2
    In reading some more, it looks like there are "magnetic" vs "electronic solid state" low voltage light fixtures. How can I tell which ones we have? Thanks!

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    If you have existing Halogen MR16 bulbs, DO NOT replace them with LEDs.

    Most Halogen MR16 fixtures use magnetic low voltage (MLV) transformers. However, it is critical that you determine which ones you have.

    Recessed fixtures should have a model number inside the can/behind the trim. You can check the manfuacturers website for details. If you have a access to the transformer, check the manufacturer and model number. MLV transformers are generally larger and heavier. ELV is smaller (could be about the size of 2 fingers or smaller) and very light.

    The 6ND is recommended for MLV and it is a few $$ cheaper. For ELV you can use the 6NA. The new PRO dimmer is rated for MLV, ELV and INC. It is actually less expensive than the 6NA.

    BTW, all MR16s are not created equal. The typical MR16 is rated for 2000 hours. Some are rated for 10,000 hours. They cost more but the $$/hour is better and there is less maintenance. MR16s also tend to color-shift. Some manufacturers offer bulbs that have minimal color-shift (more money, of course).
    Convergence Technologies Raleigh, North Carolina

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Randy- Why do you advise not to replace with LEDs? I've put in SORAA MR16s on a number of projects that have worked fine (not the greatest dimming performance but not problematic). I will admit they were on ELV transformers.

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