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Rewiring lighting in house, have some questions.


Basil Katakuzinos
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We currently have GU5.3 down lights in our house and they are starting to frustrate me.

1) None of the lights are LED (which needs to change)

2) The whine of the DC converters in the roof is driving me insane, nearly every room's transformers buzz unbelievably loud.

3) Seems to be more variety of GU10 LED's on the market.

 

I have a few questions though. 

First of all, is it worth the upgrade? I am just thinking, considering i am going to through the process of replacing the bulbs, i might as well spend the time to change the fittings and connectors to GU10 and avoid those noisy DC converters. 

Secondly can I do it myself? Seems I can DIY it quite easily, am i overextending myself and capabilities? I would imagine i just need a few of these Lamp Holder - GU10 Lamp With Earth Term – Brite Lighting and i should be good to go.

Currently the connectors are not earthed, so i do need to sort that out when I connect them , I think.... Do they need to be earthed, or can i use Lamp Holders without an earth terminal?

Then also, will dimmable LED's work with the current dimmers or not, dimming is really not a priority but i guess it is nice to have in some rooms.

 

Edited by Basil Katakuzinos
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3 minutes ago, Basil Katakuzinos said:

We currently have GU5.3 down lights in our house and they are starting to frustrate me.

1) None of the lights are LED (which needs to change)

2) The whine of the DC converters in the roof is driving me insane, nearly every room's transformers buzz unbelievably loud.

3) Seems to be more variety of GU10 LED's on the market.

 

I have a few questions though. 

First of all, is it worth the upgrade? I am just thinking, considering i am going to through the process of replacing the bulbs, i might as well spend the time to change the fittings and connectors to GU10 and avoid those noisy DC converters. 

Secondly can I do it myself? Seems I can DIY it quite easily, am i overextending myself and capabilities? I would imagine i just need a few of these Lamp Holder - GU10 Lamp With Earth Term – Brite Lighting and i should be good to go.

Currently the connectors are not earthed, so i do need to sort that out when I connect them , I think...

Then also, will dimmable LED's work with the current dimmers or not, dimming is really not a priority but i guess it is nice to have in some rooms.

 

Oh one more questions, the bulbs appear to have the same dimensions, can the existing lamp holder be used?

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6 hours ago, Basil Katakuzinos said:

We currently have GU5.3 down lights in our house and they are starting to frustrate me.

1) None of the lights are LED (which needs to change)

2) The whine of the DC converters in the roof is driving me insane, nearly every room's transformers buzz unbelievably loud.

3) Seems to be more variety of GU10 LED's on the market.

 

I have a few questions though. 

First of all, is it worth the upgrade? I am just thinking, considering i am going to through the process of replacing the bulbs, i might as well spend the time to change the fittings and connectors to GU10 and avoid those noisy DC converters. 

Secondly can I do it myself? Seems I can DIY it quite easily, am i overextending myself and capabilities? I would imagine i just need a few of these Lamp Holder - GU10 Lamp With Earth Term – Brite Lighting and i should be good to go.

Currently the connectors are not earthed, so i do need to sort that out when I connect them , I think.... Do they need to be earthed, or can i use Lamp Holders without an earth terminal?

Then also, will dimmable LED's work with the current dimmers or not, dimming is really not a priority but i guess it is nice to have in some rooms.

 

I am busy planning to install 12v 4 Watt LED strip lights in most off the rooms. These lights give a beter light than the 220 volt 4 Watt LED down lights. Using a single 12v power supply with inline fuses. These lights costs is than a LED globe and holder. They are also not Chinese quality. 

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7 hours ago, Basil Katakuzinos said:

The whine of the DC converters in the roof is driving me insane, nearly every room's transformers buzz unbelievably loud.

I also had the transformers making a noise and have changed all of them to the GU10 230V Led’s.

7 hours ago, Basil Katakuzinos said:

First of all, is it worth the upgrade?

Definitely those old 12volt lights draw quite a bit of current and is not energy efficient, The LED’s are the better option as you can even get them as low as 3W.

7 hours ago, Basil Katakuzinos said:

Do they need to be earthed, or can i use Lamp Holders without an earth terminal?

Earthing is always the better option, some will say if they are out of arms reach they need not be earthed, but when you need a COC you might find the earthing is non-compliant, the bright light fitting looks correct and should pass a COC if installed correct.

7 hours ago, Basil Katakuzinos said:

, will dimmable LED's work with the current dimmers or not

My old dimmers does not dim although the lights do switch on but I did not get the dimmable GU10’s because they are very expensive and I have just too many to replace, so for now they are good enough. I think eventually I will just replace the dimmers with normal switches.

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16 hours ago, Gerrie said:

I also had the transformers making a noise and have changed all of them to the GU10 230V Led’s.

Definitely those old 12volt lights draw quite a bit of current and is not energy efficient, The LED’s are the better option as you can even get them as low as 3W.

Earthing is always the better option, some will say if they are out of arms reach they need not be earthed, but when you need a COC you might find the earthing is non-compliant, the bright light fitting looks correct and should pass a COC if installed correct.

My old dimmers does not dim although the lights do switch on but I did not get the dimmable GU10’s because they are very expensive and I have just too many to replace, so for now they are good enough. I think eventually I will just replace the dimmers with normal switches.

Thanks for your reply, i guess its time to change them.... not as expensive to do as i was fearing.

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  • 2 months later...
On 2021/09/19 at 11:59 AM, Basil Katakuzinos said:

First of all, is it worth the upgrade? I am just thinking, considering i am going to through the process of replacing the bulbs, i might as well spend the time to change the fittings and connectors to GU10 and avoid those noisy DC converters. 

Secondly can I do it myself? Seems I can DIY it quite easily, am i overextending myself and capabilities? I would imagine i just need a few of these Lamp Holder - GU10 Lamp With Earth Term – Brite Lighting and i should be good to go.

Currently the connectors are not earthed, so i do need to sort that out when I connect them , I think.... Do they need to be earthed, or can i use Lamp Holders without an earth terminal?

Then also, will dimmable LED's work with the current dimmers or not, dimming is really not a priority but i guess it is nice to have in some rooms.

 

Yep good call, those transformers are also a fire hazard

On 2021/09/19 at 11:59 AM, Basil Katakuzinos said:

Secondly can I do it myself? Seems I can DIY it quite easily, am i overextending myself and capabilities? I would imagine i just need a few of these Lamp Holder - GU10 Lamp With Earth Term – Brite Lighting and i should be good to go.

Currently the connectors are not earthed, so i do need to sort that out when I connect them , I think.... Do they need to be earthed, or can i use Lamp Holders without an earth terminal?

Only you can answer that question, but I would say a multimeter is a basic must.  Make sure you connect live where live must go (hence multimeter), neutral where neutral must go and since you are moving over to 220v your lights need a grounding wire that should be connected to metal casings (most downlight casings are metal).  If it is plastic then the ground wire just hangs out in the roof.  Earthing is a requirement in the regulations, without it, if the live wire should touch the casing it'll kill someone who tries to change the bulb.  This happens pretty often believe it or not because those lights have wires that are constantly pulled on.

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Okay now that I am not running off to dinner I will give a slightly more in depth breakdown of what I did today.

I went to purchase the GU10 connectors from The Lighting Warehouse in Meadowdale(near Edenvale in Gauteng), I also purchased some of their in house brand LED's(think they where about R30). 

Climbed into the roof to change the first one but realised it was allot easier to just change them with a ladder from below. Wiring went smoothly and i will be having an electrician friend take a look at the job just to see that everything is safe and up to good standard before i continue with the rest of the house. 

The Lighting warehouse 7W LED's are way to bright for a bedroom so I will be moving them elsewhere and changing them out for Phillips Essentials.

Doing this change was quite physically demanding (I have a newfound respect for electricians and plumbers who spend hours crawling through roofs and hanging off ladders). Furthermore it was quite interesting for me (As i come from a community where one would call an electrician or handy man for any and every small thing that needed to be done)

 

I have a few questions for the people who are knowledgable on electronics than me. 

  1. What is the best way to bond the metal light fittings to the earth terminal of the GU10 Connector. 
  2. The wires in the transformers where just jammed together into the terminal blocks of the transformer (2 lives in the same connector and same with neutral). Is this allowed and what is the best practice for 'branching off' to the next light? 

I will update this post with some pictures tomorrow. 

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16 hours ago, Basil Katakuzinos said:

I have a few questions for the people who are knowledgable on electronics than me. 

  1. What is the best way to bond the metal light fittings to the earth terminal of the GU10 Connector. 
  2. The wires in the transformers where just jammed together into the terminal blocks of the transformer (2 lives in the same connector and same with neutral). Is this allowed and what is the best practice for 'branching off' to the next light? 

I will update this post with some pictures tomorrow. 

1. Usually metal fittings will have a screw where you put the earth terminal, if you take a picture of both sides I'll point it out.

2. It is likely complaint yes.  Many people recommend many things. The most recently are Waco connectors.  But in terms of low resistance connection the lowest cost high quality part that has been in use forever are wire nuts.  You twist wires together and then turn the wire nut on.  Do not put more than 3 wires at a time into a wire nut.

Edited by Gnome
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5 hours ago, Gnome said:

What is the best way to bond the metal light fittings to the earth terminal of the GU10 Connector. 

The easiest and SANS compliant holder to use in a ceiling void is the type with the ready earth terminal and the metal plate that hooks on to the down light at one of the butterfly springs. Down lights is a big headache when it comes to issuing a COC because the electrical terminals need to be enclosed in a junction box. If you have the cheaply two wire holder without a earth you will most probably not get it COC’d without some sort of additional junction box and earthing intervention that can become very expensive.

 

5 hours ago, Gnome said:

The wires in the transformers where just jammed together into the terminal blocks of the transformer (2 lives in the same connector and same with neutral). Is this allowed and what is the best practice for 'branching off' to the next light? 

Yes this is allowed but it requires some patience and steady hand skills to achieve. Another compliant way is to fit a 5A socket in the ceiling for each light and than just put a 5A cord set on each downlight. This is normally more expensive and mostly used in commercial installations but should easily pass a COC if done correct.

E470EDEF-72DE-4372-B124-578E01C9074A.png

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