Light Bulb burns out and kills Z-Wave Module


Postby demtron » Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:48 am

My Mother is disabled; so I installed a z-Wave lighting system. The system work great for her until the light bulb burns out. When the light bulb burns out it kills the lamp module. (This lamp plugs into the module and the module plugs into the wall) The Lamp modules are about $50.00 a pop. Is there anything I can do to protect it, as it is kinda of expensive to keep replacing.
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Postby ericmark » Sun Feb 14, 2010 12:51 am

Since you refer to $ you are not in UK I would assume? In the UK our lights because of the system that uses ceiling roses is protected by 5/6 amp fuse/circuit breaker.

The MK astral system uses Z-wave technology and I am sure will be up to date but many units which allow remote control of lights were designed before we all went green. So most can only be used with tungsten light bulbs and the new discharge lighting can't be used.

The old bulb had a problem when they reached the end of their life and failed they often had ionisation this would make inside of glass go black and would draw a very large current for a few micro-seconds so in the design was a fuse that would blow. However as the manufacture moved from UK to China these built in protective devices seemed to disappear.

The new CFU (Compact fluorescent Unit) also seems to lack these simple protective devices and with the BA22d lamp holder only being designed to take 2 amp where not on a 5/6 amp protective device they have been known to weld to the contacts and require the bulb holder to be replaced.

Using fast blow 500ma fuses on each lamp would of course remove the problem but fitting these is not really a easy option. One would hope that where fuses were required the units would contain them but in practice this does not seem to be the case.

We see in the UK dimmer switches for sale with a maximum wattage of 250W but no provision to fuse to 1A and it seems this is the price we pay for buying cheap bulbs from China. And in the main the switches are cheap enough to replace when they blow.

In Hong Kong they use very similar system to UK and at 230 volts current is quite low. But in the USA they use a lower voltage and much higher current. i.e. far more dangerous being a real fire risk. Also they wire their lights in a completely different manor. They also use different words and refer to "hot" where we call it "Line" so although they do speak a form of English once one gets technical it is nothing like real English and really to try to fault find on such an alien system and language would be asking for mistakes.

So where do you come from?
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Postby moechan » Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:59 pm

Hi Eric,

I saw that you mentioned Hong Kong and just wondering if you live here. I live in Hong Kong and have just bought some Astral z-wave switches. I also plan on using some z-wave dimming lamp modules so was wondering what precautions I should take when using CFU bulbs with a lamp?

Also do you have much experience with the Astral product line? I was just told that the dimmer cannot handle the dimming of dimmable fluorescent tubes. Do you know of any z-wave dimming switchs that work with fluorescent tubes?

Cheers

Moe
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Postby ericmark » Sat Mar 20, 2010 2:54 am

I am no longer working but I would always look to protect semi-conductor devices with a fuse not MCB as the latter is too slow with short circuit disconnection times. However with normal domestic supplies it is often not an easy option.
Wish I was still in Hong Kong but no back in UK North East Wales. I was VR2ZEP while there and looked forward each month to HARTS meeting.
HARTS = Hong Kong Amateur Radio Transmitting Society
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