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Cheap RGB LED Par Can Light Fix

Sometimes the solution is easy. Maybe the wires are just crossed.

A while ago I picked up a set of RGB LED par can lights from a friend. They are unbranded, but I did a little searching online. Turns out they are sold under the brand TMS, which I think stands for T-Motorsports, but can’t be certain.

They are just generic, low-cost lights that you can buy in packs of 20, 10, 8, 4, 2, and even 1. They’re super-affordable, small, and get the job done.

I haven’t really used them yet. In some recent tests I noticed one of the fixtures did not seem to be addressed the same as all of the others.

picture showing the lights not working properly

BEFORE: The can lit green should be lit red like the rest of them.

After confirming that the problem was that the red and green channels were flipped, I figured it was a problem that could be fixed easily. I opened up a good light and a bad light to compare the wiring.

side by side comparison of good and bad can lights

On the left is a properly functioning can light. On the right is the can light with the red and green channels switched.

It might be hard to see in the picture above, but the blue and black wires coming from the control PCB were soldered to the LED PCB backwards at the factory. I fired up the soldering iron and swapped the connections.

interior shot of wires before and after modification

Shown above are the black and blue wires before and after the switch.

Here are the all the lights functioning as expected after switching the wires.

picture of the 10 lights working correctly

AFTER: All 10 cans working properly.

So, yes, you get what you pay for. Cheap, unbranded lights might not be wired correctly at the factory. But sometimes good enough is good enough and a little know-how can keep the show on the road.

WARNING: Always be careful working on electronics. Unplug the power before opening things up. Don’t touch stuff on the inside. Be very cautious. You can be killed or seriously injured if you don’t know what you are doing. Prior to any electrical work consult with your local electrician, doctor, lawyer, and priest.

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