What is a GU10 Spotlight Bulb?

The GU10 is the most common type of spotlight bulb found in most homes today. It is otherwise known as a PAR16 light bulb and is often used in places where a bright, directional light is needed, such as kitchens and workspaces. It has the classic spotlight shape, with a narrow base that widens into a flat or slightly rounded aperture.
‘GU10’ refers to the type of fittings these light bulbs have. Two short, square-ish pins protrude from the base of the light bulb. Like the bayonet cap, this is a ‘push-and-twist’ type of fitting (although a GU10 spotlight bulb will not fit in a BC fitting and vice versa). Be careful not to confuse a GU10 spotlight bulb with an MR16 light bulb. The two look almost identical, except for the fittings, which are much smaller, needle-like pins on an MR16 and will not fit a GU10 lamp.

Halogen GU10 Spotlight

Energy-saving GU10 spotlights

Halogen GU10 spotlight bulbs are commonly made from plastic. An EU directive that took effect in 2016 has banned halogen GU10 spotlight bulbs from sale in the UK. However, there are a plethora of LED energy-saving alternatives available.

Long Barrel GU10 light bulbs

Long barrel GU10s are a variation on the typical GU10 and are designed for the non-standard light fixtures used by some furniture and home furnishings companies. Long-barrel GU10s are around 75mm in length, compared to 50-55mm for a standard GU10.

LED GU10 light bulbs

LED GU10 light bulbs have been designed to look like the halogen light bulbs they supersede. They have the classic GU10 shape and closely resemble their halogen counterparts. They are available in a range of colour temperatures and in both dimmable and non-dimmable varieties.

You can read more about LED dimming here.

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Julie wallis
Julie wallis
April 12, 2020 8:49 pm

Can you help. I need Gu 10 light bulbs desperately but all I can find is a long barrel bulb and I’m trying to get the round bulb with a short barrel. Can I get these? Will the long barrel fit in a light that has a short barrel?

Drew Dunlavy
Drew Dunlavy
April 26, 2020 2:13 pm
Reply to  Julie wallis

That’s what I’m looking for, too. I installed several in my kitchen soffit about 5 years ago. Got them from Home Depot. Then they stopped carrying the fixtures and the bulbs.

Anthony Mason
Anthony Mason
June 25, 2020 4:10 pm

Can anyone advise me, I have been asked to source a GU10 LED Bulb LCL 461 – I cannot find any reference anywhere as to what LCL461 refers to – please can you help me?

November 1, 2020 1:37 pm

Hi I am wanting to replace 1 dead Crompton LED GU10 WWSMD Bulbs which have died in kitchen fire rated ceiling downlights. I have 20 lights and don’t want to replace them all if I end up with an odd light. Struggling to find them and wondering if they have been discontinued. If they have can you recommend an alternative. Thanks.