In my kitchen, I have a number of ceiling lights that take MR16 bulbs. However, I noticed that the plugs seem to also accept another kind of bulb as well. At first, I thought these other sockets were for GU10's, but the spacing in this plug is actually wider than the two GU10 prongs.

The main reason I'm wondering is because it would be great if a larger, brighter bulb could go here as the kitchen is a bit too dim.

Picture below:

Plug in ceiling pot light

  • Are you sure those are bulb pin sockets and not just staked pins for assembly purposes? – jwh20 Sep 22 at 15:00
  • @jwh20, I'm definitely not certain if they are or aren't bulb pin sockets. They don't have to do with assembly though... There's a metal/glass attachment that attaches to the bulb itself and that is what holds the bulb in place after you push it into the recess. Not sure if these holes have no real purpose or are for something else? – justanotherguy Sep 22 at 15:16
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    I'm thinking they are holding the socket together and possibly holding it in place in the lamp housing. – jwh20 Sep 22 at 15:35

Thos MR16 GU5.3 light bulbs are 12 volt bulbs. The GU10 bulbs are 120 volt. There is little to zero chance that this is some sort of "Dual Socket". And if it were, it would still likely be just a 12 volt supply.

The round things in the picture are rivets that hold the fixture together.

To brighten the fixture, I'd recommend a bright, new LED bulb. Your fixture likely has a power supply with a watt limit somewhere, if you can access it, check the largest total watts you can draw on that switch and get a bulb as close to that as possible. If you don't know the power supply rating, then just try the highest output MR16 bulb you can find anyway. They usually don't take much power. Many of the fixtures were designed for incandescent anyway.

You might already have what WAS a bright LED bulb in that socket. Over time, and this is especially true of the early models made years ago, LED bulbs go dim. They may never burn out, but they loose brightness so an easy way to fix a dim fixture is to just get a new bulb. Looks like 75 watt equivalents are available. This one is rated for 700 lumens and consumes 9 watts but you might want to look for one that is Energy Star listed as they won't go dim as quickly.

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    Does Energy Star rate longevity or any other quality metrics? Or does Energy Star just (as I thought, but I could be wrong) rate energy usage? What I have heard of before that is more relevant to overall quality is DLC – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Sep 22 at 16:39
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    Thank you, glad to know for certain there wasn't a different kind of bulb I could've been using. I replaced incandescent ones with LED's only last year and it still wasn't quite cutting it. A few of those have already gone bad, so I was looking at replacements. Last year's purchase were rated at 400 lumens, so 700 would be a great improvement. – justanotherguy Sep 22 at 17:08
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    @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact Under category Lumen Maintenance energystar.gov: LED: Bulb shall maintain minimum percentage of 0-hour light output after completion of the 6000-hr test duration, ranging from 86.7% - 95.8% depending on the claimed lifetime of the bulb. – Jon Sep 22 at 17:33

No larger pin bulbs will fit in there. Those larger holes are rivets that hold the heat shield in place and keep the springs that hold the bulbs in place from flying across the room. The M16 bulbs come in different sizes so you can get brighter ones but make sure you don't exceed the rating stamped on the fixture

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