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Problem with LED bulbs

Discussion in 'Ask' started by pls, Sep 14, 2020.

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  1. pls

    pls New Member

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    I have a lighting system using Volt fixtures that is about 10 years old. It includes 2 down lights that are mounted under the soffit of house second story. I have always had halogen bulbs in these fixtures and never had any issues. Bulbs would last probably 3 years. This spring I decided to put in Volt LED bulbs so I would never have to climb a ladder again. At least that is what I hoped. Counting the first two LED I have now put in 5 bulbs and one of those burned out last night. About a week ago I replaced a burned out bulb and measured the voltage at the fixture and it was 11.0. Yesterday I was reading a post on lawnsite.com that indicated that for LED a higher voltage is better so I move those two fixtures to the 15V tap yesterday afternoon. When I went outside last night the oldest bulb was burned out. A bulb seems to last about 2-3 weeks. What could be going on?
    Thanks
     
  2. Mesodude2

    Mesodude2 Active Member

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    My first thought is that you might have an electronic transformer? LEDs don’t play well with them, from what I’ve read. Otherwise I’d be curious to know what your wiring methods and runs are.
     
  3. pls

    pls New Member

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    It is not an electronic transformer. These two down lights are on a run by themselves. A main wire runs up to the soffit and I used ace connectors for the slices. No issue last 10 years with halogen bulbs.
     
  4. Mesodude2

    Mesodude2 Active Member

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    Hard to say. I’d give CS a call.
     
  5. Mesodude2

    Mesodude2 Active Member

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    A couple other things (if you haven't tried customer service yet). A pro landscaper friend of mine in CA told me it's not a good idea to change bulbs while the system is on (plugged in). That's something I'd never heard before. The only other thing I can think is to double check the integrity of your splices. I've done plenty with a heat gun before and it's not always easy to see when the ends of the rubber sheath are fully shrinked and surrounded the wiring. Just a shot in the dark (no pun intended). Good luck.
     
  6. Evan K

    Evan K Online Liaison Staff Member

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    Meso has a great point about double-checking connections and properly changing bulbs with the power off but, it sounds like the system was working as expected before converting bulbs to LED.

    Our fixtures are rated for use with both LED & Halogen so, there should be no issues in that regard (of course if you discover an issue is related to any particular fixtures, please give us a call).

    If the transformer you are using is not one of ours, have you by chance verified that it has a magnetic core and AC output?
     
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  7. pls

    pls New Member

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    Transformer is a Hadco multi tap, yes it is magnetic core and AC. The last LED light I got has now been working for 30 days. The first four did not last more than about 14 days each.
     
  8. Evan K

    Evan K Online Liaison Staff Member

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    If you've double-checked your wire connections and verified that the transformer has a magnetic core outputting 12V AC, the other possible options you could consider checking are the voltage at the fixtures and the power loads of the wire runs.

    Essentially, checking to verify the fixtures are actually receiving 12-15V from the older transformer with a voltmeter. And, although halogen systems are typically set up with more in-depth calculations for voltage, it is important that no more than 8-10 fixtures or 80W are loaded onto a single wire run coming out of the transformer (when using our LEDs). So, potentially double-checking that.
     
  9. pls

    pls New Member

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    The two down lights are are the only lights on that run. After losing several bulbs I measured the voltage at the fixture and it was 11.0. On Sep 12th I moved this run to the 15V tap. I lost a bulb that night. The other bulb is still working. All work was done while the system was off other than measuring voltage.
     
  10. Mesodude2

    Mesodude2 Active Member

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    One final thought/theory. Is the wire gauge you spliced onto the original leads (which I believe should be 18G) also 18G? If not and the only other variable you changed was the bulb type, I wonder if that could be the source of the problem. I’m not an electrician and so I couldn’t say why this wouldn’t have caused the same issue with your halogen bulbs. Or did it? Did the halogen downlights blow out more often then the others? I do know when I was doing my own install, I once absent-mindedly mismatched wire gauges while creating splices for All Stars and Top Dogs (which are similarly designed and similarly priced fixtures but with different wire gauge leads). I realized my error before wiring the lights to my transformer so fortunately I didn’t get to find out why it’s important to use the same cable gauge when splicing. I’m sure this is maddening for you so I wanted to throw out one last idea I had.