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Another Winter....another LED module failure...

Discussion in 'Strobe Lighting' started by DarrylJP, Nov 20, 2014.

  1. DarrylJP

    DarrylJP Junior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 1

    Has anyone had experience with repetitious failure of Strobes N More E-Series lights due to water inside the modules?

    I work highway/traffic signal construction so a couple years ago i outfitted my truck with several E3's, E6's, E66 Traffic Bar and D12 Dash Light.

    The Traffic Bar is located inside the back cap of the truck, and the Dash Light is obviously in the cab of the truck. These two items have worked fine since the day i got them.

    On the other hand, the E3's and E6's are located in the grill and back licence plate area. As it stands right now, i have replaced all of these under warranty twice, and looking at the modules today they are filling with condensation again and one of the E6's is starting to short out.

    Essentially the same events occur every year, at the same time.

    1)Lights work fine all of Spring/Summer/Fall
    2)First week or two after the temperature drops below freezing the lights work fine.
    3)Condensation starts to become noticeable inside the LED lights after a couple weeks of freezing temperatures
    4) By end of first month of freezing temperatures modules start to fail
    5) By 2 months in at least 2 modules are pooched with noticeable corrosion inside the housing.

    All the lights have been replaced each time they all fail, no issues with warranty being honored, but the shipping costs (i'm in Canada) and the time i have to put in to remove grill cowl and re-splice/terminate all the wires is starting to add up and get annoying.

    I have been told by SNM that they have never had this problem before and that it must be the way i am splicing the wires. Seeing as i am an electrical contractor, i am quite confident with my methods but tried a couple different methods to validate that it was not me:

    1.) soldered and heat shrunk them first time, with no shortening of leads, encased in automotive loom and taped loom, lights failed, was told it was the heat from soldering iron
    2.) used crimp connectors second time, no shortening of leads, encased in automotive loom and taped loom, lights failed, was told wiring wasn't sealed enough and water was entering through the wire
    3.) for round three i went above and beyond, spliced the wires and then encased them in a 3M Scotchcast Sealing Pack. 3M Scotchasts are what we use to seal 347V street-lighting splices in below grade handwells that are regularly submerged in water and frozen in winter, they last for decades. It is a 10000% waterproof resin sealant that has no possibility of water penetration....yes winter has arrived, and i already have moisture in the light heads, again...

    The fact that it happens after the first couple below zero nights (speaking in Celsius of course :p ) has me pretty confident that it in fact is the seal between the plastic portion of the LED head and the back plate where all the components are mounted that is failing from expansion/contraction, not my wiring skills.

    Has anyone else experienced this? 100% waterproof is a pretty clear as day statement, which is obviously not being met with this product...
  2. dodgegmc1213

    dodgegmc1213 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    maybe try some clear slicone around the light? I got e4s and no issues. I used heat shrink butt connectors and i have all the wire exposed in the weather. No looms no extra heat shunk tubes. A little electric tape thats it and they get covered in salt
  3. Maleko

    Maleko Senior Member
    from Ct
    Messages: 781

    Maybe the lense has a slight crack in it allowing moisture in?
    You said some are in the grille? Perhaps a rock or something hit the lense and put a tiny crack in it?
    Just thinking out loud here.
  4. Strobesnmore

    Strobesnmore Senior Member
    Messages: 413

    Hello Darryl, Sorry to hear you are having moisture issues again. I know we have spoke before. We do occasionally see moisture in some LEDs. Usually we can pin point the reason but in some cases the lights just fail or we can't figure out why. We actually get a report on why the units fail and some times it just says failed. Most or 90% of the time theres a definitive reason. Cracked lens, customer caused issue, etc.... I know you personally have seen a high failure rate and not sure why. I tend to install with less moisture control. I always recommend shying away from heat shrink tubing or anything that could damage the wiring. I also prefer dielectric grease over silicone as the later tends to trap moisture. Email me what you have issues with but I would like to get them back and have them looked at. I think we had you keep the last ones if memory serves. Louis
  5. Dash Flash

    Dash Flash Member
    from Arizona
    Messages: 47

    Condensation is insidious and has a way of finding even the most minuscule entry point. Every light manufacturer has experienced this problem.

    When we've experienced it, we tracked it down to where the power cord enters the light housing. Even when sealed, vibration from vehicle operation and the heating and cooling of dissimilar materials can result in a tiny, virtually invisible opening.

    Now, when a customer reports this problem, we suggest a GENEROUS amount of silicone where the cord enters the housing. In every instance, this has cured the problem in our Magnum lightbars.