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Arlec LED floodlight autopsy after failure

Noyade
Trusted Contributor

Arlec LED floodlight autopsy after failure

Around three years ago there was a spate of thefts from backyards in my suburb. In an attempt to counter this for my backyard I mounted a 50 watt Arlec LED Floodlight (FLO55) from Bunnings on a pole facing the backyard.

In the end - I rarely used it. The backyard was lit like an atomic detonation.

 

Probably never used it longer that 5 hrs total.

But I tried it last night. Dead.

Thought it may be the lead - but no.

It was completely exposed to the elements but I thought IP65 covered this?

I took it down and with no receipt (I expected to die before it did) and performed an autopsy.

 

No loose leads/wiring. No water damage and very well sealed. In fact it was difficult to pull apart!

I was gobsmacked with the amount of electronics involved. Is this the problem with LED lights?

 

Spoke with a Bunnings staff member online - she suggested avoid Arlec and go with HPM or Brilliant.

Didn't Arlec use to make powered tools for Kmart, decades ago - badly?

 

Members thoughts?

 

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MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Arlec Autopsy

The circuit board and driver are pretty standard on most LED lights @Noyade. That circuitry and driver supply the globe with enough current to light it at the required brightness whilst also limiting the current to prevent damage. Compared to halogen/incandescent globes, there is a whole heap more going on that can potentially fail. Take, for instance, the Livermore Centennial light globe. It's been burning since 1901 and is rarely turned off. 

 

IP65 is suitable for most exterior applications and should resist direct sprays of water and rain. However, you can occasionally find moisture/condensation build-up inside the unit, leading to early degradation of components.

 

Mitchell

 

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Walter
Moderator
Moderator

Re: Arlec Autopsy

Hey @Noyade ,

from the picture, I can't see any component that has blown.

I assume that's a might big heatsink that it's connected on.

I'm not a fan of messing with 240v, but if you make sure it's not connected, `i'd run a multimeter across it and make sure there's connectivity.

My best guess is the LED's got too hot and something unobvious blew, even though they look fine.

I'd be inclined to send it to Dave Jones (eevblog.com) in Sydney. It might get a `'teardown`' and circuit video. 

 

He often analyses broken electrical stuff on his youtube video channel.

Noyade
Trusted Contributor

Re: Arlec Autopsy

Thanks gents. Mitchell, I think Livermore would have been ashamed of my Arlec's performance.

Nevertheless, I hobbled into Bunnings yesterday to replace it and budget wise I couldn't go past Arlec again. A lot of the competitors products were outta stock. Villains are on the increase?

I went with the Arlec FL 355.

 

Interestingly, the box comes with a statement saying the floodlight can be hardwired. There are screws on the back plate, but once removed I believe the front is still firmly attached by silicon required for waterproofing. There is nothing mentioned in the instruction sheet regards hard wiring.

So I rang Arlec and no one there knew anything about it. One person there thought it meant simply cutting the plug off and wiring from there. All very odd.

So I kept the plug. Kept the receipt. Now I shall count the hours.  :smile:

 

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MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Arlec Autopsy

I'll be keen to hear your results @Noyade

 

I suspect that in most circumstances if a qualified electrician was to hardwire the unit and there were no internal terminals, I believe they'd likely use the existing lead and connect it into a mains line via a suitably water-proofed junction box.

 

Let me mention @MikeTNZ to see if he has any thoughts.

 

Mitchell

 

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Re: Arlec Autopsy

Hi @MitchellMc , @Noyade,

Some LED light fittings can be a bit "funny" at times, a lot of the time there is often a small fuse or two on the circuit board where the mains comes onto the board.

Having one or both of these "blow" will render the fitting inoperative, this could be because there was a voltage spike on the circuit it was plugged into or it could be because there was a poor quality fuse link fitted during manufacture.

I'm not saying that this is the likely cause of why this fitting no longer works, but it seems very strange how none of the internal components look damaged.

I'm very hesitant to suggest that people should open fittings up and start replacing parts inside them when they've failed.

 

Arlec used to be a very good name in electrical equipment, it used to be sold here in NZ as well, I for years had an Arlec worklight that I used in many many roof spaces as an electrician and only stopped doing this after it got stolen by a plumber.

However, the brand is not what it used to be, unfortunately.

 

With respect to hard wiring something like this, I wouldn't personally bother, as long as you have a correctly installed IP-rated socket-outlet fed via an RCD protected circuit (you do have to have this, as it is outside), this is then electrically safe.

And it also means if the light fitting should fail, you don't need an electrician to come and disconnect it.

Noyade
Trusted Contributor

Re: Arlec Autopsy

Hi Mike.

 

"I'm very hesitant to suggest that people should open fittings up and start replacing parts inside them when they've failed."

 

Agreed. Once I reached for the ladder to remove this - I knew it was destined for the bin. I just like to look inside some things to determine cause of death - if possible.

 

 

ThePredator
Junior Contributor

Re: Arlec LED floodlight autopsy after failure

'Gobsmacked at the amount of electronics in it " LOL !   Do you mean you expected a lot more for the price you paid ??

I haven't pulled one of these apart but if you still have it check the electrolytics. 

I have an Arlec 40W worklight with a LED grid array and it does get very hot after an hour.

Noyade
Trusted Contributor

Re: Arlec LED floodlight autopsy after failure

Morning Predator!

 

"Do you mean you expected a lot more for the price you paid ??"

 

No - I was amazed there was electronics at all!

Dumb as I am I thought the 240V would go straight to the 'LEDS.'

I was thinking before opening - it maybe just a loose wire. 🤔

Noyade
Trusted Contributor

Re: Arlec LED floodlight autopsy after failure

Autopsy No.2

 

Sunbeam mixmaster that died in my wife's hands today.

The right mixy thingy kept falling out.

 

A quick autopsy with the assistance of my new Bunnings HART knife revealed a shattered plastic shaft that held the locking cir-clips.

 

Now in the bin.

 

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Poor plastic design?Poor plastic design?

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