A friend mentioned that their son’s Lumie Bedbug lamp was intermittently working and that it was shortly going to be visiting the bin if it didn’t buck its ideas up.
Er, no I said.
The bug night light was meant to glow orange, once switched on, but it only lit up when the cable was wobbled about.
The power connection on this model is a standard USB (B) connector, the ones commonly used to charge Android phones. If the power lead was faulty, it would be easy to find a suitable replacement.
The bug comes apart by removing the silicone outer layer and releasing the tangs holding the two halves of the bug together. One screw holds the PCB in place and once removed, the whole thing comes to pieces.
The USB socket was a little out of shape, presumably from some rough handling. A quick nip with a pair of pliers and it was back as it should be.
The plug was also a little out of shape, but with a bit of careful re-shaping, it fitted the socket perfectly.
Once reassembled, reconnected and powered up, the bug glowed without flickering. Result.
Cost of replacement: £50. Cost of repair: One tea and one custard cream, that I made myself.
A Philips outdoor wall lamp with a major case of built-in obsolescence, gets a cheap fix.
A mate of mine mentioned that his outdoor wall light had given-up-the-ghost, despite not being more than three years old. He’d put them up around his house as part of an extension and exterior restoration project. The trouble was that despite only being a few years old, the product now seemed to be discontinued. This meant that, should the lamp need to be replaced, he would need to replace all of them (three in this case) to keep them matching. Annoying quite frankly.
He’d read that the bulb within the Philips lamp was not replaceable, in which case a faulty lamp would render the whole thing broken, which seemed very daft to me. Items made in such a way that prevents even the most basic of repair get me very annoyed. Sometimes an item is developed in such a way for safety reasons but I suspect that most of the time, the motive is just pure greed. It’s such a shame.
At my mate’s house, over a cup of tea, I removed the lamp from the wall to take back to the workshop, to see what Philips had been getting up to.
Opening up the casing was straightforward, just a few simple screws and retaining nuts holding the casing together, before finally revealing the bulb itself, under a lamp diffuser.
The bulb/ lamp unit itself appeared to be a custom/ bespoke disc light, that wasn’t user serviceable. It had blown and there was evidence of scorching on a few of the LEDs, linked in series, indicating the failure of the entire circuit.
I couldn’t find any replacement disc LEDs suitable for the lamp from any of the usual sources, which I expected. It could be that Philips can supply a replacement disc, but this was not evident on their website.
Not wanting to be beaten by a bespoke part, I thought about what else might work, within the lamp’s enclosure, to have the same effect. I had a spare GU9 LED bulb, about the same brightness, sitting on the shelf, left over from another project which was going spare, so I set about fitting it in the space.
The generic GU9 bulb, available from most hardware shops, fitted in the existing disc mounting bracket, with a small modification and once connected to the lamp’s circuitry, worked well, albeit with a slightly warmer glow.
In case anyone else has the same problem, I made a little video of the repair. I hope it gives others inspiration if faced with a similar problem.
Cost of replacement (with something similar): £50.00. Cost of repair: £1.50 for the bulb and a couple of Belgian beers for my time.