Recommendation for outdoor spotlights ?

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I tried these "outdoor" fittings with these outdoor LED lamps - the lamps say they maintain the fitting integrity up to IP55 which is slightly different to saying "outdoor".
And as with the festoon lighting I've previously reported on, it's clear that IP44 isn't "outdoor". 3 of the 4 lamps failed - similar to the festoon lighting, the lamps filled with water and went dim. Here I've highlighted the water level.
20200818_173257.jpg

When I unscrewed the lamps, there was water in the fitting, and my assumption is that it's been drawn in past the fitting seals with changes in internal pressure, and then into the lamps which (I assume) don't really have any seal at the neck of the bulb. I actually found that all 4 lamps (two fittings, 2 lamps/fitting) were full or nearly full of water - this one was visible because it had the lowest water level. One of them was actually still working while almost completely full - so I guess it was cleanish water in it.

So anyway, as per thread title - any suggestions for spotlights that are actually "outdoor" suitable - though I'm at a loss to figure out what IP rating would actually be applicable ? In theory IPX4 should be sufficient, except that it's only a short exposure (5 or 10 minute test) and doesn't need to take account of any pressure changes. Even IPX5 (water jets) or IPX6 (powerful water jets) don't necessarily cover the long term exposure and changes in temperature and pressure that "outdoor" usage implies.

Oh yes, and without needing to take out a mortgage to pay for them.

Floodlights aren't suitable. They typically have a light spread of 100-120˚ which means that by the time they pointed low enough so they aren't lighting up the neighbours' houses, they are lighting up the living room and not the garden.
I need warm white, otherwise SWMBO doesn't like them. And looking for something in the order of 3-4000 lumens total.
 
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IP rating.jpg


When the cable to a lamp is run in conduit from a warm location ( inside the house ) to the lamp in a cold location water vapour from the warm location can be drawn along the conduit into the lamp where it condenses.
 
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Except that the fitting is sealed from the conduit. There's a cable passing through a grommet in the plate in the front of the conduit box, and through another grommet in the back of the fitting. If it was moisture from the house, I'd expect it to condense in the conduit and either fill the system (which it isn't, or wasn't last time I looked) or drain out of the holes I've left.
The fundamental problem with the IP ratings is the short term nature of the tests. In principle, IPX4 should be more than adequate, and I'd think IPX3 would as well - rain isn't really "jetting" (IPX5). But the item only has to withstand the test for 5 or 10 minutes (for IPX4) depending on how it's done, and that doesn't really take account of the pressure changes that can (and I believe have in this case) drawn water in past the seals.
I've just had a conversation with a tech from the manufacturer of the fittings. He's at a loss to explain it - not entirely unexpectedly blaming the lamps :eek:
I'm actually wondering if it might be better to just remove the seal from the front of the lamp holder section, fit some new lamps, and rely on water not generally flowing uphill. That way they can "breath" easily, and any water can just run downhill out of the way.
 
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Yes I just notice the lamps are not sealed into the holders.

That way they can "breath" easily

The LED golf ball lights for the village Christmas decorations suffer from quite a few flooded lamps.

The theory is that when lit they warm up and the ones with a leaky seal between metal cap and the "glass" globe breathe out as the air inside the globes warms and expands. When rain falls and cools the globe the air in the globe contracts and they breathe in humid air which condenses inside the globe.
 
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Yes I just notice the lamps are not sealed into the holders.
??
There's a ring seal on the front of the lamp holders, though it's not all that visible in the photo. The lamps are actually very tight against them before there's electrical contact.
The LED golf ball lights for the village Christmas decorations suffer from quite a few flooded lamps.
The theory is that when lit they warm up and the ones with a leaky seal between metal cap and the "glass" globe breathe out as the air inside the globes warms and expands. When rain falls and cools the globe the air in the globe contracts and they breathe in humid air which condenses inside the globe.
Yep, that's exactly what I think. In the end, I drilled a small hole on the bottom of the coloured GLS lamps across the fence - working on the basis that water can drain out, and they'll be able to breath without drawing water up past the socket seal. The alternative I considered was opening up 50-odd lamps (the caps pop off fairly easily) and applying a dose of sealant - but I CBA doing that :whistle:

I'm thinking that the lamp manufacturers work on the basis that they don't need to seal the cap as there shouldn't be water there in the first place.

EDIT: Of course, probably the biggest effect is when they've been on and it's dry, and so the lamps have warmed up a bit. Then it rains, so the lamps are suddenly both covered in a film of water and cooled. So when they breath in, it does so through a film of water.
In the cases I have, the seal is between the lamp body and the fitting - so the fitting fills with water. Then when the lamp breaths, it's breathing in water directly.
 

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