The false economy of in home LED lighting

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Pulsar
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get that chicken an incan!

only thing i like about the cfls in my house, when you shut it off, it glows green for a few seconds. dont like the soft start, dont like replacing them every few months, dont like how all the color is washed out. yes that last one may the tint of the bulb, but all the ones i have ever had were washed out compared to incan. now i have a few leds around the house… makes me hate them all over again. i have 2 on the vanity light in my bathroom, the emitters are mounted on a pyramid with 3 on each side, so its not so much directional. then on the ceiling is a cfl. the color is much more vivid around my sink, and the rest of the bathroom looks like a pale pastel.

texaspyro
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Speedsix wrote:
Led bulbs for the home are just not quit there yet. I think in just a few years, we will all be using them but for right now, CFLs are better for the money.

You are just not buying the proper LED bulbs. Every LED bulb that I have puts out more and better light than their halogen equivalents. All are actual measurements done in my sphere (and those LED numbers matched the manufacturers published specs within a couple of percent, no Chinese lumens here)

PAR16: halogen 50w 420 lumens / LED 8 watt: 530 lumens (uses 4xXML)
PAR20: halogen 50w 450 lumens / LED 10 watt: 550 lumens (95 CRI)
MR16: halogen 50w 400 lumens / LED 10 watt: 490 lumens
G4: halogen 10w 90 lumens / LED 1 watt: 100 lumens
PAR30/PAR38: <10 lumens/watt / LED 50-60 lumens/watt (15w/18w/24w)

Sarje
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Here in South Africa, the electricity company introduced an initiative to replace all bulbs in households to energy saving equivalents.
I had already replaced all the standard bulbs with CFL’s. Most of the house has mains voltage downlighters though. The LED replacements are just so expensive, I couldn’t justify it.
Needless to say, Eskom replaced them all with 3w LED’s for free.
They are excellent and are brighter than a 30w downlighter and maybe, just a touch, dimmer than a 50w. The clean white light is much better than the yellow tinted halogens too.
When the price comes down, everyone will use these.

march.brown
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The good old incandescent bulbs were purely resistive and the (pure watts) real power used was metered correctly on the electricity meter for billing purposes.

Non-Incandescent bulbs are not purely resistive so they are either capacitive or inductive … The older electricity meters do not record the reactive power (Vars) at the moment and once the majority of people are using non-Incandescent bulbs , the Electricity Supply companies will fit new meters to all domestic supply points … It is possible that newer meters now fitted to consumers premises are already capable of measuring both types of power.

This means that we will eventually be paying more for our electricity … This is going to happen in the UK in the future and it is us (the consumers) that will have to foot the bill as usual.

I use an assortment of types of bulbs at the moment , but at my age I won’t need to worry about the new metering system that will also charge for reactive power … If your devices have an input transformer to step the voltage up or down , then that is an inductor.

Hopefully one day the bulb manufacturers will be able to make their products purely resistive with a zero phase-angle supply requirement.
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march.brown

leaftye
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There's less than 2 watts difference between those bulbs for a given light output.  So let's go crazy and say those 2 watts are just wasted 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and costs my maximum rate of 25.4 cents per kilowatt/hour.  That's $4.45.

That's for 8760 hours.  From the reviews I've seen here and vendor sites, LED light bulbs just don't seem to last anywhere that long.  Probably due to cost cutting, resulting in over driven and under cooled lights.  Granted, CFL's won't last that long either.  Even so, on a cost basis, I'd take the unsubsidized CFL over the subsidized LED almost every time.  The exceptions are for lights more likely to be physically abused.  Like that bulb in my patio over my weights that I occasionally shatter, or in that lamp that occasionally gets knocked over.  For those I'd like to switch to an LED light bulb.  For the rest, I'm already using CFL's and plan to keep doing so until LED's become a much better value.  Actually, if the LED light bulbs would actually last an honest 50,000 hours, then I would be much more inclined to use them.

The low mode should be lower.

Reviews: Efan IMR18350 700mAh 10.5A, <a href="http://

chrisc
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I still haven’t been able to find LED’s cheap in the UK. A CFL for £1 vs an LED for £10 makes it a very hard choice to go for LED. I have moved to fast start CFL’s and I’m happy with them for now. When LEDs drop to ~£5 a bulb for a decent output I might move over to them. For now though they are too expensive for me to justify.

joe1512
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LIFETIME:
LEDs have about a 25000 to 50000 hour lifetime which is actually fairly likely to be accurate as they don’t poop out like Incans do. They are also pretty much indestructable and even when one of the LEDs goes out there is an array of many of them, so even really bad luck is mitigated.

CFLs have much shorter lifetime and are way more likely to break. You will likely buy many CFLs for the lifetime equivalent of 1 LED. This is where the ‘green’ part comes in.

LEDs have other advantages too.

  • CFLs are terrible in dimmers. Even with their specialty ones, they dont work all that good. LEDs work great with dimmers. No problems at all. They work better than incans actually and aren’t unduly stressed by lower light levels like Incans are.
  • CFL ballast sucks. They have to warm up and sometimes have flickering issues. Even today its hard to find CFLs that are good and immediately give full brightness. I have some and they exist, but they are hard to find and theres NO WAY TO KNOW when buying them. You just hope for the best.

For the most part you are right… I do mostly CFLs. They have new types of CFLs with no mercury. However, for any dimmer switches you may have, or if you have areas where you really want immediate brightness, LEDs are quite good.

Hikelite
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Interesting comments regrading CFLs on this thread. I have not had to change CFLs yet and they go for years now, nor any of them flicker. 

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Hikelite wrote:

Interesting comments regrading CFLs on this thread. I have not had to change CFLs yet and they go for years now, nor any of them flicker. 

+1

I don't have much issue with the CFL's I have in use.  We moved into our current house 2 years ago and the previous owner left CFL's installed everywhere.  I have had a couple oddballs that died and I replaced, but for the most part have been very happy with them.  They look like they have been installed for years before we moved in (evidenced by how dirty they are).  They are not instant-on, but aren't that dim on first turn-on. 

-Garry

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Shadowww
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Where you guys are getting your 10 pound LED bulbs? :S
My room is lit with 10 of these: http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Replace-50W-High-Brightly-CREE-GU10-9W-3-3W-85V-265V-Led-Light-Lamp-Led-Spotlight/702910078.html (yes that’s 90W)
And none have failed yet, in over a year.

texaspyro
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march.brown wrote:
Non-Incandescent bulbs are not purely resistive so they are either capacitive or inductive …

All my LED bulbs have a 0.85 to 0.98 power factor.

peterloron
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I’ve got some CFL lamps. Mostly they’re ok, but I’ve yet to find any that have really nice CRI. Our local Costco (Seattle, WA USA) had some nice FEIT LED lamps on sale for $5 each recently. Both BR30 floods and standard 60W replacements. The come on quite quickly, don’t flicker, have nice color (not perfect, but good), and have a nice even light throw.

Hopefully in the next 3-4 years we’ll be seeing some really high quality LED lamps at low prices. $30 is nuts for a general purpose lamp.

nqcken
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clearly there is a large YMMV gap among users here of cfls. starting with the first rebates several years ago i made a decision to completely switch to the cfl format. seemed like a no brainer. as has been pointed out, with the subsidies offered they are very inexpensive and whenever one burned out or started flickering i just replaced it. when the first led house lighting bulbs came out i tried them and got nowhere, the wife hated the color, they were too directional for general household lights. as i stated above i put them in some places where accessibility was an issue and the family tended to leave them on. over the following years i have tried a number of led bulbs attempting to solve some of the issues described but with limited success. just recently i read about the nationally sponsered “L” prize competition with a $10million cash prize for the winner/ Phillips won this competition with their 10W (9.7W) 60W replacement bulb reportedly with 93.4lm/W. current subsidized prize is ~$25 per bulb going down to $15 and then to $8bulb in the following years. i am going to purchase a few of these (just because i can) to give them a try but it seems that the future may be getting brighter (NPI) for household led replacement bulbs. meanwhile i can not wait to throw out all of my remaining cfls.

btw lest i be called a shill for philips, i have no former, current or future affiliation with home depot or phillips or pretty much anyone. Smile it would be nice to have someone more knowledgeable than i take a look at these new generation bulbs and give a review.

ken

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I recently replaced some pot lights. The original ones were GU-10 halogen bulbs, and now they’re Cree CR6’s. I didn’t go for CFLs. My reasoning:

  • CFLs in pot lights (where the bulbs can be visible) look funny
  • The few dimmable CFLs I’ve tried were not very dimmable. They’d go from 100% down to about 50%, and then off.
  • I don’t want any mercury in the house
  • in my experience with CFLs, frequent on/off switching makes them die about 10x sooner than advertised
  • as others have said, CFLs are just an interim lighting solution
  • we could have bought CFLs and replaced them with LED bulbs when LED bulbs were cheaper/better, but the CR6’s look nicer than any bulb, CFL or other.

The Cree CR6’s are superb. The CRI is I think 90, and we truly can’t tell the difference between them and the halogens we had up there before (colour-rendition-wise). They dim really well, they are 2700 K (the colour we like), they look nice on the ceiling, they’re nice and floody (the GU-10s were too “spotty” for my liking), etc. I won’t mention other benefits over the halogen GU-10’s, but there are many.

The only way I could be happier with the Cree lights is if we were able to get the NEW CR6’s, which are 800 lm instead of 575 lm, at a good price. But in our application, 575 lm was plenty, and they were on sale. For our kitchen, where we do want more light, we’ll wait for the 800-lm ones to drop in price.

tabetha
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gords1001 wrote:
The CFL’s we get here now are instant on no flicker (this coming from a brit, we don’t seem to notice pwm either), I can cope with them but miss in-cans tbh.

That’s what I use as well, about 70-80% bright instantly my ones from MEGAMAN, but have had one explode in terrific fashion, thankfully was in garage, and don’t know if moisture was a factor there tbh, I use 23W ones, about £10 each though.
Is that landy in your piccie ?, me mate works on them all day for RAF, I even use a Land Rover series 2/2a clutch master cylinder on my sierra cossie after I converted it to hydraulic clutch with a southwest.com(us) concentric slave.
dct73
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joe1512 wrote:
LIFETIME:
LEDs have about a 25000 to 50000 hour lifetime which is actually fairly likely to be accurate as they don’t poop out like Incans do. They are also pretty much indestructable and even when one of the LEDs goes out there is an array of many of them, so even really bad luck is mitigated.

CFLs have much shorter lifetime and are way more likely to break. You will likely buy many CFLs for the lifetime equivalent of 1 LED. This is where the ‘green’ part comes in.

It’s not the LED that “poops out”. It’s the circuit. I’d be highly suspicious of anyone telling me to expect 50,000 hours out of ANY light bulb. I don’t know what cfl’s everybody that has trouble is buying, but I don’t recall one EVER burning out after several years. I’ve broken a few though.

allan d
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Quote:
I don’t know what cfl’s everybody that has trouble is buying, but I don’t recall one EVER burning out after several years. I’ve broken a few though.

Same here. I have been using CFLs for over 5 years and have never had one quit. I have one in a bedroom lamp that has about a 1 second delay at turn on, but it has done that for 3 years now. I guess it may be on it’s way to quitting.

I’ve only broken one and that was while cleaning a ceiling fan.

Allan

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Received this just today:

1

I see my photo got cutoff. First row = lumens, 2nd=watts used, 3rd=life expectancy, 4th=cost to operate per year, 5th=savings over 25,000 hrs use. 

So based on this chart, why buy the LED?

-Garry

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Another reason not to buy the LED. If it lasts 23 years, WHO CARES. It will be obsolete LONG before then. My strategy in buying high tech is to buy behind the “bleeding edge” curve (leading edge, but you bleed money) and update fairly often. Never invest so heavily in a technology, or product, that you wouldn’t be willing to throw it out and start over. I can’t tell you how often I will see someone buy a computer, or TV or whatever and spend 2-3 times more than they have too for “quality or features” thinking that they can then postpone their next purchase. Very poor investment.

Shaquille
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i say just keep a few of these in the house :bigsmile:

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I went big for CFLs a long time ago, but have been switching to LEDs in the last 3 years or so. Reasons?

1. Higher CRI makes for a much more pleasant light. CFLs currently top off around 80. As you know, LEDs can be above 90.

2. Waiting for CFLs to warm up got annoying. I much preferred having instant-on at full power. Especially when I'm just walking through the hallway or grabbing something from a room.

3. CCFLs address some of these issues, but are less efficent and more expensive.

4. Disposing of the CFLs properly is a pain in the butt when you don't have a car.

texaspyro
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leaftye wrote:
Yes, for whatever reason, LED light bulbs just don’t last that long.

 

The thing some people miss is that they’re not buying an LED, or a few LED’s, they are buying a LED light bulb.  That make the 50000 hour estimated life span somewhat dishonest.

Mine seem too… I have had two bulbs (out of over 300 die). Both were infant mortality issues. One bulb was a Chinese bulb and a wire to the driver was not soldered properly. Another was a Sylvania 15W PAR38. It popped an internal fuse. I have had several bulbs running 24/7 for over three years… that’s over 25,000 hours.

EPA Energy Star certification involves characterizing the bulb as a unit. The makers have to document testing of the bulb as a whole. They cannot specify lifetimes that they can’t back up and get certification. That is one reason many bulbs say 25,000 hours… their life testing past that could not be backed up with hard data.

tabetha
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dct73 wrote:
joe1512 wrote:
LIFETIME:
LEDs have about a 25000 to 50000 hour lifetime which is actually fairly likely to be accurate as they don’t poop out like Incans do. They are also pretty much indestructable and even when one of the LEDs goes out there is an array of many of them, so even really bad luck is mitigated.

CFLs have much shorter lifetime and are way more likely to break. You will likely buy many CFLs for the lifetime equivalent of 1 LED. This is where the ‘green’ part comes in.

It’s not the LED that “poops out”. It’s the circuit. I’d be highly suspicious of anyone telling me to expect 50,000 hours out of ANY light bulb. I don’t know what cfl’s everybody that has trouble is buying, but I don’t recall one EVER burning out after several years. I’ve broken a few though.


Even though you live in the same country as the, Livermore-Pleasnton Fire Dept who have a bulb that has burned for over 950,000 hours, so far, aka 110 YEARS continuously!!
Located at 4550 East Avenue, Livermore, California.
bob_ninja
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leaftye wrote:

dct73 wrote:
joe1512 wrote:
LIFETIME: LEDs have about a 25000 to 50000 hour lifetime which is actually fairly likely to be accurate as they don’t poop out like Incans do. They are also pretty much indestructable and even when one of the LEDs goes out there is an array of many of them, so even really bad luck is mitigated. CFLs have much shorter lifetime and are way more likely to break. You will likely buy many CFLs for the lifetime equivalent of 1 LED. This is where the ‘green’ part comes in.
It’s not the LED that “poops out”. It’s the circuit. I’d be highly suspicious of anyone telling me to expect 50,000 hours out of ANY light bulb. I don’t know what cfl’s everybody that has trouble is buying, but I don’t recall one EVER burning out after several years. I’ve broken a few though.

 

Yes, for whatever reason, LED light bulbs just don’t last that long.

 

The thing some people miss is that they’re not buying an LED, or a few LED’s, they are buying a LED light bulb.  That make the 50000 hour estimated life span somewhat dishonest.  That’s the life of just the LED under ideal conditions.  Will the rest of the light bulb allow the LED to operate that long?  The reviews indicate that it won’t.  If the manufacturers actually engineered and manufactured their LED light bulbs well, there would be virtually no downside in offering a great lifetime warranty, and plenty of upside.  

 

As far as CFL’s, I had older ones fizz out.  The newer bulbs dim over time, or part of the tube darkens significantly.  Instead of waiting for these bulbs to go fully dead, I replace them.

Here is my solution

No really I am not flashoholic! Really I am not Sad

CheapThrills
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I got hese yesterday from mail:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/230793300741?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3...

Well, at least they are far better than the ones I got over a year ago for similar price.
Tint is pretty warm but bearable.
They light up straight away, which can be a plus.
They make some less light, compared to 7W CFL yet they heat up almost the same.
The shade of the lamp stays 4Celcius cooler when these are in.

CRI is by eye worse, than with 940 fluorescent but that should not surprise anyone.
If you need E14 socket lights to light up fast but no High Quality light is needed measured by CRI, these might well be a good option.

BTW, they look terrible.

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4 CFL for 0.97$ ?? Shocked Shocked

here 1 CFL cost around 3-5$ Sad

nqcken
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national tv (NBC) was promoting a “go green” iniative for xmas by converting all of the incan xmas lights to led. something i have done a long time ago. i think the case has been made here that led household lighting is still not there wrt cost effectiveness however there are other variables at play and since i do not mind paying more i choose to go led and anxiously await the time when leds replace cfls. if cost effectiveness were the only variable in choosing lights we would all be buying 800 lumen flashlights that cost no more than $12. Smile and really the name of the forum should be changed to budget led light forum since leds are the priniple topic for discussion with the occasional hid thrown in.

ken

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sixfink wrote:
Ah yes, the wonderful GREEN scam movement! Don’t we all just absolutely adore totalitarian ideas and ideals of all kind?

[snip]

As far as CFLs are concerned, can’t say that I like them much. I can’t operate my scroll saw properly, the oscillating blade gets all blurry in my vision and I can’t see where I am cutting. They are good for lighting up my brother’s garage, though.


First, I call it “The Disinterested Third Party Fallacy”: The mistaken notion that some (any) third party, other than the two of us, can make a better decision about what’s best for you and for me. And you know what we get from fallacious reasoning…

I want to help you keep your fingers!!

As far as LEDs are concerned, my old eyes see the PWM flicker FAR more on LEDs, since they literally cut ALL the light when they’re Off. And they change color when you lower the If, so you either dim them with flickering pulses or dim-and-recolor them with lower current. Not the choices I’d pay for! OTOH, I will admit that sometimes the color shift makes the Light better…

No, I’m not trying to claim my eyes are immune to Persistence of Vision!! Of course they all look “smooth” generally. PWM flickering makes dangerous things like car engines, fan and saw blades appear to stop moving. That’s as bad as it gets in my book. It’s like lying, and you KNOW how much I hate that!!

Fluorescents (whatever their shape) spark off the plasma & then don’t need that huge blast anymore. Even in the cold (like, e.g., a walk-in freezer), once they start, they’re supposed to calm down. The flickering may be due to bad manufacturing processes or variable AC supply. Don’t laugh. In the PC LAN repair business, we see “Bad AC” far too frequently to “assume” the power company is doing its job. It sounds like maybe yours keep trying to restart. This will cancel any cost savings you might get from fluorescents. Have you tried replacing your Ballast? They make new fluorescents where the tube( s ), fixtures/reflectors, ballast and everything can be hung from its own power cord! And make huge (wicked-cheap) light, with your choice of colors (like the 5000K 4-tube fixtures in my garage & workshop).

The point of all that (waaay off-topic) is, when I’m scroll-sawing (or any time the cutting edge blurs like that), I try to LET the blade “blur”, and just guide the “hole” that’s appearing at the end of the cut. It’s a weird way of looking at things, but it works for me. Just focus on keeping the leading, inside edge of the cut half-way into the pencil line & the cut will be beautiful. I developed this trick working as a “saw man” on a home-building crew… I would have a big problem if the moving blade appeared to stop!!!

Dim

“There is no darkness but ignorance.”

march.brown
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If you have a three-phase supply , you can treble the apparent flicker frequency by using different phases … You do need three times as many light units though.
.

march.brown

dct73
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tabetha wrote:
dct73 wrote:
joe1512 wrote:
LIFETIME:
LEDs have about a 25000 to 50000 hour lifetime which is actually fairly likely to be accurate as they don’t poop out like Incans do. They are also pretty much indestructable and even when one of the LEDs goes out there is an array of many of them, so even really bad luck is mitigated.

CFLs have much shorter lifetime and are way more likely to break. You will likely buy many CFLs for the lifetime equivalent of 1 LED. This is where the ‘green’ part comes in.

It’s not the LED that “poops out”. It’s the circuit. I’d be highly suspicious of anyone telling me to expect 50,000 hours out of ANY light bulb. I don’t know what cfl’s everybody that has trouble is buying, but I don’t recall one EVER burning out after several years. I’ve broken a few though.


Even though you live in the same country as the, Livermore-Pleasnton Fire Dept who have a bulb that has burned for over 950,000 hours, so far, aka 110 YEARS continuously!!
Located at 4550 East Avenue, Livermore, California.

And guess what? That bulb isn’t an LED, it’s incandescant. Of course one out of billions is pretty pour evidence.

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