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Thread: LED Ceiling mounted lights surge protection

  1. #1
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    LED Ceiling mounted lights surge protection

    Good day boys and girls

    A client phoned me about two lights that stopped working in his braai area.
    The LED lights are an ad on to an existing installation
    The lights he bought online for R50 each. The lights have a LED strip and a two wire transformer with no earth point.
    When removing the lights a black spot was visible on the new plastic ceiling where the lights were.
    My questions are, if the steel base of the lights were earth, could this have been prevented?
    Secondly the area the house is in have power problems due to surges, power ranges between 200V and 240V depending on the day of the week and time the power was measured
    Are lights bought at an online store necessary safe and do they adhere to our safety standards in other words are they safe to use and install?
    Any advice is welcome especially on preventing surge damage to LED lights


  2. #2
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    planet earth
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    Look ta the Pioled range ... the more expansive units have a level of surge protection.
    Comments are based on opinion...not always facts....that's why people use an alias.

  3. #3
    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Cape Town
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    Can you give us a picture of the black spot they left on the ceiling?

    A gradual supply voltage variation due to distribution network load wouldn't usually be classed as a 'surge' and wouldn't be corrected by installing surge protection. The official range of supply voltage permitted is 230v plus/minus 10% so between 207 and 253 volts....assuming they haven't revised the figures since I last looked (maybe someone can confirm). The 200 volts that occurred is a little on the low side but given the piss poor state of our supply grid is pretty much the norm nowadays. The problem is that if there's 240 volts during low load times the supply authority will be loathed to change the supply to a higher transformer tap because this upper voltage figure will also increase and will present a whole new set of problems.

    Most SA based suppliers sell equipment that can work with unusually wide supply voltages because they know from bitter experience that not doing so will result in a very high rate of failures and warranty returns. It's not unusual to see LED drivers sold locally that have a stated input voltage range of 100-250vac for example. Problem with buying from overseas mail order suppliers and drop-shippers is that they may not have such a high input voltage tolerance and will be more likely to be problematic with our unruly supply voltages.

    As for the safety aspect, all lights sold hear must by law conform to our safety standards. That said there's very little policing of these laws so it becomes economics driven where the purchaser usually pays as little as possible and sub-standard and unsafe items are being sold by mail order and by brick and mortar shops alike. The fact there's no earth termination on an LED driver doesn't necessarily mean it's unsafe although even if it is a classII device the lack of CPC terminal would be a big clue that there's no internal surge protection.


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