3156 Lamps / S8 Wedge Base Sockets

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Chris J, Jun 27, 2007.

  1. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,829

    What's the deal with 3156 Lamps and/or S8 wedge base sockets? I've been having a terrible time with these things. Seems that I am constantly changing out burned out lamps and I can't seem to figure out if it is the lamps that are to blame or the sockets. Sometimes the plastic around the contacts on the lamp is melted giving me the impression that the socket is not tight enough which is causing arcing. Other times, the lamp is just black, I replace it and it burns out again in a couple of months. The voltage is correct. Doesn't happen to all of them, but it does happen enough to make me want to stop using them altogether.
    Any of you guys have similar problems with this type of lamp and/or socket?
     
  2. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,207

    I have only had to change about 15 of these lamps (other than regular maintenance) in the last 5 years. It might have something to do with your location? What lamp manufacturer are you using? I'll check but I think mine are Sylvania.
     
  3. RICHLONGHORN

    RICHLONGHORN LawnSite Member
    Posts: 23

    Hey Chris, if you have lamps turning black, most likely it's irrigation water hitting the lamps while they are burning. You may need to adjust the irrigation schedule or make sure your lights go off well before the irrigation runs.
     
  4. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    I started using the sylvania ones but now Cast includes wagners with thier area lights. I am a bit mixed on the 3156 lamp right now. I am testing some other brand at my house now to see how long it lasts.

    I find running them a tad cooler has helped tremendously with the lamp life. Around 10.3v to the paths at an install 8mo ago and Zero area failures so far. I think rich is right on with the irrigation tho. I always verify the irrigation comes on early morning long after my lights are out.
     
  5. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,829

    Well, I've tried multiple manufacturers so I don't think this is the cause. And I've already considered the irrigation water theory long ago... Still having the problems though and it is mind boggling. It's just like the Kichler 15363 wall wash issue. We have tremendous problems with this fixture, but in talking with others around the country, it seems the problem is isolated to us here in North Florida. I may very well be a climate issue.
     
  6. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    out of curiosity and in the intrest of our quest for knowledge. Can you post some specifics including voltage at the fixture under load and a photo of the toasted bulbs ?
     
  7. SamIV

    SamIV LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 324

    I am having the same problem but it is isolated to a single fixture. It is a Cast china hat. On this zone there are 3 other fixtures all operating at 11.3 volts. I have gone through 6 lamps in 6 weeks. Spoke with Steve at Cast yesterday, and he suggested stepping the voltage down 1 volt. I'll try that and let all know of the results.

    There is also another china hat off the same hub. Out of curiosity, I took the lamp out of that one which has been working fine, and swapped it to the burn out prone fixture, and it burned out. The 3156 lamps were Sylvania and Wagners. By the way, the other china hat is working fine with it's new lamp.

    SamIV
     
  8. klkanders

    klkanders LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 848

    Hmmm
    Sam could it be in the wiring or the socket? From what you have described it would be interesting to temporarily swap out that fixture and wire all the way back to hub and see what happens. Good Luck!
     
  9. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181


    Burt.. dropping them a volt has helped me tremedously on the cast area lights. I think 11 v and above is a bit much for this bulb. perhaps its the in rush spike thats blowing them. I really wanna find a slick MR powered area light. The lights I was having probs with were the cast new orleans. Same light... diff top.
     
  10. SamIV

    SamIV LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 324

    The socket looks fine. I also pulled the socket out to check connections behind. Everything looks normal. If it were a wiring problem, seems like it would trip the breaker. I'll try the lower tap and see how it goes. If no results, new fixture time.

    SamIV
     

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