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Thread: High amount of lamp failures?

  1. #1
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    High amount of lamp failures?

    We have a few systems that seem to have a much higher than normal amount of lamp failures. These projects are less than 2 years old and we have had to replace 30+ lamps and sometimes 2 or 3 times. The majority of the bulbs are Sylvania PAR30 Halogens so they aren't crappy lamps. I'm not sure if it's simply a coincidence, poor lamp manufacturing, high usage, a higher incoming voltage, or possibly how something dimmer related. We've had it happen on CL dimmers and 6D's. Just curious if anyone else has noticed this???

  2. #2
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    What wattage lamp? What is the rating for the housing/trim? Short lamp life might be from excess heat from over lamping a fixture. Any chance it is vibration shortening the life span? Residential or commercial? Are you bring the lamps up to 100% or 85% when they turn on?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukeetal View Post
    What wattage lamp? What is the rating for the housing/trim? Short lamp life might be from excess heat from over lamping a fixture. Any chance it is vibration shortening the life span? Residential or commercial? Are you bring the lamps up to 100% or 85% when they turn on?
    The problems have been on all residential projects. The lamps are PAR30 50 watt long neck bulbs. The lights are typically turned on by a keypad so the max trim levels are set to the default 99%. The lamps seem to be failing much sooner than all of the other jobs we do. One caveat to think about is that most customers who Lutron Ra2 are used to a higher service level. Meaning if we did an electrical job with standard BR or PAR lamps, they are less likely to call us. If we did a job with automation and other technology, they are more likely to call us when things go wrong or seem out of place. On one job we were able to identify a source of vibration but the other two jobs have no kids and nothing apparent to us. At my house, we moved in 11 months ago and I've replace one PAR30 75 watt long neck lamp twice on one particular recessed light.

  4. #4
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    Couple of clarifications:
    I don't mean trim level. When you program a scene or toggle button on a keypad you can set the only level to what ever percentage you like. Lutron recommends 85% because it greatly increases lamp life and is almost imperceptible.

    Each recessed light and trim combination has a max lamp wattage. 50 par 30 probably isn't over the max wattage but worth looking at. The 75 par30 probably is for a recessed light.

    Are the recessed light housings ic or non ic type? Non ic need clearance from insulation. Usually 3". If the insulation is too close the lamp will cycle on and off by design.

    I would be very surprised if it was the dimmer causing the short lamp life.

    Why not install LED bulbs? If they are spending for Ra2 they can afford a nice led. Just make sure to check
    Lutron.com/led before selecting a led

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukeetal View Post
    Couple of clarifications:
    I don't mean trim level. When you program a scene or toggle button on a keypad you can set the only level to what ever percentage you like. Lutron recommends 85% because it greatly increases lamp life and is almost imperceptible.

    Each recessed light and trim combination has a max lamp wattage. 50 par 30 probably isn't over the max wattage but worth looking at. The 75 par30 probably is for a recessed light.

    Are the recessed light housings ic or non ic type? Non ic need clearance from insulation. Usually 3". If the insulation is too close the lamp will cycle on and off by design.

    I would be very surprised if it was the dimmer causing the short lamp life.

    Why not install LED bulbs? If they are spending for Ra2 they can afford a nice led. Just make sure to check
    Lutron.com/led before selecting a led
    All of the can's we use are rated to PAR 30 75 watts. The trims are air lock trims rated for PAR38 150 watts. We are not talking about thermal protection or issues with the can being in contact with the insulation either.

    When programming, I typically set lights at 90% but the customers have ultimate control after we leave.

    If you truly enjoy light, it's hard to find a comparable LED to halogen. Halogen light creates more "drama" than LED and simply looks better. I do like the whiter light at lower levels but it's just not the same. We've experimented with a lot of different brands including Soraa LED's which tend to have a slightly pink hue and Green Creative do not dim as low as Soraa. All other LED's are just OK. One customer is moving to LED but they are still complaining complaining about failing lamps. Here is there store room where they keep the extra LED's:
    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #6
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    30PAR50 lamps, like most incandescent lamps, are available in two voltages, 120v and 130v. 130v lamps throw off less light but last much longer, so iwould compare the rated voltage as that is the most likely cause of higher lamp failures; a higher voltage.

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