A weekend of lighting

It’s been a while. So I got back into my DIY by finally installing the new lights in the bathroom. The whole process has been somewhat drawn out, but I’ve finally managed to put them in.

The reasoning for putting in new lights was down to a discovery I had a few months ago when I had to replace the transformers for my low voltage lights. It turns out that the transformers had been blowing instead of the lights. Although in some cases and the lights. It took someone kind enough to explain how low-voltage lighting systems worked before I realised why just replacing the bulb didn’t fix them. D’oh!

Anyway, one of the lamps in the bathroom had burnt out the fitting, which I couldn’t see until I took it out of the ceiling. Erring on the side of caution I took the wires out in order to isolate it. Looking for a replacement I then found that you have to use a different set of lamps for ones set in a bathroom area. Pity the first guy hadn’t thought of that.

So, I found some new lamps.

Instead of using 12V 50W lamps (which burn very hot, together with their transformers which also can reach 50C) which are somewhat energy in-efficient, I wanted to use some nice LED GU10 bulbs. These are at mains voltage, so if they blow they trip the circuit (which the transformers don’t, they fuse… and well I don’t want to think about that…). They are also LED so take up a lot less power, 1.5W in this case. Something to think about, next time you look at those spotlights in the ceiling, remember that unless they are low-energy, they are 50W each, and typically people need about 4 per 3m², so consider this the next time they show you one of those new kitchens.

Ok, so some shenanigans with a padsaw later in order to widen the fitting holes in the ceiling plasterboard, I have new lamps. And at this point I hit a small problem. They all work… except they put out a very clear almost surgical white light. If you want to show off jewellery it’s perfect, but it’s really not great for a bathroom 🙂 It turns out I’d bought 4000K lamps, which emit a “cold” light. As a rough guide most normal lamps are 2700-3000K. This show you how far off the mark these are.

So right idea, just need a few tweaks, thankfully I don’t have to worry about the water damaging the lighting anymore.

Oh, I have to say the mnemonics around wiring are not as good as people claim, I like the old Red/Black scheme, it worked and it’s far less ambiguous.

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