I'd really like to find an LED light that fits in a GU24 base that I can use in a sconce or an overhead.

Asked by Loren
San Francisco, CA

All I can seem to find are the Cree lights for recessed lighting. Is there any such thing yet in LED?


David Bergman

Answered by David Bergman

New York, NY

David Bergman Architect

January 29, 2011

Hi Loren,

It sounds like you’re already fairly up on energy-efficient lighting, but for those who aren’t, a bit of background: the GU24 base is a relatively new type of light bulb socket that was designed specifically to accept energy-efficient bulbs.

The impetus behind it was two-fold:

  • make it simpler to buy CFL bulbs
  • ensure energy-efficient light fixtures could not be “defeated”

GU24s intended to make buying CFLs simpler

The first goal was to simplify things for consumers by setting a standard so that it would be simpler to buy the bulbs.

Manufacturers of what are called “dedicated” compact fluorescents were coming out with their own proprietary sockets, which had the potential to be a consumer nightmare when it came time to replace a burned-out bulb.

GU24s prevent "defeated" fixtures

Dedicated CFLs are ones that do not have the threaded base that we’re used to.

The reason for not using the old base, and the second impetus for establishing the GU24 standard, was to ensure that energy-efficient light fixtures could not be “defeated” by -- intentionally or accidentally -– installing an incandescent bulb.

Putting a LED bulb in a GU24 fixture

Virtually all GU24 bulbs therefore are CFLs.

  • However, since LEDs are also energy-efficient, it makes sense that they should be available for GU24 light fixtures, too.
  • LEDs, though, are just beginning to be available in stores.
  • As with the first CFLs, most of them are designed to be “replacement” bulbs rather than dedicated bulbs.

There are some GU24-based LEDs available. But, as Loren points out, the most common one is a Cree design to convert recessed lights from CFL to LED. (They also make kits to convert incandescent recessed lights to LED.) The kit includes a reflector that fits inside the recessed light to better utilize the directionality of LEDs. Lining the hidden side of the reflector are heatsink fins to dispel the waste heat that LEDs generate.

I suspect that the reason we are not yet seeing more straightforward GU24 LEDs, i.e., without the reflector, is that dissipating the heat inside the confines of a recessed light can be difficult.

You mentioned that the bulb was needed for a sconce or overhead fixture, not recessed lighting. Last fall one manufacturer, LED Lighting Resources, announced they had received UL approval for PAR30 and PAR38 bulbs (the kind you would probably want for recessed or track lights) with GU24 bases. However, a PAR lamp is probably not what you’re looking for.

I called LED Lighting Resources to see what’s up and they told me the PAR lamps would be available later this year. That doesn’t really help you. I’d be willing to bet, though, that, just as we’re starting to see incandescent-style LEDs with screw bases, we’ll soon see them with GU24 bases.

It can be tough to be ahead of the curve.

For more information:

Read David Bergman's Q&A "What is the greenest dimming light bulb?"

Tagged In: lighting, led

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