Troubleshooting question

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by DanaMac, Dec 11, 2007.

  1. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    It's been a couple years since I've done any lighting, so I was a bit rusty. But I spent 2.5 days trouble shooting, repairing, and doing lamp replacing. Job had a few problems, mainly too high of voltage at the fixtures. This was causing lamps to fail quickly. Then of course the home owner wasn't replacing all of them, and the new ones were very high voltage, getting hot, melting the cans and grates on top.

    So, after replacing the lamps, and getting the proper voltage (Unique 840w transformers), there was still a problem. The homeowner had purchased some replacement lamps for the PAR 36s from a local light bulb/lamp company. they had to order them for her as they don't carry in stock, and she couldn't find anywhere else. Well the brand was DAMAR, 25w PAR 36. I had the voltage at about 11.0-11.4 on most lamps as I was still working and troubleshooting. I heard a "POP" and went and looked around. The glass front completely popped off, basically cracking around the outer edge and then it flew off about 5'. This ended up happening to 4 of them. I eventually replaced all her DAMAR lamps just out of safety (or fear!). I assume it was getting too hot, but the voltage wasn't outrageous by any means.

    So any reason why this would happen? Outdoor temps were cool, but not sub-zero or anything. Not that that should matter anyway. I have some PAR36s at my place that have been in over 5 years. Is it the manufacturer?
     
  2. Frog Lights  LLC

    Frog Lights LLC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 191

    defective bulbs
     
  3. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,180

    we dont use pars but from what I understand GE is the only one to use for this... Lowes or home depot should have GE bulbs... if not check with your normal lighting supplier.

    When you mention melting cans... I assume these are well lights since you mention cans and pars... Are they a quality fixture ? by the time the client pays you 2.5 days trouble shooting they could of replaced the fixtures.

    Also make sure you do not have bad connections too. This will create a trmendous amount of heat and possibly melt down/fire situation.

    Your voltage sounds fine. I like to be around 11-11.2 if possible. Check the splices... replace with good lamps... replace any corroded or oxidized wire. you may be over volted once you find a bad splice
     
  4. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,933

    Stay away from those 25w Par36. There are some major problems going on with them. The 20watt and 35watt and 50watt are fine but those 25watt lamps are junk and have some issues. GE claims they are not aware but I am hearing of guys blowing those lamps out in a matter of days. Your voltgae is set fine it is just the lamp. So go out and get yourself some of the 20watt GE PAr 36 and re adjust voltage a hair and you should be fine!!!
     
  5. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    we dont use pars but from what I understand GE is the only one to use for this... Lowes or home depot should have GE bulbs... if not check with your normal lighting supplier.

    Lowes and HD have some plastic ones that seem very lame and cheap. Not sure I want to use them. Yes, the ones I bought from my suppliers are GE.

    When you mention melting cans... I assume these are well lights since you mention cans and pars... Are they a quality fixture ? by the time the client pays you 2.5 days trouble shooting they could of replaced the fixtures.

    Yes they are well lights. Unique. Problem wasn't the fixtures. There were a mix of wells, path, walls, spots. Problems were too high of voltage, and then trying to find which runs went to which lead in the three transformers. Then bringing the runs down to proper voltage.

    Also make sure you do not have bad connections too. This will create a trmendous amount of heat and possibly melt down/fire situation.

    Connections all seems fine. Problems only seemed to be with these particular DAMAR lamps. Once I replaced with GE, all was fine.

    Your voltage sounds fine. I like to be around 11-11.2 if possible. Check the splices... replace with good lamps... replace any corroded or oxidized wire. you may be over volted once you find a bad splice

    Yeah, I tried to get them as close to 11 volts as possible. One problem is that they started with the hub system, but they would run an extra fixture or two off another fixture. This was put in by another contractor, not sure who. HO is the second owner.
     
  6. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    I haven't heard of that, but will keep in mind. Are you saying that BRAND, or all 25s. I had to get 25w from one supplier, as they only had 4. And 20w from another, as they only had 7. I then used four 25w from my demo kit that I haven't used in years.
     
  7. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,933


    I am saying you should never use a Par36 that is not made by GE. This comes from selling hundreds of thousands of well lights and testing just about every par36 out there. REAL IN THE FIELD TESTING, NOT SIMULATED BS TESTING. But I am seeign the problem with the GE 25w. I have contacted GE and we have spoken to one of their par engineers. They are unaware of a problem, but they were also unaware of the problem years ago when they were going through the same issue with this same 25watt incandescent lamp. Just stay with halogen and never use an incandescent PAR36. You will be playing it much safer. If you do want to use those lamps then you need to undervolt that lamp to make it last longer than a week.
     
  8. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    Gotcha. Thanks.
     
  9. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,933

    Dana call me if you have any problems finding these lamps. Also if you have any trouble getting your lights replaced. If you yank the Dabmar's out you can replace them with F225 well lights and then you can custom order them with 20w GE PAR36 lams in them.

    Let me know. My contact info is below.
     
  10. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    Will do. My suppliers, Ewing and LL Johnson, never seem to have a good supply of replacement lamps, even when I was doing more lighting. I took out all the Damars already. I think all will be fine now that voltage is set properly. I will keep you informed if not.
     

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