Outside flood/pir light glass

A few weeks ago I noticed for the first time after moving in 18 months ago that the outside flood light up high on the garage wall has no glass in the front of it. "That's going to cause me problems one day" I surmised but have no ladder to reach it or any glass to fit in it if I did.
It appears to have a PIR detector thingy built in but just operates as a flood light via a wall switch i.e. always on or always off. So anyway sod's law, it's worked fine until I noticed the problem and then after the first high winds and gusts of snow blowing that way this year I switched it on and there was a pop and the bulb blew. It probably got thoroughly soaked in the recent weather. Several questions.
1) Do all PIR lights have some sort of switch built in that enables them to work in either flood or PIR mode? Either mine has or it's been bodged somehow to disable the PIR part.
2) Can you, in general, get replacement front glass (standard sizes?) or is it easier/cheaper to buy a whole new unit? Especially now the bulb has blown too.
3) I'd rather have the option of PIR if I decide to use it in the future but if the answer to 1) is no then I'll probably just settle for buying a flood light. I now see that LED options are available and no doubt use a lot less electric than halogen although that's probably not an issue for something switched on so rarely but are there any other pros and cons? Life of the bulbs, initial cost etc.
4) Until I can get up there and see what bulb it has in it at present I have no idea how powerful it is but it gave a good light down the driveway and was handy if you needed to unpack the car at night or have a gander under the bonnet. What's a good wattage to aim for?
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Dave Baker


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wrote:

It's a software thing. Usually switching on and off in quick succession changes the mode of operation.

New unit. They aren't expensive. And, it wil come with instructions about switching on/off. TLC have a wide range. www.tlc-direct.co.uk

I've got one which uses a spiral fluorescent tube.

there's no real answer to that. They generally come with 400w these days, but you can down size to 300w, 200w or even if you can find them, 100w.
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"charles" wrote in message wrote:

I have one with no glass. It never did from new.
Mike
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On Mon, 09 Dec 2013 07:17:56 +0000 (GMT), charles wrote:

enables

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But not all PIR units have the feature.

Agreed. But some at the cheaper (shed) end of the range are little more than a bit of painted pressed steel with mild steel screws that rust almost before you've put the ladder away.

If the PIR is high up on the gable it may well detect over a much too large an area and or not detect even humans very well as they will be a relatively small heat source moving across the cells. Might be better to have a seperate PIR than only sees the area you are interested in having automatic light switching from.

less

Manually switched on true enough, once under PIR it may come on far more often than one might expect from passing wildlife or cars if it can see the road.

LED ought to be fit and forget but again I think there are some out made of steel. Others are diecast ali, stainless screws and IP65 rated. There is a range of such from 10 W 800 lm at about £15 to 70 W 5600 lm at about £100 (sans PIR).

Trouble is with CFLs is that they start dim, particularly so when cold as in winter cold. LED/halogen is instant start. If you are just nipping out to get something it won't have warmed up by the time you switch it off, I suspect that won't do the tube life any good at all.

,

Agreed, sounds as if the orginal was quite bright. Which can be counter productive as any shadows or areas not directly illuminated become very dark. Just for moving about and unloading/loading you don't need a 300 W halogen of light (approx 5000 lm), 60 W GLS (approx 800 lm) or 10 W LED is enough. For working under the bonnet I think I'd prefer a moveable work light of some sort so you can place it such that you aren't blocking the light from a remote fixed source.
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Dave.
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On 09/12/2013 08:54, Dave Liquorice wrote:

This is what I did with mine - the unit did have an internal PIR, but the coverage area was a bit variable - even when sections were masked off (it would often see its own lamp reflected in a car window if there was one parked under it - so once on, would forever be retriggering itself).
In the end I ignored the internal one, and used a secondary one much lower down to get the actual area required covered by the sensor.
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I find 150W adequate for *safe access* in a 20 x 50m yard. Not enough for needle work though:-)
Don't be tempted to lower the fitting for easier access as the light will stray beyond your boundary and annoy anyone with a dirty windscreen within 1/2 mile.

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Tim Lamb

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On 09/12/2013 06:42, Dave Baker wrote:

The PIR's on cheap ones fail with alarming regularity. Most have an overide so you can leave them on, done by turning on/off/on rapidly - or similar.

Buy a new one.

Cheap PIR light are total cr*p and don't last. Best on the market, but expensive, are Steinel;
http://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Main_Index/Lighting_External_Index/Security_Lighting_Index/Security_Lighting_2/index.html

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Yikes. 50 plus quid? I Might have to stick with a plain old 10 quid floodlight.
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On 09/12/2013 08:47, Dave Baker wrote:

Then again, a 10 quid version replaced every two years works out as lots of hassle and no cheaper in the end!
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I think that for occasional use, if you go with a halogen for a few more years, by then the LEDs will much cheaper and better quality. There are good LED ones now, and there are LED ones which are not silly prices, but you can't yet get these two features in one unit yet.
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Andrew Gabriel
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On 09/12/2013 13:30, Andrew Gabriel wrote:

I would agree - my comment was really in reference to the 50 quid Steinel 500W halogen fitting rather than the lamp technology specifically.
In fact, of you use an external PIR, and remeber to stick some grease on the screws of the cheap halogen, then that ought to work out ok as well.
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On 09/12/2013 08:47, Dave Baker wrote:

If you saw & fitted one, you would realise why they cost so much :-)
If customers ask me to fit security lights I will generally tell them to buy it - that way I don't have to honour any guarantee.
If they want me to supply I will only fit a Steinel.
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Unfortunately, many designs are not very good for allowing the light to be aimed almost vertically down.(Which is how I want it for my driveway outside my side door.)
--

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Most do. If you only use it for short time, it might not have fallen back into auto mode before you switched it off.

So cheap to buy a new unit, no one would bother trying to sell new glass.

For your occasional use, LED is not yet sensible. I would replace with a cheap halogen unit, with a view to swapping it for an LED unit in a few years when efficiency has improved and price has dropped. You will not recover the cost of an equivalent LED unit bought today (which would be bother much cheaper and more efficient if bought in a few years). I'm not taking into account installation costs - if you have to pay to have it installed, that could throw the calculations differently depending on costs.

That really is a "how long is a piece of string" question? What's the height of the light. What's the horizontal spread of coverage you want at a good level.
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Andrew Gabriel
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On 09/12/2013 06:42, Dave Baker wrote:

Some have an override facility where you signal a desire to lock it on with a switching sequence - say switch "on off on" in the space of 2 secs. It may be that the PIR section of yours was knackered, or that the sensitivity and time had been set to max, and the daylight sense set such that it always triggered.
You can however easily arrange a proper switched override with most of them. For example, the following schematic shows a manual override switch:
http://wiki.diyfaq.org.uk/index.php?title=File:MultiPIRandLampCircuit.gif

Since you can probably get the whole unit for a tenner, you may find that easier. You may find getting a bit of normal glass cut wiould do though - they don't usually appear to be anything special.

The main "con" is reduced light output (and possibly a higher colour temperature giving a slightly more "blue" light). Lamp life should be better and energy use less. However since these are used infrequently, it makes relatively little difference.

I have a small 150W one on my garage - that's adequate to see what you are doing for a couple of car lengths from it, although does not amount to a good working light as such.
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John.
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On Monday, December 9, 2013 6:42:25 AM UTC, Dave Baker wrote:

Lots of halogens have no glass. Its not best practice, but they work.

You can either wire a switch from L to SwL, or rely on the horrible morse code switching approach most units have

yes, from any glazier. They have plenty of scrap offcuts big enough.

If it never had glass its easiest to leave as is, as it'll have no glass fixings. If it had glass, new glass is cheap & quick.

LEDs are more efficient, very long life bulbs, more cost, often poor light quality eg 6000k

Impossible to answer. Anything from 40w for a smallish garden to 1kW for a big area.
NT
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     snipped-for-privacy@care2.com writes:

They very early 300W linear halogen fittings had no glass. They eventually came off the market because exploding bulbs at end of life tended to set light to things under them when showered with red hot broken quartz.
Nowadays, they are sufficiently enclosed to retain the exploding bulb fragments, and the front glass is mainly there for this purpose.
Halogen lamps which are designed to operate without safety protection are low pressure nowadays, but the 80W and up linear tubes are all high pressure halogen lamps, and can occasionally explode at end of life.
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Andrew Gabriel
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snipped-for-privacy@care2.com wrote in

The aim is all important. Ensure that you don't annoy the neighbours - or indeed waste energy by trying to light the sky.
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On Mon, 09 Dec 2013 15:09:02 GMT, DerbyBorn wrote:

Like the farm 3/4 mile away and 300' lower, with a couple of hi-pressure sodium floods that give enough light to read by (yes I've done it) up here... Very annoying especially as we have really dark skies.
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The test should be - from outside your own propert can you see the bulb / lamp / tube. If you can then it is not aimed effectively.
The lamp should be tilted down until no direct light goes over your boundary.
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