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Old 10-21-2011, 04:20 PM   #1
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Under-cabinet lights start dimming then go out


I just moved into a new house a while ago. 3 out of 7 of the under-cabinet lights' bulbs were dead, so I replaced them. I'm pretty sure I replaced them with G4-style 20W 12V bulbs. They worked great, then the next day I noticed some of them weren't working. There are 4 separate tracks of them, 3/4 were not on. Then later those 3 tracks slowly lit up again. Then I waited, and they slowly dimmed and then went off. This happens constantly even when nothing else is going on or off in the house. Why would this happen? Should I be using 120V bulbs instead? I thought the dead one in there before was a 12V...but whatever, maybe the previous owners used the incorrect bulb too. If they are in fact 12V I have no idea where the transformer is to get it from 120V to 12V.

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Old 10-21-2011, 04:22 PM   #2
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Under-cabinet lights start dimming then go out


Note: they are puck-style lights

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Old 10-21-2011, 05:36 PM   #3
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Under-cabinet lights start dimming then go out


If there are 3 x 20w lights together on one electronic power supply,
then that would explain the problem.
Faulty smps are common.
If you are electronically minded person,
then they can usually be repaired.
broken solder joints are common,
usually easily resoldered.
If you are not electronically minded,
just buy a new one, they are not expensive.
But you will have to find where the power supply is first !
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Old 10-21-2011, 05:51 PM   #4
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Under-cabinet lights start dimming then go out


Quote:
Originally Posted by dmxtothemax View Post
If there are 3 x 20w lights together on one electronic power supply,
then that would explain the problem.
Faulty smps are common.
If you are electronically minded person,
then they can usually be repaired.
broken solder joints are common,
usually easily resoldered.
If you are not electronically minded,
just buy a new one, they are not expensive.
But you will have to find where the power supply is first !
What are smps?
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:36 PM   #5
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Under-cabinet lights start dimming then go out


Okay, the pucks say 12W 20W which matches the bulbs. I have no idea where the power is coming from! The power wires disappear behind the cabinets. There are never 3 together.
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:37 PM   #6
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Under-cabinet lights start dimming then go out


Aha, I think this might be it!
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Old 10-23-2011, 01:18 AM   #7
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Under-cabinet lights start dimming then go out


Quote:
Originally Posted by djgrant View Post
What are smps?
Switched Mode Power Supply,
Its a fancy technical term for an electronic power supply.

And because 60w ones are common,
3 x 20W Lights can run off one.
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:16 AM   #8
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Under-cabinet lights start dimming then go out


I think the blank plate might be from an old wall mount phone jack.
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Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:16 AM   #9
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Under-cabinet lights start dimming then go out


Ok, now 3/4 if the tracks won't go on at all. I can find the power supplies anywhere! Any idea on where they might be hiding? Do you think someone is dumb enough to have out them in the bulkhead with no way to access them?
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Old 10-25-2011, 11:41 PM   #10
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Under-cabinet lights start dimming then go out


Anyone have any ideas on where to look for the power supply? I'm looking everywhere in the kitchen but I can't see them. Could it be inside the main panel? I haven't gone in there because I have been assuming it had to be in kitchen and it is annoying to take off front of panel.
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Old 10-27-2011, 08:30 PM   #11
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Under-cabinet lights start dimming then go out


Do you have to force the lamps in or bend the leads of the lamp to get them to fit? That would tell you they are in fact 120V not 12V. Or better yet, get a $10 volt meter and test the voltage. If you are using the correct lamp you may have a loose connection somewhere in the circuit.


So far as tracking down a junction box or a transformer check inside the cabinets, above the cabinets, basement, attic. You might even have to rip your cabinets off the wall, who knows what the last homeowner did.
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Old 10-30-2011, 12:41 AM   #12
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Under-cabinet lights start dimming then go out


Ok, so I finally found the transformers. There are 2 in there, each rated at 60 Watts. There is clearly one still working that powers 4 lights. The other must be broken and powers 5 lights. I had put 3 new 20W bulbs in that circuit so if the others were 10W then that is at least 80W which I guess was enough to fry it.

Now I need to figure out which one is broken and get a replacement I guess. Or replace the whole thing with something more powerful of possible.
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Old 10-30-2011, 01:32 AM   #13
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Under-cabinet lights start dimming then go out


100w electronic transformers are easily and readily available,
But a iron cored tranny would last longer !
It depends on space and or money limitations.
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Old 10-30-2011, 02:27 AM   #14
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Under-cabinet lights start dimming then go out


I'm looking at Eurofase's website and I'm seeing another version of this transformer that has "auto-stop". Anyone know what that is? Googling didn't help.
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Old 10-30-2011, 02:29 AM   #15
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Under-cabinet lights start dimming then go out


The one that seems broken emits a clicking sound and also it seems to get warm, whereas the other one that is working doesn't do either.

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