Has anyone tried the MR16's? I see that they are more compact and about the same price. Any pros and cons of them over the GU10's?
MR16 is technically the bulb shape ('m'etallic 'r'eflector, 16 eighths of an inch across) and when you're shopping can be considered a "naked" version of the bulb - no connector (only two leads in a push-fit molding), no AC power conversion. That's right - usually they are ready for DC current, only. Usually 12v. However, they are the same size and shape (on the lamp end) as the GU10 bulbs in this thread.
There is another common, as well as similar, bulb shape - MR11 - that is much smaller at about 1.125" in diameter. But that's another thread altogether....don't know anyone using them for our purposes (yet).
GU10 is the connector version we use in this thread almsot exclusively. Selling "GU10" bulbs is shorthand for "MR16 bulbs with a GU10 base".
E27 (edison, screw-in base - common houshold bulb) can be had as well. Again, selling these as "E27" bulbs is just shorthand for "MR16 bulbs with an E27 base". There's nothing wrong with using these instead of GU10, but the sockets to hold these bulbs are typically more expensive than the GU10 sockets.
Both added bases make the overall bulb a little longer (measuring from plug-to-lens) than the "MR16" versions due to the additional circuitry to support AC power and the new base. (E27's being a little longer than GU10's) MR16's are typically (not always) a little cheaper for this reason as well.
I believe it is possible to find AC powered MR16 bulbs (i.e. with AC circuitry, but no connector base) but I couldn't swear to it. If you do find them and decide to try them, make sure they're good for 120v power not just 240v.
Edited by mcarroll, 26 March 2012 - 05:56 PM.