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#4582139 - 11/22/17 05:00 PM Both of my back yard flood light bulbs failed
69GTX Offline


Registered: 09/23/15
Posts: 3815
Loc: Connecticut
Looking for the most likely cause. My wife had this dual bulb, motion sensor unit installed 15 yrs ago. Since then, she's replaced bulbs once. So this time, changing bulbs would have been the likely fix. Today I installed new LED style bulbs (120 v). When the lamps came on, they were flashing like a strobe. Now that was unexpected. 10 seconds or so later they went steady. OK, maybe that was some sort of trial, burn in? After another 5-10 seconds they just stopped working altogether. They wouldn't come on again as the switch was cycled. No idea if the old lights failed together or one at a time a few weeks/months ago.

Did the fixture itself actually fail earlier and now it took out these new lamps? LED's not compatible? I figured someone here has experienced this or something similar. Not too keen about wasting another possible $11 in bulbs if the fixture is likely the culprit. Why would they even flash? At this point, I'd be thinking the fixture has a fault.

Thanks in advance for any tips.
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#4582151 - 11/22/17 05:14 PM Re: Both of my back yard flood light bulbs failed [Re: 69GTX]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 32635
Loc: ME
LEDs aren't compatible. You need at least one incandescent in there.

The light's brains are wired in series with the filament and need "enough" current going through to power it up.

LEDs have their own shenanigans and don't let enough current through. Try throwing a 25 watter in one socket, or, if it matters to you, an equal/ appropriate sized incandescent flood.

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#4582179 - 11/22/17 05:48 PM Re: Both of my back yard flood light bulbs failed [Re: 69GTX]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 20457
Loc: Upstate NY
You need LEDs that can be dimmed. Many dimmers or motion detectors use a thyristor or something similar to control the bulb and the output is not a nice clean 60 Hz sine wave. Its a chop wave or square wave.

LED bulbs that are not dimmable need a nice clean 60 hz.
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#4582184 - 11/22/17 05:54 PM Re: Both of my back yard flood light bulbs failed [Re: Donald]
69GTX Offline


Registered: 09/23/15
Posts: 3815
Loc: Connecticut
Originally Posted By: Donald
You need LEDs that can be dimmed. Many dimmers or motion detectors use a thyristor or something similar to control the bulb and the output is not a nice clean 60 Hz sine wave. Its a chop wave or square wave.

LED bulbs that are not dimmable need a nice clean 60 hz.


Now that you mention it, these lights are supposed to "dim" as they go off. And when coming on, the intensity ramps up. So I goofed there selecting non-dimmable lamps. So my choices are dimmable regular bulbs or LEDs. Thanks.
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2001 Lincoln Cont 4.6L DOHC/ 39K mi / QS HM 5w30 / FUG XG2
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#4582228 - 11/22/17 06:36 PM Re: Both of my back yard flood light bulbs failed [Re: 69GTX]
sleddriver Offline


Registered: 02/06/10
Posts: 4602
Loc: Central Texas
LED bulbs draw much less current than halogen, incandescant based floods. That's why they cost less to run. Problem is many older fixtures (15yrs old) aren't designed for them. Like all my X10 stuff (30yrs old too).

So, what to do? Replace the fixture with a new one compatible with LED bulbs.

It flutters because some current flows (leaks), however just not enough for a "hard off" state to occur. Thus it oscillates back 'n forth.
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#4582251 - 11/22/17 07:03 PM Re: Both of my back yard flood light bulbs failed [Re: 69GTX]
Nick1994 Offline


Registered: 02/19/13
Posts: 10108
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
I've found some LEDs just aren't compatible in certain sockets.

Try some CFLs
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#4582295 - 11/22/17 07:37 PM Re: Both of my back yard flood light bulbs failed [Re: 69GTX]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6148
Loc: Waco, TX
I got rid of screw in flood lights and now use something a lot like these, but larger!

https://www.amazon.com/MEIKEE-1500lumen-Equivalent-Waterproof-Floodlight/dp/B01GY6P26K/ref=sr_1_8

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#4582346 - 11/22/17 08:13 PM Re: Both of my back yard flood light bulbs failed [Re: 69GTX]
Leo99 Offline


Registered: 03/30/14
Posts: 3041
Loc: NJ
I've found the motion detector fixtures to be a bit finicky. Mine don't always come on or turn off after 5 minutes. Just replaced a bulb in mine today after I noticed the old bulb's glass lens cracked and fell out. Maybe the fixture Linctex posted above is more robust. Those two bulb $15 fixtures are not very robust.
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#4582399 - 11/22/17 08:52 PM Re: Both of my back yard flood light bulbs failed [Re: Leo99]
69GTX Offline


Registered: 09/23/15
Posts: 3815
Loc: Connecticut
Sounds like the best solution is to buy some old style flood lamps. They aren't on all that much any ways. Not worried about the juice. Thought LEDs would be cool as they are extra bright. The town public works just replaced all the street lamps in our area with LEDs. Holy smokes. The streets are lit up like it's a full moon every night. We used to need to have our front security light on. The street lamp now lights up everything better than our old light.
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2001 Lincoln Cont 4.6L DOHC/ 39K mi / QS HM 5w30 / FUG XG2
1999 Camaro SS M6 /19K /Mobil 1 0w40 /Fram UG /GM MTL-ATF
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#4582429 - 11/22/17 09:15 PM Re: Both of my back yard flood light bulbs failed [Re: 69GTX]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 41780
Loc: New Jersey
Assuming they are really just intermittent on lights, yes, use incandescent bulbs as it's just not that much electricity. What has been said above is true - currrent needs to flow through.

Otherwise buy a modern fixture. I have some exterior lights that aren't on sensors, they're meant to be in for longer periods when used. CFL and LED work great if just switched on and left.

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#4582537 - 11/23/17 12:13 AM Re: Both of my back yard flood light bulbs failed [Re: 69GTX]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6148
Loc: Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: 69GTX
The town public works just replaced all the street lamps in our area with LEDs. Holy smokes. The streets are lit up like it's a full moon every night.


The ones I am using are "500 watt equivalent" - about 4X larger than the ones I posted.

yes, they are VERY much worth it!
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(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."

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#4582554 - 11/23/17 01:11 AM Re: Both of my back yard flood light bulbs failed [Re: Linctex]
edhackett Online   content


Registered: 06/09/03
Posts: 1928
Loc: Sequim, WA
Originally Posted By: Linctex
Originally Posted By: 69GTX
The town public works just replaced all the street lamps in our area with LEDs. Holy smokes. The streets are lit up like it's a full moon every night.


The ones I am using are "500 watt equivalent" - about 4X larger than the ones I posted.

yes, they are VERY much worth it!


https://gizmodo.com/the-switch-to-outdoor-led-lighting-has-completely-backf-1820652615

The full article referenced:
http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/11/e1701528.full

Ed
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#4639841 - 01/19/18 11:29 AM Re: Both of my back yard flood light bulbs failed [Re: edhackett]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6148
Loc: Waco, TX


Are you trying to say I contribute to the light pollution epidemic?
Mine are focused down since they are on 30' towers. No light goes "up".
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