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[email protected]
Starting Member

8 Posts

Posted - 05/03/2020 :  2:15:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello

We installed an Insteon Fanlinc in our fan. The lights will not work. When we first installed with incandescent bulbs the it worked. We changed to LED dimmable lights and now it will not work. We tried to put the incandescent bulbs back in, but now it will not work with those bulbs either. We have reset the device a handful of times and confirmed the wiring is connected properly. Is is possible that the LED lights broke the device? Any other suggestions?

The LED dimmable bulbs are the same we use with other Insteon devices in the house without issue

oberkc
Moderator

USA
4094 Posts

Posted - 05/03/2020 :  3:21:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Is is possible that the LED lights broke the device?


While I do not recall hearing of LED bulbs causing a failure of a device, that is always a fear for devices not rated compatible with the fanlinc. Perhaps the LEDs require a certain type of dimmer and is not compatible with the fanlinc.

First thing I would do is check voltage output of fanlinc light wire. I would also consider the possibility that the fixture (socket) has failed or lost contact with the bulb. Another possibility is that the fanlinc has lost some of the links and is not responding to whatever method you are using to toggle it on/off.
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Tfitzpatri8
Administrator

USA
10829 Posts

Posted - 05/03/2020 :  3:26:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just trying dimmable led bulbs shouldn’t cause a problem, not unless moving things around shorted or broke something while swapping them.

Are you using a Hub or some other device to control the FL? If you are using a Hub, bring up the FL in the Hub app devices tab and verify that the fan lead is powering the fan, not the light.
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[email protected]
Starting Member

8 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2020 :  7:48:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ok some updates which are so strange.

We have two Emerson fans (don’t know the model but are year 2018) where both fanlincs don’t work with the lights. Let’s be specific, I can get everything hooked up and programmed with a remote insteon switch working fine (lights work with Insteon app, and with remote switch). At some point when Testing them out the lights go out. They will never come back on. Reset FL multi times, disconnected power multi times. FL acts like it’s 100% working. Can join to hub, connect to remote switch, fan works, app shows lights turn on and leds on FL show correct status.

So fastforward where I got a new fanlinc today. Since I know how to set them up it took about 3min. Connected to hub, connected mini remote switch to hub, set the multi scene switch to fan speeds and on off lights. Was proud and it worked (for the 5min) I tested.
Time for bed so we turn on the lights (lights only) and about 15min in the lights just turn off.
Looking at the fanlinc it’s doing the same thing the two others were doing.
Shows green light, but no lights.

Here’s the bulb configurations Iv been using
Dimmable led and one incadecent. I tried JUST the incadecent after the FLs stopped working. Still not working. It’s like the bulbs or power draw is frying the device itself. Note: fan speeds still working fine


Edited by - [email protected] on 05/06/2020 7:56:31 PM
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oberkc
Moderator

USA
4094 Posts

Posted - 05/07/2020 :  04:04:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So, there are two fanlincs, correct? Do both fan lights fail simultaneously (same time) or does one light go out, then the other or does the problem persist only with one of the fan lights? If you wait for the next day, do the lights work again? Did you check output voltage of fanlinc as I suggested earlier?

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[email protected]
Starting Member

8 Posts

Posted - 05/07/2020 :  12:55:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by oberkc

So, there are two fanlincs, correct? Do both fan lights fail simultaneously (same time) or does one light go out, then the other or does the problem persist only with one of the fan lights? If you wait for the next day, do the lights work again? Did you check output voltage of fanlinc as I suggested earlier?



To clarify, we have two fans where i setup the fanlinc seaperatly. Meaning one fan was setup then after a couple min the lights went out (the main issue im posting about). Then i took the Fanlinc out. Installed another FL on a different fan (but still same model Fan) which it had the same issue. Lights dont work so i uninstalled it.

Then i got a new fanlinc (third one) to try out again. Still same issue, like explained above.

To answer you question. Voltage tested on the light wire and its 120.4 like normal. Yes, tried them the day after, even did a factory reset and re-programmed. What i think your asking is, was there multi fanlinc's installed in the house at the same time (interference) and the answer is no. Only one FL has been installed at a time.

Edited by - [email protected] on 05/07/2020 1:09:07 PM
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oberkc
Moderator

USA
4094 Posts

Posted - 05/07/2020 :  4:04:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
OK. You have "two fans", but only one fanlinc? Make sure you don't have a single fanlinc powering two fans.

I have trouble believing that his is a problem with the fanlinc. If you are getting 120V on the blue wire from the fanlinc or at the socket, that seems to indicate that it is working.

My best (only) theory right now is that, as the temperature in the bulb rises when on, the socket gets warm and, somehow, loses contact with the bulb. Make sure power is off, reach into the socked with a small screw driver and, gently, try to pull that little tab in the bottom-center of the socket. Sometimes they can get bent over time. If this is not it, I would temporarily wire the fanlinc on the end of an extension cord and carefully probe for voltages, specifically the blue wire that is normally connected to the light fixture. If you are seeing 120V there, then I would be nearly certain that the problem lies elsewhere.

And, for future reference, when you come to a forum asking for help and people take the time to try, please respond to the questions. I am still curious if your light comes back on the next day. after things have cooled down.
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[email protected]
Starting Member

8 Posts

Posted - 05/07/2020 :  7:11:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by oberkc

OK. You have "two fans", but only one fanlinc? Make sure you don't have a single fanlinc powering two fans.

I have trouble believing that his is a problem with the fanlinc. If you are getting 120V on the blue wire from the fanlinc or at the socket, that seems to indicate that it is working.

My best (only) theory right now is that, as the temperature in the bulb rises when on, the socket gets warm and, somehow, loses contact with the bulb. Make sure power is off, reach into the socked with a small screw driver and, gently, try to pull that little tab in the bottom-center of the socket. Sometimes they can get bent over time. If this is not it, I would temporarily wire the fanlinc on the end of an extension cord and carefully probe for voltages, specifically the blue wire that is normally connected to the light fixture. If you are seeing 120V there, then I would be nearly certain that the problem lies elsewhere.

And, for future reference, when you come to a forum asking for help and people take the time to try, please respond to the questions. I am still curious if your light comes back on the next day. after things have cooled down.




Thanks for taking the time on this, its great to get help especially since im sure im doing everything correctly.
So to clarify, i have two fans and tried installed two different FL. To restate, i have NEVER had two FL installed in the house at the same time. One broke (main issue) so i moved on to the next fan and then the other broke (main issue).

To make things so much easier and instead going back and forth trying to clarify i made a video so you can see exactly whats going on.


https://youtu.be/9C6NQdROsl0

Hopefully that answers your exact questions as i know its frustrating when people are not giving helpful people feedback. Why i always answer your questions directly and clearly.

quote last post "To answer you question.....Yes, tried them the day after, even did a factory reset and re-programmed."

PS: Friday 5/7/2020 i will have a new FL. The plan is to video the install, show its working (remote and through phone app) then lets see how long it lasts.

My research on the forums have concluded that LED (in this case still dimmable) bulbs do not create a permanent failure of the FL device its self. Im questioning that now.

Edited by - [email protected] on 05/07/2020 7:17:13 PM
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oberkc
Moderator

USA
4094 Posts

Posted - 05/08/2020 :  04:27:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow. You are persistent. I agree that just because there seems to be little record of LED causing failure does not mean it is not possible. The fanlinc is, theoretically, rated only for incandescent loads unfortunately. Given this, I would use only incandescent until you are confident that the new fanlinc is working.

Yes, it looks to me also that you are doing everything correctly. One point that is likely NOT relevant...green LED = lights on IIRC. (Your video narrative suggested otherwise). I have no remains theories (other than failed fanlinc) as to why the lights do not work.

Out of curiosity, what brand LED bulbs are you using?

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[email protected]
Starting Member

8 Posts

Posted - 05/11/2020 :  10:03:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by oberkc

Wow. You are persistent. I agree that just because there seems to be little record of LED causing failure does not mean it is not possible. The fanlinc is, theoretically, rated only for incandescent loads unfortunately. Given this, I would use only incandescent until you are confident that the new fanlinc is working.

Yes, it looks to me also that you are doing everything correctly. One point that is likely NOT relevant...green LED = lights on IIRC. (Your video narrative suggested otherwise). I have no remains theories (other than failed fanlinc) as to why the lights do not work.

Out of curiosity, what brand LED bulbs are you using?





Ok Mystery solved but still not a good ending.

Got a new FL installed (with ONLY three incandescent bulbs). I noticed something weird which did happen all the other three times but i thought was normal. The FL itself was turning ON for half a second then OFF for a couple of seconds. They would flash on the bulbs when they did this.
**Theory, Bulbs are overloading the FL and draining a capacitor and its discharging, then filling up....doing that in a loop.

The FL was actually not booting up because of this. So continuing my theory discovery, i pulled the string on the fan lights to cut power. Exactly what i expected, the FL booted up like normal...programmed...ect. So then with the FL lights ON, i pull the fan light string again to actually see if its getting light. It did for a little bit then went back to the "blinking stage" where it was turning ON and OFF the whole insteaon device like before.

Next test on my theory, i unscrew two bulbs so we only have 60 watts of incandescent light in the fan. The FL boots up and works like normal. BUT now when i turn on and off the lights, when it dims the lights ON and OFF it makes a TERRIBLE buzzing sound. BUT everything works like "normal".

So conclusion, the actual fan light wiring has something to do with these Fanlinc getting burnt out. Ruled out house wiring, ruled out dimmable LEDs, the FL itself (other than the FL getting burnt out because of this fan model)

Im getting new model fans so we can finally have lights in our bedroom controlled by a switch.

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oberkc
Moderator

USA
4094 Posts

Posted - 05/11/2020 :  5:42:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If it were me, I would be probing the fan for resistance, looking for shorts somewhere in the light fixture. But...I guess it really does not matter since you are getting new fans.

Thanks for the update.
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[email protected]
Starting Member

8 Posts

Posted - 05/11/2020 :  8:24:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by oberkc

If it were me, I would be probing the fan for resistance, looking for shorts somewhere in the light fixture. But...I guess it really does not matter since you are getting new fans.

Thanks for the update.



I would normal agree with you BUT these are brand new fans out the box. I would even say it was the single fan fault but we have two exact same models.
We got them long ago (1.5 years ago) and now we just finally moved.

What are the chances of two brand new fans in box have a wiring issue with using incandescent bulbs?

I know your representing Insteon And I want these FL to work more than you ;)
But it’s time to conclude this isn’t going to be fixed.

Of course I’m always open to suggestions. You know I’d take apart two new fans just to prove it :)
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oberkc
Moderator

USA
4094 Posts

Posted - 05/12/2020 :  04:06:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
I know your representing Insteon And I want these FL to work more than you ;)


No. I am just a hobbyist like you. I have no relationship to insteon or smart home other than being a user of their products.

I wish I had more ideas why this is not working for you. I have four fanlincs in my house and have had them since they were first introduced. No problems at all.

Shot in the dark: these existing fans, by chance, do not have built-in remote controls? (I assume not, since you mentioned pull stings/chains, but was pondering the possibility that this could cause an incompatibility with another remote control).

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BLH
Advanced Member

6156 Posts

Posted - 05/12/2020 :  04:26:46 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Did you measure the voltage on the Blue Light output with the load connected? If you used a meter and no load was on the output. It can give you a false reading. As the meter is high impedance and even small amount of leakage will read.

How many dimmable LEDs are being controlled? Not too common these days. Newer designs maybe better but I have no data on newer ones.

Dimmable LED bulbs can have an Inrush and Repetitive Peek Current. Many times the rated current of the LED bulb. In the early LED days. Some dimmable LED bulbs had a equivalent wattage number. You could use when calculating wattage on a dimmer. One of my early LED bulbs said use 85 watts per bulb when calculating a total load on a dimmer. You maybe stressing the lights output and after awhile it failed. With no output if measured with the load connected and the Green LED was still on.

Edited by - BLH on 05/12/2020 04:35:00 AM
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BLH
Advanced Member

6156 Posts

Posted - 05/12/2020 :  07:03:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Since this forum is End User based. You will not see many company representatives here.

You may also want to ask in the Insteon forums over on Insteon.com. It is mostly end users but I have seen an occasional company employee answering in.
https://forum.insteon.com/

If the LED bulbs you used with other Insteon modules. The wall switch dimmers have twice the wattage rating as the FanLinc. 600 Watts versus 300 Watts. If it was the plug in dimmer they are the same 300 watt rating as the FanLinc.
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[email protected]
Starting Member

8 Posts

Posted - 05/13/2020 :  2:20:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BLH

Since this forum is End User based. You will not see many company representatives here.

You may also want to ask in the Insteon forums over on Insteon.com. It is mostly end users but I have seen an occasional company employee answering in.
https://forum.insteon.com/

If the LED bulbs you used with other Insteon modules. The wall switch dimmers have twice the wattage rating as the FanLinc. 600 Watts versus 300 Watts. If it was the plug in dimmer they are the same 300 watt rating as the FanLinc.



Thanks BLH for the reply. I know its a long thread but the LEDS i initially used were 13 watts each, well under the total 300 watts the fanlic can handle. Secondly the last couple posts and currently running are a incandescent bulbs 60watts each.
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BLH
Advanced Member

6156 Posts

Posted - 05/13/2020 :  3:09:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If the LED bulbs have a large Inrush and Repetitive current spikes. They may blow out the Triac dimming control component. 13 watts is what most watt meters would read and not the short current spikes a scope would be needed to read.

Unfortunately I no longer see the bulb manufacturers even mentioning if their bulbs have the current spikes or what wattage number to use when calculating the total you should use. So you can't determine if yours had such spikes and what each should be rated at when adding up a load on a dimmer.

I have seen reports of the early hardware FanLinc modules being reliable. Later ones may have had design changes and where failing. That was awhile back so I hope the issues have been addressed in the presently being sold modules.

Edited by - BLH on 05/13/2020 3:13:32 PM
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[email protected]
Starting Member

8 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2020 :  09:44:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BLH

If the LED bulbs have a large Inrush and Repetitive current spikes. They may blow out the Triac dimming control component. 13 watts is what most watt meters would read and not the short current spikes a scope would be needed to read.

Unfortunately I no longer see the bulb manufacturers even mentioning if their bulbs have the current spikes or what wattage number to use when calculating the total you should use. So you can't determine if yours had such spikes and what each should be rated at when adding up a load on a dimmer.

I have seen reports of the early hardware FanLinc modules being reliable. Later ones may have had design changes and where failing. That was awhile back so I hope the issues have been addressed in the presently being sold modules.



interesting history of the LED bulb however we are using JUST incandescent bulbs here.
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