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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06-27-2016, 10:39 PM
Join Date: Jun 2016
USDA Zone 6
Posts: 2
KenLenard is on a distinguished road
Question about mixing LED and old-school lights

I'm glad I found this place. Thanks in advance for reading this. Here goes...

I have a large transformer in the basement that was here when I moved in. Malibu and the output shows as "500 VA". A line of 12 gauge wire runs up and out into the backyard. It's about a 140-150' run and there are 11 lights on it. It used to be all old-school bulbs. There are some shrubs where the old-school lights looked a little dim and instead of getting larger ones, I picked up 4 LED lamps with 3W bulbs. They looked great on the line. So the line was 4 old-school fixtures, then 4 LEDs and then 3 old school lamps at the end. I noticed at some point that the last 3 lamps were dim now. Someone I spoke with said that combining old and new was fine but mixing them all over may cause trouble for the transformer. So I ordered 3 new LEDs. I put the first of the three on and it started to flicker. I took that bulb out, connected number 2 and both of them were okay. Then I installed the last one (a spot) and it flickered. I figured that if the first one flickered when it was "the last one on the line", maybe I could fix the spot (now the last one) by adding another length of 12-gauge which might trick the pack into giving the last lamp a bit more juice. That was a complete guess and it worked! For one night. I sat out there last night and all the lights were on and perfect. I went out tonight and the last lamp is flickering again. What am I doing wrong here? I don't mind the cost but the LEDs are pretty steep. $176 for three fixtures this last time. Do I need to now replace the first 4 lamps in the run which are all old-school fixtures? Sorry for the long post and thanks again.
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Old 06-27-2016, 11:09 PM
Join Date: Jun 2016
USDA Zone 6
Posts: 2
KenLenard is on a distinguished road
A couple other things... the 4 remaining incandescent bulbs are using bulbs between 18w and 20w and the rest are LED so I don't think there are too many fixtures for the box. Also, when I saw the last LED spot blinking tonight, it was very dim. I went into the basement and turned off the transformer and turned it back on. I went back outside and the spot is brighter now and instead of flickering, it just blinks every once in awhile and it's bright. Then I went back out there and sat next to it for about 10 minutes and it's on and solid now. So clearly something is unstable. I read the other thread about the guy who can only get the line to work if one incandescent fixture is connected so I'm a little perplexed at what's up. Also, these LED lamps I picked up are Top Dog and I got them at Volt Lighting online. They seem quite nice, heavy and solid. Thanks again.
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Old 07-03-2016, 09:06 AM
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Austin, Texas Hill Country
USDA Zone 8
Posts: 10
NightScenes is on a distinguished road
There are a couple of things you need to check. First, is the transformer magnetic or electronic? Magnetic transformers will work fine for either halogen or LED but electronic transformers and LED do not play well together. Then you also should check the voltage operation range of the LED products you're using and make sure the voltage at each LED fixture is within that range. I hope this is helpful.
Paul R Gosselin, CLVLT
NightScenes Landscape Lighting Professionals
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 05-31-2017, 11:00 PM
Join Date: May 2017
USDA Zone 3
Posts: 1
bigcmaple is on a distinguished road
I dont understand why you are mixing them. Just go full on shoukd try out some of these options.
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