LED lightbulbs

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Epsilon Delta
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by Epsilon Delta »

Valuethinker wrote: 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.
That's not really true, You just weren't paying attention. :happy There has been continuous improvement over this period as well as quite a bit of genuine innovation, some of which has made people large amounts of money. Even for boring incandescent lamps you'll find that todays lamps last longer for equivalent performance than their 70 year old counterparts.
Some highlights of the last 70 or so years:

1959: Tungsten Halogen bulb on the market
1964: Metal halide lamps introduced at worlds fair
1965: Practical high pressure sodium lights on the market, these would be continually improved for the rest of the century.
1970s: electronic ballasts for fluorescents, also rapid start ballasts.
Mid 1970s: Compact Fluorescent invented
Early 1980s: CFL on the market
1987: Ceramic filament incandescent lamp invented.
1993: I bought my first CFL (although it is almost the size of a softball so "compact" is relative)
1996: Sulphur lamps and light pipes used in Smithsonian Air and Space Museum
linenfort
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by linenfort »

I'm very thankful for this thread, guys.

My architect is pushing for LEDs and I think an LED saleswoman is pushing him. A New York Times article that he sent us actually makes me want to avoid LED fixtures, although I wouldn't mind trying LEDs in traditional fixtures over the next few years.

An excerpt:
“I feel better about putting today’s best LED technology into an incandescent downlight as a retrofit,” Mr. Russell said, “because I know that in three years it’s going to be obsolete and I can unscrew it and put in the latest technology. If I put in a downlight that’s an integrated LED, you’re stuck with it.”
By the way, I hate CFLs, love most halogen and am iffy on LEDs.

Thanks again for the amazingly rich thread showing various viewpoints.
Novine
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by Novine »

Are you looking to replace fixtures or just the bulbs? We've been replacing our traditional incandescent and CFLs in existing lights with LED bulbs and love them - no downside at all as far as we've experienced.
Call_Me_Op
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by Call_Me_Op »

Slightly off topic, but my first floor has recessed lighting. I don't know the bulb technology, but I have not had to replace a single bulb in 12 years. These are the bulbs shaped like flood lights (sort of conical). They use dimmers.
Best regards, -Op | | "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Einstein
mikep
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by mikep »

Just got back from Home Depot buying a bunch of cree LED bulbs to replace incandescents where we did not put CFLs since they were on dimmers and buzzed. Local power company has an instant $5 rebate was a great deal! 7.97 for the A19 60w regular incandescent and 14.97 for the BR30 65w flood light for recessed canned light. Both use 9.5w!

These are going on amazon/ebay for MUCH more than home depot. Cree has an exclusive contract with home depot to sell them.. so that means that anyone selling elsewhere bought them from home depot and reselling probably somewhere where the power company is rebating.
Last edited by mikep on Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
lazyday
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by lazyday »

linenfort wrote:By the way, I hate CFLs, love most halogen and am iffy on LEDs.
Also a halogen fan.

If light color is important, note that more LEDs are now available in a color temperature close to halogen and other incandescent.

Also I believe some LED bulbs can suffer if the transformer (in US, converts 120vAC to ~3vDC per LED, can be in series for other v) is low quality. Can cause slow or quick flashing, buzzing, etc.
So may have a different experience with different brands.

Newer Cree LED bulbs look good to me, and in past CFLs that others had no issue with bothered me. Even if I thought at first they were incandescent, so not placebo effect.
linenfort
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by linenfort »

Novine wrote:Are you looking to replace fixtures or just the bulbs? We've been replacing our traditional incandescent and CFLs in existing lights with LED bulbs and love them - no downside at all as far as we've experienced.
We're replacing fixtures as well. The total cost would be a whopping $15,000 if we went with LEDs and LED fixtures.

As the article linked above states, traditional incandescent fixtures can be retrofitted with LED bulbs in the future. So that's what my wife and I are pushing for, because we know we will eventually buy LEDs. In the same article, it says that if you get LED fixtures, you may be stuck with them. Seems like a clear choice, but the architect doesn't agree. Meanwhile, he's the one who sent me the article. :confused I'm afraid he may try to specify some odd incandescent fixtures, so I'm telling him we want standard ones so that we don't need to rip them out in a few years.

@lazyday: thanks! Yes, LED technology is coming a long way. I can imagine using more of them when the technology is better and more affordable.
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frugaltype
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by frugaltype »

nisiprius wrote: The only remaining places we have incandescents are outdoors. I was very annoyed with an "outdoor CFL" I tried; it was made to be weatherproof, or weather-resistant anyway, and in cold weather it eventually came up to full brightness, but it took minutes to do so. This might be a place for LEDs, but they're not on often enough or long enough for it to be remotely cost-effective-yet.
I have a yellow CFL bug light in the outdoor lamp in front of my house. It's on a timer, so I have no idea how long it takes to come on, but in that application, it's immaterial. It's lasted for several years.
ThatGuy
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by ThatGuy »

I've been looking for n LED downlight that isn't too yellow (4000k+), but there seems to be a lack of variety on the market. To my mind, LEDs can be made really thin so you can avoid that 6" can which displaces insulation, causing an air & heat pathway into the attic. The closest I've come is the Glimpse:

http://www.lsgc.com/fixtures/glimpse/

This attaches to a low profile junction box, and sticks at most a couple of inches out of the ceiling. I just don't like that double bevel look. If anyone has seen any other options, I'd love to hear about them.
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Mudpuppy
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by Mudpuppy »

frugaltype wrote:
nisiprius wrote: The only remaining places we have incandescents are outdoors. I was very annoyed with an "outdoor CFL" I tried; it was made to be weatherproof, or weather-resistant anyway, and in cold weather it eventually came up to full brightness, but it took minutes to do so. This might be a place for LEDs, but they're not on often enough or long enough for it to be remotely cost-effective-yet.
I have a yellow CFL bug light in the outdoor lamp in front of my house. It's on a timer, so I have no idea how long it takes to come on, but in that application, it's immaterial. It's lasted for several years.
This is a common issue with fluorescent bulbs, compact or regular. Unless the internal ballast is designed to start in cold weather, the bulb will come on very slowly or never fully come on when the temperature starts to drop. Even bulbs designed for the outdoors can have similar issues in sub-freezing temperatures. So CFL bug lamps work very well for me (news event when it's below freezing here) but nisiprius's observations are consistent with expected CFL behavior in snow country.
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Epsilon Delta
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by Epsilon Delta »

Mudpuppy wrote:
frugaltype wrote:
nisiprius wrote: The only remaining places we have incandescents are outdoors. I was very annoyed with an "outdoor CFL" I tried; it was made to be weatherproof, or weather-resistant anyway, and in cold weather it eventually came up to full brightness, but it took minutes to do so. This might be a place for LEDs, but they're not on often enough or long enough for it to be remotely cost-effective-yet.
I have a yellow CFL bug light in the outdoor lamp in front of my house. It's on a timer, so I have no idea how long it takes to come on, but in that application, it's immaterial. It's lasted for several years.
This is a common issue with fluorescent bulbs, compact or regular. Unless the internal ballast is designed to start in cold weather, the bulb will come on very slowly or never fully come on when the temperature starts to drop. Even bulbs designed for the outdoors can have similar issues in sub-freezing temperatures. So CFL bug lamps work very well for me (news event when it's below freezing here) but nisiprius's observations are consistent with expected CFL behavior in snow country.
Our covenants require certain outside lights to be on a night. Our outside lights are on 3,000-4,000 hours per year in all weather, including sub-zero Fahrenheit weather. I've had no problems using the cheapest CFL I can find, even those that warn against outdoor use and use on photo-cell controlled circuits. They last 3 years or so so I get about 10,000 hours out of them. They may take a few minutes to reach full brightness, but I've never stood out in the cold to watch and I don't really care. I do know I've never seen them dim, so they turn on in a reasonable amount of time in all weathers. This is a different use than Nisiprius, so different results aren't surprising.
linenfort
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by linenfort »

Update: after speaking with some friends of the family who are serial renovators, I felt pretty confident to make a final decision: incandescent fixtures which should be able to accomodate future LEDs and not expensive LED fixtures that may be unwanted and incompatible with better, future LED technology.

My architect, who was a friend long before this project -- I know, don't mix business and friendship -- is absolutely adamant that I'm making a mistake and that (1) I won't be able to screw LEDs into these things in the future and (2) there will be no bulbs to put in them either, once they run out.

This led me to believe that he specified some kind of strange, non-standard fixtures, but he said this was not the case. A little googling online yields all kinds of sources refuting worry #2: more energy-efficient bulbs can and will replace their inefficient predecessors for years to come. The serial renovators also assure me LED manufacturers will make LEDs that can screw into incandescent fixtures. This seems perfectly logical, otherwise there are billions of fixtures that will have to be scrapped after this impending ban. And yet, I can't sleep at night. :shock: We'll see how it goes.
Saving$
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by Saving$ »

You are making the correct decision - regular fixtures. LED bulbs are already available for most common fixtures - edison base, G2 base, etc. etc.
Iorek
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by Iorek »

nisiprius wrote: The only remaining places we have incandescents are outdoors. I was very annoyed with an "outdoor CFL" I tried; it was made to be weatherproof, or weather-resistant anyway, and in cold weather it eventually came up to full brightness, but it took minutes to do so. This might be a place for LEDs, but they're not on often enough or long enough for it to be remotely cost-effective-yet.
I just put an LED in an outdoor fixture but the fixture is about 30 feet off the ground so I figured while the cost savings on electricity is not much, the possibility of not having to replace them for another 10 years or so (knock wood) still made it worthwhile.
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telemark
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by telemark »

An LED bulb is really a collection of many small diodes shaped to resemble a traditional Edison vacuum bulb. There are all sorts of more interesting things that could potentially be done with LEDs, like flat overhead panels or custom shapes for specific situations (a lampshade where the shade is really the lamp?), but the installed base for traditional fixtures is so huge that it's hard to imagine any manufacturer just ignoring it.
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frugaltype
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by frugaltype »

Mudpuppy wrote:
frugaltype wrote:
nisiprius wrote: The only remaining places we have incandescents are outdoors. I was very annoyed with an "outdoor CFL" I tried; it was made to be weatherproof, or weather-resistant anyway, and in cold weather it eventually came up to full brightness, but it took minutes to do so. This might be a place for LEDs, but they're not on often enough or long enough for it to be remotely cost-effective-yet.
I have a yellow CFL bug light in the outdoor lamp in front of my house. It's on a timer, so I have no idea how long it takes to come on, but in that application, it's immaterial. It's lasted for several years.
This is a common issue with fluorescent bulbs, compact or regular. Unless the internal ballast is designed to start in cold weather, the bulb will come on very slowly or never fully come on when the temperature starts to drop. Even bulbs designed for the outdoors can have similar issues in sub-freezing temperatures. So CFL bug lamps work very well for me (news event when it's below freezing here) but nisiprius's observations are consistent with expected CFL behavior in snow country.
The bulb I bought was labeled for outdoor use. I didn't watch what it was doing when it got to -7 degrees here, other things on my mind :-) However "normal' below freezing temps are no problem for it in terms of full light strength.
ThatGuy
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by ThatGuy »

telemark wrote:An LED bulb is really a collection of many small diodes shaped to resemble a traditional Edison vacuum bulb. There are all sorts of more interesting things that could potentially be done with LEDs, like flat overhead panels or custom shapes for specific situations (a lampshade where the shade is really the lamp?), but the installed base for traditional fixtures is so huge that it's hard to imagine any manufacturer just ignoring it.
You can already see some of this. Commercial light fixtures seem to be moving towards flat displays that drop into the standard hole size:

http://www.maxlite.com/products/led-ceiling-panels/list
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Epsilon Delta
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by Epsilon Delta »

telemark wrote: but the installed base for traditional fixtures is so huge that it's hard to imagine any manufacturer just ignoring it.
It's even harder to imagine ALL manufacturers ignoring it.
linenfort
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by linenfort »

Saving$ wrote:You are making the correct decision - regular fixtures. LED bulbs are already available for most common fixtures - edison base, G2 base, etc. etc.
Thank you Saving$, telemark, et al. Any other conclusion would greatly surprise me. They just have to adapt to current fixtures.
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by hicabob »

linenfort wrote:
Saving$ wrote:You are making the correct decision - regular fixtures. LED bulbs are already available for most common fixtures - edison base, G2 base, etc. etc.
Thank you Saving$, telemark, et al. Any other conclusion would greatly surprise me. They just have to adapt to current fixtures.

Even fluorescent tubes

Image
linenfort
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by linenfort »

neat!
lazyday
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by lazyday »

I assume most new fixture systems use low voltage like some old track lighting does, and use DC?

If so, maybe not worth the cost, but some advantage if using one or a few transformers, instead of including one in each bulb.

Florescent fixtures include electric ballast, which also might have downsides compared to new fixtures.
NHRATA01
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by NHRATA01 »

About 2 weeks ago I bought a pair of the Cree bulbs, a 60W equivalent and a 40W. I tell you, I don't think you can find a more perfect replacement for a traditional incandescent and even sans-rebates the HD price is not bad at all (~9.99 for the 40 and 12.99 for the 60). I had been using the Philips 60W-eq bulbs (not the L-prize, the older version, want to say 12.5W) and while the light quality is good it's still an odd-looking bulb in an open fixture.

I have a pair of "outdoor" CFL's in my outside front door fixture. The newer (which is about 2 y/o) is virtually instant on even in the -5F temp we had reently, the older (about 4 y/o) does take a good 5 minutes to warm up. I tend to leave my porch lights on all night though. When they go out I'll get some LED's.

Also found a decent outdoor LED flood on Amazon; have a pair in the motion detected fixture over the garage (which often gets triggered by heavy rain or snow) and they've worked well for about a year.

Without turning this into a political discussion though, I was somewhat dismayed that the "bulb ban" may be reversed with the upcoming budget. Leaving it in place would only further drive down LED prices.
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Valuethinker
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by Valuethinker »

NHRATA01 wrote:Without turning this into a political discussion though, I was somewhat dismayed that the "bulb ban" may be reversed with the upcoming budget. Leaving it in place would only further drive down LED prices.
Incandescent is, in effect, a terminal technology. LEDs are the future (CFLs I think only in niche applications)- -the light has reached the point where it seems to be indistinguishable.

I worked out the paybacks at. c 18 months for heavily used bulbs. 3 years or so for some of the lesser used ones. There was an interview with the Ops Director of the UK electricity grid where he said the impact of low energy lighting is now noticeable on the 'spike' period (4.30-7.00pm winter weekdays).

This is paying c. £20 for a bulb (that's USD $32) but also paying 15.5p ($0.23) per kwhr.

2000 hours pa x 15p = £30, bulb costs about £18 more than an equivalent incandescent. There are 8,760 hours in a year (that is not a leap year). Not taking into account any difference in life of bulbs (but assuming LED does not need replacement in first 18 months).
david9117
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by david9117 »

I only buy LED if I am using a dimmer, otherwise I have not seen any convincing analysis which shows that LED's will be cheaper than CFL for normal household usage (yes there are some special usage like wanting cold temperature usage). All the time see the LED savings compared to the filament bulbs but not to CFL. LED's are getting cheaper but CFL's are also getting cheaper.

Oh the other place I use LED is kids table lamp. They knock it on the ground so often, paranoid about them breaking the CFL (mercury).
Lacrocious
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by Lacrocious »

I have a Cree from Home Depot - it is OK. I really like the Feit Electric LED's for a 40W replacement. Costco has a 3-pack for around $18. They have a 60W replacement that gives good light, but not quite as good as the 40W replacements. The 60W replacement bulb is a little squat, so the light spreads-out, but doesn't go straight-up much - like a normal incandescent will do. In some lamps it is just fine, in others (such as an enclosed ceiling globe), the light pattern is a little odd.

We have the 40W replacement Feit's in our outdoor lamps outside the garage, hooked up to a timer so they go on every day at sunset and off at midnight if we don't turn them off earlier. It works great and the 3 bulbs use less energy than 1 of the 3 incandescents they replaced.

I would take a look at the Feit's as well.

- L
madbrain
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by madbrain »

I have about 10-20 CFLs out of my 230+ that failed early (at about 2.5 years) . These are R30 and R40 types (flood lights) that were putting out between 800 - 1000 lumens.
What's an affordable LED replacement ? I don't need them to be dimmable.

Are there better deals than these ?
http://www.costco.com/Feit-Electric-Dim ... 28843.html
http://www.costco.com/Feit-Electric-Dim ... 28842.html
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Boglenaut
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by Boglenaut »

I bought one of those Costco bulbs for $6 (after $5 utility company discount).

I liked it so much I bought another 2 months later. Unfortunately, that one failed after a week. I returned it with no problems, but they didn't have any more left.

Eventually, as my CFL's burn out, I plan to replace them with LED if i can get them on a good sale.
animule
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by animule »

Bought several Cree bulbs at Home Depot in October for a home office. Use them in a basement office on a dimmer switch.

First one just burned out. Think the bulb has a 10 year guarantee; but need to mail it back to Cree for a replacement.

Pain in the rear.

Hang onto your receipts.
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Boglenaut
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by Boglenaut »

david9117 wrote:I only buy LED if I am using a dimmer, otherwise I have not seen any convincing analysis which shows that LED's will be cheaper than CFL for normal household usage (yes there are some special usage like wanting cold temperature usage). All the time see the LED savings compared to the filament bulbs but not to CFL. LED's are getting cheaper but CFL's are also getting cheaper.

Oh the other place I use LED is kids table lamp. They knock it on the ground so often, paranoid about them breaking the CFL (mercury).
I have CFL's everywhere they can go here. They were as cheap as 4 for $1 after utility company discounts. But as they burn out, I plan to replace with LED, especially for the most used rooms. The LED look a lot better and have more consistent light. And no mercury issue where kids could knock over a lamp.

My kitchen has a fixture with 4 long florescent tubes (40W each). It's going bad and I think it's the ballast (not 100% sure). I'm thinking of just getting a LED fixture to replace it rather than fool with a 18 year old fixture. I have no handyman skills, so would need to hire someone. Can a handyman do it, or does that require an electrician?
dbr
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by dbr »

Boglenaut wrote:
david9117 wrote:I only buy LED if I am using a dimmer, otherwise I have not seen any convincing analysis which shows that LED's will be cheaper than CFL for normal household usage (yes there are some special usage like wanting cold temperature usage). All the time see the LED savings compared to the filament bulbs but not to CFL. LED's are getting cheaper but CFL's are also getting cheaper.

Oh the other place I use LED is kids table lamp. They knock it on the ground so often, paranoid about them breaking the CFL (mercury).
I have CFL's everywhere they can go here. They were as cheap as 4 for $1 after utility company discounts. But as they burn out, I plan to replace with LED, especially for the most used rooms. The LED look a lot better and have more consistent light. And no mercury issue where kids could knock over a lamp.

My kitchen has a fixture with 4 long florescent tubes (40W each). It's going bad and I think it's the ballast (not 100% sure). I'm thinking of just getting a LED fixture to replace it rather than fool with a 18 year old fixture. I have no handyman skills, so would need to hire someone. Can a handyman do it, or does that require an electrician?
I have disliked the color, physical appearance, dimmability problems, lack of suitability for enclosed fixtures, etc. etc. of CFL's and faced with the first instance of needing a no-longer available bulb have made major replacements using LEDs. It is apparent to me that the CFL is the "loser" technology by a long, long way. LEDs will only get better and cheaper. You can shop Amazon and here, among others:

http://store.earthled.com/

To modify a long tube fluorescent fixture requires rewiring the interior of the fixture to by-pass the ballast. I guess I would call this a simple wiring task that technically is still the province of an electrician and that a "handy-man" could mess up somehow with a fire and safety problem. Rewiring is probably easier than replacing the fixtures themselves, and I don't know what an electrician would charge for one compared to the other. I also don't know what the stance of electric code and insurance companies is on modified fixtures. This company sells drop-in LED tubes, but they are expensive. I tried one and they are far superior to the fluorescents they replace for brightness and quality of light:

http://www.shop.everled.com/main.sc
protagonist
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by protagonist »

dbr wrote:
Boglenaut wrote:
david9117 wrote:I only buy LED if I am using a dimmer, otherwise I have not seen any convincing analysis which shows that LED's will be cheaper than CFL for normal household usage (yes there are some special usage like wanting cold temperature usage). All the time see the LED savings compared to the filament bulbs but not to CFL. LED's are getting cheaper but CFL's are also getting cheaper.

Oh the other place I use LED is kids table lamp. They knock it on the ground so often, paranoid about them breaking the CFL (mercury).
I have CFL's everywhere they can go here. They were as cheap as 4 for $1 after utility company discounts. But as they burn out, I plan to replace with LED, especially for the most used rooms. The LED look a lot better and have more consistent light. And no mercury issue where kids could knock over a lamp.

My kitchen has a fixture with 4 long florescent tubes (40W each). It's going bad and I think it's the ballast (not 100% sure). I'm thinking of just getting a LED fixture to replace it rather than fool with a 18 year old fixture. I have no handyman skills, so would need to hire someone. Can a handyman do it, or does that require an electrician?
I have disliked the color, physical appearance, dimmability problems, lack of suitability for enclosed fixtures, etc. etc. of CFL's and faced with the first instance of needing a no-longer available bulb have made major replacements using LEDs. It is apparent to me that the CFL is the "loser" technology by a long, long way. LEDs will only get better and cheaper. You can shop Amazon and here, among others:
I agree completely, dbr.

To invest in the beauty of your home and ignore the quality of your lighting is foolhardy. Lighting is one of the most critical factors regarding aesthetics, and CFL''s are almost as bad as flourescent tubes. I limit CFL's to locations where quality of light is insignificant, such as in my basement. IMHO, the better LED bulbs come close to approximating the quality of incandescent light and produce far less heat, and thus are a viable option. I take efficiency claims based on presumed 22-year longevity with a grain of salt...I wonder how many of my bulbs will still be in my possession , unbroken and working flawlessly, if I am alive 22 years from now.
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deanbrew
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by deanbrew »

Boglenaut wrote:
david9117 wrote: My kitchen has a fixture with 4 long florescent tubes (40W each). It's going bad and I think it's the ballast (not 100% sure). I'm thinking of just getting a LED fixture to replace it rather than fool with a 18 year old fixture. I have no handyman skills, so would need to hire someone. Can a handyman do it, or does that require an electrician?
If replacing the four tubes doesn't fix it, then it is likely the ballast. If so, replacing the fixture is probably a good idea. Any handyman familiar with wiring can do it. Turning off the breaker so there is no juice is the main safety aspect. Wiring light fixtures is very easy.
"The course of history shows that as the government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson
madbrain
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by madbrain »

Boglenaut wrote:I bought one of those Costco bulbs for $6 (after $5 utility company discount).

I liked it so much I bought another 2 months later. Unfortunately, that one failed after a week. I returned it with no problems, but they didn't have any more left.

Eventually, as my CFL's burn out, I plan to replace them with LED if i can get them on a good sale.
If you bought them at Costco, you shouldn't need the receipt . Costco will have a record.
I'm not sure if they will accept a failed bulb as a return, but they may be able to help you with reprinting an old receipt so you can get a replacement from the manufacturer.
Though of course for $6, it may not be worth the trouble.
mhalley
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by mhalley »

The philips hue bulb looks interesting, lots of research being done on how the color of lighting affects health, but boy is it exspensive.
Mike
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by programmer »

I have a small commercial parking garage and have been replacing my flourescent and cfl bulbs with Cree LEDs as the old bulbs burn out.
All run 24/7/365, some for 2 years now with no noticeable loss in lumens. Since we are supposedly in the second highest electricity cost area in the US, I think some of the bulbs will have paid for themselves in the next 12-18 months.

Also replaced the lighting as part of our kitchen renovation 3 years ago with Cree fixtures. They dim pretty well (to a point) and have great color.

With the prices coming down, the hardest decision is whether to get the warm or daylight colors.
geoff2
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Location: North Carolina

Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by geoff2 »

About six months ago I replaced the incandescent recessed lights in my kitchen with Cree LED replacements. The replacement I installed wasn't just a bulb; it was the entire box which was replaced. (Apologies that I don't know the terminology well; I'm not handy and had our handyman do it.) I'm not a lighting expert, but I'm thrilled with the lights. The quality seems every bit as good as the incandescent bulbs they replaced, they don't hum, they're instant on, and they dim smoothly over the whole range of the dimmer.

I can't quantify the energy savings, but at 60 watts per bulb the 7 bulbs used 420 watts at full brightness; the replacements use only 91 watts. (Figures from memory, may not be exact.) And since the lights are frequently on in the kitchen, it's pretty significant. Plus, the kitchen ceiling is very high and it was hard to replace the bulbs, which burnt out every couple of years. Haven't had to replace these yet, and hopefully shouldn't have to do so for a while. (After one of the bare bulbs in our garage burned out, we replaced both with the $10 Cree LEDs at Home Depot for the same reason; they're very high up and hard to reach.)
airahcaz
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by airahcaz »

geoff2 wrote:About six months ago I replaced the incandescent recessed lights in my kitchen with Cree LED replacements. The replacement I installed wasn't just a bulb; it was the entire box which was replaced. (Apologies that I don't know the terminology well; I'm not handy and had our handyman do it.) I'm not a lighting expert, but I'm thrilled with the lights. The quality seems every bit as good as the incandescent bulbs they replaced, they don't hum, they're instant on, and they dim smoothly over the whole range of the dimmer.

I can't quantify the energy savings, but at 60 watts per bulb the 7 bulbs used 420 watts at full brightness; the replacements use only 91 watts. (Figures from memory, may not be exact.) And since the lights are frequently on in the kitchen, it's pretty significant. Plus, the kitchen ceiling is very high and it was hard to replace the bulbs, which burnt out every couple of years. Haven't had to replace these yet, and hopefully shouldn't have to do so for a while. (After one of the bare bulbs in our garage burned out, we replaced both with the $10 Cree LEDs at Home Depot for the same reason; they're very high up and hard to reach.)
The term is "retrofit" and I've ordered 56 of the 4" Ecosmart Cree 2700K with Amex discounted home depot points (20% off) :)
Now to find dimmers, am thinking Lutron Maestro
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course. (Plagiarized, but worth stealing)
LeeMKE
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by LeeMKE »

I'm surprised to hear Bogleheads dragging their feet on switching bulbs.

I switched everything to CFLs as soon as they became available. I was willing to forego pretty lights because the house was huge, the kids left everything on all the time, and my electrical bill immediately dropped 20% when I switched.

About a year ago the campaign to switch everything to LED began. IKEA has a wide variety of LED bulbs as well as fixtures, at nice prices. I bought one of the Phillips HUE sets, but couldn't bring myself to open it and commit to such a large expense just to have rainbow colored lights, so I returned it.

I also have NEST Thermostats, which are paying for themselves in about 26 months.
The mightiest Oak is just a nut who stayed the course.
rsterbal
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by rsterbal »

Home Depot had $5 a bulb 40 watt equivalent LED bulbs. I put 4 in my bedroom.

I bought 3 100 watt equivalent LED bulbs from IKEA for my home office.

The hardest thing to deal with is that the technology may obsolete the bulbs before they wear out.
LongerPrimer
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by LongerPrimer »

IMO, LEDs are still not cost effective in replacing CFL. But effective in places of needing instant affective light. I believe in LEDs and even bought a couple of LED stocks years ago-and lost a bundle in their ownership.

I've been selectively replacing CFL. The most effective replacement of an Edison light is in the Refrigerator. Do it today. :D
lululu
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by lululu »

I have a mix of incandescent and CFLs. I don't think I have yet had to replace a CFL, although some of them are probably over five years old. I have a "bug light yellow" CFL in an outdoor light.

The brand may matter. I used to buy just GE, but bought some Philips incandescents once. Every darn bulb in the Philips four pack when it burned out broke off at the socket when I unscrewed it. That has never happened with any other bulb.

However, the last GE bulb I bought, an exterior floodlight, was just a smidgen too small to stay in the socket. It was the correct type of bulb. That was not the problem. So now that they're apparently made in God knows where with no quality control, I don't know what brand I'll buy the next time.

The only delay I notice in any of the CFLs is it takes a second for the one in the laundry area to come on. I don't know why people get worked up about a second.

I have yet to see LEDs that aren't ice pick in your eye blue white.
airahcaz
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by airahcaz »

lululu wrote:I have a mix of incandescent and CFLs. I don't think I have yet had to replace a CFL, although some of them are probably over five years old. I have a "bug light yellow" CFL in an outdoor light.

The brand may matter. I used to buy just GE, but bought some Philips incandescents once. Every darn bulb in the Philips four pack when it burned out broke off at the socket when I unscrewed it. That has never happened with any other bulb.

However, the last GE bulb I bought, an exterior floodlight, was just a smidgen too small to stay in the socket. It was the correct type of bulb. That was not the problem. So now that they're apparently made in God knows where with no quality control, I don't know what brand I'll buy the next time.

The only delay I notice in any of the CFLs is it takes a second for the one in the laundry area to come on. I don't know why people get worked up about a second.

I have yet to see LEDs that aren't ice pick in your eye blue white.
Lighting differences, you can buy soft white (2700K) vs the Daylight (5000K)
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course. (Plagiarized, but worth stealing)
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Valuethinker
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by Valuethinker »

lululu wrote:
I have yet to see LEDs that aren't ice pick in your eye blue white.
As per previous poster, you want 2700K colour. That is the 'warm yellow'.

I have had good success (in Europe) with the Phillips brand LED lights. Realize that's the CFL you have had trouble with.
airahcaz
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by airahcaz »

Valuethinker wrote:
lululu wrote:
I have yet to see LEDs that aren't ice pick in your eye blue white.
As per previous poster, you want 2700K colour. That is the 'warm yellow'.

I have had good success (in Europe) with the Phillips brand LED lights. Realize that's the CFL you have had trouble with.
Phillips have the new slim style LED bulbs, try those?
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course. (Plagiarized, but worth stealing)
Digital Dave
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Location: Western New York

Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by Digital Dave »

I bought four of those Philips slim LED 60 watt bulbs last March for ten bucks. One of the deal sites had a Home Depot deal. They are very nice bulbs. Some reviewers on YouTube mentioned that the bulbs projected a dark line on lamp shades, but I couldn't see it.

I bought my first LED bulb nearly 3 years ago. I wanted to reward myself after a root canal. :) I stopped by Lowe's and bought a GE 40 watt for around $32. The gal at the checkout mentioned the price of this lamp. I said yeah, but it was going to last me longer than me and that I would mention in my will who would inherit it. :)

Since then I've bought Philips, and Cree bulbs. All are quiet as far as radio interference, so I'm happy. Had a BR30 type that I bought at Amazon that clobbered my FM radio in the next room!

Tomorrow I'm going first class with the purchase of a Cree 3 way 30/70/100 watt lamp! Yep, another root canal time is near.

Dave
Investing in Mutual Funds, ETF's, Forever Stamps and Bittulips.
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runner9
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by runner9 »

I bought a Cree 60 LED a few weeks ago, my first LED bulb. We like the more daylight colors, so that's what was bought for 10.97 at Home Depot.

So far I'm happy with it, it is much cooler than a CFL, but still somewhat warm. We'll probably switch to more LED as the CFLs burn out. I'll get the 6pack that Home Depot has online only next time one goes out.
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telemark
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by telemark »

Home Depot is now selling a Philips 100-watt equivalent for $8.97 in warm white; the daylight version costs a dollar more. They're a little hard to spot on the shelf since they come in cardboard boxes while most of the other bulbs are in blister packs. Slightly smaller than a traditional incandescent bulb and not dimmable.

It does run hot around the base. Cree has a larger 100-watt equivalent for $20 with a lot of heat sinks on it, but I wasn't sure it would fit where I wanted to use it, and of course they cost more.
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bertilak
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by bertilak »

I have yet to finds LED bulb that dims as nicely as good old-fashioned incandescents, nor do they last as long as advertised.

A couple of years back the LEDs labeled "dimable" did respond to the slider on the dimmer but what they did was switch at the halfway point from full-on to full-off. Lowes gave me a full refund.

Newer ones are better but require a special dimmer. I installed one at $27 and it does work fairly well, but it never gets anywhere near as dim as an incandescent. I have a LOT of dimmers in my house so am still using incandescent everywhere but the one place I put in that $27 dimmer.

You can still find 60 watt incandescents even though they are no longer allowed. There are loopholes for specialty bulbs. I like the ones designated for harsh environments, like vibrations. They do cost more than in the old days.

But things seem to change almost weekly. I am running low so need to go and figure out (all over again) what to buy. It used to be so easy and cheap to get light bulbs. Now you need to live with whatever you get for $5-$20 per bulb or make it a major research project every year or so.

Yeah, and forget that "lasts 22 years" promise on the box. I find they generally fail in about a year, maybe a bit longer. Blows a big hole in the "saves money in the long run" theory! I think the small print on the box says that the 22 years is based on a pretty short duty cycle of only a few hours a day.

Halogen's also work reasonably well and are available "legally" but are also expensive.
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker (aka S.O.B.), the Cowboy Poet
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black jack
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Re: LED lightbulbs

Post by black jack »

Bertilak, either you've been very unlucky or I've been very lucky.

I have one dimmer switch in my home, on a ceiling fixture in my dining room. As far as I know, the dimmer switch is nothing special: on the rotary dial it says "Leviton incandescent only 600 W max"(!). It was in the house when we bought the place five years ago, so I have no idea how old the switch is (the house is 55 years old).

I installed two Feit 60 watt replacement (13.5 watt) dimmable LEDs - bought at Costco for $5 apiece - in Feb 2013. It appears that FEIT no longer makes this exact model (A19/OM800: 850 lumens, 3000 K), but a few are still around: http://www.amazon.com/Feit-Electric-A19 ... B007RTE8XC.

Both bulbs are still working, and probably average about 6 hours of daily use. If they perform as advertised, I should get another nine years of use out of them.

I just got up to check: going down from full power, they dim in a smooth line, from full power to barely visible, then out. Powering them back up they start at about 50% power.

As for the rest of our bulbs, I still have incandescents in a couple of closets that probably are on an hour or two a year; the rest of our bulbs are CFLs, which will be replaced with LEDs when they give out.

I'm very happy to bid goodbye to incandescents.
We cannot absolutely prove [that they are wrong who say] that we have seen our best days. But so said all who came before us, and with just as much apparent reason. | -T. B. Macaulay (1800-1859)
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