The main area of my house uses MR16 exclusively, mostly 50W bulbs.

I have tried a few LED replacements over the years (none for the past 2 years), and have not been happy with brightness (not bright enough) and color temp (narrow spectrum, and cold).

Where can I find truly impartial reviews on bulbs so I can migrate to LED?

closed as off-topic by ThreePhaseEel, mmathis, Machavity, Daniel Griscom, isherwood Feb 27 '18 at 18:01

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  • 1
    MR16's and any halogen are the hardest lamps to replace with equivalent LED light. It's hard to match that punch you get from halogen in certain situations. I don't think the industry's quite caught up yet, but is getting closer. A year ago I didn't think any fluorescent replacements matched either, the industry is getting really close there, and with Christmas lights in colors we can identify with. I think good or excellent halogen replacements are still a few years away. Mediocre is already here. – Tyson Feb 19 '18 at 0:46

You're looking for subjective human-opinion reviews. However, the questions you are asking about are measurable scientific facts that are labeled on almost every bulb, and certainly any bulb legal to sell in the United States.


The useful light output of a bulb is in lumens. This is a measurement of the light that you can see, and the wedge that it is lighting up.

You must factor for the wedge angle of the bulb. If you have a 120 degree angle bulb that is the brightness you like, and you want to switch to a 60 degree angle bulb, that will illuminate 1/4 the area, and will land all its lumens in that 1/4 area, So that area will have 4x the lumens hitting it. That will make it brighter, not 4x brighter since light is a decibel curve.

Color Temperature

Color Temperature is the color of the light, which you call "coldness". Normal halogens are 3000K. Office fluorescents are 4100K. The early LEDs that were popular prior to 2015, especially the cheapies, are typically 5000-6000K because those are the cheapest lumens per dollar. LEDs have gotten quite good and you should have no trouble finding 3000K LEDs at sane cost, for most applications.

Read a more detailed examination with illustrations here.

  • What about color spectrum? I understand that LEDs have a narrower spectrum than halogens. – samsmith Feb 19 '18 at 5:26

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