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MR16 lamp life

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Indiana Outdoor Lighting, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. Indiana Outdoor Lighting

    Indiana Outdoor Lighting LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Has anyone ever seen any manufactures' test data to support claims of 4k, 5k or 10k average hours lamp life?

    I have asked for this info previously and received only very sketchy reports. What I would really like to see are charts that represent the distribution of lamp failures over time. I know that the life testing is done in a lab. Is the shape of the distribution a normal curve (I doubt). Or, a constant rate with increased failures occurring at the beginning and end of life. The "constant" rate is the curve for many electronic devices.

    I Have tried MR 16s from several manufacturers but, have never quite been satisfied with the perceived performance vs MFG claims.

    Does anyone notice higher failure rates with wider beam spread lamps such as 60 deg?

    Would a surge protector help reduce premature failures? If so, where can I get a surge protector OK for outdoor use.

    All the best, Ralph
  2. eskerlite

    eskerlite LawnSite Member
    Messages: 222

    Lamp life testing is done with 100 lit lamps and when 50 burn out that is the lamp life for that lamp. Who knows how long any lamp will last and can we really imitate all the flucuations in voltage that an average lamp goes through?
    I try to use only GE constant color Precise lamps. They have performed the best from my years of maintaining my systems.
    Sean Curran
  3. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,173

    I know you will get varied results with your 16's if the voltage varies between lamps. In the lab they are testing all the lamps at a set voltage and will not have the swing in voltage that we will inevitably have in the field on installations. I believe they test around the mid 11 range which is the optimum range for the lamps (varies between manus I'm sure). Whereas anything higher or lower than thier test range will certainly either increase or decrease the expected or "rated" lamp life.
  4. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,173

    Ditto on the GEs Sean. Hands down the most reliable.
  5. NightLightingFX

    NightLightingFX LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 580

    DON'T EVER USE Prism. Prism SUCKS!!!
  6. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    GE Precise Constant Color MR16 are hands down the best MR16 lamp on the market, for a number of reasons.

    As for surge protection, don't bother with rinky dink Surge outlets, power blocks or other such plug in type devices. Instead install an Intermatic Panel Guard (Whole home surge arrest) and be done with it. If you live in an area with a lot of transients (dirty power) spikes and surges on the grid, this unit will save a lot of premature lamp failures.

  7. LightYourNight

    LightYourNight LawnSite Member
    Messages: 101

    Ge Constant color are working great for me as well!!!
  8. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    The GE rep I spoke with at Louisville expo 2 years back says that UL rates all of thier bulbs based on full voltage. and yes, 100 bulbs, at 70 degrees teperature, when half are gone they are at the rated life. Manufacturors are allowed to round to the nearest 100 hours. After speaking with Scott Heese, Owner of HBL ( My Christmas Light manufacturor) he confirmed it is UL that tests and rates the hour life rating of his light sets. same procedure. 120 volts, when 1/2 are gone, bulb rating at 70 degrees.

    I would imagine that some bulbs go out at 100 hours, some at 400, some at 800, etc. I really don't believe they have a party and all half go out at 3000 or 5000 hours.

    I seem to occaisionally have a batch that was obviously dropped by UPS or what not, otherwise I rarely change bulbs in Low voltage, as I change out all bulbs every year.
  9. tonyGub

    tonyGub LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42

    Some manus do their UL testing in house. After getting results within the standards they have a UL rep come in and review their tests to get approval. This can be done in under a month.
  10. LightYourNight

    LightYourNight LawnSite Member
    Messages: 101

    Anyone use the usiho 10,000 hour lamps? any differences in light output or look?

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