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Author Topic: Puck Lites  (Read 5076 times)
Ace
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« on: June 04, 2006, 04:50:17 PM »

We have some puck lites we installed a while back that are the halogen type. We purchased some new ones that appear to be the same but are slightly different. They look the same anyway. Well, I plugged them up to an 110 outlet and they all work but... they are very low lite compared to the older ones we had. The older ones are very bright white where the new ones are more of a yellow and pretty dim. We tried them next to the old ones and it's an obvious difference. Ok the bulbs from the old ones say 120v 20 watt and the bulbs AND the package from the new ones say 120v 20 watt. NO difference! What gives?

Ace
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JerryH
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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2006, 05:26:30 PM »

Ace:

There's incandescent, xenon and halogen bulbs.  The first being not brilliant white, while the halogen is a brighter white.
Keep in mind total bulbs on run -- length of [wire] run, etc.

Here's a link to some bulbs from Seagull.  http://www.seagulllighting.com/Low-Voltage-Light-Bulbs.htm

Good luck,
Jerry H.
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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2006, 10:06:04 PM »

Just for some info-I bought puck lights (surface mount because of the heat) that are 20 watts at 12v.  The lines from Home Depot have a 120 to 12v transformer.  I just ordered replacement pucks (12 of them) and run them on straight 12v, and very happily so.  Good Luck, TomC
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JerryH
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« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2006, 03:47:48 AM »

I "think" some of these bulbs are 12 VAC rather than 12 VDC.
Jerry H.

Just for some info-I bought puck lights (surface mount because of the heat) that are 20 watts at 12v. The lines from Home Depot have a 120 to 12v transformer. I just ordered replacement pucks (12 of them) and run them on straight 12v, and very happily so. Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2006, 04:10:55 AM »

Ace,
  Between our house and our bus, we have used quite a few of the puck lights. We have both 12 volt and 120 volt styles (the 120 volt have a wider spacing between the wires that you plug into the base). As Jerry said, there are different types of bulbs. Ours came with Halogen, but we changed them to Xenon. The Xenon semm brighter than the halogen and are definately cooler. I just looked at one of the 120 to 12 volt converters that came with a set we purchased ot HD. The output is 12 volt AC. The bulbs to seem to care as we have these installed in the bus on 12 volt DC and see no difference in brightness or intensity.  When used in the bus are you using the 120 to 12 converter or running straight off the batteries?  Jack
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Ace
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« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2006, 04:44:23 AM »

Jack the 3 pucks we have in the BR under the cabinet were the first we got and they use a transformer and are very bright. The second three we got (from the same place) are exactly the same but they don't use a transformer and are just as bright as the first three. Now I purchased a set of 5 off e-bay, same color, same look, only glass is frosted and they use NO transformer. These 5 are very yellow. I tried to see if taking two or three of them off the line would increase brightness but it doesn't matter if it's one, or two, or five, they are still dim. I am not running these off the house batteries. The first two sets are hard wired in the coach and the third set, THIS dim set,  would eventually be but for now is just plugged into an outlet. We have the coach hooked up to 50 amp service here at the house!
Oh and the first two sets came from HD. I also changed the glass from frosted to clear by interchanging them and there is still no difference in breightness. I did notice that the new set doesn't get quite as hot as the older two sets but does get warm.

Ace
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« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2006, 06:10:22 AM »

I noticed the other day that Lowes had LED puck lights as well.  There were none lit up in the display so I don't know how bright they would be.

Len
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« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2006, 06:52:25 AM »

The set of puck lights I have (20 watt halogen) came with a "wall wart" type transformer that states an output of 11.5 VAC.

I currently have these installed over the kitchen counter and they are very nice when I have AC power available.

I am considering adding a few more in another area, and have been kicking around an idea to see if I could rig a set to run off my choice of either AC or DC.    I'd like to take a set of 2 or 3 lights and wire them back to a three position switch  (AC - OFF - DC).   In the AC position, it would connect the lights to the output of a hardwired AC transformer. I would use this when I had campground power, to save batteries.  When boondocking, I would throw the switch to DC, and run off the house batteries.   I know these are a little power hungry, but I would not be using them for extended periods.

So the question to the group is:  Can I find a puck/bulb style (halogen, incandescent, etc.) that will be happy with either 12VAC and 12VDC, possibly with dropping resistors if necessary?   [In case anyone wonders, I do not have an inverter.]
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« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2006, 07:27:51 AM »

Do you have an inverter/charger or just a plain battery charger while you are plugged in at the campground?

If so, then what you are planning is kinda an exercise in futility. The lights woiuld be running off AC campground power, thru the charger when you are plugged in.

 If you do not have a charger of any kind is the only time something like you propose would be feasable, in my opinion.

Richard




The set of puck lights I have (20 watt halogen) came with a "wall wart" type transformer that states an output of 11.5 VAC.

I currently have these installed over the kitchen counter and they are very nice when I have AC power available.

I am considering adding a few more in another area, and have been kicking around an idea to see if I could rig a set to run off my choice of either AC or DC. I'd like to take a set of 2 or 3 lights and wire them back to a three position switch (AC - OFF - DC). In the AC position, it would connect the lights to the output of a hardwired AC transformer. I would use this when I had campground power, to save batteries. When boondocking, I would throw the switch to DC, and run off the house batteries. I know these are a little power hungry, but I would not be using them for extended periods.

So the question to the group is: Can I find a puck/bulb style (halogen, incandescent, etc.) that will be happy with either 12VAC and 12VDC, possibly with dropping resistors if necessary? [In case anyone wonders, I do not have an inverter.]
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« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2006, 07:39:14 AM »

It seems to me that I heard somewhere that filament type lights (incandescent, Halogen, etc) don't care whether it be A/C or D/C, just that it is the correct voltage.  Gaseous lights (flourescent, Xenon, neon) are another story.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2006, 09:07:42 AM »

OK just what in the world are "puck lites?" Huh BK
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« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2006, 09:51:31 AM »

Futility is about the only exercise I get these days. Cheesy.

As mentioned in the original post, I do not have an inverter (to make AC from DC). I do have a converter/charger which makes DC while I am plugged into AC. I could go the purely DC approach, but was considering the AC because the converter is not large and I have several other DC loads (roof fans, stereo system, water pump, other lights, etc.)

My impression is that filament lights, unlike motors and electronics, can run off AC or DC if the proper voltage is used. What I am not sure about is whether a given bulb designed for 12 VAC would also be happy at 12 VDC, or would it need the DC voltage level "adjusted". With AC, the bulb is only getting 12 volts at the peaks/valleys of the sine wave, whereas the DC would be at 12 volts continuously. Would this over drive the bulb, causing it to fail quickly? Would something like the RMS value of the sine wave give a better indication of the proper DC voltage?

I was considering playing with resistor values, gradually lowering the resistance until the brightness was about equal to an AC light. But I've seen the electronics talent we have gracing this board. and they probably have my answers at their fingertips.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2006, 09:53:19 AM by WEC4104 » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2006, 10:04:02 AM »

The AC voltage that you get from the transformer or from an ac outlet and measure with a standard AC meter is the RMS value. That average 12 volt AC voltage is very similar to the 12 volt  DC voltage.  I do not think it really makes much difference to the light. These lights will not make a significant difference in your DC load and I really think you would be wasting your time and money to do what you propose.
Richard


Futility is about the only exercise I get these days. Cheesy.

As mentioned in the original post, I do not have an inverter (to make AC from DC). I do have a converter/charger which makes DC while I am plugged into AC. I could go the purely DC approach, but was considering the AC because the converter is not large and I have several other DC loads (roof fans, stereo system, water pump, other lights, etc.)

My impression is that filament lights, unlike motors and electronics, can run off AC or DC if the proper voltage is used. What I am not sure about is whether a given bulb designed for 12 VAC would also be happy at 12 VDC, or would it need the DC voltage level "adjusted". With AC, the bulb is only getting 12 volts at the peaks/valleys of the sine wave, whereas the DC would be at 12 volts continuously. Would this over drive the bulb, causing it to fail quickly? Would something like the RMS value of the sine wave give a better indication of the proper DC voltage?

I was considering playing with resistor values, gradually lowering the resistance until the brightness was about equal to an AC light. But I've seen the electronics talent we have gracing this board. and they probably have my answers at their fingertips.
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« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2006, 10:22:06 AM »

So the stated AC voltages are already the RMS value for the sine wave.  Hmm, learned something today. (Or more likely re-learned something I had forgotten.) Thanks Richard.

BK:   Puck lights are small lights about the size and shape of a hockey puck. They are often mounted under cabinets, where their low profile is a plus. Many are halogen, quite bright, but also can produce a lot of heat.  Have also seen them used for bus/RV ceiling lights.
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« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2006, 10:28:37 AM »

i saw puck style LED lights at a light shop i was at last week and they are really bright.  in my opinion LED lighting seems to be the smart chioce for a coach
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« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2006, 10:35:30 AM »

Yes, the other voltage rating  you are probably thinking about is peak to peak. This is 1.414 times 2 above the rms value.
Richard

So the stated AC voltages are already the RMS value for the sine wave. Hmm, learned something today. (Or more likely re-learned something I had forgotten.) Thanks Richard.

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« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2006, 08:05:11 PM »

I'm with bustedk, I've looked at a lot of lights and I've never seen puck lights? I bought some which are probably 4-5" OD but they are a lot larger than a hockey puck.

Are they called puck lights in the stores or do they have other names?
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« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2006, 08:10:00 PM »

Gus,

Most of the time they are called "Under cabinet lights"

Look at HD and Lowes.

Singles or 3-5 to a pack


Cliff
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« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2006, 08:49:52 PM »

Does the attached photo help?
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« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2006, 03:43:27 PM »

wec4101,

Thanks, now I get the picture!!
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« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2006, 06:58:13 PM »

No problem Gus, actually it gave me a chance to try posting a picture to the board for the first time (sorry for the large size).

I have had pretty good results with the puck lights, though they do throw pretty much heat. Recently I have seen LED versions, which aren't as bright, but certainly save on heat and power consumption. I found the link below has some interesting stuff, including LED puck lights and even LED "bulb" replacements.  The fact that I could drop LEDs into my existing fixtures is intriguing.

http://www.lightingfx.com/cat--LED-Lighting--LED

Enjoy!  WEC4104
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« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2006, 07:38:19 PM »

I can advise that the halogen puck lights will work fine on 12VDC. I've got 16 of the things mounted over windows, sink, and above the bed (reading lights). I've found them to be very power hungry. I've modified the sink 3 light assembly to funtion on just the center for boonying, and all three are nice when plugged in. We just don't use the units over the windows (ten units on two switches) unless plugged up.
My recommendation is to supply switching so that some minimal number of them may be used when not plugged in. The transformers are not necessary. We use RV style incandescent ceiling lights when no pole...they can be used one bulb at a time.
I don't think the halogens are any more hungry than standard RV or automotive incandescent light bulbs (1005).
I'd like to try the LEDs, and may get a few to play with. The halogens make a lot of bright light, and it looks cool as h%%#, but just cannot leave them on for any time unless plugged up.
I can add that they make a good bit of heat, so be careful that they are not mounted too close to anything that may burn or scorch. This would be another advantage of LEDs...they were not available when I intalled the halogens.
Don't see any reason to attempt to use 12VDC and 110VAC to power the same lights. Sounds like a potential electrical problem.
Bought mine with gold trim rings, which allowed for flush or raised mount, and paid about $30 for a 5 pack. Tossed the transformers.
Best, JR
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« Reply #22 on: June 08, 2006, 07:27:25 AM »

I can attest to the fact that something may scorch or burn.

I saw a beautiful 125' mega yacht that burned to the water line because of one of these lights. The light was installed in the ceiling and when a bedroom door was left open it was directly beneath the light and only a couple of inches away. The boar was not occupied over night and sometime during the night it burned. I think the yacht was valued in the 5-7 million dollar area. So be very careful where you install them. Particularly where a swinging cabinet door or some other item could end up directly underneath it.
Richard


I can add that they make a good bit of heat, so be careful that they are not mounted too close to anything that may burn or scorch.

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« Reply #23 on: June 08, 2006, 08:09:34 AM »

I've been playing around with different bulbs and now trying the xenon bulbs in the old original set of halogens that has the transformer. Susan thinks they are a little brighter. I don't see it but they seem to be  just a little cooler to the touch to me after being on a while! These are the bulbs with the 2 straight pins that are fairly close together. The other set has the two straight pins but further apart and larger in size. They are very bright but hotter and donb't have a transformer. The NEWest set has the larger bulbs but very yellow and no transformer. Funny but all bulbs have the same numbers and none of them are what I would call cheap at 4-5 bucks each and all do different things!

Ace
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« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2006, 04:32:20 PM »

Ace,

I was up at the 75 Chrome Shop in Wildwood Today and they have a lot of LED lights that could easily go under cabinets for

around 12.00 each.

I have replaced the puck light bulbs several times in my house and at 5.00 each the LEDs start looking cheaper by the second.

Especially since my house doesn't move or vibrate like the coach, and that is the enemy of any filament bulb. Wink

And none of the heat that the bulbs produce.

Cliff
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« Reply #25 on: June 09, 2006, 07:11:54 AM »

I have 8 puck surface mounts-five overhead in the middle in front and 3 on the right side over the dinette and sofa.  They each have 20 watt halogen.  While they work well and have only replaced 3 in ten years, they do get burn to the finger hot and pull more than I like. Went to lightingFX.com and while they make an LED replacement, the light output is nowhere near the halogen.  What they do have is Xenon direct replacements.  They are brighter, so I have three 10 watt on order to try them out and see if the boss likes them (we both like the brightness of the halogen).  If it is approved, then I've cut the draw in half and have cooler running lights (heat is always wasted energy).  By the way, the three shipped from Fla to Cal is $19.  Cheaper than in any store.  I believe the halogen were about $2 each.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #26 on: June 09, 2006, 10:22:09 PM »

Well, this has certainly been an educational string. Love this board!

It appears to me that LEDs are the way to go and are on my list to try out.  The halogen heat and current draw concern me a bit.
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« Reply #27 on: June 10, 2006, 04:41:55 AM »

I looked at one website that listed the LUX ratings for their replacement bulbs. Xenon where around 6500, Halogen were about 5000, and their LED were 655. I quess it depends what you are using the light. it doesn't look like the LED would work very well for task lighting and marginal for general lighting. Might to good for mood lighting. JMHO, YMMV. Jack
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« Reply #28 on: June 10, 2006, 07:13:49 PM »

I noticed the other day that Lowes had LED puck lights as well. There were none lit up in the display so I don't know how bright they would be.

Len


The ones that come from Lowes in the 3-pack have 5-LED lamps in each. They are 24 volts Only and don't care about polarity due to built in diodes. Pretty neat little circuit board inside. Many possibilities for remounting.

They are very directional and I use one of them as a down light to put light down on the steps. aimed carefully with a small duct-tape shield it does a good job and doesn't glare on my LCD tv that sits across the front overhead.

I use the factory supplied transformer by default (24 volts) just cause it's there. But I have tried them with the bus 24 volt supply and they work fine. I am thinking of using a couple to shine into the gauge holes on the dashboard since I keep losing the backlights...
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« Reply #29 on: June 11, 2006, 01:55:48 PM »

Jack, thanks, now I'm back to halogen but, boy, do they get hot. My daughter has some under her kitchen cabinet and they heat the cabinet wood above the light! I may rig up something to make them stand off the wood a bit. for ventilation and cooling.

I've noticed that LED flashlights don't give much light so your research results make sense.
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« Reply #30 on: June 11, 2006, 03:38:56 PM »

    We replaced our halogen bulbs with Xenon bulbs. They are a whiter, slighlty brighter, cooler bulb.  I think we found the replacement bulbs at HD, but they can probably be found cheaper on the internet.  Jack
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« Reply #31 on: June 11, 2006, 04:19:51 PM »

I didn't see any Xenon bulbs or lights in HD but they would be better with more light and less heat.

I presume they cost more too?
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