Replacing LED drivers

We installed two sets of suspended lights in the kitchen back in 2014. It was one of those things that we installed with every intention of “tweaking” at a later date. However, we never seemed to get around to it! On a couple of occasions we thought it could have been a little bit brighter in the kitchen.

I thought it would just be a case of changing over the light bulbs.

Screwfix stock some slightly brighter 12V LED MR16 bulbs. I thought it would just be a case of swapping the bulbs over. Simples. But no. That didn’t work. Well, it worked for one. But once all the bulbs were replaced, they all went very dim. Some of the new ones stopped working altogether!

Although the difference in the LED bulbs (4W for the old ones and 6W for the new ones) was minimal, it seem enough to tip the old LED drivers over the edge! A quick test with a volt meter showed that the LED drivers where outputting about 4-5V rather than 12V. I later wondered whether it was the defective LED drivers that was producing the dim lighting. However, by this point I had swapped all the bulbs over! I wasn’t going back!

On reflection, the old drivers were 7 years old so they hadn’t done too badly. The replacements were only £15 each on Amazon. Simply changing the drivers over fixed the issue of dim or non-working bulbs.

Replacement LED drivers
Two new LED drivers for the suspended lights in the kitchen. One driver for each row of lights. Each driver is rated to 60W, but there is only 5 lights on each row (each is around 6W each). £15 each from Amazon.
Replacement 12V MR16 bulbs from Screwfix. £8.29 each
New bulbs installed and now significantly brighter than before!!

Suspended wire lighting

We have just installed suspended wire lighting in the kitchen.  The ceiling is really too high to attach anything to the beams, so using a suspended wire system seemed like the obvious choice.

There are 2 pairs of wires – one along the line of the kitchen work surfaces, the other over the breakfast bar.  There are 4 lights on each.  These are 12v LED lights.  Each are 4.2W.  So we have about 17W of lighting on each pair of wires.

The cables are fixed to the wall using some oak mounting plaques that the joiner made.  The oak was left over from building the roof, so once these pieces of oak have been treated with Osmo, they will match the rest of the oak in the kitchen.

The suspended cable system is from SLV.  You will find the lamp holders here: http://www.slvlightingdirect.com/track-lighting/wire-12v-lighting-system/slv-181080-lamp-holder-adjustable-wire-12v-system-light-black.html.

This is the view from below.  Most of what you see is actually the outside of the light bulb.  It will be important to make sure that we have spares should we get any failures.  These are 12v MR16 LED bulbs.

This is the view from below. Most of what you see is actually the outside of the light bulb. It will be important to make sure that we have spares should we get any failures. These are 12v MR16 LED bulbs.

We have yet to get these powered up (our electrician has done with archilles tendon playing football), but hopefully we will get these up and running next week.

We have yet to get these powered up (our electrician has done with archilles tendon playing football), but hopefully we will get these up and running next week.

An oak "plaque" has been screwed to the wall, then the chrome fittings are fixed to the oak.  The oak was from the offcuts from the roof timbers, so by the time it has been treated with Osmo, it should all match.

An oak “plaque” has been screwed to the wall, then the chrome fittings are fixed to the oak. The oak was from the offcuts from the roof timbers, so by the time it has been treated with Osmo, it should all match.

The bulb forms 80% of the fitting (the plastic basket is actually part of the bulb).  We need to make sure that we have some spares, otherwise we might end up with some non-matching bulbs.  These are 12v LED bulbs that are rated for 25,000 hours, so hopefully it will be a while before we get any failures.

The bulb forms 80% of the fitting (the plastic basket is actually part of the bulb). We need to make sure that we have some spares, otherwise we might end up with some non-matching bulbs. These are 12v LED bulbs that are rated for 25,000 hours, so hopefully it will be a while before we get any failures.

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