Saturday, January 18, 2014

Review Cooper Lighting HALO LED Universal Surface Mount Lights

At June 27, 2016, note two-weeks-ago discovery this light has been improved in the elimination of on-dimmer  buzzing. I can't know when. All of the LED disk lights I look for at Home Depot are improved in this: Cooper SLD4 and SLD6, and Commercial Electric T47 and T67. Findings without judgement are in a Picasa web album, Improved LED Downlights at Home Depot . I need to add judgement of remaining negative issues, and will say more here when I sort it out.  I struggle with the clumsy stack-upon nature of blogs, and struggle in unappreciated or not wanted "relationships" with manufacturers. I think there a public interest to be served, and will persist in this.

Please see lightening of the negativity in this review, in this subsequent blog post:

Please read on knowing I am unhappy with this light, for inefficient use of state-of-the-art >100 lumens per watt LEDs, netting only 52 lumens per watt. These lights also buzz on dimmers, just like T67 and T47. How could that be allowed? 

New LED disk light products were brought to my attention by a commenter at post Review, Sylvania 70732 LED Disk Light . Here is the commenter conversation, shared this way so I can edit my response and activate links.

Blogger Martin said...
Nice blog post. Now, if Sylvania would only include a gasket like Cooper Lighting's HALO SLD6 ... Maybe add some open-cell weather stripping?
January 15, 2014 at 6:08 PM
Blogger Phil Norman said...
Thanks, Martin,

I had not known of the Cooper SLD4 and SLD6 lights. They are not marketed to consumers, but seem to have been around for several years, where they are only 52 lumens/watt technology. In Portland, Oregon, I find one commercial lighting representative, and I will call on them. I see no gasket, and would not need such feature, where I seal the junction box or can annulus with my easy flexible grout.
The 6" and 4" SLD both have nearly the 750 lumens brightness of a 6" Glimpse light. I think I like lesser brightness in a 4" LED downlight.
Where do you buy the Cooper lights?
January 15, 2014 at 8:58 PM
Blogger Martin said...
I get them at the local HomeDepot or here On page 10 of Cooper Lighting's brochure ( ) you can see the black gasket along the rim.
I find this very useful and a neat solution for the regular consumer who's not in the home weatherization business. Two birds with one stone kind of thing, cost-effectively fix some home construction sins of the past.
January 16, 2014 at 7:38 AM

We are directed to availability of a family of directional LED lights that are not simple diodes beaming at us (hopefully not aimed in useless directions).




I responded next morning to the first comment. The Cooper Where To Buy tab for metro Portland, Oregon, directs me to a manufacturer's agent. Dutifully calling that agent, I learned these lights would be shown that day in an electrical supply store counter visit. At that visit, I saw the SLD6 and learned I could buy there at $58 each, shipping from California, never in inventory. If that prevailed, Cooper would have no cost-critical residential sales. This is the blockage that killed sales of Lighting Science Glimpse lights nationally, when Home Depot pulled them in favor of Cree T67 and T47, in Winter 2012. Fortunately, as the next comment informed, we may buy these lights readily at Home Depot stores. They arrived in Portland stores the evening of January 16th, in both 4" and 6" versions, in my preferred 3000°K color temperature. I bought two each, where they arrived in compact cardboard two-packs. Following then, are my observations and insights about these lights. For this write-up, I load a Picasa Web Album .

Study the SLD6 and SLD4 junction box brackets vs three candidate junction boxes, clockwise from upper left: Carlon B520A, Allied Moulded 9351 and RACO 175. There is a confusing array of bracket holes one might think to use for mounting brackets to junction boxes. Red asterisks note useful holes in common with RACO 175. All other holes are redundant. Red arrows note tabs that would stabilize bracket flatness where brackets else bear on the ceiling and boxes are nicely recessed about 0.1" vs. the ceiling. The tabs are useful only with Allied Moulded boxes.

Wanting to know what's inside, I removed three assembly screws and forced the aluminum back pan out from under the foam gasket. Within there are nine bright diodes, three each at spaced points on an acrylic disk periphery. Black and red DC leads become yellow series connectors.

Here I note two issues of unhappiness with the SLD6. The DC wires are outside the bounds of a junction box, somehow exposed. The AC quick-connect is only in the way, with junction box mounting. I wish the quick connector were eliminated, as in Sylvania 70732, Mod 2 .

Note the now-gone foam gasket. It had to be peeled off in shreds, to reassemble the light.

The quick connector and some leadwire length will not be mannerly, as the luminaire is blindly raised against the ceiling. I am doing this installation turned 90°, on my test stand.

Further examination was prompted by realizing that Cooper WaveStream™ technology with light beaming into an acrylic edge may illuminate both sides of the plate. The matte surface of the “dark” side is a white paper liner. Beneath, the hidden face is glossy, unlike the matte bright surface.

Please watch for growing presentation here. Researching parent technology, edge-lit phenomenon, TruEdge™ LED Coupling, licensed to Cooper by Rambus .

Edge-lighting is also used in GE Lighting Lumination™ LED Luminaire. It seems an edge-lit downlight may produce about 70 lumens per watt with an appropriate reflector.  This with >100 lumens per watt diodes that would give more light where simply beaming down.

Big luminaires may make sense in commercial lighting, but starry-sky residential lighting will consist of dispersed dots perhaps 1.5" to 6" diameter. Lights will be wired in low-voltage DC circuits. Each dot will be inserted push-in as in sound jacks, simply plucked to rearrange size distribution or to paint a ceiling. They will be set artistically, beautifully, and as elements of architectural art. Soon they will be OLED. Point-source and tube lighting or even LED troffers as above, will disappear from our homes. We must declare a vision in this. Vision will include knowledge all new fixtures must be forward-compatible with OLED elements.

Continue now to address the Cooper SLD6, light as a 5 inch dot, bigger than an SLD4  3.5 inch same-brightness dot, only to cover the crime of a big can light hacking.

The glossy hidden surface is not much brightened by the nine diodes.

The white paper liner improves appearance, and adds some efficiency. The acrylic is transparent, and the aluminum pan would be visible without the liner.

Here is Cooper information for one offered luminaire, light beaming from both light guide faces, at about 100 lumens per watt.

Divide Surface LED 

Here light at both light guide faces gives 100 lumens per watt.

See more lighting like this beyond minute two in this video:

Wavestream Tour 2013 Video 

I wonder if it is more effective to beam light downward always, than to aim sideways. Isn't this a step backward toward point-lighting?

It is evident to me that Cooper has sacrificed half of the available light, to present a disk light in challenge of the T67 and T47, with little advantage over those panned products. This is going too far in the quest to curve light through an acrylic sheet, as means of illumination. The nine diodes here could just beam down directly, more efficiently by times-two. 

The SLD lenses are just as bright and eye-jarring as Sylvania 70732. I still believe in Starry Skies illumination as challenged in Google Communities: Residential LED Lighting . There, I would like to amend the About this community statement, adding the insight that organic LEDs are the future. All new luminaires should be forward-compatible with OLED upgrade. The curving through glass deal in a linear luminaire might be compatible, where the two Divide surfaces become OLED. Simplicity of manufacture such that we again assemble products locally, is part of the future, and is achieved here by Cooper. The SLD lights are assembled in the USA!

I had hoped these lights would overcome one current complaint, that Sylvania 70732 lights have noticeable startup delay. I hadn't cared, if I had noticed. Yet, it is there, noticed in a circuit where one 70732 replaced an instant-starting LED spot light. The SLD6 or an SLD4 have no delay in normal full-power startup.

Are there other concerns with SLD4 or SLD6 dimming?

Video is this cluster of all available LED surface-mount disk lights, and an LED spot light set in a can, observing function in a dimmer circuit.

Clockwise from upper left: Cooper SLD6, 4" Glimpse, Sylvania 70732, Cree T67, 6" Glimpse. At right in can, Philips 15° spot. All 3000°K except T67 is 2700°K. All served by a Cooper DAL06P dimmer. Here all are at full power. Photo is a frame of Flip video.

Full power at start. Slide dimmer to 25% preset. Power off fifteen seconds, power on, in the video.

The DAL06P dimmer is a new offering from Cooper.

This replaces CWD 106P on Lowe's shelves , simplifying stock, with three choices of faceplate color in the package. Two adjustment wheels are added to right of the dimming slider. Black is power setting at fully dimmed. White is described this way:

features an adjustable Rapid-Start setting which provides additional power for a brief time period to ensure lamp start-up at low dim settings.

At full up the white wheel causes a current spike in starting that is a bothersome flash. I find the boost doesn't help LEDs to fire, and will leave the setting full down.

The gem in a dimming picture is the 4" Glimpse. It dims nicely to 10%, about a watt, and reliably restarts if turned off, giving really nice night light in a bathroom or hallway. An SLD4 dimmable to 25% will be much bigger and brighter, drawing three watts.

The SLD6 in a dimmer circuit hums at the same sound level as T67. The Glimpse lights buzz at half the noise level of T67 and SLD6. The Sylvania 70732 is silent on a dimmer, but this one does a dimmed start only above 50% power. The Sylvania also has a delayed start always, that isn't noticed here, or in a circuit of only Sylvania 70732. The Philips 15° spot is a dimbulb outside the 15° cone.

The Home Depot/ Cooper SLD6 and SLD4 products will compete against Lowe’s/ Sylvania 70732. Here note equal color temperature, and the greater brightness of Sylvania for nearly-equal wattage.

The Sylvania 70732 is again brighter vs.the 4” Cooper light, as expected.

The Sylvania review commenter was excited about a foam gasket in SLD4 and SLD6 luminaires. I am not. It is thin vs. much heavy ceiling texture.  If you don't want air leakage past a luminaire, seal its junction box, as I do with flexible grout .


Martin said...

It appears LED's are very (very!) finicky when it comes to being paired with dimmers. (Hey, we're early adopters of a still fairly nascent technology that's making it to the big stage!) When I purchased the Sylvania 70732 LED Disk Light, the Lowes associate told me they would work with any of the "green" CFL/LED dimmers. Not satisfactorily for me, though. They hum on the Cooper Lighting DAL series dimmers I have installed for example. The HALO LED Universal Surface Mount Lights work just fine, without any noise. Caveat: Can't get them dimmed to the advertised 5%, so I have yet to find the right dimmer for that, while avoiding the hum. But I haven't tried any of the Cooper "recommended" dimmers yet, which are listed on the Cooper Lighting website.
Seems the HALO SLD4/6 are in a different category (like the Pixi LED FlatLight™) which light around the edges (compare edge lit LED vs back lit LED TV's). This makes for a very slim/slick design, a compact driver housing, and minimal protrusion from the ceiling.
And yes, I do like the gasket. I find this very useful and a neat solution for the regular consumer who's not in the home weatherization business. Two birds with one stone, cost-effectively fixing some home construction sins of the past.
I agree, it probably won't seal well on the good old popcorn ceiling (another sin), though.

Phil Norman said...

Hi Martin,

We keep not quite agreeing with each other. I find many dimmers work equally. I prefer Cooper CWD 106P for simplicity and low cost. I like a slider out-of-the-way, with push toggle. Noise and other luminaire misbehavior in a dimmer circuit is resolved in the luminaire design, the driver chosen. Problems are resolved where a manufacturer implements circuit innovation by Cirrus Logic.

Does Cooper use the Cirrus technology? I don't think so, where hum and startup cycling persist.

Martin said...

It's a good thing, that we don't agree.
Different consumer preferences, production costs, etc are what drives innovation and development. Particularly in a young industry like mainstream LED lighting.
(Remember when we had VHS vs BetaMax? Or BlueRay vs HD DVD?)

The Cooper HALO 4/6 uses Rambus technology, at least that's what it says on the box. I don't know what's inside the Sylvania (Intertek?)

There are so many variables between different installations, that I doubt one circuit/dimmer design can address them all (yet?). One example: Many dimmers need a certain load to function properly, so a dimmer that works great on 8 LED fixtures on a lighting circuit, might be different if I have only 1 or 2, and the resulting effect undesired.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Unknown said...

well! You have shared very informative article. I also find this very useful and a neat solution for the regular consumer who's not in the home weatherization business. and more that the HALO LED Universal Surface Mount Lights work just fine, without any noise. Caveat: Can't get them dimmed to the advertised 5%, so I have yet to find the right dimmer. I would like to say Thanks for sharing this article.
China LED Lights

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing such a informative blog. Halo lights are durable, have longer working life span, resistance against water & weather and inherit UV protected polycarbonate lenses. You may visit Integra Halo Lights to get other valuable information.

Unknown said...

I really love to read out your blog, i guess you have made huge researches about led bulbs and led lights. keep it up.

Unknown said...

What exactly is the difference between new construction housing and remodel housing? I've been looking into
Recessed lighting housing and these two terms come up a lot. I'm particularly looking into down light LED housing.
Does anyone know if I should go for new construction housing or remodel housing?

Phil Norman said...

Hello Zunair,
First, don't use cans at all. Put LED disk lights on 4" lighting junction boxes for now, preferably RACO 175.
My installation methods apply equally in retrofit and new construction.
New construction is design that might be installed before drywall goes up. In attic floors, if you must have stupid stupid cans, use new construction only. Remodel designs are especially-awful hacks that may be stuffed through drywall. Here, too, I offer a fuzzing new idea. Look at that Picasa album to see how to install wall switch boxes the same in new construction and remodel, with a better method. Am I right? If you think so, please help to spread the word.

Unknown said...

We are looking into retrofitting the lighting in our office to LED lighting. I've heard of retrofit kits specifically for this. I'm wondering, are there retrofit kits out there
That is compatible with recessed down lights and LED down lights? We really want to have the best recessed LED lighting

Phil Norman said...

Hello again, Zunair,
I wonder how you provide hyperlinks to California's Main Electric web site. I don't see anything interesting there.

Unknown said...

My home was built in the 70's and so none of the rooms in our home have light fixtures. Our kitchen and bathrooms do but other than that we have to use lamps. These LED lights would be perfect to install in my home. It's just inconvenient to not have lights, not to mention really dark.

Kilian said...

New LED disk light products were brought to my attention by a commenter ...

Clemens said...

I am remodeling a house with exposed beam ceilings. New drywall is being put up between the beams but there is only a 3 inch space above the drywall to try to install some recessed lights. This makes for limited options. I was looking at the LEDwaves PR15 lights. The contractor has never seen them and he recommended the Halo SLD6. The lighting would be for the kitchen and living room. Any thoughts or help would be great. I am going to need almost 30 lights.

Phil Norman said...

Hello Clemens,
Please do not choose a light that requires a can cut-in. That is not the future of LED lighting. The Cooper SLD6 can be set on a junction box, but too is not the future, using edge-lighting inefficiently and humming where on a dimmer. The LEDwaves PR15 is another with very inefficient edge lighting, demanding a large ceiling hole and is very expensive at $50. There is an ever-growing selection of better choices, shared at my Pinterest page,

Anna Schafer said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
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Eshinestore said...

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