Monday, February 20, 2017

4 In. White Integrated LED J-Box or Recessed Can Mounted LED Disk Light Trim, 3000°K

I report here on buying and trying 4" EnviroLite Pro LED disk light, newly-offered at Amazon , as Designers Fountain EVDSK490WH30 4 inch White Integrated LED J-Box Or Recessed Can Mounted Led Disk Light Trim, 3000K.

See too manufacturer-offered information. It is only offered at Amazon. Other lights in the family are not yet offered anywhere. 

Here again is two-rings beauty. But, don't forget how these are installed whether upon a 4" can or a junction box, by friction grab in a hard push against the ceiling. Pry at the outer edge to remove. The lens and intermediate ring can not be removed by rotating or prying. Invitation to try first in the correct pry may came from imperfect seating against the ceiling. Yet, other lights with same appearance including gap to ceiling, are removed by lens features. I have good attitude, wanting these lights to succeed, and will try and report the firmness against the ceiling that is achievable.

Plentiful, well-distributed diodes give uniform lens illumination, with low luminance (low-glare) numbers.

See two sets of three keyways at the back side. The larger keys accept can light retrofit friction clips, with no opportunity for bug entry to the lens. The smaller lens attachment keys have tiny bug paths probably negligible. Know that the lens and intermediate ring as a unit are detached by screwdriver push inward at each of the three lens keys.

The opaque lens except for its interior diametral clearance, is the barrier for bug entry.

See a clever spring that grabs the ID of the junction box mount ring, wherever that ring seats vs. the ceiling. There is not a catch that works only for some perfect junction box leveling in the ceiling hole. 

Here in behaving as a dutiful reviewer despite preferred installation without can, I have inserted the three can-mount friction clips. One, that at top in photo, will not engage; it is formed with crushed shape too small for the luminaire slot.

I don't want any of the friction clips, but now I am unable to detach the two that engaged. They are of a heavy metal that will not release with very strong push by a screw driver. The first-tried needle nose plier deformed without any effect upon the grabbing J-shape. I have chipped off white paint that will detract from luminaire appearance, surely to get worse in further effort at the stubborn clips. Do violence instead at the aluminum cast body. Break the clip engagement by twisting. Then with J-ends accessible, crush them with pliers. See that working clips were about 4.5 mm across the J shape. The defective clip J-dimension is 4.1 mm, and I crushed the "good" clips to 3.5 mm (no springback!) in the extraction.

See the violence done to the body casting. I hope it won't show too much as I make effort to get good use from this nice light.

Glare numbers with the 4" EnviroLite are pretty good. I can bear to stare at the lighted lens, not blinking back stars.

For a first trial installation of the EnviroLite, take down a 4" Glimpse over a bathtub after three years of service. I thought my junction box was bug-proof, and have been aware it is not. The biggest is an ant. Bugs have found their way to the ceiling through 11" of insulation and through hard-to-seal wiring clearances of a Molded Fiberglass box.

The EnviroLite bracket for junction box mounting will engage screws at either 2.75", or 3.5" pitch. Where there is only two-point contact with the ceiling, it won't matter which I choose. Rely on the bracket to be sufficiently stiff, and don't over-tighten screws.

Here, and with can mounting, achieve good ceiling contact by rotating the luminaire.

Getting a grip for the rotation isn't easy. Rotation with a pull can also serve removal, but a clean putty knife works better. Just remember if you can, that this pries off the ceiling

Friday, February 10, 2017

Amazon/GetInLight 4" Disk LED 3000°K, 550 lumens, 9 watts

After some difficulty, I have found much happiness with the start of a new family of disk LED lights, sold exclusively at Amazon . The discovery follows finding that recently-favored lights via importer Cost Less Lighting , are discontinued with no replacement offered. 

This is a really-pretty light suited to 4" can light retrofits and to direct mounting on any ceiling junction box. 
With circuits on board the light engine, the light is directly powered by line 120 vac. This will mount with ease on a small 3 1/2" ceiling box, mounting screw pitch 2.75", even if the box is well-populated with wires.

Beware though if you have a usual 4" junction box with inch-wider screw pitch. Beware too with any can or junction box open to space inhabited by bugs. The five openings of the back side glow brightly and WILL attract bugs madly seeking celestial navigation. Where an LED light can be maintenance-free forever, it will be quite a shame if one must climb up to twist off and clean the lens. 

The bug problem will be huge and certain where these lights are used  to improve upon architectural lighting with burned-out halogen bulbs. That is, if an installer is unaware of the bug-litter propensity. Where the GetInLight is cartridge-loaded into a 4" can, all bug-entry paths can be taped over.

My adventure with the photo at left is detailed here . My solution for architectural lighting has been 4" Glimpse, now impossible to find. Bug paths of the 4" Glimpse can readily be taped-over under-the-lens, whether installation is to a junction box or to a can.

Here the face cavities for screw mounting are readily taped over. The three irregular lens-attachment keyways can not be taped over in junction box mounting.. 

Here is a photo of the light almost-fully installed, not yet with the lens applied. This is in the overhead of a closet, working awkwardly in darkness. Notes on the photo detail missing items in the package, where I was willing to cope, spending a full day in pursuit of needed hardware. By my investment in making things work, then, I hope to work with Amazon to not frustrate the usual buyer

Where I install lights on RACO 175 steel boxes air tight and bug proof, and want lights of about 500 lumens as replacement of 100 watt incandescent in closets, hallways and bath/ shower overhead, I will have much interest in the 4" GetInLight, perhaps identified by its UPC, X000ZCIY39.

Here summarize some of the package numbers:
550 lumens for 9 watts is efficacy 61 lumens per watt.

Diodes are 3 mm dia., qty 33. There are 25 in an outer circle, and 8 at an inner circle, 57 mm array dia.

Diode area is 233 mm2. Diode luminance is 2.36 lumens per mm2.

Array area is 2552 mm2. Array luminance is 0.216 lumens per mm2.

I believe diode and array luminance are important competitive measures of a light, and that those glare characteristics of 4" GetInLight, are excellent.

At 4/1/2017, add observation that GetInLight 4" lights must be installed with their provided quite-thick foam gaskets. Installation without gaskets was tried with thought there might be a visibly tighter fit against the ceiling. Without the gasket, the lens keys interfere with the mounting plate. Without spacing created by the gasket, the lens does not fully engage, and it is very likely you will have difficulty rotating the lens to detach the light.

See one of the three pinched lens keys just inboard of the four slots at 3.5" pitch of junction box screws.

See a dark luminaire-to-ceiling interface, not reduced by absence of the gasket.

The gasket may be pulled over the dangling luminaire.

Better, pull the gasket onto the luminaire without release of mounting screws.

In June, 2018, I received my first order filled with an improved light, on the box labeled "2nd Generation." 

Appearance is visibly improved. A taller rim ensures that box mounting screws won't interfere with seating of the rim against the ceiling. A rounding of the top edge of the rim in first generation design produced the appearance of a gap, even if round-head screws didn't prevent rim to ceiling contact. 

The 2nd generation castings have key ways for much easier screw engagement.

The 2nd Generation has the mounting bracket I have wanted, in the box. At photo left here, show a simpler bracket adjusting to 2 3/4" luminaire hole pitch, that is shipped from a Nevada Inlight warehouse upon request via Amazon, if you receive a first generation luminaire. The simpler bracket is a fully acceptable offering.

Here see readiness to mount a first generation 4" GetInLight to a typical ceiling box with 3 1/2" mounting screw pitch. Accept the simpler bracket. Try the luminaire right out of the box, including the gasket. This ceiling box is in a test stand, and we are looking downward. The ready luminaire can be at rest in the photo.

Here see the first-generation luminaire installed with gasket. Everything does work. The manufacturer and shipper are giving good service via Amazon. Beyond June, 2018, buyers via Amazon may expect the yet-happier experience of 2nd Generation lluminaires.

In a job just completed, I have introduced a customer to the beauty and energy efficiency of LED downlighting at nearly the 500 lumens 3000°K brightness-not-glaring, that I think we should desire overhead in hallways, closets and bathrooms. I installed two of my inventory of first generation 4" GetInLight, and five of the happily-discovered 2nd Generation. In the hallway lath and plaster ceiling, I resisted the difficulty and structural damage of cutting in junction boxes for 2nd Generation luminaires. I could find joists for 1 5/8" deck screws capturing the mounting brackets. Drill a wiring hole 7/8" diameter that accepts push-up of the 18 ga 2-wire power lead and taped-over smallest-available twist connectors. Insulation overhead has a 1 1/2" thick loose-fill mineral wool base that absorbs the pushed-up wires.

The 18 ga power leads are home runs to a post seen as site of a wiring junction box, suggested as a new product development to Cooper Lighting, in Georgia. Home-run lighting leads centrally collect their neutrals. For now, four-wire clusters are acceptably wire-nutted. The home owner knows what this is. If I can not acquire a proper panel, a well-preserved instruction notice will be in order.

How does my action to avoid junction boxes differ from the practice at a central luminaire in most rooms of this 1918 home? Don't cut the lath and plaster in a remodel where 1/4" drywall "fixed" cracked ceiling plaster. Install pan boxes 1/2" deep. Structure of the antique incandescent-bulb luminaires successfully engages the pan box and a mounting bracket. I don't believe my clustered wires out-in-the-open and understood, are in violation of electrical code. On the other hand, it is right that we challenge code, to evolve in acceptance of very-low-power LED lighting, including low voltage DC strings to panels with common AC to DC power converters and dimming, and even to panels purely direct current.

Friday, February 3, 2017

TorchStar LED Lights at Amazon: Lost in Translation

I have made a trial purchase for evaluation of this new LED disk light from TorchStar . Best pricing and service is via Amazon . Discovery is by search of LED Disk Light, at

At 800 lumens, these are brighter than my immediate need, of hallway, closet and over-bath/shower, where I have preferred 475 lumens 4" Glimpse lights. The need has been satisfied until now for nearly all of my customers, by 60 to 100 watt incandescent bare bulbs, and their CFL equivalents up to 26 watts. The wish with ever-lasting LED lights is of draw less than 9 watts, with no thought of dimming. I find the 4" Glimpse a perfect match in the (useful) downward illumination from a now-history 100 watt incandescent. In a closet, the bare bulbs were banned as awful fire hazard and/ or head-butt injury risk, and yet new homes even, are built with cheapest porcelain lampholder fixtures demanding at-risk bulbs.

I am about to say awful things about the TorchStar luminaires, that arrived promptly. Before getting down to business, add one more aside, that I have perhaps found my wished-for improvement upon 4" Glimpse of about the ideal 500 lumens unit of light for eight-foot ceilings, in another offering seen in the above Amazon search. It is GetInLight 4 Inch LED Disk Light with Surface Mount or Recessed, Soft White 3000K, Matte White Finish, ETL Wet Location Listed, IN-0301-1-WH . It is 550 lumens, and I have one on order. I need a dozen for my job-in-progress, but have learned caution. Another option for the job is purchase of 4" Glimpse directly from Lighting Science . Glimpse lights are back and somewhat-reasonably priced, but are unimproved over three years of rapid advances in LED technology.

Now, about those TorchStar lights!

It is a decent package, but wasteful where never sold in stores, and not even directly by the importer. It is not the contractor pack I wish and sometimes find, of all-recyclable least volume.

Read the Lighting Facts label:
800 lumens
13 watts

I care only about the 4" J-box installation, and report important graphic error. 

Here are all of the box contents, with disassembly as needed for installation. The rim is pried from the light engine assembly and lens. Then rotate the lens to separate from the cast-metal light engine body with its box-mounting keyholes. The useful keyholes are those not visible, behind white plastic inserts that are pushed out from the body back-side. Do not fail to reapply the covers of the 3.5"-spaced junction box keyways, as darkness would show through the lens. Covers are important too for stopping light-seeking bugs guiding by stars as up. The covers still leave tempting space for tiny bugs. Without covers, expect crickets even, The bug-admission path is mainly via unsealed can lights or junction boxes open to dark above-ceiling spaces.An ungasketed rim-to ceiling interface won't let out much light, but can be a bug path. The distance between rim and ceiling forced by the gasket, is ugly. Gaskets will often be discarded, and not missed. 

Missing instructions and the wrong second graphic confuse a first-time installer. Printed instructions translated in English have needless deficits.

Damning comment? Here comes worse.

Look at the tiny single diode producing all 800 lumens output. Look at the ugly needlessly-visible keys that engage the rim to the light engine. This setup is for illustration only; the lens is not detachable through the rim.

The lens opening is 107.25 mm diameter. 
The diode yellow phosphor is 0.27” diameter.
The diode is 8.8 mm diameter, 60.8 sq mm area.

800 lumens output is 13.2 lumens per sq mm diode luminance vs. ideal 1.0, an order of magnitude more-glaring than is necessary. The array luminance is affordably less than 0.5 lumens per sq mm with diode dispersion, and it is here that the TorchStar is most cruel.

I am so disappointed where lights suitable to me are becoming less available despite progress with LED design. I rejected Nicor DLS4 upon glare complaint by a customer, returning an inventory, as defective. Next, Lowe's stores went really-nuts in glare, with their Utilitech 0752125 replacement of low-glare 900 lumens Sylvania 70732. Then Cost Less Lighting discontinued their low-glare lights and stopped selling online. My current customer will be inconvenienced with an array of old lights while I seek a suitable light, preferably of about 500 lumens. Accepting that lights hereafter might best come via Amazon, and that Amazon is growing its offerings, I have discovered GetInLight offerings , and believe they have decent glare numbers. The 4" light has diode luminance of 2.36 lumens per mm2, and array luminance of 0.22 lumens per mm2.  I am ordering all sizes. GetInLight LEDs will be the subject of my next blog post.

The values of diode luminance and array luminance for the TorchStar are insanely large. Contrast this fact, to TorchStar web site assertion:

My eyes see insane brightness and dancing dots within a two-inch circle. My standard for photo comparison, a Canon digital photo without flash, shows a spread glare center, unlike the photo above, perhaps with detail obscured by a bright flash.

See too, the ugly lens-mount keyways.