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Mini-Strip MR16 LED replacements?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by kh-nv, Jan 24, 2019.

  1. kh-nv

    kh-nv Member

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    Hello;
    anyone out there ever tried replacing MR16's (EYC) in their L&E Mini-Strips? We're currently researching the best way to get life out of the units - the sockets seem pitted since on a weekly basis we're either losing a unit to burn out or just charred pins; not sure an LED would solve the problem with really pitted sockets, but they sure would help with actual burn outs, right?

    What did you replace with? Color temp?

    Any trouble dimming with standard dimmers? (i.e. popping-on/off at low % points).

    Suggestions for fixing that with a different curve?

    Please share any experience or helpful suggestions (the obvious being to just go out and get proper LED cyc lights!!)

    THANKS!!
     
  2. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    As you are likely aware, these sockets are huge headaches. The issue is the poor contact the socket makes with the round lamp pins, only really making contact on a portion of the side of the lamp pin. Thus frequent burnouts.

    Thus it's not an issue really of incandescent vs. LED, as the sockets are the problem, not the lamp type. You could throw a whole lot of money at the problem and still suffer burnouts due to poor socket design. Possibly an improvement due to the greatly lowered current pulled thru the socket, but that's a crap shoot.

    As well, the 12V LED MR16 lamps I see are about $17 EACH for a 75 watt equivalent. In addition to the near $5,000 - $6,000 lamp cost, you would want to triage the potentially bad sockets, so factor in cost of sockets and labor for replacement. The Altman design as BTW, uses a completely different socket, having a pin contact that engages the entire round lamp pin. We've never had issues with our Altmans. We did explore buying Altman sockets, but they are really pricey as well need surgery to the L&E fixtures with 1) A lamp holder that doesn't have an integral socket, then 2) The top Altman socket wired to the system. Really, really labor intensive to incorporate.

    And then you deal with poor curve as well as bad low end performance inherent in typical line voltage LED fixtures, or in this case a lamp designed to operate off a LoVo transformer which isn't present.

    And I've no clue how a 12v LED lamp is going to like being wired in series and getting 120 volts. I suspect it might go POP on the first lamp and that'll be the end of that.

    I have a dozen of these L&E strips in my space, and have become proficient at fast socket changes, it takes about 10 minutes. But if I had to swap 20% of the 360 sockets (12 fixtures), it's expensive for the labor.

    Might be cheaper to just replace these fixtures with Altman Zip Strips at $1700 ea., but you can probably re-purpose some of the lamps. Then suggest an alternative LED fixture such as an ETC ColorSource Cyc unit, if only for savings on electricity.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2019
    DELO72, Scarrgo and RonHebbard like this.
  3. DELO72

    DELO72 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Steve. The LED lamps will have less heat and current going through the pins, so they MAY help reduce future socket contact issues, but they could give you a whole lot of other problems such as the dimming curve, dim to gray (instead of the warm dimming Halogen lamps give that we are used to), sudden drop off at the low end, etc.

    Even better than buying new LED fixtures, you should just replace the sockets. Mind you, I say this from a completely selfish stance as an employee of a company who makes the sockets. :) Hey- I'm at least being honest about it! *laugh*
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  4. kh-nv

    kh-nv Member

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    Thanks for the input! Someday I hope we can convince the people with the $$$ that LED cyc systems would be a superior investment; but for now we'll probably just be replacing lamps and sockets. Figured the LED idea wouldn't be ideal (had a similar issue in dimming my house recessed lights, where out of six, two were brighter, two mid, and two dimmer when at low levels). I suspect this would become evident in the mini-strip too. Oh well! Thanks again!
     
    RonHebbard likes this.

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