Downlight Drama - we're in the dark



From: Fiona H

Hi all, we have some downlight dramas.

6½yrs ago, we fully renovated our PPOR. We installed low voltage halogen downlights from the local electrical wholesalers. Beaut!

Now, the globes are starting to fail and need replacing - thats ok except I cant get them apart. The paint on the unit has "flowed" and welded the little front ring to the back. So I have been removing the entire fitting from the ceiling - which doesnt do the gyprock any good in most cases! (we dont have ceiling access), bashing it with a hammer, and "de-welding it". Replace globe and away we go.

Except.... one that I have replaced has cactus'd again, already paint welded shut (in a matter of months) and I find upon removing the entire thing from the ceiling again, that the wires from the actual light, to the transformer have obviously gotten a bit too hot and one is broken. Hence no lightie workie.

On top of this, several of the key lights in the living room often decide to turn off and turn on again hours later. They didnt do this in the first year or so, but have since. We guess the transformer is overheating or something like that.

So overall a major disappointment and we are planning to replace the b*%&$y lot but dont know what to buy (we do like the halogen downlight lighting....)

If this had been rental property it would have been an electrical nightmare! Puts me off putting them in an IP.

Recommendations? Suggestions? What to look for???

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Reply: 1
From: Owen .

The only suggestion I can give you is there is now 240-volt halogens available. No more transformers. Just hook them up to your wiring and away you go.

They may be a replacement solution for you.


"Gambling promises the poor what property performs for the rich – something for nothing"
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Reply: 2
From: Terry D

Hi Fiona,
I would suggest that you check what is the maximum watts your transformer/s can handle.(Should be printed on the transformer)Than check the total watts of all halogen lamp hooked up to each transformer.(Should be printed on the globe) As these halogen globs come in all different watts make shore you are not overloading the transformer. Also check the globs are the right voltage also.
Hope this helps. If not get a sparky to check them for you, we wouldn,t want you place to burn down.

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Downlight Drama - we%27re in the dark

Reply: 3
From: Simon St John

Owen is right - if you get to the point of replacement, choose 240V hallogens instead.

The cost about the same to run (can you believe it - I thought 12V was supposed to be cheaper!) and you don't have the transformer causing overheating problems.

Also because of the lack of transformer, you need less of a cavity, which is something to remember when building.

I have chosen 240V in my new place.

Cheers Simon
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Downlight Drama - we%27re in the dark

Reply: 3.1
From: Adam Randall

If you put the 240v alongside a 12 volt you will notice a big difference in the colour of light coming out, 12v is alot cleaner and white. In my experience you get what you pay for, get th 4 halogens for $50 you get the problems, spend $40 each and you get a much more reliable light. Their is also electronic transformers with automatic switching for overload situations, available for about 20-35 dollars at bunnings
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