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Old 06-24-2020, 02:07 PM   #1
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Default Light Fixture Driver and Light Engine Help

Problem:
I have a Cree fixture that I am constantly replacing in stores and the driver is built into the fixture and has no specs to it. Light engines always test okay, but the drivers fail and I then have to replace the fixture which is expensive in comparison to all the fixtures I can replace ballasts for.

Question: Is there a way to test what mA rating/voltage range a light engine wants to operate so that I can find a proper driver to replace the built-in one? I have called Cree and they are not helpful. They just want me to buy a new fixture every time a driver fails and I just know that is not my only option here.

thanks in advance for any assistance.
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Old 06-24-2020, 02:52 PM   #2
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Last cree product I had a problem with was one of their 6-inch trims. It was a discontinued model. I contacted them for a warranty replacement. They didn't have the old model to match the rest of them in the same room. Told him I could swap the two in the next room over out and have everything match. They sent me two trims to replace the one that was bad at no charge. Told me to toss the old one. They didn't want it back.
They usually have a pretty good warranty on their stuff. I'm surprised they're giving you a hard time.
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Old 06-24-2020, 03:00 PM   #3
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Last cree product I had a problem with was one of their 6-inch trims. It was a discontinued model. I contacted them for a warranty replacement. They didn't have the old model to match the rest of them in the same room. Told him I could swap the two in the next room over out and have everything match. They sent me two trims to replace the one that was bad at no charge. Told me to toss the old one. They didn't want it back.
They usually have a pretty good warranty on their stuff. I'm surprised they're giving you a hard time.
Sorry. I missed some info that is pretty pertinent. These are fixtures that have mostly have had their lifespan expended. I deal with the same fixture constantly because the store chains we work in have them all the time. It's not really a warranty thing because of how long they have been installed. When I called Cree they said they are discontinued and the only option is to replace the fixtures with something different. The company that pays for it just shops it until someone will give them a repair option which usually is a replacement fixture found in one's and two's found on the internet usually. They don't want to do a 60 fixture swap out to do a long term fix, they just want repairs. So far we keep up, but having options to repair from time to time would be awesome.

Thanks for the reply.
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Old 06-24-2020, 03:28 PM   #4
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When you say you replace failures at multiple locations, is there a high failure rate in specific locations? What percentage of the total fixtures of the same type have been or are being replaced? Were the lights originally installed at all the store locations within the same time frame? Were the fixtures purchased all at the same time then sent to the different sites?

I would do a group replacement at the sites with the highest failure percentage if any of them are really high.

Give the customer a full retrofit proposal so they can make an educated decision otherwise it’s service calls dujour.


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Old 06-24-2020, 03:33 PM   #5
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When you say you replace failures at multiple locations, is there a high failure rate in specific locations? What percentage of the total fixtures of the same type have been or are being replaced? Were the lights originally installed at all the store locations within the same time frame? Were the fixtures purchased all at the same time then sent to the different sites?

I would do a group replacement at the sites with the highest failure percentage if any of them are really high.

Give the customer a full retrofit proposal so they can make an educated decision otherwise it’s service calls dujour.


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Fixtures are 7 years old. I expect the drivers to fail. What I am trying to do now is find a way to replace a built-in driver with another one that works since the light engine still functions when tested in a fixture with a working driver. Full scale replacements are not an option. We have proposed this and hit a wall of resistance. I am also looking forward to seeing how to figure this out for future issues similar to this that I am sure will come up also.
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Old 06-24-2020, 03:37 PM   #6
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When you say light engine are you referring to the LED board?


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Old 06-24-2020, 03:44 PM   #7
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When you say light engine are you referring to the LED board?


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Yes. It is a linear strip with an internal jumper to the driver board.
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Old 06-24-2020, 04:01 PM   #8
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I can't say as I would not replace 7 year old LED chips. At 12 hours a day, they have over 30,000 hours on them right now. Probably not code compliant, but if you're looking to get the fixture working, buy a fixture with a similar length LED PCB and steal everything out of it. Retrofit it into your existing fixture. If the color is right, open strips, or shop lights are dirt cheap. Grab a few from Home Depot and pop the lenses off to see if they will fit
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Old 06-24-2020, 04:06 PM   #9
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I can't say as I would not replace 7 year old LED chips. At 12 hours a day, they have over 30,000 hours on them right now. Probably not code compliant, but if you're looking to get the fixture working, buy a fixture with a similar length LED PCB and steal everything out of it. Retrofit it into your existing fixture. If the color is right, open strips, or shop lights are dirt cheap. Grab a few from Home Depot and pop the lenses off to see if they will fit
The contract we have with this company is pretty much "fix it. we dont care about how long it lasts or if it even fails again in a year" I know it is dumb, but that is what they want. I have looked at the options of taking apart other fixtures to replace parts and it is a last resort for sure. I am just looking for whatever options I can get at this point.
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Old 06-24-2020, 04:19 PM   #10
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What kind of fixtures are these? Shop and strip lights are pretty cheap. If you don't know the exact color temperature of your existing lights, there are plenty of smartphone apps that will measure it for you. Most LED manufacturers cheat. The Kelvin number you get off of the fixtures, you'd be best off rounding down to the next lowest standard color temperature.
Cree soft white LED trims say 2700 k on the box and measure at almost 3000K.
It's not the app for the phone reading wrong. It's the manufacturer cheating. I've checked it against incandescent light bulbs and sunlight
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Old 06-24-2020, 04:25 PM   #11
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What kind of fixtures are these? Shop and strip lights are pretty cheap. If you don't know the exact color temperature of your existing lights, there are plenty of smartphone apps that will measure it for you. Most LED manufacturers cheat. The Kelvin number you get off of the fixtures, you'd be best off rounding down to the next lowest standard color temperature.
Cree soft white LED trims say 2700 k on the box and measure at almost 3000K.
It's not the app for the phone reading wrong. It's the manufacturer cheating. I've checked it against incandescent light bulbs and sunlight
The fixture is 4000k.

I didnt know they made apps to check the color temp. That's pretty cool. I usual eyeball it with decent accuracy, but it is not reliable in certain conditions.

The fixture is a Cree CR LE 40L 40K S HD There are alternate part numbers that work and the dimming feature is never used so if I get a non-dimming option it is still an option. That part should get you a good eye on what it looks like though.
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Old 06-24-2020, 06:06 PM   #12
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The fixture is 4000k.

I didnt know they made apps to check the color temp. That's pretty cool. I usual eyeball it with decent accuracy, but it is not reliable in certain conditions.

The fixture is a Cree CR LE 40L 40K S HD There are alternate part numbers that work and the dimming feature is never used so if I get a non-dimming option it is still an option. That part should get you a good eye on what it looks like though.
Just go bastardize a 4 foot 2 lamp strip light. Hell, around here I can get utility subsidized shop lights for 4 bucks each. Assuming your voltage is 120 or the cheap drivers in the shop lights do 277, you are good to go. 8 bucks and a little creativity and you're back in business.

You should have no problem parting out something like this
https://lithonia.acuitybrands.com/pr...lighting-needs
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Old 06-29-2020, 10:22 AM   #13
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Installing one today. Thanks @MTW !
Lithonia "2 lamp" led strip. 4500 lumens, 4000k driver is good up to 277v.
Pick one of these up. Gut it out and screw the parts into your cree fixtures. Write the bill and move on with life
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