LED pool light with solid core transformer?

AUSpool

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Can an LED pool light be run by a solid state transformer? It does work but will the old school solid state transformer reduce the effective life span of the LED light?

I thought LED lights require constant currant drivers. A solid state transformer would let voltage and currant fluctuations through to the light. Is it possible that there is a voltage and current regulator in the light?

This is a new pool with a new light that was supplied by the pool builder. I was really surprised when the old school transformer came out of the box. My sparky (electrician) was on site when it was installed an though that it was a bit odd.

I’m reluctant to use it as supplied. I want to get myself a driver to run it but they say the warrantee will be void.

Anybody have any thoughts? Any input would be much appreciated.
 

ajw22

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All the LED pool lights that I have seen in the USA have electronic circuitry on the boards for power management and to drive the LEDs. All they need is a simple 120V AC to 12-16V AC transformer.

While LEDS are reliable and last thousands of hours it is the board electronics that fails, usually from overheating. Heat management and dissipation from the internal electronics is the big killer of LED lights.
 

mgtfp

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I have retrofit LED lights that work with a wide range of AC voltages, in my case 20V AC from the old halogen lights transformer. All the electronics is inside the light - not surprising for retrofit lights, but I always thought that it's quite standard to make LED pool lights work with standard AC voltages and make the required DC drivers part of the light.

I reckon if pool lights were dependant on a constant DC voltage being supplied they'd be very short lived. Having a blip in the power supply e.g. by one light failing might instantly blow all the other lights. Much safer to have the fancy electronics part of the light and deliberately make it work with a "dirty" power supply. But that's just me guessing rather than knowing.

Do you have a spec sheet for your lights that specifies the required power supply?
 

AUSpool

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Thanks Allen and mgtfp,
Very helpful, just what I needed to hear. I kind of though they started with a container load of left over parts and engineered it from there but I had no knowledge of the LED specifics applied to pool lights. I retro fitted an old halogen with an ebay LED pool light and separate driver several years back and kind of thought it would be the same.

I still think it is a bit odd that the light must be operated at least once a week to prevent condensation, I thought the light were sealed units but I guess not.
 

mgtfp

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I still think it is a bit odd that the light must be operated at least once a week to prevent condensation, I thought the light were sealed units but I guess not.

I have these retro fit lights:

They also specify to operate them at least once a week, which I do. I have three of them, and not long after the official warranty period the first one failed. Luckily, I bought them at my local pool store, so I didn't have to deal with a quality claim myself, and I got a free replacement. A few weeks ago (about a year after the first one failed), the second light failed. Again, via the pool store I got a free replacement. Despite turning them on regularly, it did look like condensation on the inside, so that seems to be the likely cause of failure (but I didn't open them to verify). They are sealed, but most plastics are permeable for water vapour (in both directions). As long as there is some heat generated on the inside you reach an equilibrium above dewing conditions.

Generally, I am happy with those lights. But this statement in the manual about condensation needs to be taken serious.
 

AUSpool

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Generally, I am happy with those lights. But this statement in the manual about condensation needs to be taken serious.

I have one of the quantum WN series. I rang them today worried about the amount of information they ask for the product registration but I’m now thinking I should go back and register it. And yes, the driver is in the light. They are not totally sealed. They have a double o-ring seal for easy replacement but I guess that is their achilles heal. Hot, cold, hot, cold, vapor will get in. I think the easy replacement system causes the need for replacement.

I would prefer one that is totally sealed with an external driver. Dare I say, like my ebay one.

Its an LED light with fancy drivers that lives under water and the manufacturer knows that it leaks, they provide a procedure to mitigate it. :mad:
 
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mgtfp

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Not sure how mine are sealed. There is an extra compartment to connect the wires, which is o-ring sealed and filled with lanolin through a small hole that is being closed with a screw and another o-ring after the lanolin fill. That one didn't look like it got wet. Not sure how the main housing is sealed, probably o-ring.

Probably worth registering the lights if that extends the warranty. One thing to remember is that according to the ACCC, the obligation of a manufacturer to replace/repair faulty products at their expense doesn't end after their voluntary warranty period.

Here a quote from the "Warranties and refunds" guide from the ACCC:

Statutory rights are not limited to a set time period. Instead, they apply for the amount of time that is reasonable to expect, given the cost and quality of the item. This means a consumer may be entitled to a remedy under their statutory rights after any manufacturer’s voluntary or extended warranty has expired. For example, it is reasonable to expect that an expensive television should not develop a serious fault after 13 months of normal use. In this case, the consumer could argue the item was not of merchantable quality and ask for it to be repaired, even if the manufacturer’s voluntary warranty had expired.

I once used that when my electric lawn mower's motor died a few days after the warranty period ended. First, they didn't want to fix it, but then I just mumbled "... ACCC ..." and something like "I would expect a longer lifetime for a lawn mower from a reputable brand like XXX than 3 years", and their response changed to "just bring it in".

So, I totally agree with your last comment. They know there is a flaw and they suggest a work-around to avoid expensive (for them) replacements. My halogen lights (same brand) must have been 20 years old (came with the house) when the first one filled with water. So, they know what "the amount of time that is reasonable to expect" for their products is and what the customer expectations are, and shouldn't make much fuss when a light fails way too early.

At the moment I am happy with the lights as they allowed a quick fix when one of the old lights died, and I wanted to replace them with LEDs. When I finally get around to renovate the pool, I'll try to find something more reliable.
 
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