Pop goes the (LED) light bulb

Spar whitelabel LED light bulb

Spar sells a LED light bulb: it’s nice, until it pops – and that doesn’t take long. It fairly bright, it uses 7W of power, it has the bayonet style connection.

There’s a problem though: it doesn’t last. It popped loudly exactly when a neighbouring circuit in the suburb tripped. This says that the voltage spike from the neighbours broke it.

This means nothing but “inadequate over-voltage protection”. I’m not buying another one, until someone fixes the electronics, and it says “WITH OVERVOLTAGE PROTECTION”. The circuit is three capacitors, a tiny transformer, a big resistor and two tiny resistor, and packages that look like a diode bridge, and a tiny unmarked IC with 6 legs (two of which are soldered together).

LED board hiding transformer, showing black mark where the POP popped out.

External markings:
Globe A60
Cool White
LED 9w 60mA BC
180-240Vac ~ 50Hz

Circuit markings on the LED board:
5930-5C7C9C-950130 D39.85
PE1878A0 19/12▴

Update: Since I wrote this, I’ve learned a little more about LED lights. It seems that the current state of LED lighting is to use relatively few LEDs and to drive them hard, rather than using more LEDs and powering them at something of a normal operating voltage for fractionally more cost. The upshot of this is that LED lighting is made to fail, simply by reason of the manufacturers wanting to sell more and more junk, rather than selling a durable product.

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