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Led Bulbs


Novocastrian
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I am a great fan of LED lighting and in my yacht I'm happy to say every bulb or light fitment has been replaced with LED equivalents, reducing the power consumption to around 10% from the previous incandescent bulbs.

 

Moving to my caravan I replaced all of the bulbs on my Bailey Pegasus caravan, following advice given in a write-up that I actually read in another group. However, a word of warning - bulbs I purchased on eBay marked as CE approved probably were not. The bulbs were described as "10 X G4 Led Capsule Bulb Replace Halogen Bulb DC 12V SMD Light Bulb Lamps". In use, two failed after intermittent flickering within a couple of days and another burst into flame with a puff of smoke and burnt the light fitting. The bulbs looked good quality but when the supplier (UK, but oriental connections) started to be difficult about credit, I asked them for the documentation to verify the CE markings. They quickly issued credit and broke off contact. Go figure. ...

 

The other Bailey type of fitting required these "Biard LED 1. 1W SMD MR11 Spotlight Energy Saving 120˚ Beam Angle" and they were fine.

 

I replaced the aforementioned G4 bulbs with these (a different fitting being a circular board rather than a silicon moulded bulb: "10x G4 6/9/12/24 SMD LED Warm/Cool White Lamp Home Marine Car Boat Light Bulb DC" and these have proved to be absolutely fine.

 

I shudder to think what would have happened if I had left the lights on unattended. Anyway, my point is that buying LED bulbs of uncertain origin is a risk and my findings are at odds with the article written on CT. Buyer beware as they say.

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I had exactly the same issue with those type of bulbs, got hot and smoking. Got my money back quite easily though

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I bought from the USA, just so I could buy rectified bulbs and from a reputable firm, that was about 14 years ago.

When I replaced them a few years later with the new (then) smd type, I again bought rectified ones, but now I found a UK supplier (Aten Lighting) theirs are rectified to work between 10v and 30v.

They cost a bit more than but neither have been a problem. Buying from a reputable company also goes when buying solar controllers.

 

The original bulbs and the UK bought ones are still working faultlessly :)

Paul B

. .......Mondeo Estate & Elddis Avanté 505 (Tobago)

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Novocastrian, on 08 Nov 2015 - 06:00 AM, said:

 

 

I shudder to think what would have happened if I had left the lights on unattended. Anyway, my point is that buying LED bulbs of uncertain origin is a risk and my findings are at odds with the article written on CT. Buyer beware as they say.

 

 

Thank you for pointing this out.

 

I wrote an article on SMD lights HERE. If this is the one you are referring to please note that there is a warning concerning the overheating of certain SMD units.

 

However, if this is not the article in question, please can you supply a link to it.

 

Regards

 

Pete

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Interesting information there Novocastrian, as i am looking to change mine now the solar panel is up and

running. With the flat disc type you used, how did that connect/fit in the housing, with the pins on the

side?

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Interesting information there Novocastrian, as i am looking to change mine now the solar panel is up andrunning. With the flat disc type you used, how did that connect/fit in the housing, with the pins on theside?

Better to buy the shape that goes well in your fittings than try to try to make them fit.

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It depends on what type of fitting you've got.

 

In my van the flat ones fit & work better than the tubular types as all the light is directed downwards through the diffuser rather than upwards into the fitting.

They also save a lot of heat. My previous van had the same lights and the two 10w halogens discoloured the fitting due to heat rising from them.

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Tractionman, on 08 Nov 2015 - 10:36 AM, said:

Interesting information there Novocastrian, as i am looking to change mine now the solar panel is up and

running. With the flat disc type you used, how did that connect/fit in the housing, with the pins on the

side?

 

 

If I can butt in here.

 

The round disc type can usually be fitted in easily but there are a couple of things.

 

Make sure that there is a rectifier fitted to the SMD disc. This means the SMD is not polarity sensitive. In other words, plug it in and it will work.

 

The SMD's which do not have this rectifier fitted means that it will only work + terminal to + supply, and if its upside down then it is not much use.

 

As already mentioned, the cheapo 12v SMD discs can overheat and start smoking if the voltage is over 12v. Check the acceptable voltage range is 12 - 30v.

 

There is a link to a company in my linked article above that provide good bulbs but they do cost you. What price for safety though.

 

The advantages outweigh the price in my view. These are :-

 

Less power consumed.

Cool to the touch

Longer life

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Fair comment, as I have the standard "bell" shape recessed fittings, Stevan`s suggestion seems right

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I replaced all mine with MR16 type from Aldi (12v AC/DC). They were on special offer so I bought 10 for I think £30. I'm delighted with the light output and colour and they don't run hot. Actually they're brighter than I need but were the lowest wattage I could buy (3W or 4W I think). For reading they're brilliant.

 

TS

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Not for caravanning but I've just bought 25 GU10 warm white dimmable 5 watt LEDs from Screwfix. Somewhere local to return them if they go pop.

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I would warn all buyers of LED lamps to not get caught by the adverts.

 

Many lamps say 'bulb life 25000 hours' - which in fact is true, the LEDs will easily last 25000 hours but the electronics driving them will not. I know of a couple of people who have moved to LEDs and have found they are changing bulbs much faster than they did with ordinary bulbs and considerably faster than with halogens. I would add that this includes well known named makes - such as a famous Dutch company - not just Chinese cheapies.

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I would warn all buyers of LED lamps to not get caught by the adverts.

 

Many lamps say 'bulb life 25000 hours' - which in fact is true, the LEDs will easily last 25000 hours but the electronics driving them will not. I know of a couple of people who have moved to LEDs and have found they are changing bulbs much faster than they did with ordinary bulbs and considerably faster than with halogens. I would add that this includes well known named makes - such as a famous Dutch company - not just Chinese cheapies.

 

While I haven't conducted expensive life tests`, I can say mine have lasted over 4 years. When a lamp life is quoted as 25000hrs I'm sure the life refers to the entire lamp. I'm also sure consumer law wouldn't accept the internal electronics should be expected to last much less than that of the LEDs.

 

 

TS

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I would warn all buyers of LED lamps to not get caught by the adverts.

 

Many lamps say 'bulb life 25000 hours' - which in fact is true, the LEDs will easily last 25000 hours but the electronics driving them will not. I know of a couple of people who have moved to LEDs and have found they are changing bulbs much faster than they did with ordinary bulbs and considerably faster than with halogens. I would add that this includes well known named makes - such as a famous Dutch company - not just Chinese cheapies.

You do need to be very careful with 12v leds, they are often very sensitive to over voltage, they are not necessarily a straight swap for 12v halogen bulbs.

 

For home use, many transformers in light fittings give over 12v if the current draw is low, and a new transformer may be needed if the halogens are replaced by leds, although some light fittings have a more stable transformer.

 

For caravans, the psu/charger will normally run at 13. 4 to 13. 7volts, too high for a 12v led.

What is often far more reliable and hence better value are leds rated at 10-30 volts, even though more expensive.

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In the case of the bulbs from Aldi (Mueller Licht)), I tested one first on a lab PSU. It appears to have a proper constant power regulator inside in that the brightness is independent of supply voltage. As the voltage goes up, the current drawn goes down. They are listed as 12v AC/DC, but I tested up to 15. 5v DC without incident. Certainly as you say some types have no such regulation and will draw excessive power on a higher voltage.

 

TS

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Interesting information there Novocastrian, as i am looking to change mine now the solar panel is up and

running. With the flat disc type you used, how did that connect/fit in the housing, with the pins on the

side?

They have the usual two pins, but projecting out of the side of the SMD unit. They do fit as is but I found that by shortening the pins using a wire cutter centralised the SMD in the light fitting. Perfectly happy with them :-)

 

 

Thank you for pointing this out.

 

I wrote an article on SMD lights HERE. If this is the one you are referring to please note that there is a warning concerning the overheating of certain SMD units.

 

However, if this is not the article in question, please can you supply a link to it.

 

Regards

 

Pete

 

Sorry Pete, my error. I read the report on a Camping website, Not CT.

I would warn all buyers of LED lamps to not get caught by the adverts.

 

Many lamps say 'bulb life 25000 hours' - which in fact is true, the LEDs will easily last 25000 hours but the electronics driving them will not. I know of a couple of people who have moved to LEDs and have found they are changing bulbs much faster than they did with ordinary bulbs and considerably faster than with halogens. I would add that this includes well known named makes - such as a famous Dutch company - not just Chinese cheapies.

 

I gave up with a well known Dutch company for that very reason !

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We have been running an LED Lighting business for nearly 10 years now

 

(http://www. jmgled. co. uk)

 

and I find many of these comments fascinating. One member stated the old phrase "You get what you pay for" and sadly this definitely applies with LEDs. When we are at shows or exhibitions we regularly have people bringing in bulbs they've bought for very little on line (either direct from China or via a well known auction site), and very often there isn't much difference in the bulbs whether they're switched on or off!

 

Most decent replacement LED bulbs these days should have a voltage tolerance of 10 - 30v DC to enable them to overcome the variation in battery output and most of our bulbs have fuses and surge protectors built in as an additional safety measure. These additional measures cost us very little extra from our manufacturers so beware of claims of significant extra expense.

 

There was some discussion on CE marking of electronic and electrical goods. Contrary to popular opinion, the CE mark is a self certifying standard and manufacturers are supposed to check that their products comply with the relevant standards before indicating compliance. There are no CE inspectors visiting the Chinese factories checking that if it says "CE" on the box that the goods are actually compliant.

 

A quick Google search for "dangerous LEDs" will show how respectful of the regulations so many of the manufacturers are.

 

We spend a lot of money bringing in samples of LED lighting and test them extensively. I remember getting a shock when we examined our first batch of samples ten years ago. The vast majority of the bulbs went straight into the bin, and we had tried to take some notice of the claims made by the manufacturers.

 

By all means buy from China, but it's exactly the same as betting on a horse - you might be lucky but the odds aren't in your favour!

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