Problem withLow Voltage Linear Lighting Systems

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Old 12-10-07, 12:56 PM
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Problem withLow Voltage Linear Lighting Systems

I have a Low Voltage Linear Lighting System for my under-cabinet lighting in my kitchen. Basically, this system is a two conductor low voltage wire that is strung from a 12 volt transformer in series to each cabinet with lamp holders attached at prescribed intervals. The lamp holders are attached to the underside of each cabinet and the two conductor wire is pressed into the lampholder and each side of the wire is pierced to provide power to the lampholder. Then the bulbs, called "festoon" bulbs, are pressed into the lampholder. These lamps look like buss type fuses.

My problem is that at times not all of the lamps come on. There are 18 lamps in my system and at any given time as many as three lamps don't come on but when I tap them with my finger, most of the time them come on with one of two taps. Sometimes I have to remove the festoon bulb and reseat it to get it to light.

Anybody else have experience with this type of problem?
 
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Old 12-10-07, 07:29 PM
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Is the total wattage of the lamps less than the wattage rating of the transformer?
 
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Old 12-11-07, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by John Nelson View Post
Is the total wattage of the lamps less than the wattage rating of the transformer?
Thanks for the reply John...

The transformer is a 250W supply, the festoon lamps are 10W each and there are 18 total lamps. When I do the math my load is 180 watts total so you would think I'm well within the limits of a 250W transformer.

So, I took your thinking a step further and eliminated one lamp. To my surprise, the problem seems to have disappeared!

I'm going to watch it for a few days and see if the symptom returns.

Thanks for getting me heading in the right direction.
 
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Old 12-11-07, 06:08 PM
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Another factor is the length of the run. Most low-voltage systems put a maximum number of feet of cable you're allowed to use. That's because there is wattage consumed in the cable as well. This is magnified if you use smaller cable than recommended, so also check that you're using the recommended wire gauge.
 
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Old 03-16-08, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by John Nelson View Post
Another factor is the length of the run. Most low-voltage systems put a maximum number of feet of cable you're allowed to use. That's because there is wattage consumed in the cable as well. This is magnified if you use smaller cable than recommended, so also check that you're using the recommended wire gauge.
I've been watching this for several months now and since I eliminated one bulb and I have not had any more problems. I didn't realize how sensitive linear low voltage lighting really is. The wire length is a factor and the number of bulbs is a factor when designing these systems. These lighting systems must be exactly balanced to work properly. My son installed the same type of system for his patio and deck and his problem is that he's always burning up bulbs. We think that by adding more bulbs, we will solve his problem.

Thanks for your help!
 
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Old 03-16-08, 05:36 PM
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Just becarefull with low voltage system they are very senstive with voltage senice you mention your son have alot of burnout bulbs that is surefire sign that is mean the voltage is higher than it should be and do not overload the low voltage transformers [ some have thermal switch to kick out if get overloaded or overheated ]

you should able check with the voltmeter on the LV side it should be no more than 14 volts the top on 12 v circuits typically 12~13 is fine but anything over 13 is kinda pushing the limit of the LV bulbs but once you get over 14 it will really shortlifed them pretty fast espcally if they are near the transformer which it will be slightly higher on puropse to comprised with the voltage drop.

Merci,Marc
 
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