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27 May, 2009

my Zen is lit again!

my Zen is lit again!

Sorry for lack of entry yesterday. My life was not as exciting as Don's in beautiful Boston.

Zen water fountain

You might remember the Zen Fountain (pictured above) I got for my birthday last year. After some time of using the light went off.

Well, the expectancy for light bulbs is simply, they will blow out some day. The solution? Replace it with a new one.

The problem, it was not that easy to replace the light bulb.

(as usual, more photos follow...)

This is a photo of the non-working light bulb.

It looks like a normal halogen spotlight. The problem is that it is an unusual smaller version, as well as the unusual 5W version.


I asked quite a few lighting shops. Non of them carried such light bulb. Many checked their computer and couldn't find it. One light shop gave me the address of a wholesaler. I finally managed to visit the wholesaler today.

I was so relieved that they have this unusual light bulb. I bought six in one go, and I hope that those six light bulbs would last a long time.



Finally, my Zen is lit again!

The fountain has always been working, but without light, it just doesn't look right.

Meanwhile, Don has built his own LED torch with 12 LEDs! You can read more at this thread or his blog entry. Well done Don.

The wholesaler told me that the particular halogen light bulb is a bit hard to get. If they can't any more in the future, I might have to switch to LED version of the spotlight.

I would like to end this entry with a useful tip. Never touch the halogen light bulbs or spotlight bulbs directly with your hand. The halogen light bulbs (and spotlights) are very high temperature, and the oil from fingers will cause the damage to the bulb (or shorten the life of the halogen bulb at least).

(to Don: Antony is poor.)

This entry has Lightbox effect enabled. Click on the thumbnails for larger photos.

Posted by Antony on 27 May 2009 11:27 PM | gadget, photos

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The solution? Replace it with a new one.
Personally, I would have ripped out the dead filament from the halogen bulb, then used the leads to wire up nine LEDs in a 3x3 array with 120 ohm resistors in each row. That would have been a fun afternoon project. If you're curious, the reason for the LED torch was that the incandescent bulb in my flashlight burned out, and I didn't feel like getting a new one.
Posted by Don_HH2K on 28 May 2009 10:30 AM.
The Zen Fountain is a relaxation and decoration item, you don't hack it for the sack of scientific fun or to prove to the world that you are a geek.
There was actually another solution. I could take the light off (the black frame for the halogen light bulb can be easily unscrewed).
Posted by Antony on 28 May 2009 10:46 AM.
How can you "unscrew" a two pin halogen lamp?
Posted by Rev.Dr.Wu Yi on 28 May 2009 11:33 AM.
You can detach the entire black part (the two thin black metals from the back) that holds the halogen lamp. That way, no one would know it has the spotlight missing, but won't be as good looking as with the light.
Posted by Antony on 28 May 2009 12:23 PM.
Please review my comment again, as your answer is not the answer to my question.
Posted by Rev.Dr.Wu Yi on 28 May 2009 2:27 PM.
Well, usually, you pull/push the halogen bulbs. Some, like my Zen, has screws for tightening.
Posted by Antony on 28 May 2009 11:50 PM.
" Zen, has screws for tightening. " I assume you mean for holding the lampholder in place?
Posted by on 29 May 2009 11:27 AM.
BTW, decorative lighting is the "anti-christ" of energy conservation practices.
When our energy suppliers begin their 21% increase in price from 01 July this year, you might begin to rethink how you look at the need for gadgets and all those stand-by lamps, Zen fountains etc.
Posted by Rev.Dr.Wu Yi on 29 May 2009 11:35 AM.
The lamp holder is screwed on the back, and the halogen light bulb is pushed into the two holes then there are (another) two screws to tighten the two pins. Have I explained enough?
There's nothing wrong with a few decorative lighting around. I don't have anywhere near as many as those in beautiful Boston.
As for the electricity price increasing, well, the Zen fountain lighting uses only 5 watts. I am not worried. The increased of electricity simply encourages everybody to buy energy efficient devices! I have, when practically feasible, always bought energy efficient devices.
Posted by Antony on 29 May 2009 2:41 PM.
Oh! Look! There goes the tooth fairy, Santa, and the easter bunny all sharing the same cab!!!LOL!!
Posted by on 29 May 2009 3:06 PM.
They don't share the same cab or the same (pumpkin) carriage! Two of them are seasonal, and they are of different seasons. Plus, the Santa has his owe flying reindeer.
Posted by Antony on 29 May 2009 4:18 PM.
Onlyentire bedroom with less than five watts.
Posted by Don_HH2K on 29 May 2009 8:23 PM.
Sorry, I think I screwed up an HTML tag in my previous post.
Only five watts, just for a Zen fountain? I light my entire bedroom with less than five watts.
Posted by Don_HH2K on 29 May 2009 8:25 PM.
Yes, only 5 watts for the lighting part of the Zen fountain. Five watts is very little compared to regular halogen spotlight bulbs (usually 10 watts or 20 watts).
Posted by Antony on 29 May 2009 8:36 PM.
I think you missed my point. I can light an entire room with less than five watts, while you are lighting only a relatively small Zen fountain with five watts. Therefore, I would not call that "energy efficient".
Posted by Don_HH2K on 29 May 2009 8:55 PM.
I told you that LED light bulbs are extremely expensive here. I checked the prices.
Posted by Antony on 29 May 2009 9:19 PM.
You did tell me that, but you are again demanding the expensive retail option. I checked on, and those bulbs are going for the same price as I bought mine for.
Posted by Don_HH2K on 29 May 2009 11:25 PM.
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