4 Tips to Avoid Fixture Malfunction

January 20, 2012 by CHAUVET DJ

by Max Morgan, CHAUVET ®Technical Manager

Technical equipment can malfunction. There, I said it, but unfortunately it’s just the way it goes. What’s even more unfortunate? When the malfunction happens at the most inopportune time, like when you’re in the middle of a gig and you can’t do much about it.  Read on to recognize the different types of malfunctions and what the potential causes could be.

Some fixtures make noise and it can be hard to differentiate what sounds normal and what doesn’t.  A normal sound is low and consistent while an abnormal sound is loud and inconsistent. If you hear shaking, grinding, the jingling of a loose part or something rubbing, it’s obvious that something is wrong. A number of things including a bad motor, missing part or a loose screw, can cause these sounds.

There’s a problem if your fixture doesn’t respond when you plug it in. If your fixture doesn’t have power, a bad fuse, broken power cable, bad transformer or other electrical components that have gone haywire can cause this. More often than not, the culprit is a bad fuse.

If your fixture is receiving power but isn’t emitting light, a dead LED or lamp isn’t the only thing to blame. LEDs have an exceptionally long lifespan (up to 50,000 hours!) but they don’t last forever. Most lamps have a lifespan of 2,000 hours and can explode if they run longer. Other contributing factors include a broken power wire going to the board, bad thermal switch, bad ballast, bad transformer or a bad starter.

Fixtures need cooling systems to prevent them from overheating. However, these systems can only do so much. If you mount your fixture in a poorly ventilated space where it can only circulate hot air, it is almost a guarantee it will overheat. Other factors that aid in the overheating of fixtures include broken or damaged fans, bad fan motors or if the cooling system fails completely.

If you consider yourself very tech savvy, you may attempt to fix the fixture yourself. We only suggest this if you really know what you’re doing. If you’re unfamiliar with the way fixtures operate, you may end up causing more problems. Another thing to keep in mind is that your warranty will be void if you open the fixture yourself. If you’re unsure about the problem, send it to the manufacturer’s tech department for repair.


Filed Under: Lighting for Mobile DJs