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Posted By Topic: Ceiling LED lights

Sep 04 2019 15:11

Anyone know of a decent source of these but not as sealed units. We've been fitting Phillips sealed units for a few years and at about 4-5 years are getting unhappy clients demanding that we replace them as they can't swap the bulb out. So instead of say a new GU10 LED bulb at $10-ish, we hit them with a $100 bill to supply and fit a complete unit.

I guess it's the new consumeristic world but realistically, from the customers point of view, our trade is ripping them.

Sep 04 2019 17:12

I think you will find in 99% of the time the driver has failed not the LED fitting and if you change the driver the light works again. Much better than changing a GU10 lamp every 2 to 3 years if the fittings normally last 8 to 10 years or longer. I never used the phillips because I hate their connections but ambius and other brands have done well for me. As to $100 for changing 1 light well I am not surprised they complain.

Sep 04 2019 17:32

We had a bunch of LED failures in a batch of oyster lights. They weren't sealed - supply connection is internal - so I tested some, the drivers were all fine.


Sep 04 2019 17:37

Maybe you should be talking to Phillips or your supplier if they are only lasting 4-5 years.

Presumably you are talking about recessed downlights (your post isn't clear) - but most of the professional units should have a 3-7 year warranty. Voltex downlights all have a 7 year warranty, which includes labour costs. They range from $15-$25 depending on the model and wattage.

Your $100 charge for a single light change isn't unusual once you add in travel and minimum labour etc.

At $15-25 per unit, a customer could have spares and change themselves as it's a plug-in fitting as well.

Sep 04 2019 17:44

Yes recessed downlights.
Driver is integrated and not accessible.
Phillips not interested,apparently anything over 4 years is considered a bonus.
Wouldn't really want to encourage home-owner to change their own as not plug-connection. But even 7 years is hardly OK when some of the places we work in have 40 units installed.

Sep 04 2019 17:45

which is why installing units with GU10's in them seems a better idea. I can see that the goodwill cost to us will be high with these things.

Sep 04 2019 18:17

Maybe a TCO calculation is required?
I haven't done one myself as yet.

Sep 04 2019 18:25

Have a look at Visionary Technologies, they have 7 years/50000 hours warranty

Sep 04 2019 18:37

Unfortunately I have given up on expecting anything electronic to last more than a few years. All the hype when LEDs first came out has not really amounted to much. We're into 5 generations or so of models & they still aren't much more reliable. It's a bit embarrassing when the LED battern you've put up a year ago fails while the 1980s fluoro beside it is still trucking along. I actually supply lighting direct downlights now as their customer service is so good that if they fail I get paid to replace them.

Sep 04 2019 18:38

So even if they all managed to last 7 years, in a house with 42 units, we'd be replacing at least one unit a month.

This ain't OK from the clients point of view - as these are not consumer fixable unit and as my client here asked me "why should I pay you $100 every few weeks to come and do what I used to do with bayonets?". He's right - we've moved them from the old bayonet bulb units to fancy LED units that they can't fix themselves with built-in redundancy which surely is not good for our goodwill.....

Sep 04 2019 18:47

7 years is just the warranty, but the have a life span of 50000 hours, which in a domestic setting is what, 15 years?

Sep 04 2019 19:32

I use Switch Lighting wherever possible. They are more expensive than a lot of other brands but the quality remains after the price is forgotten. Of the small handful of issues I have had, their support has been superb.

I haven't read any recent TCO studies but from memory they have always been in favour of LED. Going back to bayonet or E27 downlight fittings would never be an option for me personally.

Sep 04 2019 19:42

Sure WillJ but we are getting failures after 4-5 years in significant numbers - must get the girlie to do some figure digging tomorrow but off the top of my head, I'd say that 10% are failing within 5 years (ie 18,000 hours). Wasn't an issue with the old 'bulbs' and didn't need one of us to fix!

Sep 04 2019 19:48

I've done the 30 second maths for you.

75W lamp, 50,000hrs, is between 25 and 50 replacement lamps @ $1 each?

But on the power side.

10W LED = 500 kWh = $125 @ 25c/kWh
75W lamp = 3,750 kWh = $937.50 @ 25c/kWh


Sep 04 2019 19:57

Sure the day to day running costs are a no-brainer but factor in the serious goodwill cost of having to keep attending to replace complete units and we pay the price.

My original query was does anyone know of a decent source of these that take a GU10 or somesuch LED bulb?

Sep 04 2019 21:00

Maybe Superlux

Sep 04 2019 22:21

Install surface sockets and fittings with plugs. Then the customer can arrange to change them themselves. A lot of led down lights come with some flex and a 2 or 3 pin plug

Sep 05 2019 13:13

Yep I suggested that but the clients answer was "why should I pay $50/unit every 5 years when I used to be able to get a new bulb for $2?". Haven't yet composed my answer to that one!!!

Sep 05 2019 14:00

As per my reply above regarding the lifespan and cost benefit.

40-50,000 hrs lifespan, is 13-17 years at 8hrs every day.

Unless they are using them commercially, I would be questioning the manufacturer if you're only getting a few years out of them. And getting them replaced under warranty or the CGA if non-commercial.

Sep 05 2019 14:09

I happened to be checking on some specs for Voltex brand LED down lights yesterday and asked how many come back within the 7 year warranty. Reply was very few.

Sep 05 2019 14:30

I would steer clear of phillips just because i think there products are like there connection blocks. Voltex seem to last forever and if you put in a bubble plug the home owner can get another downlight from bunnings when it finally fails and plug it in them selves. I have also found Hugo, Switch & Visionary Technologies to be very good however there lights are all hardwired

Sep 05 2019 14:42

ppaw1965 is on the money with there comment

Sep 05 2019 16:50

problem is is a gu10 fitting can take an old halogen light, therefore is unlikely to comply as a new install, yip, led's don't make heat but there's nothing stopping someone putting in halogens....

Sep 05 2019 17:26

Would that be a problem?


Sep 05 2019 21:31

Because CA80 or 90 is pretty much the minimum standard allowed. So being able to change the lamp type, is going to invalidate the rating of the fitting.

Sep 06 2019 03:28

So socketed fittings that can take a halogen obviously require clearance. Cooler running LEDs will last longer too.


Sep 06 2019 10:18

even if you have a removeable led in a fitting it needs to be able to take a halogen, as it's quite likely someone will fit one at some stage. i'd doubt there;s anything on the market that will take a gu10 now, in a domestic install. going back to the original issue, I'd be replacing whole rooms at a time as they would have similar life spans, instead of $100 per fitting.and point out the cost they've saved in the led choice far less the better light than before.