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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In 2008, I bought a bunch of LED floods from Minion's Web. The colors were fantastic but the technique I used to protect them from the elements was not. They are outside for a month. I hot glued the lenses back on that fell off a few but several of the bases started looking rough and cracking. I pulled a bulb out last night to try on a new prop and it was coming apart. Corey has closed up shop so I can't get replacements from him and I am confident things have evolved significantly in this area. I also purchased several Feit LED bulbs in various colors yesterday and they were all lame compared to the color rendition from these bulbs. Obviously these have a bunch of LEDs so it makes sense that they would be more saturated.

Can I remove the base and repair it or wire it up directly to a wall wart like people are doing for the mini-spots or are they toast? If they are toast, does anyone have a recommendation for another fantastic light? I have to pull all of them out to check and while this is the worst one, several are heading down this path.... Can't believe it actually worked on Halloween like this but it did.

The plan to protect the bulbs from rain has to be scrapped and redesigned as well....

21505
 

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Different 'Corey' for the record, lol!

Guess my preference is always to repair when possible. Especially Halloween stuff I only need to press into service for a max of 1 month, min of 1 night! Though you know how that turns out with Fogduino and other projects!

Looks like you might be able to use some epoxy to seal those two parts back together. Any epoxy listed for glass and metal would be great. My preference would probably be something like JB weld, but that's likely overkill. There may be some fine wires inside, so be careful not to break them or get them twisted / crossed. A big blob of hot glue might even work, but that would depend on how much heat the LED bulb generates and would hate to see it slowly ooze back into two pieces!

As far as hooking to a wall wart, that might be an option too, though looks like initially, that bulb is made to screw into a standard 120v socket? So likely a small circuit inside to step that down to 5-12v, or what ever the LED needs to work. So that opens up a whole additional can of worms in finding out what DC voltage the LED would need, and if any current limiting is needed. Would probably be far easier and convenient just to stick with the original set-up.

As an example, the 'fire and ice' bulbs I converted last year ran off ~40 volts DC which would be hard to find a wall wart for. But overall, looks like that should be a fairly easy fix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Stick, sorry to hear you had the same experience. Did you just buy regular LED floods at the local big box and put the gels on them? It seems like the ones I have seen all have a frosted lens and I would think you would lose the intensity of the light with that? Where did you get them and do you remember which gel colors were the closest matches? Thanks for the link BTW, the colors are gorgeous!

What did you do to protect them from the elements? I got the cord and vampire sockets from him also and used a roof boot (its for pipes coming out of the roof, not sure that's the correct term) with thick black plastic draped over the large side with a hole for the bulb front to stick out and then draped over the back where the socket was up against the hole so rain would just run off the sides vs into the bulb. Thought I was so smart.... Yeah, that didn't work although this bulb was in a different and way more exposed setup.

Corey, I am all about repairing as well but the piece that cracked is so fragile its almost like an eggshell. Oddly, the orange one I shared a pic of no longer works. Halloween night was great but when I pulled it was the final straw apparently. All of the bulbs in their boxes are in the middle of my great room floor now so I can go through and check all of them. The couple I've checked so far aren't destroyed like the one I showed but I have quite a few to go through. That piece is definitely the failure point. I'm curious if I could paint epoxy or something over this fragile section on the ones that are still ok and reinforce it to stop the madness? There are gaps that I can only assume are for heat escape so I wouldn't cover those but does that seem reasonable/safe to do? While I have had these awhile, I dropped a ton of money on them so if I can save any I'm up for that!

Thanks so much for the help Stick and Corey!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Update: Just checked all 25 bulbs. 1 UV Duo, 1 purple and some blues have the slits and triangular hole, the rest do not. No clue why. 3 blues have some dead LEDs and all of the large bulbs except one have cracks starting and/or what appears to be a bit of corrosion where that piece connects. A few have something loose that rattles but they all work other than the orange one thank goodness. The UV Duo's were over $50 a bulb as I recall. Most of my bulbs are the large floods. If there is something that can be done to reinforce that fragile piece before they fully crack and disintegrate like the orange then perhaps I only have to replace 1 bulb plus ones for the new props.

Wonder if liquid electrical tape would work if I painted that fragile piece with it?
 

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Daphne the flood lights I got from Lowes they were being discontinue and were on sale for $6 a couple years ago so a deal. I know what you mean the Minion's Web bulbs were very costly and I was hoping they were last longer than they did. I still have them in a bag some of the LEDs are out in one and one the light is like the one you pictured about ready to break in half. I had to glue the lens back on one.

As for the light gels I got a few colors and ended up using a green (will have to look for the color name). you will have to look and see what color you want and then check and it will tell you how much light will pass thru the gel for how deep the color you want.

As for protecting the light when I have them up I have a out door light fixture and I put duct tape around the light and the fixture so the water run off the bulb and not in the fixture. A red neck fix but it has been working for years. I also have my lights up in the trees pointing down so that also helps keep rain out of the fixture.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The only time I find out about a sale is the day after it is over ha ha!

The greens are still ok, they were only used a couple times. I'll order a few gels to test out and see how it goes.

My lights are mostly horizontal and about 6 inches from the ground with a few pointing up which is an accident just waiting to happen. Having most of the sockets on one massively long cord is nice from the standpoint of one plug but weather proofing is a problem. I would have figured the duct tape would degrade pretty fast but sounds like you've had good success with it. Nothing wrong with "getting creative" with a solution as long as it works!

I've researched just enough to be dangerous and am curious if that fragile piece is possibly the heatsink? If it is, painting liquid electrical tape on them may burn them up but perhaps if I only paint where there are cracks it might be ok? Or maybe I'm an idiot... They are outside in north Georgia and only on at night when it is cooler.

Thanks for the help, I really appreciate it!
 

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I put the duct tape on the fixtures with I put them up in September and it is good till I take them down November 1 and throw the tape away and use new tape the next year. Could you put a clear bucket over you fixtures to keep the weather out. Like a gallon pickle jar or something like that.

i happen to be in Lowes for something else when i saw the lights on sale and jumped on them so was very lucky. Most of the time I am a day late and dollar short.
 

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Hummm.... guess I was expecting that 'fragile' piece you mention was thin metal, but sounds like it may be plastic?

If so, I doubt it is a heat sink. LEDs from a decade ago weren't terribly efficient and would make a fair amount of heat, but any heat sink would be aluminum or similar - and fairly large. I suspect with these color bulbs, the wattage is a little lower and they are just using the glass envelope as a heat sink... anything to save a cent or two!

I would also wonder with the fragile piece - if you got a good coating of epoxy between it and the glass and maybe overcoated it with epoxy or the tape like you mention, possibly that would stiffen it up some? Thinking of the way an egg shell is fairly easy to break from the side, but if you push on it end to end, it's relatively strong. So if you can keep that piece from 'caving in' with a coat of epoxy, maybe it will be relatively strong overall?

If had to do it, I'd think some sort of epoxy on the inside and either a coat of epoxy on the outside or the tape would be the best chance for success!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It surprises me the duct tape held up that well but cool that it did Stick. The plastic boots are pretty wide and block the lights from the back/sides. They prop up against the fence base pointing in but I've thought about an enclosed item instead. The orange bulb and a couple red ones were in plastic bags stuck inside plastic flower pots to brace them and that obviously became a terrarium for the reds and a water feature for the orange when it rained. Wonder if a big plastic rubbermaid food type container with 2 slits for the cord to go through each side would work for each bulb? Gluing black plastic over the top/back/sides would block light and cover the slits so people don't notice them. Your duct tape idea could cover the slits to prevent condensation maybe? Have mercy that is a LOT of containers.... Anyone want a deal on some roof boots? Ha ha!

My description of the fragile piece was bad. Sorry about that. It is super thin metal. Plugged one in and the fragile piece doesn't feel much different than the glass sides of the bulb in terms of temp.

Not sure I follow you Corey. I can't get under the thin metal other than on the dead broken one or are you suggesting coating the entire thin metal piece with epoxy and just overlap onto the side of the bulb in epoxy to cover the seam? Above the fragile piece is glass up to the lens. Would epoxy be stronger than liquid electrical tape? I have no idea.
 

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Maybe I was misunderstanding, too! :) Guess I was thinking you were looking to attach broken bases like you showed in the photo... but it sounds more like just stabilizing ones that are cracked and possibly heading that direction, but not actually broken? In that case, the duct tape as stick mentions would likely be a good bet. I can see that adding some adhesion plus reinforcement to the base. Possibly several thin strips up/down the side of the bulb to help keep the base from pulling off, then a couple of wraps around the bulb and base to help secure it from twisting.

I don't know that liquid tape would offer much reinforcement. Duct tape would have fiber reinforcement which seems like it would increase strength a lot.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sorry, I wasn't clear. The broken one in the pic is dead. You're correct, I was just wanting to stabilize the rest that have started cracking. The only issue is whatever I put on has to stay on long term. Trying to remove it to replace would be dicey since the metal is somewhat delicate where it is cracked. I'm not sure how well duct tape would do with regards to longevity but you're right, the fibers would definitely have more structural integrity than liquid tape. Appreciate the help and suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Update: I decided to sacrifice a bulb to see what would happen. I took a working bulb with cracks and covered the cracks and around the base where the metal met the bulb with liquid electrical tape. The entire metal base didn't need to be covered, just the cracked areas and seam. All the cracks originated at the seam. After it was dry, it was put in a socket and turned on for maybe an hour. It worked like a charm and it was strong enough to stabilize it. Hopefully it won't continue to crack but for the time being at least, it works. The bulbs are put in a fixture and then a month later removed from the fixture once a year so it isn't like they are getting handled frequently. This bulb also had the lens reattached with hot glue where it fell off previously. It is not attractive and looks like something from Dr. Frankenstein's lab ha ha but it works! Thought this might be helpful for anyone else that has this same issue.
 
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