track lighting transformers

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by aac9876, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. aac9876

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 9, 2006
    I installed a 3 light track light. 3 Light pin hole cylinder by Hampton Bay. The bulbs are those small bulbs that twist in the base with 2 little prongs.Shielded GU10 bulbs 50 watts max.The cover on the bulbs says UV filter so I guess there is a layer of
    UV protection..?? Why would it be needed on these.?I notice they get Hot quick.
    The base of the bulbs has a little black box that I assume is a transformer. What would be the step up/down voltage..?? I installed it by cutting off an extension cord rather than
    using a Romex box.It was more convenient.Anybody ever have problems with these..?
    They get a little too hot for me although the track is cool as well as the black box..
  2. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    The bulbs are probably halogen types. They run hotter filaments for increased brillance for the size bulb, but the increase in incandescence means some UV output.

    No idea about voltages.

    Hope that extension cord holds up. Insurance claim for the fire will not go anywhere if they note wrong wiring device or methods.
  3. SgtWookie


    Jul 17, 2007
    Little reflector halogens with a couple of brass or gold pin contacts, right?
    GU-10 is the specification for the base layout only, not the voltage or wattage.

    To protect the people being exposed to the light that the bulbs give off. UV radiation is not good for skin; it's known to cause cancer.

    50 Watts in a package that small will get very hot, very quick.

    Not necessarily. GU-10 base bulbs can run from various voltages, although 120v is very common.

    That depends on the rest of the bulb's specifications. As already mentioned, GU-10 is only the specifications for the base connection.

    It depends upon the current rating of the fixture vs the rating of the extension cord.

    Permanently installed fixtures should have proper permanent wiring installed by a competent electrician. I am not an electrician.

    Extension cords are OK for lamps that are not permanently installed - as long as you are well within the rating of the extension cord and the service supplying the cord. But for track lighting, you really need appropriate wiring.

    A dimmer will help with that a great deal. Since you have 3 lamps rated at 50W/ea, I suggest you get a dimmer with at least a 300W rating. You should have a qualified electrician install it at the same time your permanent wiring is installed.

    Alternatively, you could use LED bulbs that are rated for 120v with a GU-10 base. They put out a similar amount of light, but consume far less power, so they generate far less heat.

    Here is an example:
    These only put out the equivalent of 25W bulbs, but consume 3W. That's 12% of the power to produce the same amount of light.
  4. aac9876

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 9, 2006
    good info the extension cord is a fat 12 g dont like those bulbs though
  5. vetterick

    Active Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    The bulbs are 12v halogen, they get very hot, the bases probably wont last more than a couple years, of course if you dont use them much the life will be extended.

    The black box may or maynot be a transformer, if it seems heavy for its size it is a transformer, but I've seen many of these using switching supplies, if its a switcher youre out of luck with a dimmer.

    And by the way, never touch the bulbs with your bare hands, the oils on your skin will cause them to burn out very quickly.