LED lightbulbs

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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby rkhusky » Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:10 am

deanbrew wrote:I've switched quite a few bulbs to CFLs, but I can't say I really like them very well. The one place I do like them is in our bathroom. We have four-bulb fixtures above our mirrors. These fixtures now have two incandescent and two CFL lamps in them. When I turn them on in the morning, the CFLs come on slowly, which is nice for eyes used to darkness. I can't say that feature is a plus anywhere else in the house. :wink:


In our house, CFL's do not last long in the bathroom. We use the round 3" or 4" bulbs and the incandescent ones last forever (some we haven't changed in 10 years), whereas the CFL's only last a year.

Recently we were in the market for a new light fixture and mistakenly bought one that uses the "new" CFL bulb that is not a screw type. In order to be labeled a "green" fixture, they cannot allow an incandescent bulb to be installed.
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby lightheir » Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:16 pm

bottlecap wrote:I can't believe these topics generate so much interest. Light bulbs? Really?

I just have to laugh at how rich and spoiled we have a become so as to be so discerning about different types of light bulbs! :P

JT


From the EIA: (US Energy Administration website)

"EIA estimates that in 2010, about 499 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity were used for lighting by the residential and commercial sectors. This was equal to about 18% of the total electricity consumed by both of those sectors and about 13% of total U.S. electricity consumption.

Residential lighting consumption was about 202 billion kWh, equal to about 14% of all residential electricity consumption."

http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=99&t=3

I'm guessing that LEDs would probably cut that consumption at least in half, and maybe closer to 1/3rd the current consumption. That's an enormous savings and gain for the environment by any standard. Even on an individual basis, cutting your 14% electricity consumption of lighting in half or third is well worth the investment at current LED prices.


Nothing rich and elitist about it.

I was converted myself a few years ago when looking at lighting solutions for running and cycling. Halogens used to be the way to go, but LEDs completely displaced them, and I was shocked at how cool they ran and the incredible amounts of lumens they put out. I would have converted my entire house at once back then, but they didn't even make LED bulbs back then for normal fixtures, and even as recently as last year, LED bulbs for normal fixtures were in the $50 range in the US. The prices now though are quite compelling.
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby The Wizard » Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:50 pm

lightheir wrote:...I was converted myself a few years ago when looking at lighting solutions for running and cycling. Halogens used to be the way to go, but LEDs completely displaced them, and I was shocked at how cool they ran and the incredible amounts of lumens they put out. I would have converted my entire house at once back then, but they didn't even make LED bulbs back then for normal fixtures, and even as recently as last year, LED bulbs for normal fixtures were in the $50 range in the US. The prices now though are quite compelling.

Similar for SCUBA diving, most good underwater lights are LED for night diving, the exception being for high-output video cams which often use HID lighting...
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby Valuethinker » Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:59 pm

lightheir wrote:I'm guessing that LEDs would probably cut that consumption at least in half, and maybe closer to 1/3rd the current consumption. That's an enormous savings and gain for the environment by any standard. Even on an individual basis, cutting your 14% electricity consumption of lighting in half or third is well worth the investment at current LED prices.
.


Assume that air conditioners run 1/3rd of the year and the average Coefficient of Performance of a Heat Pump is 3.0. Then you'd probably also save another 1-2% of electricity consumption on AC. The effect on office and other commercial AC will be much more dramatic.

(you lose on heating but to use the UK data, gas domestic heat is 1/3rd as expensive, and 1/3rd as polluting, as heat generated electrically).

There is also a substantial externality benefit: deferring very expensive upgrades to the electricity grid and the generation system.

However the rebound effect will kick in-- people will have more lights, and use them more. It probably does not overwhelm the benefits, but estimates of rebound effect (aka The Jevons Effect) amount to anywhere from 20-70%, depending on the product. A good guess would be 30%.

The canonical example is the UK and insulation and double glazing. Installing these led people to keep their houses warmer. The average room temperature in January in a British living room went from 13 Celsius in 1970 to 19 Celsius (about 66 degrees F) in 2010! However the UK *did* have an unusually poor housing stock, with no insulation standards, leaky etc. And there's not a lot of evidence that people want to keep their houses at above 21 C.

That most people are probably unaware of just how much their lighting costs them, oddly enough, is an argument for a *low* rebound effect.

Refrigeration has been nailed (impressively) since 1980-- on the order of a -70% fall in consumption.

The other 2 big ones in houses now are: AC and lighting. (standbye power will be the 4th and the electronics industry in the US market has gotten a *lot* better). The 5th will be laundry (and there are some impressive jumps that can be made there).

AC is probably only replaced only every 20 years or so on average, so will take a long time.

The thing that was hard for me to get my head around was that, at $40 US per lightbulb:

- it still paid me to put in an LED (payback 18m - 3 years depending on light)

- it only paid me to wait if the price of LED bulbs was falling faster than my annual savings
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby Jerilynn » Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:10 pm

deanbrew wrote:
my electric rate was about 50 cents per kw-h marginal



:shock: Yikes. I keep track of my utility bills, and I pay about 13 cents per KW, including all taxes and fees. The marginal rate is about 12 cents. No time of day meters here yet, which is good because my wife and I both work from home and use electricity all day long.

I've switched quite a few bulbs to CFLs, but I can't say I really like them very well. The one place I do like them is in our bathroom. We have four-bulb fixtures above our mirrors. These fixtures now have two incandescent and two CFL lamps in them. When I turn them on in the morning, the CFLs come on slowly, which is nice for eyes used to darkness. I can't say that feature is a plus anywhere else in the house. :wink:

I've gone back to incandescent in a few places where the long warmup is undesirable and where my wife complained about them. I'm looking forward to LEDs coming down in price more so I can try them out.

I wish I could sell my electricity to CA. Here, we pay 7.72 cents per KW
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby interplanetjanet » Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:28 pm

deanbrew wrote:
my electric rate was about 50 cents per kw-h marginal



:shock: Yikes. I keep track of my utility bills, and I pay about 13 cents per KW, including all taxes and fees. The marginal rate is about 12 cents. No time of day meters here yet, which is good because my wife and I both work from home and use electricity all day long.

The 50c was for a non-TOU plan, too - the TOU plan I always found a bit strange. At that point it had a summer peak rate of 67c, with a "part peak" rate of 53c and an off-peak rate of 45c - winter peak and off-peak were 48c/47c. Aside from the people getting an offset against their energy consumption using solar (with an avoided cost of 67c/kw-h in summer daytime) I had trouble picturing how it would save money. If you didn't need to cool at all in summer that would help.

I wish I could get on a "commercial" power tariff like a friend of mine who lives in a live/work warehouse (same electric company). TOU rates top out at under 14c/kw-h then. :x
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby Woodshark » Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:59 pm

Here is a topic that (I think) has NOT come up in this thread. In my experience, if the CFL unit has not died way before the estimated life span then bulb darkens over time and the lumens per watt output is reduced by 50% or more.

A couple of years ago I purchased several CFL units. After a year about half of them had died. (In lamps, on/off switch. No dimmer.) We noticed that the ones that were still working seemed to be dimmer than we remember. We were straining to read and that was not a problem early on. Upon taking off the lamp shades the bulbs were no longer a nice white but a dull grey. I am a photographer by trade so I grabbed my light meter and a new CFL from the same batch. After only one year of periodic use, the old bulb was putting out half the light of a new one. So sure you save a lot when they are new but after they age a bit, your savings per lumen drops by 50% or more. Actually much more because we ended up removing the old grey ones and installing new ones. With the cost of the CFL's that died early and having to replace the ones that did not, in the course of a year doubt I saved anything.
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby interplanetjanet » Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:24 pm

Woodshark wrote:Here is a topic that (I think) has NOT come up in this thread. In my experience, if the CFL unit has not died way before the estimated life span then bulb darkens over time and the lumens per watt output is reduced by 50% or more.

I've definitely seen the light falloff you are describing, though in my experience it hasn't quite reached 50%. Some testing I've seen claimed a 25% decline in 23W CFL lamps after 3000 hours, which I think matches my experience, though I'm sure some will suffer more and some less. The light spectrum will alter slightly as well.

Something else to add to the list is that the common twisted spiral CFL light throws the most light to the sides and the least through the top (well, through the bottom, but if you expect much light to travel through the socket you have bigger issues). Some fixtures may not be nearly as useful with them as a consequence.

They're definitely not perfect. I'll agree with anyone on that!
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby deanbrew » Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:33 pm

Woodshark wrote:After only one year of periodic use, the old bulb was putting out half the light of a new one. So sure you save a lot when they are new but after they age a bit, your savings per lumen drops by 50% or more. Actually much more because we ended up removing the old grey ones and installing new ones. With the cost of the CFL's that died early and having to replace the ones that did not, in the course of a year doubt I saved anything.


Exactly. I have replaced the CFL bulb in my chair-side lamp several times, as the light output decreases quite noticeably in a relatively short period of time, as in not very many months. I have a 3-way CFL in now, as I like to have low light if I'm watching a movie, but brighter light if I'm reading. I now have to turn it up to the top level to get the same (perceived, admittedly) lumens I used to get in the middle setting for reading. I wonder how much dropoff over time there is with LED bulbs?
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby 6miths » Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:54 pm

I just bought 10 strings of 70 LED Christmas lights. I tried a few strings the last 2 year and they looked great and haven't faded in the sun like the incandescents have in the past. The new strings are going to replace those up high on all my eavestroughs. The 70 light strings use 4.8W in total compared to the incandescents which were 5W per bulb! I have to get up and change the old bulbs frequently and am getting a bit old to be up 30 feet in the cold doing that. I don't bounce quite as well as I used to. The strings are twice as expensive but the convenience and energy savings are off the charts as far as I am concerned.
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby Mudpuppy » Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:06 am

6miths wrote:I just bought 10 strings of 70 LED Christmas lights. I tried a few strings the last 2 year and they looked great and haven't faded in the sun like the incandescents have in the past. The new strings are going to replace those up high on all my eavestroughs. The 70 light strings use 4.8W in total compared to the incandescents which were 5W per bulb! I have to get up and change the old bulbs frequently and am getting a bit old to be up 30 feet in the cold doing that. I don't bounce quite as well as I used to. The strings are twice as expensive but the convenience and energy savings are off the charts as far as I am concerned.

You definitely have to employ "buyer beware" when it comes to purchasing LED Christmas lighting. There are several well-publicized issues with certain types of LED strands that lead to shortened lifespans, particularly when used outdoors. These are related to either poor construction or rust/galvanization caused by exposure to moisture in unsealed socket-based strands. So you have to be careful to not buy an LED strand that's twice as expensive, but only lasts half as long. Research the brands instead of buying whatever you see at the store. And to be honest, this isn't just an issue with LED strands. Even regular unsealed mini-light strands seem to be more prone to issues caused by moisture exposure than strands manufactured decades ago. I've had a couple of regular mini-light icicle strands fail with rusted out wiring after just 2-4 seasons.
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby rs899 » Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:40 am

^^ or just buy LED X-mas lights after X-mas when they are half price.
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby mr.ajandkj » Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:37 pm

bought my first LED bulb yesterday for an n=1 experiment in our kitchen. 11W LED, supposedly a 65W equivalent, this is going in a can fixture, replacing a burnt out 65W incandescent. I have used CFL's in the past but don't care much for them and their lifespan tends to be short.

Costco, $15, 2yr warranty + costco warranty...so far i like it, frosted glass diffuser so they look nearly identical to the previous, dimmable, and brighter than the 65W incandescents, at least initially.
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby JW Nearly Retired » Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:00 pm

deanbrew wrote:The worst, in my experience, are the flood style CFLs. I have to replace them, installed in recessed "can" lights, nearly as often as I do incandescent floodlights. I suspect retained heat is hard on the CFLs. I've also been extremely disappointed with dimmable CFL bulbs, which don't last long, either.

I agree the heat is your problem. We have about 40 CFLs scattered all over the house and they are lasting many years. Changing a light bulb has become a distant memory. These CFLs are all in bulb-up open top lamp or chandalier type fixtures. Plenty of air circulation so they stay cool. In an enclosed can they will run hot for sure. We have no dimmer switches.

If you google around you will find plenty of statements to that effect..... e.g. "CFLs are sensitive to extreme temperatures, so place your CFLs in open fixtures indoors. Using them in enclosed fixtures indoors can create a hot environment that reduces the lifetime of your bulbs." or "Compact fluorescent light bulbs are generally temperature sensitive. Heat is the most often cause of CFL failure, particularly low air flow or heat build up in recessed light fixtures."

I think LEDs might have the same problem.
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby jsl11 » Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:47 pm

mr.ajandkj wrote:bought my first LED bulb yesterday for an n=1 experiment in our kitchen. 11W LED, supposedly a 65W equivalent, this is going in a can fixture, replacing a burnt out 65W incandescent. I have used CFL's in the past but don't care much for them and their lifespan tends to be short.

Costco, $15, 2yr warranty + costco warranty...so far i like it, frosted glass diffuser so they look nearly identical to the previous, dimmable, and brighter than the 65W incandescents, at least initially.

How many lumens does this bulb put out? We have can fixtures in the kitchen. However, unless we get about 1000 lumens per bulb, the lighting is insufficient. So far, we use incandescent for these and we can get the light we need.

Jeff
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby webslinger » Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:00 pm

Do Bogleheads have any thoughts on dimmable CFL or LEDs?

Do date, I have replaced most lights in our home with CFLs but still use incandescents for all dimmable switches.

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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby 6miths » Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:29 pm

rs899 wrote:^^ or just buy LED X-mas lights after X-mas when they are half price.


I got these ones at a before Christmas sale and they were 40% off. Last two years there have been none left to go on sale after Christmas. It seems that while I like traditional green and red, the Chinese who make these really like the pinks, purples, blues and yellows. I have had a few strings of the same brand outside for 3 years now with no failures and no fading so I figured it was time to take the plunge. It has been increasingly difficult to justify the power consumption of the old 5W incandescents.
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby interplanetjanet » Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:41 pm

webslinger wrote:Do Bogleheads have any thoughts on dimmable CFL or LEDs?

Dimmable CFLs and older LEDs will drop significantly in efficiency when being dimmed (and may have issues with flicker). Some newer LEDs are purported to be fairly good.

On the other hand, the efficiency of incandescent bulbs is atrocious when they are dimmed. In my opinion, if it's an option (and if you dim frequently) you will be better off breaking the lights into more than one circuit and simply running a smaller number of them "on" when you want lower light levels.
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby epilnk » Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:03 am

jsl11 wrote:
mr.ajandkj wrote:bought my first LED bulb yesterday for an n=1 experiment in our kitchen. 11W LED, supposedly a 65W equivalent, this is going in a can fixture, replacing a burnt out 65W incandescent. I have used CFL's in the past but don't care much for them and their lifespan tends to be short.

Costco, $15, 2yr warranty + costco warranty...so far i like it, frosted glass diffuser so they look nearly identical to the previous, dimmable, and brighter than the 65W incandescents, at least initially.

How many lumens does this bulb put out? We have can fixtures in the kitchen. However, unless we get about 1000 lumens per bulb, the lighting is insufficient. So far, we use incandescent for these and we can get the light we need.

Jeff

This is probably the bulb I'm using (Feit electric); I currently have it in can lights in my kitchen and high ceilinged family room. It is rated at 750 lumens, and is significantly brighter than the 65 watt bulbs it replaces; I'm told that a direct comparison of lumens doesn't quite capture the output because of the directionality of the light. For $15 you might want to give it a try. Costco also carries a 100W equivalent bulb and I bought one, but the 65s are so bright that I'm not sure I have any use for the 100 so I haven't tried it.
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby JW Nearly Retired » Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:11 am

Woodshark wrote:Here is a topic that (I think) has NOT come up in this thread. In my experience, if the CFL unit has not died way before the estimated life span then bulb darkens over time and the lumens per watt output is reduced by 50% or more.

A couple of years ago I purchased several CFL units. After a year about half of them had died. (In lamps, on/off switch. No dimmer.) We noticed that the ones that were still working seemed to be dimmer than we remember. We were straining to read and that was not a problem early on. Upon taking off the lamp shades the bulbs were no longer a nice white but a dull grey. I am a photographer by trade so I grabbed my light meter and a new CFL from the same batch. After only one year of periodic use, the old bulb was putting out half the light of a new one. So sure you save a lot when they are new but after they age a bit, your savings per lumen drops by 50% or more. Actually much more because we ended up removing the old grey ones and installing new ones. With the cost of the CFL's that died early and having to replace the ones that did not, in the course of a year doubt I saved anything.

This is just radically different from my experience with CFLs. Don't know what to make of it. We switched some 40 bulbs in our heavy use lights to CFLs 4-5 years ago and hardly any have quit or dimmed enough to notice. Something must be causing this difference? Are there some crappy brands of these things?
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby lightheir » Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:06 pm

I suspect so. My first run of CFLs (like 5 years ago) were a promotion from the energy company and purchased for $1 each. Some of those died literally within 2 months, some lasted 6 months, and only a few were still good to go a year later. I remember thinking "wow the CFL lifespan was really overhyped."

Fast forward to last year - I bought some CFLs at Home Depot, and intentionally chose ones that weren't rock bottom, and also bought a $300 lamp with special CFL bulbs separately. None of them have worn out after nearly 2 years. Really noticeable change in longevity for me compared to that initial run.
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby nisiprius » Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:50 pm

In fact, every single light source loses output over time. Incandescents gradually coat the inside of the glass bulb with evaporated filament. Fluorescents, even the old-fashioned 4' tube kinds, dim, as you can see easily if you have a four-bulb luminaire and only replace two of them.

I was, however, very disappointed at the degree of dimming in some "linkable" Sylvania LED strip lights like these, which I installed on the underside of the basement stair handrail:
Image
Some of the disappointment was due to these being fairly costly units, about $25 each.

Something that may turn out to be better with both CFL and LED bulbs: the heat of incandescent bulbs causes air convection, and a steady stream of dust, grease, and toasted bugs, which get baked onto the white reflective surface and turn it yellow over time, reducing light output. Of course, cleaning helps. I've been stalling the annual chore of taking down the plastic cover on the ceiling fixture so that I can empty all the dead bugs out of it.
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby btenny » Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:03 pm

I'm sorry guys but this rush to make people use CFLs is pure BS. The whole concept is completely worthless IMO. Yes you may save a few pennies of electricity but ruin you eyes. I have tried to use these CFL bulbs all over the house in various applications and I hate them. The spot replacements CFLs are just bad from the start and do not put out anywhere near the light of normal irredescent spots. The small twist lights that replace regular bulbs are a little better but only for zone lighting. They are worthless for reading or safety lighting as they put out too little light. So net net they are just junk IMO.

Now the old fashioned big long tube florescent lights are great. They put out big light but they are 40Ws and not a lot lower power than 100W irredescents. Plus they are big 4 foot tubes. They last a long time. But they also need big fixtures and big drive electronics. So not so attractive for most fashion locations. I have them in my garage and bathroom ceiling.

So please tell me I am wrong and why.
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby Jerilynn » Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:21 pm

btenny wrote:I'm sorry guys but this rush to make people use CFLs is pure BS. The whole concept is completely worthless IMO. Yes you may save a few pennies of electricity but ruin you eyes. I have tried to use these CFL bulbs all over the house in various applications and I hate them. The spot replacements CFLs are just bad from the start and do not put out anywhere near the light of normal irredescent spots. The small twist lights that replace regular bulbs are a little better but only for zone lighting. They are worthless for reading or safety lighting as they put out too little light. So net net they are just junk IMO.

Now the old fashioned big long tube florescent lights are great. They put out big light but they are 40Ws and not a lot lower power than 100W irredescents. Plus they are big 4 foot tubes. They last a long time. But they also need big fixtures and big drive electronics. So not so attractive for most fashion locations. I have them in my garage and bathroom ceiling.

So please tell me I am wrong and why.
Bill


You are probably right. For some reason, different people adapt to CFLs better than others. Let's see, I moved in here a little over 2 years ago. I replaced just about all the incandescent bulbs with CFLs, so far so good. As a matter of fact, I replaced some 60watt bulbs with 100watt equiv. CFLs bulbs so there is MORE light with the CFLs in those fixtures.
I wonder if the brand of CFL matters or the 'quality' of the power coming to that house (if that's a real entity). For what it's worth, I used GE energy smart CFLs [from amazon].
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby grap0013 » Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:36 am

I see a lot of stale prices in this thread concerning LEDs. Costco has 'em really cheap and home depot is not far behind. I just replaced another fizzled standard 40 watt bulb with this today http://www.homedepot.com/Electrical-Lig ... reId=10051

At 3 hours use per day it should last 45 years! :shock:
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby Valuethinker » Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:07 am

You are definitely better off to 'oversize' the CFLs by one rating above recommended. Given the lower wattage there's no safety issue in doing that (as there would be with an incandescent).

I think that was a significant problem when CFLs were launched, the recommendations were 1:4 or 1:5 (new wattage to old) when, in fact, 1:3 was closer to what people actually perceive.

That seemed to fix illumination problems for me. I could not tell you now whether a given fitting is incandescent or CFL.

However I do think LEDs are the wave of the future-- CFLs basically an interim technology only.
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby Valuethinker » Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:05 am

grap0013 wrote:I see a lot of stale prices in this thread concerning LEDs. Costco has 'em really cheap and home depot is not far behind. I just replaced another fizzled standard 40 watt bulb with this today http://www.homedepot.com/Electrical-Lig ... reId=10051

At 3 hours use per day it should last 45 years! :shock:


Interestingly the packaging says '$176 in lifetime savings'.

Now I assume to make that claim, they have to have some validity-- or consumer regulation would slam you. Can't blow up the picture of the packaging at back, but probably, I imagine, it has the actual calculation they use?
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby Valuethinker » Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:06 am

JW Nearly Retired wrote:This is just radically different from my experience with CFLs. Don't know what to make of it. We switched some 40 bulbs in our heavy use lights to CFLs 4-5 years ago and hardly any have quit or dimmed enough to notice. Something must be causing this difference? Are there some crappy brands of these things?
JW


My experience has been they are quite brand sensitive.

In the UK I use Philips. (sp?)
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby tadamsmar » Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:41 am

When you install CFL or LED bulbs, I think it's a good idea to oil the base. May also be a good idea to not screw it too tight, but screwing a down-pointing bulb too loose might result in it falling out in a high vibration environment like near a door.

This is more important in outside environments or any place corrosion is more likely. You can conveniently use the oil on you skin beside your nose to oil the base, that's a trick I learned in fishing class on oiling the the connection of a two-piece rod. At least for inside-located CFLs this might be adequate, better oils might be a good idea for more demanding situations.

I have noticed that CFLs can get frozen into a socket after years and I imagine the problem can be worse with LEDs. Of course, you will not need to replace LEDs for very long periods if the defect rate is low, and the mitigates the problem since you will not have to deal with the problem as often.
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby mike143 » Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:49 am

tadamsmar wrote:This is more important in outside environments or any place corrosion is more likely. You can conveniently use the oil on you skin beside your nose to oil the base, that's a trick I learned in fishing class on oiling the the connection of a two-piece rod. At least for inside-located CFLs this might be adequate, better oils might be a good idea for more demanding situations.

Dielectric grease maybe more suitable though I have never had the problem of bulbs getting stuck.
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby NHRATA01 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:48 am

6miths wrote:I just bought 10 strings of 70 LED Christmas lights. I tried a few strings the last 2 year and they looked great and haven't faded in the sun like the incandescents have in the past. The new strings are going to replace those up high on all my eavestroughs. The 70 light strings use 4.8W in total compared to the incandescents which were 5W per bulb! I have to get up and change the old bulbs frequently and am getting a bit old to be up 30 feet in the cold doing that. I don't bounce quite as well as I used to. The strings are twice as expensive but the convenience and energy savings are off the charts as far as I am concerned.


I did this two years ago. Mainly because I got tired of the incandescent bulbs constantly burning out - and additionally when installing them, it did not take much banging for the bulb to fail from the impact, so I had to be extremely careful when hanging them outside to not clang the deck or house. In any event this year will be the 3rd with LEDs. Have not taken them out yet, but last year I still had not lost a bulb. In 2 years of incandescent operation I easily lost a dozen for one reason or another.
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby ryuns » Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:12 pm

tadamsmar wrote:This is more important in outside environments or any place corrosion is more likely. You can conveniently use the oil on you skin beside your nose to oil the base, that's a trick I learned in fishing class on oiling the the connection of a two-piece rod.

.


I had a roommate in college who swore by the same trick for evaporating the head of a foamy keg beer. Which was gross, but seemed effective.
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby DickBenson » Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:23 am

JW Nearly Retired wrote:
deanbrew wrote:....... I suspect retained heat is hard on the CFLs.........

I agree the heat is your problem. .......... In an enclosed can they will run hot for sure.

If you google around you will find plenty of statements to that effect..... e.g. "CFLs are sensitive to extreme temperatures, so place your CFLs in open fixtures indoors. Using them in enclosed fixtures indoors can create a hot environment that reduces the lifetime of your bulbs." .........Heat is the most often cause of CFL failure, particularly low air flow or heat build up in recessed light fixtures."

I think LEDs might have the same problem.



On my LED package there is a caution that says "to avoid early failure" .... "do not use in totally enclosed recessed luminaires ....". I'm a little concerned about whether a "failure" means simply that it will go out, or whether there might be some catastrophic explosion. :-) My kitchen has an enclosed globe ceiling fixture (12" diameter) where I would like to use a LED. Is there any danger in using a LED (or CFL) in such an environment?

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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby kaneohe » Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:16 am

I'm guessing the LED lamp will just burn out faster if enclosed. They're kind of like old style power transistors....the LED chip needs heat sinking to remain cool enough not to degrade rapidly. If they're in an enclosed fixture, they get too warm

http://www.bulbs.com/learning/ledfaq.aspx

http://www.cflfacts.com/ sounds like a similar thing for CFLs.....tho w/a vacuum tube and Hg, I'd be a bit more
worried than w/ the LED.
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby NHRATA01 » Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:06 am

ryuns wrote:
tadamsmar wrote:This is more important in outside environments or any place corrosion is more likely. You can conveniently use the oil on you skin beside your nose to oil the base, that's a trick I learned in fishing class on oiling the the connection of a two-piece rod.

.


I had a roommate in college who swore by the same trick for evaporating the head of a foamy keg beer. Which was gross, but seemed effective.


Yep, used that one quite a bit. Nose oil makes for quite an effective surfactant. :)
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby NYBoglehead » Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:12 am

Just make sure if you drop one on the floor to leave the room for 15 minutes so as to not inhale the toxic fumes that will emit from the broken bulb!! But think of all the money you'll save!!
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby Jerilynn » Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:54 am

DickBenson wrote:On my LED package there is a caution that says "to avoid early failure" .... "do not use in totally enclosed recessed luminaires ....". I'm a little concerned about whether a "failure" means simply that it will go out, or whether there might be some catastrophic explosion. :-)

Dick


It would be "bad". How bad, you ask?

Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light. :twisted:
Cordially, Jeri . . . 100% all natural asset allocation. (no supernatural methods used)
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby Ice-9 » Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:10 pm

DickBenson wrote:On my LED package there is a caution that says "to avoid early failure" .... "do not use in totally enclosed recessed luminaires ....". I'm a little concerned about whether a "failure" means simply that it will go out, or whether there might be some catastrophic explosion. :-) My kitchen has an enclosed globe ceiling fixture (12" diameter) where I would like to use a LED. Is there any danger in using a LED (or CFL) in such an environment?

Dick


I haven't tried these, but my search for an LED for a similar globe ceiling fixture led me here:
http://store.earthled.com/collections/l ... ight-bulbs
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby Valuethinker » Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:26 pm

NYBoglehead wrote:Just make sure if you drop one on the floor to leave the room for 15 minutes so as to not inhale the toxic fumes that will emit from the broken bulb!! But think of all the money you'll save!!


Curiousity.

What toxic fumes?

It's solid state, there should not be any toxic fumes.


(I have ruined an LED by dropping it, but I've never managed to break one).

Are you confusing this with the Mercury in a CFL?
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby NHRATA01 » Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:33 am

Valuethinker wrote:
NYBoglehead wrote:Just make sure if you drop one on the floor to leave the room for 15 minutes so as to not inhale the toxic fumes that will emit from the broken bulb!! But think of all the money you'll save!!


Curiousity.

What toxic fumes?

It's solid state, there should not be any toxic fumes.


(I have ruined an LED by dropping it, but I've never managed to break one).

Are you confusing this with the Mercury in a CFL?


I assume he's confusing with a CFL. In which case it's still very overstated by the paranoid.

Amazing that we never died, that night in college we came back after imbibing and decided to have a light sabre battle with a number of 4' fluorescent tubes. You'd think with all the toxic fumes I'd have never seen the sunrise...
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby mmmodem » Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:52 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
grap0013 wrote:I see a lot of stale prices in this thread concerning LEDs. Costco has 'em really cheap and home depot is not far behind. I just replaced another fizzled standard 40 watt bulb with this today http://www.homedepot.com/Electrical-Lig ... reId=10051

At 3 hours use per day it should last 45 years! :shock:


Interestingly the packaging says '$176 in lifetime savings'.

Now I assume to make that claim, they have to have some validity-- or consumer regulation would slam you. Can't blow up the picture of the packaging at back, but probably, I imagine, it has the actual calculation they use?

I did some quick math. It says in the description the LED bub uses $0.96 of electricity per year, 3hrs a day for 11 kwh. It has a lofty lifetime of 45.6 years at this usage level. That makes it $43.87 total electricity costs. An equivalent 40 watt bulb is 5 times the wattage, so we come to $219.36 electricity costs. That's $175.49 savings. Not bad considering, they didn't factor in costs for a replacement 40 watt bulb over the 45.6 year lifetime.
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby Randomize » Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:30 pm

Hey guys,

I'm an economist in the electric industry and one of my projects was to run a cost-benefit analysis on a variety of energy efficiency measures. The LED-lovers aren't going to like to hear this but CFLs are a much better investment, at least here in the Northwest where electricity is cheap ($.06 cents/kWh). LEDs use only about 10% less energy than a CFL and *only* last twice as long. At 5-10 times the purchase price, LEDs just aren't worth it. Don't get me wrong - if you've got a dimmer or a location where CFLs just won't fit, go with LEDs. But for regular lamps and non-recessed ceiling lights, CFLs are the way to go.

But I don't like CFLs because... The bright white light, the flicker, the slow warmup times, they don't last, mercury!, etc.

CFLs have come a long ways since the 90s and if you look for the right ones, the above issues aren't issues.
Look for "soft white" bulbs. The light they produce is about the same frequency as that of a regular incandescent.
Some still flicker, but most don't.
Some still have warmup times, but they're much shorter than they used to be.
Heat is a problem. If you have recessed fixtures and want to use CFLs, look for models that have a cooling vent on the neck of the bulb.
The mercury thing is pretty overblown. Modern CFLs have a miniscule amount of mercury in them that pales in comparison to the amount of mercury that would be released into the air by the coal plant that would have to ramp up to power an incandescent instead of your CFL. Plus, if you managed to break one, it's not that big a deal. Just leave the room for a few minutes, then scoop it up and put it in a sealed container before throwing it away. Even the EPA site that describes the procedure says not to be alarmed if you don't do it properly.

Above all else, buy bulbs with the EnergyStar certification. Not only are they better built, but they're required to come with a warranty to back it up. I personally use these. The light is good, they don't flicker, and they've lasted years without ever needing to be replaced. Even better, at $1.50 each, the payback is about a year even with 6 cent electricity. Anyway, let me know if anybody wants to see the math or is interested in how other efficiency measures pencil out.
Last edited by Randomize on Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:32 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby tadamsmar » Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:58 pm

One CFL/LED tradeoff you did not mention directly (but the EPA site alluded to it). I have to drive 20 miles round trip to properly dispose of CFLs and I don't live in the boonies. Of course, I have to go to the same place for tube FLs, old paints and other hazardous waste.

Thanks for the CFL/LED analysis! I was wondering about that. Those coal-fire power plants account for perhaps 1/2 the mercury we are exposed to (from fish for instance), it's a serious problem.

PS: some might consider Cary NC to be the boonies :)
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby Mudpuppy » Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:24 pm

tadamsmar wrote:One CFL/LED tradeoff you did not mention directly (but the EPA site alluded to it). I have to drive 20 miles round trip to properly dispose of CFLs and I don't live in the boonies. Of course, I have to go to the same place for tube FLs, old paints and other hazardous waste.

That's a rather personal factor and I think brianbooth was talking about more general factors. I live in a pretty "small town" mindset city that is still protesting mandatory curbside recycling and regulations against businesses to curb pollution, so it's not like we're a green-loving city like other parts of CA. Even so, we have e-waste and household hazardous waste events all over the city every couple of months. And there's drop-off containers at most big box hardware stores for batteries and light bulbs. Most areas have more options than driving to the city-run drop-off facility, you just have to look around for them.
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby Randomize » Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:37 pm

tadamsmar wrote:One CFL/LED tradeoff you did not mention directly (but the EPA site alluded to it). I have to drive 20 miles round trip to properly dispose of CFLs and I don't live in the boonies. Of course, I have to go to the same place for tube FLs, old paints and other hazardous waste.

Thanks for the CFL/LED analysis! I was wondering about that. Those coal-fire power plants account for perhaps 1/2 the mercury we are exposed to (from fish for instance), it's a serious problem.

PS: some might consider Cary NC to be the boonies :)


While it's best to recycle them, it's not against the rules to throw them in the trash in all areas. The EPA suggests, if there's no local recycling, that you place them in a plastic bag and throw them out with your regular household garbage.
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby jsl11 » Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:21 pm

Our Home Depot store has a recycling box for CFLs. I would not expect other Home Depot stores to be different.
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby Mudpuppy » Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:22 pm

brianbooth wrote:
tadamsmar wrote:One CFL/LED tradeoff you did not mention directly (but the EPA site alluded to it). I have to drive 20 miles round trip to properly dispose of CFLs and I don't live in the boonies. Of course, I have to go to the same place for tube FLs, old paints and other hazardous waste.

Thanks for the CFL/LED analysis! I was wondering about that. Those coal-fire power plants account for perhaps 1/2 the mercury we are exposed to (from fish for instance), it's a serious problem.

PS: some might consider Cary NC to be the boonies :)


While it's best to recycle them, it's not against the rules to throw them in the trash. The EPA suggests, if there's no local recycling, that you place them in a plastic bag and throw them out with your regular household garbage.

It is illegal in CA, as is throwing away batteries, paint, household pesticides, and a list of other items: http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/homehazwaste/
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby Randomize » Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:35 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:It is illegal in CA, as is throwing away batteries, paint, household pesticides, and a list of other items: http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/homehazwaste/

Yes, I should have clarified that it varies by state. Not sure what the rules are in N.C.
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby Epsilon Delta » Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:36 pm

jsl11 wrote:Our Home Depot store has a recycling box for CFLs. I would not expect other Home Depot stores to be different.
Jeff

Lowes also recycles CFLs at more than 1700 stores (which is, I think, all of them); Cary appears to be saturated with them. They also accept rechargeable batteries, and my local one accepts non-compact fluorescence, which also should not be put in the trash.
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Postby Valuethinker » Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:07 am

brianbooth wrote:Hey guys,

I'm an economist in the electric industry and one of my projects was to run a cost-benefit analysis on a variety of energy efficiency measures. The LED-lovers aren't going to like to hear this but CFLs are a much better investment, at least here in the Northwest where electricity is cheap ($.06 cents/kWh). LEDs use only about 10% less energy than a CFL and *only* last twice as long. At 5-10 times the purchase price, LEDs just aren't worth it. Don't get me wrong - if you've got a dimmer or a location where CFLs just won't fit, go with LEDs. But for regular lamps and non-recessed ceiling lights, CFLs are the way to go.

But I don't like CFLs because... The bright white light, the flicker, the slow warmup times, they don't last, mercury!, etc.

CFLs have come a long ways since the 90s and if you look for the right ones, the above issues aren't issues.
Look for "soft white" bulbs. The light they produce is about the same frequency as that of a regular incandescent.
Some still flicker, but most don't.
Some still have warmup times, but they're much shorter than they used to be.
Heat is a problem. If you have recessed fixtures and want to use CFLs, look for models that have a cooling vent on the neck of the bulb.
The mercury thing is pretty overblown. Modern CFLs have a miniscule amount of mercury in them that pales in comparison to the amount of mercury that would be released into the air by the coal plant that would have to ramp up to power an incandescent instead of your CFL. Plus, if you managed to break one, it's not that big a deal. Just leave the room for a few minutes, then scoop it up and put it in a sealed container before throwing it away. Even the EPA site that describes the procedure says not to be alarmed if you don't do it properly.

Above all else, buy bulbs with the EnergyStar certification. Not only are they better built, but they're required to come with a warranty to back it up. I personally use these. The light is good, they don't flicker, and they've lasted years without ever needing to be replaced. Even better, at $1.50 each, the payback is about a year even with 6 cent electricity. Anyway, let me know if anybody wants to see the math or is interested in how other efficiency measures pencil out.


Thank you for the illuminating post ;-).

My point was not so much that LEDs are such great bargains-- although for example with halogen spots, the equivalent CFLs don't really do the job (or may not fit the recessed fitting). LED lights are expensive (but the range of price given here is a factor of 3).

What struck me is:

- price has come down (a lot) even though still high

- quality of light is high, indistinguishable (at 40 watt) from a 40 watt incandescent. This is new news to me, and it's quite a leap in performance in the last couple of years

- I had to actually build the spreadsheet, to show myself that it was worth replacing a lightbulb before its time, and using an expensive LED despite the up front cost-- my retail electricity rate is c. USD 20 cents/ kwhr (about twice average US retail rates, but not, I think, expensive compared to California, Connecticut, New York City and some other places?)

This was all counterintuitive, and still worth doing if the price of the lightbulb falls each year I wait by less than the electricity I save by replacing it now.

Having been more or less static for 70 or so years, in the last 10 years lightbulbs have just taken this extraordinary leap in efficiency.
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