Introduction: Reusing a GU10 Halogen Lamp Reflector

Tiny LEDs emit a lot of light, but the light is poorly directed. Making your own reflector doesn't give a neat result in most cases, so why not reuse a reflector?

I found out that GU10 halogen spots are easy to disassemble, and easy to reuse. This particular lamp was a cheap one I got included with a fixture and it broke after only a few hundred hours. Note that depending on how your own specimen was assembled, the disassembly might be harder.

Note on this video tutorial: this was a different bulb than in the pictures, and as you will see, the ceramic part broke off, which isn't as desired. Wriggling the pins more carefully should prevent this.

Step 1: Remove the Pins on the Back and the Front Glass

Using pliers it's quite easy to remove the pins. Make sure you have a firm grip and start rotating the pins until they come off the lamp's wires. If you feel that they have come off, you might need to pull them out using the pliers with a little force.

Now, of course you will need to get the halogen lamp out, which by now should be rattling in the housing. Here the fun part comes in. Using a small pointy hammer (or your pliers if you're also too lazy to get a hammer), hit the middle of the front glass. Start gently and increase your force carefully. I would recommend doing this over a bin to catch the glass shards.

In my case, I got lucky, the glass broke in a few large pieces. Since this was a cheap lamp, the front glass seemed to be glued to the reflector. Using pliers you should be able to remove any pieces still connected to the reflector. With a bit of luck it should come off quite clean. (for the picture I didn't do any sanding whatsoever)

Discard of the glass shards safely and keep them out of reach of small children!

Step 2: Connect Your Lighting of Choice

There is room for at least 2 LEDs in the back of the reflector. Make sure they stick in the reflector a bit to insure good light spread. The holes of the removed pins serve nicely as wire leads.

Step 3: Before/after Pictures

This is using one white LED from a discarded flashlight. It makes a huge difference as you can see.

Next step for me is to build an USB keyboard light similar to this: https://www.instructables.com/id/Powerfull-USB-Ligh...

Now I'd love to see how you reused a GU10 light.

Comments

author
yaly made it! (author)2014-11-06

I did it before your instructable, but with a 10 watt LED XD, I tacked the LED in it, I attached it to a AA battery and a joule thief

14, 11:53 PM.jpg14, 11:55 PM.jpg
author
zork the destroyer made it! (author)zork the destroyer2014-11-11

I didthe same thing as you but i used an old 6v flashlight.

author
DeeRilee made it! (author)2014-11-08

Is there a way to remove the halogen lamp from the GU10, and replace it with LEDs to use in a light fixture that uses GU10 bulbs.....in other words, I'd need to keep the pins in place but exchange the halogen with LEDs. The halogen GU10s did not last long, so I have several burnt out ones.

author
zork the destroyer made it! (author)zork the destroyer2014-11-11

There is a way, but you would need to build a transformer circuit so you don't blow your led with 120 volts

author
zork the destroyer made it! (author)zork the destroyer2014-11-11

There is a way, but you would need to build a transformer circuit so you don't blow your led with 120 volts

author
MaterialBall made it! (author)MaterialBall2014-11-09

I think it would be possible if you could fit an adapter in the light fixture (cell phone charger would be great @ 5V).

So you would need to wire the mains cables to the cell phone adapter mains input, and the 5V output to a resistor, and then just connect it to the cables for the individual lights. in short: put an adapter and a resistor in between the mains cable and the light fixture input wire.

author
Raitis made it! (author)Raitis2014-11-09

Since GU10s run on mains voltage (220V or 110V AC depending on place) and LED's run on low voltage DC you'd need to cramp in quite a bit of electronics in that shell to make them work. You're better off just buying premade GU10 LED bulbs, especially since they are pretty cheap now.

author
Raitis made it! (author)2014-11-06

The sole reason why I didn't throw my GU10's out. The ceramic part often is easily removable and you end with a bigger hole there!

author
MaterialBall made it! (author)MaterialBall2014-11-06

How did you remove it? I can't fit a screwdriver in the gap. Just using a hammer?

author
Raitis made it! (author)Raitis2014-11-07

Disregard the pliers advice, it worked only on one of 4 bulbs. Vice did the trick though, just be careful, when you hear it start breaking, start moving it in the vice and you should be good.

Reflector can't be taken out, but you probably knew that already. I've added some pictures. With comments (hopefully) in them.

Post_RAW2082.jpgPost_RAW2083.jpgPost_RAW2084.jpgPost_RAW2085.jpg
author
Raitis made it! (author)Raitis2014-11-07

Pliers, it will either break off at the clear part or pull off it depending on the bulb. I'm also going to break one of those up completely to see if reflector gets out easily so it's possible to use it in some lightweight settings as well.

author
seamster made it! (author)2014-11-06

This is an excellent reuse idea, and a great way to amplify your LEDs. Very good first instructable!

You should enter this into the First Time Author challenge: https://www.instructables.com/contest/firsttimechallenge/

About This Instructable

13,371views

143favorites

License:

Bio: Studying applied physics, with a passion for experimenting and programming physical devices.
More by MaterialBall:Monitor standLED Strip Bias LightingComputer case thermometer
Add instructable to: