led vs cfl

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squirm
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led vs cfl

Post by squirm » Mon Apr 04, 2016 11:36 am

I was on Lowe's the other day and noticed they have mini cfl's that are also fast start, about 1400 lumens at 23 watts. I haven't had a chance to yet to try them yet, but the specs seemed impressive.

We mainly have cfls, but do have a few leds. Each has its pros and cons.i like the slow start of the CFL in the bedroom and bathroom, but if their outside or in the garage, forget it.

On the other hand led has really gained traction in the past year and come down in cost. In addition, led should continue efficiency due to the Haitz law. Maybe we'll see 150 lumens per watt in five years.

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by dbr » Mon Apr 04, 2016 11:45 am

My opinion is that CFL is a clumsy, obsolete technology that has only existed as a transition step to better things. LED technology is here to stay and has reached the price and function that makes it the use of choice far and away. My house is almost completely converted to LED including even T8 tubes in the workshop.

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jharkin
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Re: led vs cfl

Post by jharkin » Mon Apr 04, 2016 11:56 am

+1

Dont even look at CFL anymore. The lifespan was never what was claimed in addition to all the other issues. Some big MFGers are even phasing out CFL production.

LED has gotten really cheap. A few years ago I tried a couple of the Philips L-Prize bulbs at the then cheap subsized price of $25 a piece just to experiment. Today I can get name brand A style 60w replacements for $2. Color rendition is almost identical to incandescent and they have none of the drawbacks of CFL while using even less power. It will only get better.

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by Joey_Freshwater » Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:00 pm

I've found that Costco sells LED lights at lower prices than elsewhere (even Lowe's)

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by drawpoker » Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:04 pm

I second the vote for LED bulbs.
Despite the claims the mercury levels in CFL was very low I never trusted 'em. Did install one in an outside porch light because breakage risk was almost non-existent.
But in the house? With rambunctious cats often knocking over table lamps I wouldn't have chanced CFL bulbs.
I say, good riddance they are being phased out!
I also love my LED bulbs because they never get hot, don't understand the technology, but they don't get hot like regular light bulbs. :D :D :D

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by Stonebr » Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:09 pm

dbr wrote:My opinion is that CFL is a clumsy, obsolete technology that has only existed as a transition step to better things. LED technology is here to stay and has reached the price and function that makes it the use of choice far and away. My house is almost completely converted to LED including even T8 tubes in the workshop.
ditto.

We used CFLs in our previous home and didn't much like them for all the reasons you hear. They also don't seem to last as long as advertised.

When we moved to our current house we made the switch to 100% LED throughout. Prices were still high for a lot of them -- especially floods and G10 track lighting -- but I looked at it as a one-time thing like insulating the attic or buying a new high-end boiler.

And another way to look at it is this: A few years ago we decided to spend $x,xxx dollars in energy efficiency and weatherization for the house we moved into. It was drafty and uncomfortable; the boiler was a smelling noisy monster; the upstairs was 85 degrees when the downstairs was in deep-chill. We spend the money on a whole portfolio of things -- air sealing the attic, insulating, foaming the basement walls, converting to gas with a 96% efficient boiler. The money spent on the LEDs was part of this and was chump change compared to the rest. At present we score 10 (out of 10) on the energy yardstick, and our annual cost of energy is less than 40% of what it used to be.

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William4u
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Re: led vs cfl

Post by William4u » Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:10 pm

LEDs are better is just about every possible way.

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by squirm » Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:30 pm

I have run into the same issue of cfls dying prematurely. I thought it was just me.

I am amazed at the cri on leds, close to 95.

I did my garage with led shop lighting last year. No problems.

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by BHUser27 » Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:41 pm

The fine print on early CFLs said they were best for 'low-cycle' applications - i.e. where the lights are not turned on and off often. Everyone (including me) has probably been using them in non-recommended applications. I have had nothing but trouble with CFLs burning out well before their quoted/expected life. I will never buy them again.

When buying LEDs be sure to read the fine print. Many LED bulbs need air circulation and state right on the package that they are not designed for enclosed fixtures - such as recessed lights, porch lights, and many ceiling fixtures. LEDs specifically rated for enclosed fixtures and/or outdoor use exist but are hard to find. Same thing for high or low temperature applications (ovens/refrigerators) and for use with dimmers.

Make sure you buy a bulb suited for your application. When the bulbs cost 50 cents each, a lot of people didn't pay attention to this, but with the price of CFL & LED, it is important for both safety reasons and economical ones.

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by NHRATA01 » Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:43 pm

I have quite a few CFL's still in service, as once I moved into my own place in '01 I always bought energy efficient bulbs where possible. I really can't complain about my CFL experience, I have not had many die early. I have two in living room lamps that are going on 12 years now. One over my kitchen sink that dates to '09 and is on 4 hrs per day on weekdays, and on all night on weekends. Two in the porch lights on all night going strong.

The shortcomings I find of CFL's:
- The bare lighting quality is harsh, no two ways about it so I only use them in indoor fixtures behind a lampshade
- Short duty cycle areas (like closets and bathrooms) wear them out faster and some of the older ones won't warm fast enough

LED's now pretty much are almost as cheap as CFL's, use even less energy, and have a longer rated life. AND they resolve both of those two above noted issues. So pretty much every time a CFL or incandescent bulb dies I replace it with an LED. I started buying LED's in '12 and other than a couple of random 40W incandescent for sealed enclosures (due to the effect of heat on LED's) that's all I've bought since.

I echo the comment above, CFL was really a transitional technology that is now obsolete, and LED's are superior in about every aspect (and now even price difference is almost negligible).

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by deanbrew » Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:52 pm

AFAIK, and I really haven't looked all that closely, the "instant-on" CFLs are hybrid bulbs that come on instantly with halogen and then allow the fluorescent component to warm up and take over. An evolution of the CFL technology that turns out to be too late. LEDs are the standard for new lighting, and quickly becoming the standard for most replacement bulb applications.

I agree regarding CFL inadequacies, especially slow warmup and not lasting as long as they are supposed to. The only places I have found them to last is dawn-to-dusk lights and lights I turn on and off only once or twice a day (like the light over our sink, which I turn on around dark and turn off when I go to bed). But I can't envision buying any more CFL bulbs, and have only purchased LED ones for the past two years. I'm still hoping that 100W-equivalent LED prices will come down more, as these are still fairly expensive. Having said that, I have bitten the bullet and bought a couple rather than fool around with CFL ones again.
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Re: led vs cfl

Post by dbr » Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:56 pm

I would reinforce the comment above to pay attention to what kind of LED you are buying. There are specs on brightness, color temperature, and color rendering. You also, as stated, have to pay attention to suitable use, enclosed and dimmer in particular. Also dimmable LEDs need to be run by compatible dimmers. I found ehttps://www.earthled.com/ to have good application guides whether or not you buy bulbs from them.

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by nisiprius » Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:56 pm

We are mostly waiting for our CFLs to fail before replacing them, but I have to say our experience so far with LEDs has been so good, and the prices have dropped so low, that it is tempting not to wait.

The big advantages of the LEDs are that the light just seems better and more natural, even for the same color temperature, perhaps due to having a smoother spectrum; and the delay before coming up to full intensity is much shorter. I haven't looked into disposal issues yet, but surely it will be less with LED bulbs--no mercury vapor, anyway. I once wasted a lot of time bringing dead CFL bulbs to Walmart because their national advertising said they would dispose of them... but the local Walmart said they didn't know what I was talking about and scratched their head when I showed the ad, and said they had no idea what to do with the bulbs.
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Re: led vs cfl

Post by masteraleph » Mon Apr 04, 2016 1:00 pm

jepalan wrote: When buying LEDs be sure to read the fine print. Many LED bulbs need air circulation and state right on the package that they are not designed for enclosed fixtures - such as recessed lights, porch lights, and many ceiling fixtures. LEDs specifically rated for enclosed fixtures and/or outdoor use exist but are hard to find. Same thing for high or low temperature applications (ovens/refrigerators) and for use with dimmers.
I'll note that the ones sold at Costco say that they're fine for enclosed fixtures, and have a picture of one of those dome lamps on the package to emphasize it.

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by jharkin » Mon Apr 04, 2016 1:02 pm

If you are on the fence, I did a "comparison test" and write ups on my experiences switching over on another forum Ive been a long time member of. I have since converted almost the entire house to LED with the except of my garage and shop lights that are still fluorescent tubes, and the motion sensor floods that I leave incandescent bulbs in.


http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/phil ... mp.101671/
http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/led- ... -it.73324/

(Hope the cross post is not violating a forum rule)

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heartwood
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Re: led vs cfl

Post by heartwood » Mon Apr 04, 2016 1:10 pm

In my experience CFLs are not dimmable and behave badly on a dimmer circuit even if you don't dim. They flicker. We've had the problem with table lamps on a dimmer switch and on ceiling fans. In the ceiling fan (Casablanca) they flicker even if the light is off.

Other than online I've had a hard time finding 100W equivalent LEDS. None so far at Costco, but Amazon seems to have several as does Home Depot online. I'd check the lumens rather than relying on the wattage equivalent. And be aware of the light appearance number for color. Cold white ~5000k, soft white ~2500k. I know there are displays in Home Depot for various appearence numbers.

Also check the LEDs for "dimmable" if that's a concern for you.

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by barnaclebob » Mon Apr 04, 2016 1:15 pm

I will never buy another CFL bulb again. They are garbage and burn out much faster than claimed.

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by targ » Mon Apr 04, 2016 1:16 pm

Cost-wise, prices are still such that the LED vs CFL break-even point is too far out for me (currently just under 5 years) to do a complete LED refit to everything.

Basically, I prefer LEDs to CFLs for the color and (relatively) cool-to-the-touch qualities. So as various lights die, I'm just paying the extra $$ for the LEDs. Eventually the price points will come down to where they are truly cost-effective in a reasonable time span.

But I'm still wishing for that not-yet-existent 3-way LED that puts out around 3000 lumens on the high setting. That beast is probably still 5-10 years away.
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LED wins

Post by daveatca » Mon Apr 04, 2016 1:20 pm

dbr wrote:My opinion is that CFL is a clumsy, obsolete technology that has only existed as a transition step to better things.
Exactly.
Mercury. Flickering. Dimming problems. Poor CRI. Higher electricity consumption than LEDs.
Garbage.

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by powermega » Mon Apr 04, 2016 1:36 pm

I can think of certain fixtures where a CFL would be a good choice of bulb. I cannot think of a single fixture where a CFL bulb is better than an LED bulb.
Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by jharkin » Mon Apr 04, 2016 1:58 pm

[OT post removed --admin LadyGeek]
[Response to OT post removed -- admin LadyGeek]

Incandescent has a CRI of 100 (the benchmark).
CFLs are lucky to beat 65 CRI .
LEDs are now avalable at 90 CRI or better.

The color rendition of LED is measurably far better than CFL and very very close to incan now. And I have had a recent eye exam and can prove that I am not color blind.

dbr
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Re: led vs cfl

Post by dbr » Mon Apr 04, 2016 2:07 pm

jharkin wrote:
[OT post removed --admin LadyGeek]
[Response to OT post removed -- admin LadyGeek]

Incandescent has a CRI of 100 (the benchmark).
CFLs are lucky to beat 65 CRI .
LEDs are now avalable at 90 CRI or better.

The color rendition of LED is measurably far better than CFL and very very close to incan now. And I have had a recent eye exam and can prove that I am not color blind.
The one noticable defect of LED for me is that when dimming the color temperature does not shift red as it does with a dimmed incandescent. I could even say the color appearance of dimmed LEDs is wierd sometimes, at least compared to what one is accustomed to. Then there are always candles. I bet one day we will have programmable lighting with microprocessors that duplicates any color spectrum one wants.

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by Mingus » Mon Apr 04, 2016 3:04 pm

jharkin wrote:
[OT post removed --admin LadyGeek]
[Response to OT post removed -- admin LadyGeek]

Incandescent has a CRI of 100 (the benchmark).
CFLs are lucky to beat 65 CRI .
LEDs are now avalable at 90 CRI or better.

The color rendition of LED is measurably far better than CFL and very very close to incan now. And I have had a recent eye exam and can prove that I am not color blind.
I'm not sure how the CRI is calculated, but I don't believe it to be the end all of end all as far as light quality in my opinion. And now after looking at the calculation for how it's determined, I totally underestimated how much I don't know how its calculated. And it seems there are multiple ways to calculate CRI. I'm sure manufacturers are picking and choosing which formulas to use that shows the CRIs for their LED bulbs under a more favorable light.

Even the best of the best LEDs have a spike in the blue spectrum, which in addition to being unhealthy, is unpleasant light. And they lack a lot higher kelvin light temps.

I could be wrong, however I think much of the energy savings from different lighting types comes from the fact that huge swaths of frequency are not being produced.

I've been experimenting with LEDs off and on for the past few years and more and more I'm finding I don't even want to the turn the LED bulbs on. They bother my eyes, and I don't like the light (lack of) they produce. I also hate CFLs. If I were held by gunpoint and had to choose between LED and CFL I'd take LED.

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by Epsilon Delta » Mon Apr 04, 2016 4:00 pm

Mingus wrote: I could be wrong, however I think much of the energy savings from different lighting types comes from the fact that huge swaths of frequency are not being produced.
Yes, they lack the infra red, which you can't see anyway.

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by wrongfunds » Mon Apr 04, 2016 4:08 pm

Has anybody found high lumen LED bulbs? With CFL, you can get big cfl bulbs with high lumens. For example, this was a double-d CFL light which I converted in to LED ring. It is nice but still not as bright as the original CFL.

Image

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by dumbmoney » Mon Apr 04, 2016 5:32 pm

wrongfunds wrote:Has anybody found high lumen LED bulbs? With CFL, you can get big cfl bulbs with high lumens. For example, this was a double-d CFL light which I converted in to LED ring. It is nice but still not as bright as the original CFL.
Something like this?
Feit C4000/5K/LED 300W Replacement 5000K Non-Dimmable LED Light Bulb
www.amazon.com/dp/B00RKLXJOQ
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wrongfunds
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Re: led vs cfl

Post by wrongfunds » Mon Apr 04, 2016 6:16 pm

That is good one but seems to be priced about 4x to comparable CFL. I guess we have to wait for them to come down.

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Toons
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Re: led vs cfl

Post by Toons » Mon Apr 04, 2016 6:58 pm

I am totally LED in the house and outside now.
I replaced all the CFL.

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by kazper » Mon Apr 04, 2016 7:34 pm

targ wrote:Cost-wise, prices are still such that the LED vs CFL break-even point is too far out for me (currently just under 5 years) to do a complete LED refit to everything.

Basically, I prefer LEDs to CFLs for the color and (relatively) cool-to-the-touch qualities. So as various lights die, I'm just paying the extra $$ for the LEDs. Eventually the price points will come down to where they are truly cost-effective in a reasonable time span.

But I'm still wishing for that not-yet-existent 3-way LED that puts out around 3000 lumens on the high setting. That beast is probably still 5-10 years away.
This would be my recommendation, wait until your CFCs die to replace them.

I switched to CFls before LEDs were a viable option. That move alone saved me 30 to 40 a month. The savings between most CFls and LEDs is meager, maybe a few dollars a year, if that. With the higher cost, it takes a while to justify replacing everything from cfl to LED. Now if you are still on the old incandescent bulbs, the switch to either is week worth the money, but I would recommend led.

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by skylar » Mon Apr 04, 2016 8:54 pm

Note that if you're in Seattle, City Light offers discounts on LED bulbs at some retailers:

http://www.seattle.gov/light/homelighting/

The discounts can easily bring the up-front cost of a LED down to the cost of a CFL, which makes it definite bargain over the long run. It would be worth checking with your local utility to see if they have a similar program.

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by Mingus » Mon Apr 04, 2016 8:55 pm

Epsilon Delta wrote:
Mingus wrote: I could be wrong, however I think much of the energy savings from different lighting types comes from the fact that huge swaths of frequency are not being produced.
Yes, they lack the infra red, which you can't see anyway.
Wait, what? Nothing has ever been said about portions of the electromagnetic spectrum beyond the perception of human eyes.

If one compares the color spectrum of an LED to an incandescent, the range of light produced in the visible spectrum is significantly less than an incandescent.

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by bottlecap » Mon Apr 04, 2016 9:51 pm

jepalan wrote:The fine print on early CFLs said they were best for 'low-cycle' applications - i.e. where the lights are not turned on and off often. Everyone (including me) has probably been using them in non-recommended applications.
CFLs were a huge waste of money on a global scale based on a lie. I'm glad the LEDs are here, but the CFLs were unnecessary. Even if you assume that the reason that the CFLs burnt out prematurely was the "low-cycle" application excuse (it's not - many of mine burnt out within 6 months. They were simply made cheaply overseas to suck up American money), what sense does that make? WHo keeps their lights on all the time? All the calculations about how much money you would save were based on 4 hours or so a day usage. So either you turn them off repeatedly an destroy their cost-saving longevity or you keep them on all the time and destroy the supposed cost-savings of your brand new, ten times as expensive light. This doesn't even consider the environmental cost of manufacturing and disposing of CFLs.

So, my vote is for LEDs. You'd be crazy to buy the CFLs that so many people hailed as the more efficient, environmentally-friendly lights that never were.

JT

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by SpaceMonkey » Mon Apr 04, 2016 10:04 pm

The only issue I've seen/experienced with some LED bulbs is occasional electromagnetic interference (caused by the LED power supply) causing problems with garage door openers, radios, etc. The ones that are stamped as FCC certified are apparently properly shielded, though.

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by BHUser27 » Tue Apr 05, 2016 6:52 am

bottlecap wrote: CFLs were a huge waste of money on a global scale based on a lie. I'm glad the LEDs are here, but the CFLs were unnecessary. Even if you assume that the reason that the CFLs burnt out prematurely was the "low-cycle" application excuse (it's not - many of mine burnt out within 6 months. They were simply made cheaply overseas to suck up American money), what sense does that make? WHo keeps their lights on all the time? All the calculations about how much money you would save were based on 4 hours or so a day usage. So either you turn them off repeatedly an destroy their cost-saving longevity or you keep them on all the time and destroy the supposed cost-savings of your brand new, ten times as expensive light. This doesn't even consider the environmental cost of manufacturing and disposing of CFLs.

So, my vote is for LEDs. You'd be crazy to buy the CFLs that so many people hailed as the more efficient, environmentally-friendly lights that never were.

JT
I completely agree. CFLs work best in applications where the light is left off all the time. :D

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by Valuethinker » Tue Apr 05, 2016 11:00 am

bottlecap wrote:
jepalan wrote:The fine print on early CFLs said they were best for 'low-cycle' applications - i.e. where the lights are not turned on and off often. Everyone (including me) has probably been using them in non-recommended applications.
CFLs were a huge waste of money on a global scale based on a lie. I'm glad the LEDs are here, but the CFLs were unnecessary. Even if you assume that the reason that the CFLs burnt out prematurely was the "low-cycle" application excuse (it's not - many of mine burnt out within 6 months. They were simply made cheaply overseas to suck up American money), what sense does that make? WHo keeps their lights on all the time? All the calculations about how much money you would save were based on 4 hours or so a day usage. So either you turn them off repeatedly an destroy their cost-saving longevity or you keep them on all the time and destroy the supposed cost-savings of your brand new, ten times as expensive light. This doesn't even consider the environmental cost of manufacturing and disposing of CFLs.

So, my vote is for LEDs. You'd be crazy to buy the CFLs that so many people hailed as the more efficient, environmentally-friendly lights that never were.

JT
LED prices in the UK are still significantly higher than CFL prices. The technology is just as not as well spread here.

And yet, the people who run the National Grid tell us they can see the impact of the CFLs on the peak demand-- the curve is flatter.

Was it a waste? I don't see it. I know of plenty of CFLs in my elderly relatives places still ticking over. When the move began to CFLs, they were an established technology and LEDs just weren't road ready for most applications (i am talking 5 years ago, here).

What was not anticipated, could not be anticipated, was that changing lighting standards would drive innovation in LED lights. Once the demand for low cost lighting was guaranteed by changing standards, globally, then entrepreneurs went after that market and thoroughly disrupted it. A 100 year old market for incandescent bulbs which will basically have died in less than 20 years. Shades of the transistor or the internet. You are seeing the same thing happen in photovoltaic cells and in lithium batteries.

I confess to never losing a childish thrill at seeing rapid technology change drive huge market disruption. The Shock of the New.

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by Epsilon Delta » Tue Apr 05, 2016 2:23 pm

Valuethinker wrote: Was it a waste? I don't see it. I know of plenty of CFLs in my elderly relatives places still ticking over. When the move began to CFLs, they were an established technology and LEDs just weren't road ready for most applications (i am talking 5 years ago, here).

...

I confess to never losing a childish thrill at seeing rapid technology change drive huge market disruption. The Shock of the New.
I agree but for completeness:

The push for CFLs began in the early 1990's before there was a white LED of any power or a usable LED flashlight of any color. LEDs for lighting were little more than science fiction at that time. So while CFLs ended up being a transition technology there was no way to know that at the time, and they were the best solution for a lot of uses for almost a generation. Early adopters of CFLs for high duty cycle lights saved a lot of energy and a boat load of money. Had LED development followed the path of fusion reactors** CFLs would still be the best light source for many uses. People who say that CFLs were a waste of time are grinding an anachronistic ax.


* I still have a working CFL from 1995. It weights over half a kilo and is the size of a baseball so it won't fit in many lamps, but it's built like a tank and still in daily use.

** The 1990 road map for fusion reactors says we are now living in deuterium powered world, also we have flying cars.

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by Epsilon Delta » Tue Apr 05, 2016 4:32 pm

Mingus wrote:
Epsilon Delta wrote:
Mingus wrote: I could be wrong, however I think much of the energy savings from different lighting types comes from the fact that huge swaths of frequency are not being produced.
Yes, they lack the infra red, which you can't see anyway.
Wait, what? Nothing has ever been said about portions of the electromagnetic spectrum beyond the perception of human eyes.

If one compares the color spectrum of an LED to an incandescent, the range of light produced in the visible spectrum is significantly less than an incandescent.
Yes, but the difference in the visible spectrum is not what accounts for the efficiency of the LED. It's incidental, a limit of technology, rather than a design goal.

2800K black body radiation (good approximation to an incandescent) has a luminous efficacy of about 15 lm/W. 2800K black body radiation truncated to the visible spectrum has a luminous efficacy of about 300 lm/W. These two light sources would appear identical to the human eye. So you increase the efficacy by a factor of 20 by getting rid of the infrared.

By contrast 555nm monochromatic light has a luminous efficacy of 680 lm/W. This is the most efficient possible light and is not at all white. To make it appear white you'd have to mix in some red and blue. I don't have a good number for the most efficient light that appears white. I have hints that you mix mixture the three narrow wavelengths that match the cones in a human eye to get about 410 lm/W. It might be higher but it will certainly be less than 680 lm/W.

So getting rid of the infrared improves the efficacy by a factor of 20, while getting rid of parts of the visible spectrum might get you a factor of 1.3 (best estimate) or 2.3 (absolute upper limit).

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just frank
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Re: led vs cfl

Post by just frank » Tue Apr 05, 2016 5:35 pm

jepalan wrote:
bottlecap wrote: CFLs were a huge waste of money on a global scale based on a lie. I'm glad the LEDs are here, but the CFLs were unnecessary. Even if you assume that the reason that the CFLs burnt out prematurely was the "low-cycle" application excuse (it's not - many of mine burnt out within 6 months. They were simply made cheaply overseas to suck up American money), what sense does that make? WHo keeps their lights on all the time? All the calculations about how much money you would save were based on 4 hours or so a day usage. So either you turn them off repeatedly an destroy their cost-saving longevity or you keep them on all the time and destroy the supposed cost-savings of your brand new, ten times as expensive light. This doesn't even consider the environmental cost of manufacturing and disposing of CFLs.

So, my vote is for LEDs. You'd be crazy to buy the CFLs that so many people hailed as the more efficient, environmentally-friendly lights that never were.

JT
I completely agree. CFLs work best in applications where the light is left off all the time. :D
Not getting the CFL hating. I am an LED fan now, but have been happily using warm-white high-CRI CFLs for the last 20 years, and saving a bundle in money and energy for that whole time. My guess is that you bought some bluish, cheapo CFLs and had a bad experience.... ?

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by bottlecap » Tue Apr 05, 2016 10:17 pm

just frank wrote:
jepalan wrote:
bottlecap wrote: CFLs were a huge waste of money on a global scale based on a lie. I'm glad the LEDs are here, but the CFLs were unnecessary. Even if you assume that the reason that the CFLs burnt out prematurely was the "low-cycle" application excuse (it's not - many of mine burnt out within 6 months. They were simply made cheaply overseas to suck up American money), what sense does that make? WHo keeps their lights on all the time? All the calculations about how much money you would save were based on 4 hours or so a day usage. So either you turn them off repeatedly an destroy their cost-saving longevity or you keep them on all the time and destroy the supposed cost-savings of your brand new, ten times as expensive light. This doesn't even consider the environmental cost of manufacturing and disposing of CFLs.

So, my vote is for LEDs. You'd be crazy to buy the CFLs that so many people hailed as the more efficient, environmentally-friendly lights that never were.

JT
I completely agree. CFLs work best in applications where the light is left off all the time. :D
Not getting the CFL hating. I am an LED fan now, but have been happily using warm-white high-CRI CFLs for the last 20 years, and saving a bundle in money and energy for that whole time. My guess is that you bought some bluish, cheapo CFLs and had a bad experience.... ?
I bought all sorts - cheap and expensive. None were reliably made. Some lasted, many didn't. I still have some GE's that work intermittently and you have to monkey with them to get back on. I just paid more for less.

The energy savings was in no way huge for me personally (perhaps because I was raised to turn off lights?) and, when you consider they were far more expensive, at least a quarter of them failed within 6 months, and most lasted less than 16 months, it was no deal at all. Of course I could mail them back for a refund at the cost of a new bulb!

CFLs overall cost-effectiveness was premised on them replacing 22 incandescents and I've never seen one that would replace 4.

Some will make up all sorts of rationales to defend them to their dying day. There's some sort of utopian fetish fantasy associated with them. But the reality I saw accounted for little but waste.

JT

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by Epsilon Delta » Tue Apr 05, 2016 11:33 pm

bottlecap wrote:
CFLs overall cost-effectiveness was premised on them replacing 22 incandescents and I've never seen one that would replace 4.
You're making things up.

In 1995 a 15W CFL equivalent to a 60W incandescent was $20. Electricity was $.08 per kWhr. Even if if incandescents bulbs were free the break even was 5555 hours of operations.

While incandescents were short lived and were bought on a weekly basis they last longer than 250 hours (and if they only lasted 250 hours I'd replace them with CFLs just to avoid having to replace them monthly).

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by Ninegrams » Wed Apr 06, 2016 12:53 am

Got a houseful of CFLs ( Spring Light/TCP) thanks to the local utility company handing them out for free like candy. Use them in virtually every application possible including halls & baths with short duration use periods and they just keep on working. When my stock finally evaporates I'll switch to LED but I think that will be in the very distant future. The newer generation bulbs are much improved.

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by gnujoe2001 » Wed Apr 06, 2016 2:18 am

Joey_Freshwater wrote:I've found that Costco sells LED lights at lower prices than elsewhere (even Lowe's)
+1 vote for the Costco Feit Electric bulbs.

When the Feit CFL's came around years ago, they were quite good in startup time and color and at the right price so immediately I swapped out the incandescents E26 with CFLs with no regrets. It was mainly to reduce heat output, to lessen load on A/C.

I incrementally switched out all the incandescent can flood bulbs with the Feit flood LEDs when they went on sale. As the other CFLs die out, I swap them for the LED part. Most recent were a pair of exterior GX24Q bulbs and WOW it is so much brighter on the porch at night now.

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Apr 06, 2016 3:27 am

Epsilon Delta wrote:
Valuethinker wrote: Was it a waste? I don't see it. I know of plenty of CFLs in my elderly relatives places still ticking over. When the move began to CFLs, they were an established technology and LEDs just weren't road ready for most applications (i am talking 5 years ago, here).

...

I confess to never losing a childish thrill at seeing rapid technology change drive huge market disruption. The Shock of the New.
I agree but for completeness:

The push for CFLs began in the early 1990's before there was a white LED of any power or a usable LED flashlight of any color. LEDs for lighting were little more than science fiction at that time. So while CFLs ended up being a transition technology there was no way to know that at the time, and they were the best solution for a lot of uses for almost a generation. Early adopters of CFLs for high duty cycle lights saved a lot of energy and a boat load of money. Had LED development followed the path of fusion reactors** CFLs would still be the best light source for many uses. People who say that CFLs were a waste of time are grinding an anachronistic ax.


* I still have a working CFL from 1995. It weights over half a kilo and is the size of a baseball so it won't fit in many lamps, but it's built like a tank and still in daily use.

** The 1990 road map for fusion reactors says we are now living in deuterium powered world, also we have flying cars.
As ever, thank you for the additional history and insight.

I agree re anachronistic reasoning re CFLs. It was a bridge technology, but there was no way of forecasting at the time that LEDs would get so good and so cheap so fast.

Fusion technology will be "commercial in 50 years" -- that's been true since I first heard about it, in about 1970 (;-)). I have a feeling it may still be at that time horizon in 2030.

You've probably seen the cartoon where the scientist is writing a huge equation, covers whole board, and and the bottom is written "and then a miracle occurs", and his colleague comments "you need to work on that last step"? That's kind of where I am in the world energy system, we keep waiting for a miracle, when in fact what we will get is steady, grinding progress. AFAIK the big drops in the cost of some forms of energy supply (wind, solar) is not about radical technological leaps, but simply scale effects (bigger turbines, bigger PV cell production lines w better manufacturing technology) plus "tweaks". This reminds me also of fracking, which is not one technology, nor one step, but hundreds of innovative steps over 30 years or so, and then it transforms first the North American gas market (remember when we thought $14/ mm? And now we are at $2.00 with little sign of increase?) and now the world oil industry.

I've been reading quite a bit about the history of tank development. You get these step changes, accelerated by WW2 in particular. But eventually a "dominant design" emerges, which is more or less the T34/ 85mm gun version which then has lineal descendants in the T55 T62 and T72-- thus taking tank design up to the early 1990s. The west runs a parallel process which runs through the Panther to the Leopard I and Leopard II (a greater technological sophistication, larger tank, heavier protection) and in the British case through to the Centurion-Chieftain-Challenger and the American through the Pershing to the M48 and the M60 and then the M1 Abrams. Steady incremental change-- bigger gun, better armour, bigger engine etc.

What gets me excited (sad life, I know ;-)) is things like LED lights or efficient fridges, that reduce our actual consumption by really serious amounts (a 1985 fridge burned about 2/3rds as much kwhr as I use in a *year* for an entire house). I am aware of the problem of rebound effects, but nonetheless by any measure of technological progress, this is amazing. ICE cars would have done something similar, except we used the weight and technology improvements to increase performance (acceleration etc.) rather than to improve fuel efficiency.

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by HongKonger » Wed Apr 06, 2016 4:01 am

Ive been 100% led for about 6 or 7 years. Still not had to replace a bulb. No getting hot in the kitchen. CFL was a disaster - Hong Kong just leapfrogged them altogether.

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by bottlecap » Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:07 am

Epsilon Delta wrote:
bottlecap wrote:
CFLs overall cost-effectiveness was premised on them replacing 22 incandescents and I've never seen one that would replace 4.
You're making things up.
Well then so are organizations that defend CFLs. That's one of the figures they use.

It looks like your're just considering cost of operation, which isn't making things up, but does rig the game.

JT

Edit: The figure is closer to 1 CFL = 7.5 incandescents; I was confused by the comparisons used. The reality is still is no way close to that. Figures on incandescents range from 1,000 to 2,000 hours, the average perhaps being somewhere in between. We never had a time where we were buying them anywhere close to weekly, even in 1995.
Last edited by bottlecap on Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:19 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:09 am

Epsilon Delta wrote:
bottlecap wrote:
CFLs overall cost-effectiveness was premised on them replacing 22 incandescents and I've never seen one that would replace 4.
You're making things up.

In 1995 a 15W CFL equivalent to a 60W incandescent was $20. Electricity was $.08 per kWhr. Even if if incandescents bulbs were free the break even was 5555 hours of operations.

While incandescents were short lived and were bought on a weekly basis they last longer than 250 hours (and if they only lasted 250 hours I'd replace them with CFLs just to avoid having to replace them monthly).
I vaguely remember that incandescents were legally required to have a life of 2000 hours? (this might have been a European regulation)

Also that CFLs were 10,000-12,000 hours? However that varies a lot: frequent on/off sharply reduces that?

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by bottlecap » Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:27 am

Valuethinker wrote:Also that CFLs were 10,000-12,000 hours? However that varies a lot: frequent on/off sharply reduces that?
This is the part that was the lame excuse. It's like the government requiring they have 10,000 hour lifespan on Mars. I don't live on Mars, so it's meaningless. I turn off my lights when not needed, so those numbers were fantasy, even when I did get a non defective bulb.

No one would buy an really efficient but expensive car where the lifespan of the vehicle was drastically reduced by turning it on and off, but with CFLs, we were asked to ignore reality.

JT

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by Amarisa » Wed Apr 06, 2016 12:04 pm

I go through thousands of bulbs a year and began to switch my CFL's to LED's 2 years ago. I bought a 40' container of them out of China because of the savings involved. I'm pro American most of the time but a dollar saved is a dollar earned and this was tens of thousands saved. Sorry if that offends some of you but in my industry we are forced to use products from the cheapest source and that's usually China.

I personally prefer the LED's because they don't flicker like CFL's. My house is all LED's but I didn't notice a savings in the power bill. I believe that when the office got converted we saw a reduced power bill around $40 a month. That's probably because of the reduced heat produced by the CFL's. That is a straight up guess and I have no facts to back it up. I would never go back to CFL's and I promote LED's whenever possible.

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by Youngblood » Wed Apr 06, 2016 12:49 pm

I also prefer LEDs over CFLs but mostly because of the danger to the Hazmat team you have to call if they break. Over the past twelve years or so, the Hazmat team (me) has been called twice.

I only have two LEDs and everywhere else CFLs except for dimmer switches (incandescent). A few CFLs have failed earlier than expected but most are from 7-12 years old including outside and closed light fixtures. The one's that failed were indeed the enclosed.

I plan to keep using 60w incandescent bulbs in the bathrooms because time on is so limited there would be no noticeable cost savings by replacing them. In the twelve years I have been living here I think that maybe I have replaced two of the incandescent bulbs (they seem to last forever there).

I will also keep using CFLs in our reading lamps until they fail and a 100w LED equivalent is available at a decent price.

BTW, one of my LEDs failed within a month but I was able to exchange it. If I were to use a 100 watt equivalent At $10 a bulb and a fail beyond return policy...

I love light bulbs!

YB
"I made my money by selling too soon." | Bernard M. Baruch

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Re: led vs cfl

Post by arsenalfan » Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:36 pm

Anyone have experience transitioning from dimmable 50W MR16 halogens to 7W MR16 LEDs?

We have ~35 recessed halogens in our home on dimmers. I've been told my dimmer switches aren't LED-dimmable. BUT I've read reviews of the LED MR16s that say the dimming still works, so long as you leave one halogen in place (ie replace 7 of 8 halogens with LEDs, and leave one behind).

I'm going to buy some dimmable MR16 7W LEDs off amazon to experiment, but thought I'd throw it out to the internets.

EDIT: ok, google is my friend. http://blog.insanegenius.com/2015/08/02 ... -retrofit/

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