led lights question - ac/dc at every socket?

doofusDecember 14, 2009


Some time ago I asked our electrician to make our recessed "highlights" as LEDs (about 50 total throughout the house). The time has now come to order the actual parts, and I'm surprised, that he is saying, I must order the LR6C, which are quite expensive.

It appears, the price is due to the fact, that each of these units has its own AC-to-DC converter built-in. This may make sense for a retrofit, but this same electrician was rewiring the whole house  so why not install a single converter somewhere instead of solving the problem of conversion (and the accompanying heat-dissipation) at each of the 50 locations?

It may be too late for that now (the sheetrock is up and being painted already), but if it is not, what are my options? Are there off-the-shelf LED-lighting products, where the conversion is done in a single location per room (or per floor or per house) and then simple and cheap bulbs wired to that?

Thanks! Yours,


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$80 is not a large cost for what you have got into doing LED. Which should be a good investment anyway. Any product running multiple lights (which I do not know of) would probably be similar in cost anyway. It is simple to use conventional 120 volt light switching with branch circuit wiring than trying to run separate low voltage circuitry and special switches to control a separate LED system. The juno product seems to be what is used for new construction and retrofits. Even with out the converters, the LED lamp portion would probably be near $40. They are not intended to change out, pretty much relying on the LED warranty to provide 15 years of light which if they later quit, the converter has to be replaced.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2009 at 12:43PM
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Even with out the converters, the LED lamp portion would probably be near $40.

That is a substantial difference considering, that the AC/DC transformer need not be expensive. If a room has 8 recessed downlights, installing a single transformer into a wall (say, between the beams above the light dimmer) would be fine. The cheapest recessed LED downlight today is about $80 Â my room of 8 would cost $640, instead of $320 for LEDs without a transformer in each. If a separate small transformer was even $200, I'd still be well ahead... Heck, why is not there a single-gang sized transformer, with the dimmer (or switch) control outside?

On its input there'd be 110V AC, and its output would be DC Â as much as the dimmer is set to... It could be used with the existing wiring ("retrofit"), because, if the switch-to-fixture cables were good enough for the 60-200Watts of an old incandescent bulb (the puny 10A-rating means 1100Watts!), they are certainly good enough for the low Watts of the LED fixtures.

How do we get Steve Jobs interested in designing a beautiful, safe, economical, and ergonomic iDimmer®?..

    Bookmark   December 15, 2009 at 6:31PM
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