Installed recessed light fixtures - Blown out 4 LED bulbs in 1 year

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Old 04-16-15, 07:15 PM
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Installed recessed light fixtures - Blown out 4 LED bulbs in 1 year

A little more than a year ago I bought a new projector for my living room, and decided to install recessed lights to keep the light from shining directly onto the screen. I have no formal electrical training, but after watching three or four youtube videos, I decided it seemed fairly straightforward, so I gathered my materials and got started.

There is a ceiling fan with attached lights in the center of the room. The lights are controlled by two switches, one on each side of the room. The fan is controlled by a single switch. I installed six cans in two rows of three on either side of the fan. I ran Romex cable from the box above the fan to the first can, then from the first to the second, second to third, etc. The fan and its lights are still operational, but I pulled the cord on the fan to switch its lights off.

When I had all the cans in place and wired up, I installed 6 specialty LEDs called Music Lites. They have integrated speakers so they can produce both light and sound for my home theater. They have a remote control that conrols brightness and volume via infrared when the wall switch is in the on position. I was very happy with this setup for quite a while, but then my karma ran out.

The problem is that one day when I flipped the switch on, there was a popping noise and I noticed that one of the lights was out, while the other five came on like normal. The dead light didn't produce any light or sound. Two or three days later a second light also blew out. I was pretty mad because the lights cost me $60 each and they were barely 1 year old.

I lived in semi-darkness for a week or two, then I found more Music Lites on sale online for $30 each, so I bought replacements. The replacements were in place for about two or three weeks and then two more blew out on a single flip of the switch. I didn't take note of which cans blew out the first time, but I suspect they are the same two that blew out the second time.

I thought about submitting the lights for replacement under the warranty, but my feeling is that the problem lies somewhere in my amateur installation work. I'm hoping someone here can help me troubleshoot this.

Thanks in advance for your advice.
 
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Old 04-16-15, 07:23 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

I would doubt it was an installation/electrical problem. I've never heard of those lights so I'll check them out.

I was going to recommend a dimmer but apparently they don't work well with a dimmer and they are dimmable internally by their own remote. That makes me wonder if you are supposed to leave them powered all the time and turn them off with the remote dimmer.

sylvania/assets/Documents/music lights Web Manual_.pdf
 
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Old 04-16-15, 07:43 PM
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I went to my usual sources to see what the users had to say. Most liked them and said they worked well. Some had some 2.4G clutter but that seemed to be a minor issue. Some had problems with several defectives in the first year. Apparently they are warranted for a year but customer service at Sylvania can be tough to navigate.
 
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Old 04-16-15, 07:51 PM
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Thanks for the quick response! That idea did occur to me when the first pair blew out, and I gave it a try for a few days, but the remote is tiny and it's inconvenient to try to find it in a dark room if you've just woken up and want to turn the lights back on first thing in the morning. If that's really how the engineers designed them to work, it was poor planning on their part.

Also, I forgot to mention in my original post, I have been having a sound problem with them recently. Every so often I'll be watching tv and the audio will stop abruptly, as if I've pressed the mute button on the remote. When this happens I have to walk to the wall switch, flip it off, then flip it back on to get the speakers in the lights going again. This has been happening for about the last month or so. I can't remember if it started before or after the second pair of lights blew out, but I just assumed the two problems were related in some way.
 
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Old 04-16-15, 08:32 PM
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These are new to me but I did read one thing..... the transmitter needs to be in clear line of sight to at least one fixture. (working bulb)
 
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Old 04-18-15, 01:44 PM
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The transmitter is sitting on top of the projector, which is mounted on the ceiling very near to one of the dead lights. That might explain the muting problem, but it seems that they should be always on or always muted, since the transmitter never moves.

I still don't understand what is causing the lights to blow out though. It seems unlikely to me that 4 out of the 8 that I've bought could just be defective from the manufacturer. Are there any common problems that cause light bulbs to blow out like that? Too much/too little juice? Loose wires or loose connection bewteen bulb and socket? Improper grounding? I'm hoping there's some type of troubleshooting I can do before I make a warranty claim.

I replaced one of the dead bulbs with a compact fluorescent to see if it will also blow out in that same socket. So far it's still going strong, but it's only been a day since I installed it.
 
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Old 04-21-15, 04:28 PM
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Some LEDs and also some CFLs will overheat in an enclosed ceiling fixture. They might not get as hot as an incandescent lamp but the electronics might not be able to withstand the lesser amount of heat that was generated.
 
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Old 04-21-15, 04:48 PM
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Heat is a typical bulb killer but those bulbs look to be designed to be specifically used in a recessed fixture. I would contact the manufacturer and see if they can shed some "light" on the subject.
 
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