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Low Voltage Recessed lighting problems


prjctfish
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I have quite a few (12) Lytecaster Recessed Downlighting 2000LVR low voltage units.

http://www.mmlighting.com/store/PPF/par ... e_info.asp

So far three units (they were installed in 1995 & 96) no longer function even when new bulbs are installed. I wondering if anyone has experience with these. The manufacturer says I need to use a voltmeter to test the sockets, and then bypass the thermal protector to see if that is the problem, but this means removing the whole unit.

Any ideas?

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I have quite a few (12) Lytecaster Recessed Downlighting 2000LVR low voltage units.

http://www.mmlighting.com/store/PPF/par ... e_info.asp

So far three units (they were installed in 1995 & 96) no longer function even when new bulbs are installed. I wondering if anyone has experience with these. The manufacturer says I need to use a voltmeter to test the sockets, and then bypass the thermal protector to see if that is the problem, but this means removing the whole unit.

Any ideas?

Well, if you've got 12 of them, it's probably worth your while to pull one and just test the secondary leads on the transformer. The whole shebang should just pull out, so we aren't talking about a huge job to pull one.

I'll bet you a dollar it's the damn transformers.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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$60 each?!! You could have gotten five line voltage halogen remodel cans for that kind of coin, and they would still be working. They're probably less than the parts to fix what you have.

HUSH! He's a civilian. We need him to buy this stuff to stimulate the economy. (Lightolier's stuff is made in the USA.)

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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But I'll bet the transformers aren't.

That'd be my bet; transformers on low voltage systems seem to have the reliability of a congressional candidate........

It's still good because the $35 replacement transformers actually cost Lightolier about 52 cents each. That's 52 cents to China & $34.48 to the fat cats at Lightolier.

The less reliable, the better. We're talking about saving the American economy.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Yes, this isn't about electrical components.....this about saving America!

BTW, the Park Service estimate of the "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Keep Fear Alive" is somewhere around 200,000 people attending.

How about that? A fake news commentator.......imagine......

Made me smile.

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Yes, this isn't about electrical components.....this about saving America!

BTW, the Park Service estimate of the "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Keep Fear Alive" is somewhere around 200,000 people attending.

How about that? A fake news commentator.......imagine......

Made me smile.

I like the fact that Beck can do his thing, Stewart & Colbert can do their thing, everyone can talk about everything, and on Tuesday everyone can cast a vote about it. All this without people being rounded up, detained, or shot.

Just imagine, in contrast, what would happen if ASHI were in charge of the nation. Stewart & Colbert would be in prison right now and the president would be personally waterboarding them.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Just imagine, in contrast, what would happen if ASHI were in charge of the nation. Stewart & Colbert would be in prison right now and the president would be personally waterboarding them.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Yeah, things are kinda heated in HQ nowadays. The double talk and half truths being whipped around are getting pretty strange. I had a talk with Frank the other day, and you wouldn't believe half the crap the "leaders" are pushing.

Thankfully, no one seems to care in my market. A few folks are aware of ASHI and think it means something, but thankfully it's only a few.

I think once the current prez is gone, it can get better. I talk to enough of those guys to think it will, anyway. That's why I sent in my check. I want to be able to vote for Loden, and honestly, hang around for a while and see what happens.

OK, I better stop before this degrades into an ASHI political diatribe......

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In addition to made in the USA instead of Made in China I also want substantially less heat thrown off by the low voltage, cleaner light, and much less electricity use. I used to use the renovator cans and found them very low quality.

Contrary to what they told you at Home Depot, there's no efficiency benefit to low voltage lighting. A watt is a watt. Also, low quality is just as easy to come by in low voltage lighting fixtures as it is in line voltage lighting fixtures - as you've discovered.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Contrary to what they told you at Home Depot, there's no efficiency benefit to low voltage lighting. A watt is a watt. Also, low quality is just as easy to come by in low voltage lighting fixtures as it is in line voltage lighting fixtures - as you've discovered.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

A watt consumed by a low voltage appliance will result in more waste heat than if it were consumed by an equivalent appliance running at a higher voltage.

One selling point of low voltage lighting is a shorter filament which allows a more focused beam and a more compact bulb, imho.

Marc

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Contrary to what they told you at Home Depot, there's no efficiency benefit to low voltage lighting. A watt is a watt. Also, low quality is just as easy to come by in low voltage lighting fixtures as it is in line voltage lighting fixtures - as you've discovered.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

A watt consumed by a low voltage appliance will result in more waste heat than if it were consumed by an equivalent appliance running at a higher voltage.

One selling point of low voltage lighting is a shorter filament which allows a more focused beam and a more compact bulb, imho.

Good point. So on the down side, you get less overall light production per watt with low voltage. You also lose some power through heat production at the transformer and, if the distance between the transformer and the filament is great, you get big time voltage drop losses.

Bottom line, no efficiency advanage with low voltage. If I were really interested in efficiency, I'd be looking at the newest LED fixtures.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Interesting.......

So, is there any advantage to low voltage other than what Marc noted?

From a design point of view, in terms of beam spread and intensity, you have way more choices with low voltage. Also, if you're looking for really particular accent lighting, low UV for artwork, color filters, and really nice beam control, low voltage is the way to go. There simply isn't anywhere near the same range of choices with 120-volt stuff. And, of course, it's pretty much the only choice for landscape lighting & pool lighting these days.

It's just not a wise alternative to incandescent for general indoor lighting. If you want a couple of accent lights for the kitchen countertop or the niche over the fireplace, use 120-volt MR16s. There's no need for the low voltage versions.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Reason I ask.......

I just put in a fair amount of low voltage track lighting in my gallery to show artwork. Old school barndoor heads, Solex MR-16 color balanced bulbs, some focused beams, etc. The lights show off the artwork like a professional gallery.

And of course, me being a dimbulb about this stuff, I imagined that it being low voltage, I was also saving a few pennies, not because the goofs at HD told me, but just because I'm a dimbulb.

A watt is a watt, and I forgot.

But it really does look good. So, I guess I'm glad I went low voltage.

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Reason I ask.......

I just put in a fair amount of low voltage track lighting in my gallery to show artwork. Old school barndoor heads, Solex MR-16 color balanced bulbs, some focused beams, etc. The lights show off the artwork like a professional gallery.

And of course, me being a dimbulb about this stuff, I imagined that it being low voltage, I was also saving a few pennies, not because the goofs at HD told me, but just because I'm a dimbulb.

A watt is a watt, and I forgot.

But it really does look good. So, I guess I'm glad I went low voltage.

Those MR-16s throw off a lot of UV so make sure that they've got filters in front of them. As long as they're filtered, they're great for art lighting because of the high color temperature.

You've probably already got them, but make sure that the lamps you're using have dichroic reflectors that reflect visible light but allow IR to pass through. That way, they throw light at the art but send heat out the back of the fixture. It's actually pretty impressive. Try looking at them with the IR cam to see how much heat is passing right through those reflectors and how little is going out the front.

My degree is actually in lighting design for the theatre, but in college I was one of the team that worked on the lighting design for the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, NY. One of the most common errors people make with art lighting is to place a single light source above the viewer's head, pointing directly at the subject. It nearly always leads to glare if the piece is flat. If the piece is three dimensional, that kind of lighting is always unflattering to it (just as it is with people's faces). If you want to just have spots of light on the art, you're always better off to use two light sources, each from above the piece, one to the left and one to the right. For anything with three dimensions, though, it really looks best to use indirect lighting with the largest reflectors that you can provide without them detracting from the mood of the space. Think photographer's portrait lighting.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Cool. I figured some of that out just by trial and error; I've got a lot of heads, "crisscrossing" the work from angles. The barndoors allow me to reduce the ambient around the pieces so they tend to be highlighted in a frame of light with minimal glare. It took a while to figure that out.

And, I've been marveling at why the lights don't get hot, but the back of the fixture does. I guess I've got the dichroic reflectors.

I've got UV resistant glass on my stuff; that should prevent pigment degradation, shouldn't it?

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I'm sure we have all seen low voltage systems in homes that date back to the late 1950's to I guess the mid 1960's. The ones that have the box full of relays and push button switches that you mash on and off. I think I have see a half-dozen or so type systems over my 15+ years inspecting homes.

Did those systems have any advantage over a non-low voltage system?

Just curious cause I really do not know much about them...

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I'm sure we have all seen low voltage systems in homes that date back to the late 1950's to I guess the mid 1960's. The ones that have the box full of relays and push button switches that you mash on and off. I think I have see a half-dozen or so type systems over my 15+ years inspecting homes.

Did those systems have any advantage over a non-low voltage system?

Just curious cause I really do not know much about them...

Those aren't low-voltage lighting; they're low-voltage control systems. The lights are regular 120-volt fixtures that are turned on & off by relays. The control wiring that runs those relays is low-voltage. The advantage of those systems was (and still is -- they're still available) to provide control from many distant locations without having to run heavy wiring with traveler conductors & 4-way switches. With those systems you could install wiring to control one light fixture from 10 different locations with comparably little expense or effort. You could also have central control panels, with which you could control the entire system from one or two locations in the house. Heck, if you wanted, you could have a central control panel in every room.

Some of the new versions of these systems are set up with computer control. You can go on the 'net & turn on your living room light from anywhere in the world.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Some of the new versions of these systems are set up with computer control. You can go on the 'net & turn on your living room light from anywhere in the world.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Yeah, I've got something similar for the cigarette camera I've got installed in Angelina Jolie's dressing room.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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