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bad sockets

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Mark B, May 14, 2008.

  1. Mark B

    Mark B LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    I will try to type this out. I was on a service call today, about replacing some bulbs. So go to replace 1 bulb as soon as I touch the bulb it comes on. So I put some white lithium grease on the prongs and it worked about halfway down the prongs. I go to the next fixture and the same problem.

    The fixtures are about 4-5yr old vista pathway lights. I was told that the type of sockets are the problem. That they have a spring loaded clamp in the socket, so when you move the bulb you get a decent connection. Also even using the grease it appears there is some corrosion on the prongs.

    Do any of you experts have any ideas on what is going on.
  2. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,187

    I don't think it is the socket. I have had that happen on me numerous times. If you take a close look at the filament in the bulb you will see a thin spot or even a break. When you move the bulb the filament will move enough to make contact but will lose contact again when the power goes off and the filament cools and contracts. I will usually just replace the bulb and you are good to go. I had some problems like this with a batch of Ushios. Some MR 11s will do this too because they get so hot in a tiny bulb. That is why it is usually a good idea to run your T-3s and MR 11s at around 10.8-11.2 volts or so. You should experience less of this problem.
  3. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    I have just about had it with the standard, ceramic, G4, Bi-Pin Socket that almost everybody seems to use. The one with the foil cover over the contacts....

    They are a constant source of grief for me. I have resorted to replacing these with Hunza sockets as they seem to be superior.

    If anyone has a line on NEW and DIFFERENT G4 Bi-Pin socket please let me know... I would love to try them out.

  4. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,187

    I know most of my lights utilize the G4 base, but what do you think about the double contact bayonet style? I know FX uses these a lot in their fixtures and they do seem to hold up pretty well so far on the ones I have installed. It would be expensive and time consuming to retrofit fixtures with those new sockets though. Do you buy those sockets direct from Hunza or do you have another source for those?
  5. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Tim, I will PM you on that when I have some time...
  6. Mark B

    Mark B LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    So what is the best way to go? Do I replace the sockets or shoud I just keep replacing bulbs? Is there another grease out there that I could be using?
  7. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    We use the best sockets you can get. I would be more than happy to send a few samples out. they are made of ceramic, copper, and beryllium. Lead wires are nickle coated.
  8. dwightschrute

    dwightschrute LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    The lock and load?
  9. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    Lock and Load was an awesome concept. For those unfamiliar with our OLD socket of choice, it was essentiallya 2 piece socket that was similar to a GX10 based lamp. It did fail over time due to the contacts on the top piece of the socket not having enough contact surface and over time it would wear down and eventually lose continuity. We went away from the lock and load about 2 years ago now. We do have a solid fix for it though, so just like its original intention that when the top piece fails we can easily send out a new top piece that we have added contact surface too to ensure a positive contact. So if anyone services a project and comes across any of our older lights with a failed lock and load we can get you dialed in with a quick and easy fix.

    But NO TP man, not the lock and load.

    Back to the crap talking drawing board you go..........:waving:
  10. NiteTymeIlluminations

    NiteTymeIlluminations LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 367

    As you know I use mostly line voltage material. I cant tell you when I had a socket fail last. Is there a reason we can't use e12 type bases for all lamps? Wouldn't it be cool...you can use any lamp in any fixture...want a nice easy glow out of a well light use a 5 watt screw in base, smae fixture want a punch, use a 75 watt screw in 10 degree reflector...the trick would be making sure they lamps dont turn out like the old 1156 type two piece lamps that would always end up leaking air and blowing...

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