Tradfri Driver -- requires power cycling for light to go on

Hi all,

This is a problem that might have multiple solutions. I’m posting here in the hopes that someone is inspired to create a new device handler. That’s asking a lot I know!

Problem:

I have a Tradfri 10W led driver attached to a non-Ikea 24v bulb and it almost never initially lights up. After power cycling the dimmer 1-4 times or unscrewing and rescrewing the bulb it will work. I guess the incompatibility is caused by the driver’s initial current. Maybe the driver initially spikes and the bulb shuts off? When the circuit is broken and connected again, the driver has warmed up and is providing current compatible with the bulb. It’s not perfect though – the dimming function does not work.

I’m curious what folks here with more experience and knowledge think. Any suggestions for getting the Tradfri to work better?

  • Would it be possible to create a device handler that does an initial rapid power-cycle?
  • Alternatively, is there an alternative zigbee LED driver that does what the Tradfri does?

Background:

I live in a building that has solid, poured concrete walls. Adding light by channeling into the wall or ceiling would require lots of effort and create lots of dust. It’s also electrically outside of my comfort zone. Instead, I’ve powered low voltage lighting using flat, paintable speaker wire from Sewell. The painted wire is almost invisible. Here’s the light I have attached to the Tradfri driver.

It works well after the driver is warmed up, providing continuous high-quality light.

Troubleshooting to date:

  • Original 4W bulb – would often blink rapidly when driver was on or off. Power cycling would get it to work. Didn’t try unscrewing and rescrewing
  • Changed polarity – did nothing
  • Got replacement bulbs – same issue

Things I haven’t tested:

  • Using a standard driver to see how the bulb behaves
  • Trying the Tradfri with a different hub (I’m using SmartThings)

Alternatives:

  • Install a Cassetta light switch and a separate LED driver. This would be fine—it will be $50 more expensive. But, there are some other locations where the outlet isn’t switch wired, and I’d like to avoid having two wall warts.
  • Install a zigbee wall outlet & the LED dimmer. A little bulky. I’m not sure it would dim properly
  • Install a LED driver and then a zigbee controller. Would it waste power? This post describes how to harvest the Tradfri zigbee switch, but think it might look janky, and I’m wary of soldering.

Conclusion

The fixture looks great and the light, when on, provides necessary light. But, obviously, it’s impractical to unscrew the bulb and rescrew the bulb. A new driver that makes it work would be great. Alternatively, I’ll explore different hardware options. For this location, a smart switch and traditional driver would work, but there are many locations where that is incompatible.