View Full Version : par 36 xenon/halogen

David Gretzmier
06-06-2007, 02:27 AM
I did a bid today for a current Christmas light customer who has an installed Focus lighting system. It is 3 years old, and he has never replaced a bulb, but recently 6 have went out.

He is real happy with the system, and I have no experience with Focus, but the fixtures seem to be sturdy and well built, provide light without seeing the source, and further it is not in his budget to replace it, so I just agreed to rebulb all the fixtures, trim bushes around them, re set the angles etc, like we do for our yearly rebulbs.

I have not used par 36 well lights in a while, and noticed they have xenon/halogen 5000 hour bulbs now, and was wandering if you guys have tried those.

I know I'd rather do a mr-16 well light, but he already said no, just rebulb.

any negatives? I am thinking 20 watt floods to replace the 20 watters he already has.

Go Halogen
06-06-2007, 09:22 AM
They are better than the incandescent version. They cost a lot more when compared to mr16 lamps. When purchasing lamps, try to buy well known brands like GE, Ushio, Sylvania. There are a lot of no name brands made in China & Taiwan that will not give you proper lamp life. Prism Brand is one that I am testing out right now. If anyone uses this Brand please give feedback. :confused:

Chris J
06-06-2007, 09:42 AM
A long time ago, I believe I used Prism 3156 wedge base lamps. I had some failures, and ultimately blamed the lamp and stopped using Prism altogeter. In hindsight, I don't believe it was necessarily the manufacturer in this case. As mentioned in an earlier post, wedge base 3156 lamps can be a pain in the butt, and we continue to have problems with them no matter what manufacturer we use. I would give Prism another try if I see that others have had some good results. I have had very good results with the Osram Sylvania products.

Mike M
06-06-2007, 12:40 PM

I put in three kichler par 36 well lights with 35 watt PAR bulbs and like them a lot, but please watch out for the 20 watt bulbs! I was talked out of them by my distributor (not certain which manufacturer had them), there is a high failure rate.

Paul and someone else posted here that had a problem with the 20's, also.


David Gretzmier
06-07-2007, 12:52 AM
I'd actually like to go 25 or 35 watters, but he is maxed out on transformer and a bit on wire capacity. there is one 10 guage wire coming out of the transformer, and at some point splits into two 12 guage wires. there are 9 fixtures on one and 6 fixtures on another, with about 80 feet from transformer.
300 watt transformer with photo-cell and clock.

at 15 fixtures 9 are wells with 20 watts each, and 6 are pathlighters with 1141's - 17 watts each. my math puts that at 282 watts, and i'd rather not upsize at this point.

voltage is running from 10.6 to 11.8, not perfect but acceptable to me since I did not do the install. strange thing, the two lowest voltage pars went out and some of the higher voltage still work. huh, go figure.

I'm hoping the dimness I'm seeing from the pars currently installed is from age, they are also 20 watts. also the xenon should be a little whiter color, but I won't know until I try.

if no one can chime in with negatives by tomorrow, I'm gonna go ahead and order the bulbs, and a couple spares.

thanks so far for chiming in.

Chris J
06-07-2007, 01:45 AM
With lamps you have to remember this: everything you gain, there is something to sacrifice. With xenon lamps, they will last longer, but they will not give you the color rendition of halogen. The halogen lamps are going to burn whiter, not the xenon.

Eden Lights
06-07-2007, 02:31 AM
I think that it is a known fact that no one can make a quality long lasting 20W Flood Par36 right now. Fixtures are eating the GE Hadco lamp and the
PRISM HaloXen like candy. Fx has a new 20 watt lamp, but I don't think that it's acceptable due to funny light output close to the lamp and photometrics seem very tight compared to others.

06-07-2007, 07:05 AM
David, where are you going to get replacements from?

David Gretzmier
06-07-2007, 10:48 AM
I have a local distributor that can get FX "xelogen" or xenon with halogen, also 1000bulbs.com, bulbamerica.com, stock these bulbs. It really comes down to either installing 2000 hour halogen's or 5000 hour xenon/halogens.

I don't really have the option of not using pars, just the option of someone else doing the job. the current ones are not marked halogen, and are pretty yellow-dim, so even if xenon's are not as white as halogen's, It will be an improvement.

I have noticed that the halogens are rated a few more lumens than the xenons. perhaps that takes into account the color.

I'm gonna go ahead and give these bulbs a shot. I appreciate the comments, and will try to post before and after pics.

06-07-2007, 12:15 PM
I will put my 2 cents in regarding lamps. I was introduced to the industry by Unique - as a result my 1st couple of jobs all had Ushio lamps. I had no burn out problems at all. Then I started to experiment with other fixtures and I ended up using Prism lamps. Prism lamps SUCK! I have had a lot proplems with the Prism lamps. Right now I am experimenting with Atom's Xenon MR16 and / or Ushio only. Are any of you familiar with Atom Lighting?

06-07-2007, 12:31 PM
Its funny, I've seen guys driving around with bulbs in the back of their truck for weeks and expoect them to work...I've seen people drop bulbs and if they didnt break they'd use them...I'm dealing with a lighting designer now who is specifying a $42.00 bulb to replace a $8.00 bulb...if you put a $1.19 mr in a $40 fixture will it last as long as a $1.19 mr16 in a $100 fixture? Why does that one bulb in that tree seem to burn out more than all the other ones...

its like the shipping industry, its imperfect...its a bummer but that most important box is always the one that get lost...

I have a prism bulb that has burned every night for 8 years now at 10.8 volts...I can't explain in...I've seen the transition form Phillips Pars which arent available anymore and all of a sudden the Par 36 bulb sucks?!? I've seen byaonet bulbs last 6 years and a 3156 last a day...isnt the 3156 suposed to be better than a bi pin...should we go mr16 in all fixtures? the day we do these huge manufacturers are going to discontinue the bulb...phillips did it to hadco, who'e to say osram wont disc the mr16...

then add in the fact how spoiled we are being able to use 75 par 30 in recessed cans...go out the country and see if you see a 75 watt bulb anywhere...we are wasteful society and it will change some day soon...bring on the 5 watt mr16s...or even better the HID 20 watt Par16 in a MR16 shape that consumes much less energy that we are using now...want to get a lot of lot from a little energy???

sorry just ranting and raving...its a changing world we need to change with it and slapping very inefficient systems is what we should be talking about....

06-07-2007, 02:27 PM
Atom is no FX. I've heard the pitch from the owner. The aluminum fixture that looks just like the FX aluminum bullet is no where near the product that FX offers. Was given 6 of these bullets, and after one year all of the paint has cracked off. The sockets are not up to par either. I don't install FX anymore due to distributor issues, have no issues with their product though.


06-07-2007, 07:33 PM
I have 2 things to say:
No. 1, I have never used an Atom fixture. I am just giving their xenon MR16 lamps a try.
No. 2, This may be a dump question but NitetymeIlluminations got me thinking. Do you need special care in storing lamps. I have a bunch of lamps in my trailer organized by watt and beam spread in drawers. I'm I compromising the quality of my lamps by storing them in my trailer. Obviously my trailer isn't a smoothest riding rig. When I am traveling.

06-08-2007, 02:03 AM
Hey nytetime, I am not sure what you mean when you say we need to stop installing inefficiant systems? Compared to line voltage our LV systems use a fraction of the energy they do. I think the bigger question should be, why isn't the building industry incorporating more 12V for interior lighting systems. some will use them in kitchens under the counter or in some track lighting, but I have never seen a real energy efficient home. Especially when they jam all those 100 watt can lights in the soffits and eaves of houses, ineptly trying to accomplish what we do even better with ou LV systems.

06-08-2007, 08:55 AM
I do agree some of us design efficient systems. Some don't...as you are correct...interior fixtures are poorly designed for efficiency...I spend about half my time in the Caribbean designing resort lighting right now and am held to insane standards, way beyond what we would ever comprehend here in the states...When you drive down the road in a place like Jamaica and you are blown away by the bilboard promoting energy efficient bulbs and everyone drives cars instead of pick up trucks because gas is close to $5.00 a gallon it gets you thinking alot about how backwards we are here. I ate at a Chili's when i got back in the country for a lay over...I could count 5000 wats of lights when I was sitting at a table...it could have been limited to 1000 and achieved the same amt of light...i'm changing the way I do and sell and design lighting...is anyone else???

Chris J
06-08-2007, 09:22 AM
Hey Doug,
You have started the resort project already? Check your PM

06-09-2007, 12:01 AM
I am sure I will use the LEDs when the technology gets to the point where they can compete photometricly with the halogens. Until then I will design for effect using what will accomplish this the best way possible. Otherwise, if all I was worried about was efficiency, well heck I might as well install solor lights.