View Full Version : LED too Bright?

Chris J
12-10-2008, 09:20 AM
I've got a problem I'd like to get some suggestions for. I installed a couple of Kichler 15765 LED deck sconces on a railing of a deck. The customer thinks the lights are too bright because there is no cover. The LEDs are 1.9w. Does anyone have any good ideas of how I can reduce the light output and soften it without making this a hack job.


Dreams To Designs
12-10-2008, 10:17 AM
Chris, perhaps you can have a piece of frosted glass or screening cut to fit in the opening and silicone it in. That would also diffuse the light and eliminate any hot spot from the lamp itself. I am not a fan of this type of fixture for the harshness of the light.


12-10-2008, 10:34 AM
Possible just to swap out to a diff fixture ? In my opinion that would be easier to do than trying to modify it or add frosted glass to it. Im not familiar with that fixture. Is there any type of glass over it. Can you frost the existing glass ?

The Kichler LED's are not dimmable i guess ?

You had to have seen the ushios (where the heck are they now?????) at lightfair. Dimmable yet the hold a true color.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
12-10-2008, 08:56 PM
The Ushio Synergy LED Lamp is still not available to market Billy. I don't know why, but they have certainly put it's release off a number of times.

The very fact that their lamp is dimmable tells me a lot about the driver technology they are using. I am betting that the heat that lamp produces is too much for the LED engines and it has lumen maintenance issues.

The Kumho LED MR16 has no such issues and is available right now at about 30% less then the Ushio will sell for if and when it is ever ready for market.

Chris: Other then changing out the fixture, or fabricating some sort of screen for the Kichler, I don't know what you can do there... Can you dis-assemble the fixture? If so you might be able to 'disconnect' one of the LEDs inside to reduce the light output.


Chris J
12-10-2008, 10:05 PM
I guess I'm looking for input from someone who knows this fixture and may have some experience with it. There is no lens attached to the fixture, but there is a small lens covering the diode. My first thought is to lightly sandblast the "contact lens" size diode lens to see if this provides sufficient diffusion. This job is so small, and the customer is so particular, that I don't want to have to go back there more than once to rectify the situation. I already had to reschedule the job because when we first showed up the wife was pissed about the size and location of the 200w transformer which was going to be on the deck itself (mounted to the house). And before any of you start giving me advice about that, let me clarify that I instructed them to have the electrician (who was already working on site) to move the outlet location off the deck and behind the bushes (20 minutes worth of work and $75 bucks). We also discussed the larger 200w transformer to accomodate additional lighting that they might want in their back yard. Client just doesn't listen sometimes.
Anyway, thanks for everyones help. If anyone has another suggestion, please chime in.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
12-11-2008, 03:01 PM
Chris... without pictures it is hard... but, could you construct some type of enclosure (using same building materials as the rail structure) to install the Kichler lights into? Essentially a wood box if you will... that you could then control the apature size that the light streams out of.

This would control your light output and hide from view those "nasty looking" (IMO) fixtures.


12-12-2008, 04:48 PM
LEDs are dim-able, why not just add a 12v dimmer? Terradek carries them.

Chris J
12-15-2008, 01:36 PM
LEDs are dim-able, why not just add a 12v dimmer? Terradek carries them.

Huh? Dimable? How can they be dimable if the operating range is 8-15v? It's my understanding that the out put is the same with any voltage between 8-15. Anyless than that and they will blink. Please explain.

12-15-2008, 01:45 PM
Not sure Gerry is carrying those 12v dimmer switches anymore........?? I didnt know all LED's were dimmable??? Like Chris I thought it was important for them to remain in their voltage specs. Chris have you already tried reducing the incoming voltage?ccDoes the inside of the fixture have any reflective material or a white surface you could darken up with some paint?

Chris J
12-15-2008, 05:46 PM
I haven't tried to reduce the voltage. I was originally going to install a 200w pro-grade transformer for future expansion, but the wife freaked out about the size of it (I know, long story). I ended up putting all 10 lights on a small 75w unit with no multi-taps; only hi-low switch. Again, all 10 lights are LED and the total lamp load is 19watts. Only the two deck lights are being complained about. The homeowner is very happy with the appearance of the other 8 deck lights and all are connected together so the possiblity of dimming is out of the question without rewiring (and I do not want to disassemble this deck again). I think I'm going to try the spray-on frost and see if that tones it down enough. If that doesn't work, I'll have to resort to another suggestion.

12-15-2008, 06:26 PM
A dimmer doesn't cut voltage but cuts the sine wave to dim the load.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
12-15-2008, 06:52 PM
I would suspect that those Kichler LED fixtures are not dimmable Chris. It will come down to the type of driver they are using. I suspect that the drivers on those fixtures are constant amperage, stepped drivers. When you reduce the input voltage (dim) to below the rated input they will simply dwindle and extinguish. Like most electronic transformers, the LED drivers will not respond well to a standard analog or inductive load dimmer.

There is a lot more to High Output LED circuitry then there appears to be.


12-16-2008, 11:20 PM
Or you can try the new Vista warm series Led's they are best Led's I have ever used.

12-17-2008, 02:43 AM
Those deck lights are not meant to be dimmed. You could maybe use an off white spray paint on the led cover to lower output. Maybe spray a piece of clear plastic and put it over the fixture after dark before you spray lens to simulate the effect. I don't know why Kichler made these deck lights so bright. The standard deck fixture uses a 6.5watt lamp and these 1.9watt LEDs are equivalent to more than 20watts of incandescent light. crazy! Your Kichler Rep might return these fixtures and exchange them for the incandescent version. The Kichler design team would appreciate the feedback. Picky customers on small jobs are the worst. Thats the name of the game though. Good Luck!

12-19-2008, 03:01 PM
We are in the process of installing some 12v LED rope lighting and it will be on a 12v dimmer. I tested it this morning just to make sure and yep, it works just fine.

Chris J
12-20-2008, 02:23 AM
Paul, you really have me screwed up here, but I trust your knowledge. I'll be calling you sooner or later to find out WTF is going on.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
12-20-2008, 07:41 AM
Paul, there is a heck of a big difference between the LEDs used in a rope light and the HB LEDs (high brightness) used in a lamp module or in a LED fixture application. Similarly there is a huge difference in the way that the two types of LEDs are powered.

Dimming rope light is a breeze. Dimming a module of HB LEDs that rely on a narrow range of voltage and current is another thing.

You will find some HB LED products that are "dimmable". They generally use linear power supplies rather then stepped power supplies and as a result (in my investigations) they also run much hotter, causing all sorts of heat issues. (Again I am talking HB LEDs here.)

Chris: I would encourage you to call someone who knows "WTF is going on" or better yet, learn "WTF is going on" for yourself. There are many online resources where you can spend months and years educating yourself. Follow this up by actually buying hundreds of sample products and testing them in your shop. Then you will be armed with the knowledge and experience to actually start using appropriate technology in your business.

Watson Irrigation
12-24-2008, 12:01 PM
If the Kichler LED decklight you installed uses the same driver/technology as the Kichler accent lights (like their 15743, for example), they will not be dimmable.

I set up a demo/test stand for a seminar we had last week comparing Halogen to drop-in LED to dedicated LED solutions. It included a dimmer and voltmeter, and we were able to take the Kichler dedicated LED accent lights down to just under 3 volts before they blinked off. All the way down to 3 volts, there was no apparent dimming (visually, but I did not test lumen output)

The drop-in LED solutions we compared (Luxxo and ProLED) performed similarly under dimming, but the color and light output were not as good (at any voltage)as the Kichler dedicated LED.

David Gretzmier
12-24-2008, 06:41 PM
Ah, James, I've been gone for what seems like forever and it seems you and chris still speak to each other as educated adults. good job.

That being said, James has a point about the driver. many of the Led's out there started out in flashlights, and they are all dimmable in thier BARE form by using several methods, either by pulse width modulation ( paul's suggestion ) by voltage, or by amperage. The problem is that you usually cannot bypass the voltage regualtor circuit that manu's have built in to these lights so you can string hundreds together from a very large voltage range.

so dimming these requires what everyone already has suggested. sanding/frosting lens, frosting the diode ( don't reccomend this tho ) , and white film on lens. good luck.

The Lighting Geek
12-24-2008, 10:27 PM
There is no way to dim the LED as James and others have said. You must figure out a way to use lenses or change the distance to the target. I have run into this problem with the LED fixtures in general. We are used to the ability to adjust voltage to fine tune or just change the bulb. Using LED fixtures requires different skills to fine tune, like distance and lenses. I have found the Luxxo is not as bright as the 4.5 watt Kichler fixture. After having installed over 500 kichler LED fixtures and working out the adjustments, I have found LED to be a different beast altogether. I am currently testing the Luxxo in downlighting situations, I will let you know the results later.

I have 8 lights in my trailer and one of them has a cool 1141 LED bulb in it. It turns off when the voltage drops below a certain voltage and then we know the battery needs charged :)