The GU10 spotlight bulb 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 cap fittings these light bulbs have.
Two short, square-ish pins protrude from the base of the light bulb. The centre of the pins are separated by a distance of 10mm.
The pins are of a ‘push-and-twist’ design. This means that when correctly installed in a fitting, the light bulb is held in place in the fitting and will not fall out (especially important to spotlight bulbs as they are often pointed downwards).
Be careful not to confuse a GU10 bulb with an MR16 light bulb. The two bulbs look almost identical, except for the cap fittings. An MR16 has much smaller, needle-like pins on and will not fit a GU10 lamp.
For a light bulb to be classified as a spotlight (known as a directional light source), regulations state that 80% of it’s light output must be directed into a cone of light measuring less than 120° across. When the size of this cone is measured – this is then known as the beam angle of the light bulb.
Narrow Beam Angles 15° to 20°
A smaller angle denotes a narrow beam angle where the light is intensified into focussed beam – well suited for display purposes such as showing off products on a shop-floor display. A typical angle for this purpose would be 15-20°.
Wide Beam Angles 35° to 45°
A larger angle denotes a wide beam angle where the light is directional and can be aimed at specific areas of a room, but is more diffuse and therefore doesn’t leave other areas of the room in complete darkness. These types of lights a best suited to kitchen lights, where the beam is directed towards a sink, counter-top or cooker. A typical angle for this purpose would be 35-45°.
To learn more about beam angles and how the height of a ceiling may effect usage – read our guide Beam Angles Explained.
Spotlight bulbs are produced in a range of colour temperatures with each colour suitable for a specific task in mind.
Without going into too much detail, here is our simplified guide to which colour temperatures you may wish to use for the different rooms in your home.
Learn more about colour temperatures – read our guide Colour Temperature – What Does It Mean?
Follow our link to read more about LED dimming.