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Trouble with lights

Discussion in 'LEDs and Neon' started by blufftonsignguy, Mar 11, 2016.

  1. blufftonsignguy

    blufftonsignguy Member

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    I need some help understanding what kind of problem I could be experiencing. My company built a monument and utilized slimbrite letters. The problem I am experiencing is some of the lights are going out in the letters. I have had to replace 3 already (under warranty). I just replaced the 3rd one yesterday and less than 24 hours later, another is going out. The problems I am experiencing have been on 2 seperate panels and 4 seperate letters now. What could the problem be? There are 3 panels with letters on them with separate power supplies for each. If my memory serves me correctly, the power supplies are 12v/dc. My thought is inferior led's were used on this project or the manufacturer of the lights is experiencing problems all the way around.

    Your thoughts?
     

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  2. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    I would first check connections. if 2 are bright and one is dim that is the first place I would check

    we know its not the power supply. can you find out brand of LED and power supply? sorry not much help but when it comes to lighting there is no telling
     
  3. fixtureman

    fixtureman Member

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    The strip of leds in my laser has a problem where a group of 3 goes out but comes back every now and then the 3 are in the middle and the ones on either side stay bright. I have been trying to figure this out for a while.
     
  4. petrosgraphics

    petrosgraphics Member

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    what type of LED are they, strips, modules, etc. from the picture they look like strips. who is the manufacturer, also how long have they been installed.
     
  5. blufftonsignguy

    blufftonsignguy Member

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    Right now I will not say who the manufacturer is. The letters have been installed for 4 months now and yes they are strip lights. Each letter has 2 strips of lights in them. The only thing I can figure is it has to be bad lights. I am no electrician, but nothing else fits in the equation. I am waiting to hear back from the manufacturer now to find out what they are going to do about it since it is under warranty. With the problems I am having, I am thinking they should re-wire all 3 sets of letters (yes there are 3 sets). Each set of letters is powered by an individual power supply. I have had problems on 2 of the panels with 2 separate letters each. The third panel (hammer on wood) has not had a problem yet!
     
  6. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    if they do not fix amd replace you let us know who teh manufacturer is. dont be scared to mention this
     
  7. signage

    signage Major Contributor

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    my question is did you build the sign or did another company build it?

    Have you calculated the load for each power supply?

    Did you just buy the LED's and power supplies and wire them up yourself?
     
  8. ams

    ams Very Active Member

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    Could be an overloaded power supply, count the number of watts per LED and how many are attached to the power supply. It's best to never go above 80% of the max wattage of the power supply.
    Industry standard is a 60 watt power supply, but you can get a 100 watt UL listed one if needed.

    Check all wires going into the power supply, sounds like one or two may be loose and not making a good connection.

    Check the wire coming from the end of the LED strip to the power supply, if there are splices, it may be a bad connection. Never pull the wiring tight, make sure it has a little slack.

    If it's a really old power supply, it may not be getting enough power or it's faulty.

    If all else fails, strip everything out and redo it.
     
  9. blufftonsignguy

    blufftonsignguy Member

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    I sen them the file for the letters and they supplied what was needed for the job. I built the monument and panels.
     
  10. blufftonsignguy

    blufftonsignguy Member

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    I won't have a problem mentioning their name, i just want to wait and see what they are going to do about it. I am hoping they will stand up and admit a problem and fix it.
     
  11. blufftonsignguy

    blufftonsignguy Member

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    I am following what your saying and I don't think it's an overload of the power supply. All 8 letters on one power supply are only supposed to be drawing 1.4 watts if I remember correctly. None of the wires are pulled tight, all are making good connection in the box (letters are sealed), and no splicing of the wires. I guess to make it easier to explain think of this line as a string of lights that are all working in one letter (-------------).Now this is what it actually looks like in the same letetr (----- ------).
     
  12. ams

    ams Very Active Member

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    Can you provide a photo of the inside of the letter? Sounds like a loose connection in the module. I've had some if you wiggle the wire, the module would go out or all of them together and wouldnt work again if you wiggled it. Kind of like Christmas Lights. Manufacturing could have screwed up or a bad batch. But a photo would help the most.
     
  13. blufftonsignguy

    blufftonsignguy Member

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    The back is sealed so no I can't get a photo of it. They seal the back with transparent white vinyl then seal the wire hole with silicone. I just finally got some resolve and sent them back to the company after speaking with the VP twice now. I will see what they say when they get them tomorrow and diagnose what the problem is. I really wanted to open them up and see for myself what was going on in there, but I didn't want to void the warranty on them.
     
  14. petrosgraphics

    petrosgraphics Member

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    you have to insist on access to the modules. never liked the strip set-up. if they are LED modules *and you have a service issue you can just replace the module/ modules that are bad. * what happens with the set -up you had if you can not access anything without voiding the warranty. makes no sense to me.
     
  15. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    and also remember you can always test LEDs on your car battery
     
  16. blufftonsignguy

    blufftonsignguy Member

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    As far as I know, thats just how they do slimbrite letters. They are they led strips not individual models. With the font style they had to go with slimbrite and push through acrylic were my only options and push through was really not an option for this project.
     
  17. skyhigh

    skyhigh Major Contributor

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    I would say the "C" alone is drawing about 8-10 watt (judging from the number of LED's in the reflection). Althouh.... I would agree with you... I think the LED's themselves may be the problem.
     
  18. Westcoast Sign Guy

    Westcoast Sign Guy Very Active Member

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    First you're going to need to spill the beans on what mfg they are, we're all professionals here wanting to learn more and who to use and who to stay away from.

    There are all kinds of reasons as to why.

    I'm going to gamble and say their chinese, their constant voltage not constant current.

    When you use constant voltage then what is the voltage output on the line in operation? Less than 12v, 12.25? The slightest fraction of a volt above 12v can kill a system very fast. Which is a big reason why a lot of these LED mfg's say their products are only warrantied with brand X power supply, etc etc. Are you using a 60w PS?

    With regulated CC LED's where they are regulated, that +/- voltage won't damage the modules.

    We've been testing every LED mfg since 2008 and I would only use 5% of the LEDs we've been testing because frankly majority are Chinese, their CV and light degradation is awful. Very few put out enough light compared to conventional light sources, a nice bin, and last at least 15,000 hours with only 3% lumen maintenance, in fact contrary to their brochure marketing statements a lot are about 30% at 12k hours of operations, and of course a lot will depend on the wattage of the module. The higher the wattage, the brighter the module the more heat they generate, and we all know a chips worst nightmare is heat. It all boils down to a trade off, More light, less life, less light more life, and there are of course other factors involved that pro long life, but I've never seen a chinese LED module that's impressed me.

    Stay away from "Engineered in America, Made in China".....unless of course your the type of shop that likes to just collect a check and take off, but I don't believe there are that many that make that their business standards, that's my 2 cents
     
  19. ams

    ams Very Active Member

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    If they indeed used strips/ribbon LEDs, those things are the worst and super super cheap. If the connector is just barely slightly off, they won't light. You have can't touch them or they can disconnect. I would never use that manufacturer again if that is the case.
     
  20. Westcoast Sign Guy

    Westcoast Sign Guy Very Active Member

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    Just caught this part about ribbon LED's. That's the worst, definitely CV, and no way to dissipate the heat, especially if there is nothing metal for the strips to adhere too. The only time I would use ribbon is for a trade show booth where the usage is very low and temporary.
     
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