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Posted by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 4/4/2015

This falls clearly in the "didn't exactly plan this" category, but it was very much a good upgrade for the house.

Ever since Tanglewood was built I've been slowly replacing the mishmash of light bulbs that were installed around here with LEDs. I was constrained by the lack of variety in LED bulbs (most stores haven't traditionally stocked a lot of them since they were so pricey) and my inability to actually find bulbs that I liked. There were some early experiments that I eventually replaced with even better bulbs, however, and generally I felt I was making progress here. I replaced the tube lights in various pieces of my mother's furniture, installed a hanging LED light (good bulb; Home Depot doesn't sell it any more though) as an over-the-shoulder light for her, and built up a stockpile of the Walmart Candelabra bulbs for eventual use in the antler chandelier.

My attention recently turned to the halogen track lights. When we built we weren't doing any research on these lights at all, just getting things that would work, and we ended up with a whole bunch (52 in all) of halogens in those fixtures. While they were nice and bright they were also very hot, and at 50W per bulb it would get quite expensive power-wise to run them all. Even one of the shorter strips (four lights) would tap out at 200W... not very good.

I'd had some success finding GU-10 bulbs (the kinds that fit into these track lights) about two years ago at Home Depot, and initially I was quite happy with them. However, I had placed them in my downstairs fixtures and eventually I noticed an annoying feature--they didn't "throw" any light out the sides. My fixtures are glass with a pretty vine/leaf pattern and are designed to be illuminated by the bulb, but these bulbs didn't do that at all... the sides were dark.

Then I stumbled across the exact right bulb over on Amazon. Zooming in on the many pictures presented there and reading the reviews, I found that the TorchStar bulbs appeared to do exactly what I wanted. I ordered one to test it to be sure and found it worked great, so I promptly placed an order for 40 more (the dozen track LEDs I'd already bought were moved upstairs to the stainless steel track lights in the bathrooms where no side light was required). There was a bit of a delay as I apparently ran the TorchStar store out of stock, but eventually I got my bulbs.

I replaced all of the bulbs today and could not be happier! They do exactly what I wanted, they are very bright, and the media room finally has the lighting it deserves!

If you're looking for a good track light bulb, you could do worse... Recommended!

Now to replace those bulbs in the garage openers...

Steven in Colorado

My Construction Website


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