LED and overheating

Singapore 21st September 2011

Learning something new about LED’s every day it seems! While it is nice from public relations point of view to have a 100% LED project with a short ROI (Return on Investment), we keep having little problems with the place in full operation for a couple of months now. First we had some humming issues in the decorative pendants, now we have some of the LED down lights flickering and going on and off impromptu without any clear indication why…

I have to state that we did our due diligence before specifying the down lights, LED source and dimming system. Considering we are using the latest 10W Philips MR16 Master LED, we had the luminaire manufacturer test the combination of LED lamp, transformer and luminaire before confirming the specifications to make sure it was all working well together. We then had the whole system tested (including the recommended transformer) with the proposed dimming system. All came back positive so we went ahead with the installation. Now after a few months operation we start having some issues with LED down lights flickering and going on-off.

We investigated the situation and narrowed down the probable causes. As not all LED donwlights in the same circuit are affected with the “symptoms, we can say that the dimmer is not at fault. This narrowed down the probable causes to either the lamp itself (it is a new lamp), the way it is connected in the lamp holder or the transformer. However after talking to Philips a new possiblity came up…over heating! The LED lamps have a built in “thermostat” regulating the lamp if it gets too hot. Philips is now saying this affects the lamp performance and issues like flickering or going off can occur. Apparently this seems to happen a frequently in new installations but was not brought up during testing by Philips. It seems now a consistent issue with these lamps…Tomorrow we we will meet to see if indeed this could be the fault causing our flickering and going off problems…

In Light Watch today some mega LED lighting point installations realised (mostly by artists Leo Villareal, Erwin Redl, Jenny Holtzer) to contrast with the relative simple issue I am facing with just a few down lights. Imagine having to fault find in installation with more than 40,000 point like the underground tunnel from Villareal. Pictures from Google.

Light Watch 167: LED installations from Leo Villareal, Erwin Redl, Toshiba and Jenny Holtzer

21. September 2011 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: light watch, lighting applications, lighting of the future | 26 comments

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