Best 50w halogen equivalent dimmable LED Downlight Unit

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by smashedpeas, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. smashedpeas

    smashedpeas

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I have been trying to find LED downlight units that are compatible with C-bus universal dimmers, I'v tested a few cheap generic units and found various problems like flickering when dimmed below 100%, flickering while ramping, strobing or glowing when the channel is off (0) and colour variation when not at 100%

    The best effort (and only name brand) I have tested is the brightgreen D900 it has an excellent looking light output, dim's really smoothly with even colour, is as bright as a 50w halogen and is cool enough to handle after being at 100% for 1/2 an hour. It just won't turn completely off (has a slight glow when the channel is off or 0%)

    Does anyone know of a halogen equivalent LED downlight (not retrofit,it's for a new build) that doesn't suffer from any of the above mentioned problems?
     
    smashedpeas, Feb 12, 2012
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. smashedpeas

    DarylMc

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Messages:
    1,202
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Brisbane, QLD, Australia
    DarylMc, Feb 13, 2012
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. smashedpeas

    Newman

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Messages:
    2,203
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Adelaide, South Australia
    Whilst it doesn't cover dimming performance, the Lighting Council of Australia runs a Solid State Lighting Quality Scheme. Manufacturers can join the scheme and submit products for assessment against a range of criteria. Product on this list should at least meet their performance claims. I know of a couple of fairly popular LED manufacturers who have been refused membership or have had product rejected for not meeting claimed performance levels.

    Products listed against this scheme would be a good place to start. You can then go to the respective manufacturers websites or on-line forums to try and find out what their dimming performance is like.
     
    Newman, Feb 13, 2012
    #3
  4. smashedpeas

    Roosta

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2011
    Messages:
    560
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Australia
    Would using something like the 31CAP get around the leakage issue of the dimmers keeping the light on?

    I am not electrician but have seen the 31CAPs sort all sorts of wierd load problems in the past..

    Also worth noting i was on site on friday and saw the new Scholz Lumex? LED Downlight in action.. Very neat and was dimming very smoothly off a L5508D1A.. Only issue was when off and dimming up to ~10% random lights on the circuits would fire and others wouldn't.. resolve by setting minimum dim level to 15%..

    I have also been to a job with the brightgreen dr700 retro fit, and it was very impressive.. Just running of a 'possum' dimmed nicely except for a little bit of strobing when less than 40%.. But good option for retro fit..
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 13, 2012
    Roosta, Feb 13, 2012
    #4
  5. smashedpeas

    ashleigh Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    Messages:
    2,362
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Adelaide, South Australia
    Strobing and flickering are not really options for dimming.

    I've had a similar issue (still figuring out how to resolve it) where I've got a LED lamp that's flickering at random.

    It's just not acceptable - I can't live with it (had to pull the dimmer out). If you are installing things for clients then it's not going to be acceptable for them either. If you notice these affects, clients will, and they won't be happy.
     
    ashleigh, Feb 13, 2012
    #5
  6. smashedpeas

    tobex

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Messages:
    728
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Since many of my clients invested heavily long before LED was invented as a domestic product I will eventually be upgrading to 4 channel Universal dimmers.

    The majority of the problems are
    - leading edge dimming (which I don't seem to find problematic)
    - residual current

    However, in some of these renovated older homes the power output is a huge problem because the ceilings are 3m+ high.

    So I have spoken at length with a number of suppliers and it seems to me that I need the following.

    - Universal or professional dimmers
    - High power output (15W)

    It is ironic that I would be installing high-end equipment into a situation where the current draw is so minimal. It seems more logical to me that there is a demand for a Unicorn called "8 CHANNEL LED DIMMER" which I mythically expect on the shelves any day now.

    Alternately, I can vouch for the idea that 0-10V dimmer is an alternative. The MR16 drivers we are all buying are not the intelligent type but rather a low spec and low quality product covered in lipstick and powder to look new.

    Once the industry shapes itself to handle the actual problem then we will see some great solutions.

    E.g.

    DIMMER ======== LED DRIVER HUB ----- LED1, LED 2, LED3
    CHANNEL......... .......................in parallel

    With the very small outputs being demanded and over 30 years of hard drives in the market ... I cant see why someone apart from Lutron hasnt realised that proper power supplies from the IT world work perfectly with a little but of sensing to handle either the signal form or 0-10V coding.


    I am happy with 15W EVO50 from Led Lighting. It has 8 flanges to choose from and even supports IP65 applications for showers and boats.

    But it will need a change of dimmer for long term operation (15 years).
     
    tobex, Feb 14, 2012
    #6
  7. smashedpeas

    smashedpeas

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Cheers all

    the 31CAP option I have seen mentioned a few times, the question is what are the drawbacks apart from presumably raising the capacitance on the circuit (which will probably not be an issue anyway seeing as it will only be used where I don't have enough loads to collapse the leakage Ie. 2)? Also where does one source these things and how much are they, I assume its just a capacitor and therefore not much.

    I priced a Dali or 0-10v solution as Tobex mentioned but it more than doubles the cost compared to the much less elagant 2 wire phase control solution even taking into acount the economies of scale Ie. shared power supply between multiple lamps.

    My (current) budget allows for about AUS$100 per fitting (up from about $50 :mad:) The Starburst looks like the perfect solution but unless I can get it down to $100 will be too rich for me.

    @Tobex those EVO units look interesting I guess you havent tried one on a universal dimmer? Are they easy to source,? I wouldn't mind testing one
     
    smashedpeas, Feb 14, 2012
    #7
  8. smashedpeas

    tobex

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Messages:
    728
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    The EVO50 will easily fit into your budget. They are easy to source and they come in 3 colours and 2 angles.

    They also have a wide array of very interesting kitchen and office lighting. I have known the owner of that business since 2003. But only recently did I go to him for LED.

    I havent tried the universal but you can immediately appreciate that 99% of dimmable LED prefer the trailing edge solution. Only a very small number can tolerate leading edge dimming which is more common in CBUS dimmers in the domestic application.

    If I was building a solution now I would go Universal and Relay modules only. The inconvenience of having to adjust and deal with leading edge doesnt make dollars sense. The lights cost about $39-$150 a pop. How many do you need to install before they cost more than the dimmer??

    So rather than skirt around the issue ... I will simply remove the offending dimmer if it is more than 10 years old. Even though it isnt broken.
     
    tobex, Feb 14, 2012
    #8
  9. smashedpeas

    Ben Hill

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Woree
    Hi, I put C-bus in my house 5 years ago and had exactly the same problem as you with flickering LED globes on the dimmers. I tried 3 different brands, but even if they had worked, the light quality was horrible. I found a company in Cairns called OZ Led Works that makes dimmable LED lights fully compatible with C-bus. There is no flickering and the lights dim down to zero/OFF. The globes are a GU10 fitting.
    I removed my transformers and converted to GU10 fittings. These lights are fantastic, warm white light, they match the look of a halogen globe and are a better light than the Phillip Master Series which I also tried.
    The guy's name is Dave and his number is 0412 213 885.
    He wanted $35 but I paid $28 per globe as I bought 20.
    I also got a 2 year warranty. As it stands now I will buy more. I will update on their performance but sofar so good.
    Cheers, Ben
     
    Ben Hill, Feb 14, 2012
    #9
    cona likes this.
  10. smashedpeas

    l60mcm

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    UK
    Are the bulbs just a generic homebrew brand that this company produce themselves or is there a make model number on them so I can try to source them myself in the UK

    Are you using a leading or trailing edge dimmer?

    What is the minimum amount of bulbs you have had per channel?


    Thanks for the info
     
    l60mcm, Feb 14, 2012
    #10
  11. smashedpeas

    Newman

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Messages:
    2,203
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Adelaide, South Australia
    It's just a capacitor however it has the necessary safety approvals for fitting directly across the line. You should be able to get them at your wholesaler. If they don't have them, they should be able to order them in. The drawback is that you can't use them with the C-Bus DIN Leading Edge dimmers as they put the dimmer channel over the maximum allowable capacitance limit of 300nF.

    These guys are selling the Crompton XL LED for quite a bit under $100.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2012
    Newman, Feb 14, 2012
    #11
  12. smashedpeas

    DarylMc

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Messages:
    1,202
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Brisbane, QLD, Australia
    Hello Newman
    Are they the same fitting as the Starburst?
     
    DarylMc, Feb 14, 2012
    #12
  13. smashedpeas

    Matthew

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Messages:
    249
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Adelaide
    LED's again

    Hi All
    Gerard Lighting offer one "MR16 equivalent LED" in 4 different coloured package's; The Crompton XL (blue), The Pierlite Starburst (orange), The moonlighting Sabre (black) and the Inlite (green).
    These are identical except for the colour of the driver box and the gimble / fitting they are supplied with. Oddly enough the Crompton which is the "cheapest" brand seems to have the best fixing.

    These as mentioned have good features and reasonable output.

    A better solution IMO and as Tobex mentions it the EVO50 from LED Lighting in Sydney. I have used 100+ in commercial applications, one LED per trailing edge dimmer and they were the best at the time (June 2011). Paid ~$88ex GST. Call them direct or through an Electrical wholesaler.
    http://www.ledlighting.com.au/EVO50.html

    The best solution for residential IMO is the Lumitex Barricade. This is the most efficient MR16 style LED, only drawing 13.5W total and the best light output I have seen and tested. This is independently verified here: "Barricade system efficacy, reaching 62 Lumens/watt". (SSL Scheme registered here: http://www.lightingcouncil.com.au/ssl/label_Detail.php?sslId=101 ). They say it is designed to work with the clipsal universal dimmer (rotary) which I would think would work the same as the c-bus one, but have not tested it myself. Paid ~$78ex GST recently. See their website for you local supplier (many electrical wholesalers)
    http://lumitex.com.au/files/Lumitex_Barricade_Brochure_July_2011.pdf

    Clarification: I am a independent sustainability lighting consultant, not tied to any of the above brands but have used all mentioned.
     
    Matthew, Feb 15, 2012
    #13
  14. smashedpeas

    DarylMc

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Messages:
    1,202
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Brisbane, QLD, Australia
    Hi Matthew
    Thanks for all that info.
    I'm sure it will be helpful to a lot of people.
     
    DarylMc, Feb 15, 2012
    #14
  15. smashedpeas

    smashedpeas

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Newman, Matthew, Tobex you guys are an invaluable resource, thankyou.

    so I've got a BrightGreen D900, an EVO50 and a Crompton XL on order, and now I'm going to have to order one of these Lumitex Barricades :rolleyes: as I'm intrigued by the claim they can dim to 1%

    I'll post a comprehensive comparison with them all on a c-bus uni dimmer when I have tested them all side by side.
     
    smashedpeas, Feb 15, 2012
    #15
  16. smashedpeas

    tobex

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Messages:
    728
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    I am hardly invaluable. I work very cheaply.
     
    tobex, Feb 15, 2012
    #16
  17. smashedpeas

    tobex

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Messages:
    728
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    I wanted to add a footnote to this matter.

    3m ceilings, dark floors, dark benchtops = almost impossible to get enough light.

    2.5m ceilings, bright floors, bright benchtops = everything looks better than it really is.

    The fall away in lighting is the square of the distance. So for every unit of distance we get a massive drop in perception of light.

    For example.

    2m of height drops the power of the lamp 4X to the floor.
    3m of height drops the power of the lamp 9X to the floor.

    So that implies we get 45% of the light from the same fitting due to the 1m height difference.

    But light itself is a perception not a volume. So we find that for the same amount of electrical output 4500K is 130% brighter than 3000K warm globes.

    This is because the colour temperature of the light itself is more neutral (closer to green) and therefore gives a more ambient light perception.

    The angle of the light is a two edge sword. A narrow 30 degree angle requires more lamps in the ceiling to give even coverage. A 60 degree angle demands a higher power output as the spread is larger and less light falls per on the floor.

    Gimbles help with this problem as they allow a symmetrical ceiling pattern while at the same time directing light towards the sink, oven and cooktop. Since they are elevated they can shine a beam over a persons shoulder into the workspace in front of them.

    The same applies to paintings, vases and various other fixtures in a room.

    If you are going to be working in an old high-ceiling room with dark floors you will be fighting all the way uphill to have it lit with 3000K lamps at 30 degrees and less than 10 watts per LED lamp. The only reason we even like that look in halogen is because that is what we are accustomed to. So we buy paints and fabrics to complement the existing lamp output.

    Along comes 15W LED with 4000K and 5000K lamps and suddenly it looks like the room is being lit for a retail store or a TV stage. LED lamps will throw peoples perceptions around. It will cause them to pick more interesting paintings with more vibrant colours and repaint the walls to white instead of off-white.

    The hardest decision to make as an installer is to determine if you need diffused covers on the LED. I personally think it is a bad idea so I have started to use recessed flanges instead of flush fittings. This gives the eye some place to look up at the ceiling without hitting LED directly in the eye and is more relaxing to the person looking across a room. They can see lamps but unless they are less than 30 degrees from vertical (overhead looking up) they will only see lit circles and no actual LED.

    Once a person stares directly into an LED it is like looking at someone welding. It dazzles and causes discomfort. You probably dont want that in your high-tech home.

    It is in my humble opinion a terrible mistake to pursue warm LED to match halogen. The halogen is a product which is more than 90% waste of energy and the reason it is so warm is because it barely converts anything into light. It is just a dull glowing metal.

    To make the transition possible I have said to everyone that we start in the kitchen. Then the family room and then the other parts of the house later when the technology improves and gets cheaper. At first we are taking the rooms that get used the most.
     
    tobex, Feb 15, 2012
    #17
  18. smashedpeas

    Ben Hill

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Woree
    I am using Clipsal L5508D1A leading edge dimmers. At the moment I have 4 LED lights on each channel. These are 8.5 Watts.
    Dave advised me that I can have up to 13 lights on each channel. Not that I need that for residential use, but it might be handy for commercial.
    I have just fitted one globe to see if it would flicker or strobe, but it was fine. I could fully dim down and ramp up with just one globe.
    I do not know how they have done it, he is pretty vague about how he is getting them made, but fact is that they do work great!.
    It's a quality globe with die cast metal heat sink and a ceramic base. There are 4 single LEds on the lens, but because it is a full glass lens it looks like a halogen when it is on. There is no part number or brand name on the globe.
    Regards, Ben
     
    Ben Hill, Feb 15, 2012
    #18
    cona likes this.
  19. smashedpeas

    l60mcm

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    UK
    thanks for the info. I must contact them and see if they can ship to the uk
     
    l60mcm, Feb 15, 2012
    #19
  20. smashedpeas

    Ben Hill

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Woree
    ------
    I understand what you say about trying to get warm white LEDs. The first lot I got, when I fitted them in my living room they were not only flickering, they were that yellow I thought my liver had failed (LOL).
    The way I came across the C-bus compatible LED lights I have in my house now was by chance. I was buying a watch for my wife at Princess Jewellery shop in Cairns. He is is the Rolex and Breitling dealer. When I looked at the lighting in his shop I was blown away to see they were LEDs. The colour and light was second to none. It was a crisp warm white. I asked the owner Peter where he got these lights from. He told me he had 2 years of reps giving him LEds to try, but none of them were good enough. He put me on to Dave. Bottom line is, if you go into a house or shop and the lighting looks great then buy that brand. Do not make the same mistake as me and try every single LED globe on the market. Best part is these LEDs work with C-Bus leading edge dimmers and I paid $28 each! All I can say is try one and see for yourself.
     
    Ben Hill, Feb 15, 2012
    #20
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.