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'[EE]: Time for LED home lighting?'
2007\09\03@001000 by Charles Craft

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Has anyone made the switch to LED bulbs at home or office?

Fixing to start a remodeling project and wonder if it's time
to make the jump. I get really annoyed with the buzzing out
of fluorescent fixtures. Is there any buzz with LED - new or old?

Is there anyone to justify a $100 lightbulb?
Will the green factor leave me warm and fuzzy enough to forget
about the big empty space in my wallet?


2007\09\03@043908 by Dario Greggio

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Charles Craft wrote:

> Has anyone made the switch to LED bulbs at home or office?

Tried to, bu at least up to last June, cost-per-lumen was simply too much.
Both off-the-shelf lamps (white) and a customer's-seller kit (for which
I created the PWM driver). In the latter case, also RGB.

> Fixing to start a remodeling project and wonder if it's time
> to make the jump. I get really annoyed with the buzzing out
> of fluorescent fixtures. Is there any buzz with LED - new or old?

No, the PWM I used is at around 200Hz and anyway it should not buzz due
to low powers :)

> Is there anyone to justify a $100 lightbulb?

Exactly. IMO, no: I'm going for solar photovoltaic panels, though: it's
quite incentivated now in Italy.

I've some Chinese-built and marketed lamps for somewhat cheaper, but in
that case it's
the provided light which is too little, even if the cost is so cheaper
that they almost reach the 1:1 cost ratio.
I mean, in this latter case, price may be affordable but you simply need
to place *many* of those lamps (cheaper and older leds are used).


--
Ciao, Dario
--
ADPM Synthesis sas - Torino
--
http://www.adpm.tk

2007\09\03@062900 by Russell McMahon

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> Has anyone made the switch to LED bulbs at home or office?

LED costs are still falling nicely. BUT the efficiency of LED lamps is
still only comparable to the best of other technologies whose initial
capital costs is cheaper. Halogen can be very competitive. The bulb
life is << LED but bulb cost is < LED.

CFL bulbs, which are fluorescents in a different form factor,
generate their own high frequency so are  buzz free. You can now buy
100+ Watt CFL bulbs - about 500 Watt incandescent equivalent.
Marvellously bright. I have a number :-).

Fluorescent tube format can use HF electronic ballasts for silent
operation. Given the distortions of the invisible hand it may be
cheaper to buy CFL bulbs of suitable size and use their electronics to
power tube fluorescents, depending on how many you have to do and how
you value your labour.

LEDs are essentially DC and can be PWMd at above audible frequencies
with ease.

Dimming:    LEDs are easily dimmable (but it should be done with PWM
applied to the LED and not smoothed DC) whereas CFL are usually not
(as their internal controllers are simple and not intended to be
accessible) and fluorescent controllers need to be dimmer rated.



       Russell


2007\09\03@063844 by Michael Rigby-Jones

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{Quote hidden}

I've thought about this before, seems like a potentialy cheap and neat solution.  Only thing is how does the strike/operating voltages and heater resistances of full size tubes compare to the tiny folded compact tubes?

Regards

Mike

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2007\09\03@065238 by Alan B. Pearce

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>Fluorescent tube format can use HF electronic ballasts
>for silent operation.

I don't know if it is actually done, but it could also do proper power
factor correction, to almost eliminate losses elsewhere in the system due to
poor power factor.

2007\09\03@082638 by Russell McMahon

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>>Fluorescent tube format can use HF electronic ballasts for silent
>>operation. Given the distortions of the invisible hand it may be
>>cheaper to buy CFL bulbs of suitable size and use their electronics
>>to
>>power tube fluorescents, depending on how many you have to do and
>>how
>>you value your labour.

> I've thought about this before, seems like a potentialy cheap and
> neat solution.  Only thing is how does the strike/operating voltages
> and heater resistances of full size tubes compare to the tiny folded
> compact tubes?

The 100+ Watt CFLs are getting distinctly non-tiny.
Grabs tape measure.
The 105 Watt CFL in my dining room has 4 U loops with a 440mm path
length each. As all 4 loops are in series that's a tube length of
about 1800 mm or just under 7 feet (!!!!). That's a lonnnng
fluorescent.

Tube diameter is about 15mm

These monsters are quite a shock at first encounter. Far larger than
the average CFL. Go in either a bayonet or Edison screw socket as per
usual but put quite a strain on fittings that support the bulb by the
socket.

My son says they are evil because they make your brain think it's
still daylight and you tend to keep working :-). I'm making a light
fixture for photography with 4 of these in it ("bright white"
version). Equivalent to about 2000 Watts of incandescent lighting.
Lovely. Colour temperature is a bit "non standard" but good enough for
many purposes.



           Russell


2007\09\03@095329 by Alan B. Pearce

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>I'm making a light fixture for photography with 4 of these in it
>("bright white" version). Equivalent to about 2000 Watts of
>incandescent lighting. Lovely. Colour temperature is a bit
>"non standard" but good enough for many purposes.

Would be interesting to compare pictures of single multicoloured object
taken with that and with sunlight, to see what colours do not render
correctly.

2007\09\03@102207 by Russell McMahon

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> >I'm making a light fixture for photography with 4 of these in it
>>("bright white" version). Equivalent to about 2000 Watts of
>>incandescent lighting. Lovely. Colour temperature is a bit
>>"non standard" but good enough for many purposes.

> Would be interesting to compare pictures of single multicoloured
> object
> taken with that and with sunlight, to see what colours do not render
> correctly.

Also depends on colour balance setting of the camera. Fluorescents
generally have a discontinuous spectrum and can't be colour perfectly,
but it's quite acceptable to most people.

"Render correctly" is often enough very much in the brain of the
perceiver.


           Russell

2007\09\03@104531 by Alan B. Pearce

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>Also depends on colour balance setting of the camera.

Appreciate that.

>Fluorescents generally have a discontinuous spectrum
>and can't be colour perfectly,

That is what I was wanting to look for - to see if any gaps became apparent.
I guess it wouldn't as otherwise it would become obvious to normal eyesight,
and fluorescents do get used for movie filming (saw an advert done this way,
and the film crew changed all the fluorescent tubes for ones they brought
with them.

>but it's quite acceptable to most people.

agreed.

2007\09\03@111527 by Herbert Graf

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On Mon, 2007-09-03 at 00:09 -0400, Charles Craft wrote:
> Has anyone made the switch to LED bulbs at home or office?
>
> Fixing to start a remodeling project and wonder if it's time
> to make the jump. I get really annoyed with the buzzing out
> of fluorescent fixtures. Is there any buzz with LED - new or old?

The old Flurrescents did "buzz", the newer ones don't. Another good
option are CFLs, they don't buzz either and are far cheaper then LED.
TTYL

2007\09\03@150500 by Bob Axtell

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CFL bulbs, which are fluorescents in a different form factor,
>> generate their own high frequency so are  buzz free. You can now buy
>> 100+ Watt CFL bulbs - about 500 Watt incandescent equivalent.
>> Marvellously bright. I have a number :-).
>>
>> Fluorescent tube format can use HF electronic ballasts for silent
>> operation. Given the distortions of the invisible hand it may be
>> cheaper to buy CFL bulbs of suitable size and use their electronics to
>> power tube fluorescents, depending on how many you have to do and how
>> you value your labour.
>>    
>
>  

I have had spotty results with CFL bulbs. I have several fans with
fixtures for 3 40w standard bulbs
which hang down at 30degree angles from the horizontal. I have tried CFL
bulbs there several times;
most are not working after 30 days. I don't know why. But elsewhere in
the house, they are fine, and
work perfectly. Maybe its the angle...?

They also work perfectly in solar-power inverter systems, too.

Go figure.


--Bob


2007\09\03@230243 by Herbert Graf

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On Mon, 2007-09-03 at 12:05 -0700, Bob Axtell wrote:
> I have had spotty results with CFL bulbs. I have several fans with
> fixtures for 3 40w standard bulbs
> which hang down at 30degree angles from the horizontal. I have tried CFL
> bulbs there several times;
> most are not working after 30 days. I don't know why. But elsewhere in
> the house, they are fine, and
> work perfectly. Maybe its the angle...?
>
> They also work perfectly in solar-power inverter systems, too.
>
> Go figure.

Actually it's no mystery. Read the warnings for the bulbs in question.

>From what I've seen, many CFL bulbs have warnings with regards to
orientation. Some are designed to only be installed "upright". I believe
this has something to do with heat dissipation. Many also have very
strict warnings regarding enclosed fixures (i.e. pot light type
fixtures).

I find the "better" bulbs either aren't as restrictive with orientation,
or just seem to be more tolerant. To date, I've only had one CFL fail,
and that was outdoors, in an enclosed fixture, made by a manufacturer I
wouldn't have rated highly before the bulb went.

Another big annoyance to me is turn on time. Unfortunately this doesn't
appear to ever be mentioned. As a result I shy away from the cheapest
bulbs. I find Phillips Marathon bulbs to be superb. They last a long
time, are quick to reach max brightness, turn on pretty much as fast as
a regular bulb, and have a good colour temp (to my eyes). That said, my
utility gave me two free CFLs. They are no name, and certainly the
cheapest they could find, but they also turn on instantly.

TTYL

2007\09\04@010219 by Peter Todd

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On Tue, Sep 04, 2007 at 02:22:17AM +1200, Russell McMahon wrote:
> Also depends on colour balance setting of the camera. Fluorescents
> generally have a discontinuous spectrum and can't be colour perfectly,
> but it's quite acceptable to most people.
>
> "Render correctly" is often enough very much in the brain of the
> perceiver.

Anyone who's worn tinted sunglasses will understand that. Years ago when
I was into downhill skiing I used to wear ski-goggles that were heavilly
tinted yellow, probably to make trees stand out or something. In any
case after a few minutes wearing them everything seemed normal, until
I'd take them off, and everything seemed impossibly blue till my brain
adjusted.

- --
http://petertodd.org
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2007\09\04@092039 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Peter Todd wrote:

> Anyone who's worn tinted sunglasses will understand that. Years ago when
> I was into downhill skiing I used to wear ski-goggles that were heavilly
> tinted yellow, probably to make trees stand out or something.

Yellow is supposed to increase the contrast in snow, by reducing the blue
end.

Gerhard

2007\09\04@145608 by Peter P.

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Charles Craft <chucksea <at> mindspring.com> writes:
> of fluorescent fixtures. Is there any buzz with LED - new or old?

I do not know about LEDs but I switched all the bulbs to FL three years ago
(there is one left that I never use). No noise and I will never look back. LEDs
will be interesting when they will compete with FLs in TCO.

There are FL ballasts for tube style fluorescent lights that make no noise and
are dimmable.

Peter P.


2007\09\04@195022 by Matthew Fries

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Do your bulbs turn on instantly when installed into a 2-bulb fixture
with only one switch?

I got a couple of CFLs for my Kitchen  Ceiling light. Now, it takes over
a second for them both to illuminate. Maybe they are cheaper than yours,
or maybe the delay is due to both of them being used together.


Herbert Graf wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2007\09\04@223006 by Herbert Graf

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On Tue, 2007-09-04 at 18:50 -0500, Matthew Fries wrote:
> Do your bulbs turn on instantly when installed into a 2-bulb fixture
> with only one switch?

Yes, three actually in one fixture, all turn on pretty much as quick as
regular incandescents.

> I got a couple of CFLs for my Kitchen  Ceiling light. Now, it takes over
> a second for them both to illuminate. Maybe they are cheaper than yours,
> or maybe the delay is due to both of them being used together.

Unfortunately "cheap" isn't a good guage in my experience. It's better
to aim for brand. Sometimes the cheapest are actually much better then
those more expensive. Took a while to find a brand that was consistantly
good, and it was Phillips. TTYL

2007\09\05@000637 by William \Chops\ Westfield

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On Sep 4, 2007, at 7:30 PM, Herbert Graf wrote:

> Sometimes the cheapest are actually much better

"Instant on" seems quite variable in CFLs.  Most get brighter
during their initial few minutes of on times, and some start
out quite noticeably dimmer than "full brightness" or take a
few seconds to turn on at all.

I've been surprisingly happy with Ikea as a provider of CFLs.
They're also one of the few manufacturers who actually bothers
to design lamps to USE CFLs...

BillW

2007\09\05@042450 by Ariel Rocholl

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> Has anyone made the switch to LED bulbs at home or office?


I found LED lighting a very good complementary technology for reducing and
improving home lighting. But I wouldn't say it is already competitive enough
to fully substitute older technologies.

CFL and Fluorescent both get reduced lifetime if the are installed in places
where ON/OFF is frequent, so my approach is to use LED in those places. In
other places, I got very good results with LEDs installed in such a way
that, thanks to indirect light, you reduce the need to switch more powerful
bulbs, and to me it is even more pleasant. If it is time to read for
instance, then it is time to switch the CFL on.

Doing creative LED installations (e.g.12V) is much easier than with standard
220v installs, as you are not limited AFAIK by regulatory mandates on where
a 12V may go.

my 2 cents

--
> Ariel Rocholl
> Madrid, Spain

2007\09\05@042537 by Ariel Rocholl

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Has anyone made the switch to LED bulbs at home or office?


I found LED lighting a very good complementary technology for reducing and
improving home lighting. But I wouldn't say it is already competitive enough
to fully substitute older technologies.

CFL and Fluorescent both get reduced lifetime if the are installed in places
where ON/OFF is frequent, so my approach is to use LED in those places. In
other places, I got very good results with LEDs installed in such a way
that, thanks to indirect light, you reduce the need to switch more powerful
bulbs, and to me it is even more pleasant. If it is time to read for
instance, then it is time to switch the CFL on.

Doing creative LED installations (e.g.12V) is much easier than with standard
220v installs, as you are not limited AFAIK by regulatory mandates on where
a 12V may go.

my 2 cents

--
Ariel Rocholl
Madrid, Spain

2007\09\05@045835 by Morgan Olsson

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Den 2007-09-04 20:55:37 skrev Peter P. <plpeter2006spamKILLspamyahoo.com>:

> Charles Craft <chucksea <at> mindspring.com> writes:
>> of fluorescent fixtures. Is there any buzz with LED - new or old?
>
> I do not know about LEDs but I switched all the bulbs to FL three years ago
> (there is one left that I never use). No noise and I will never look back. LEDs
> will be interesting when they will compete with FLs in TCO.

I am wondering when other light sources will be available.

I have at my solering place two 70W metal halogen (gas discharge technology) -relatively large spotlights.
They are just wonderful!
Shines like two 200" "common" halogen, but much less heat and lower electricity bill.
Unfortunately theese are not very stabl ein light putputs (flicker a bit) as the electronical supply systems are really hard to get to buy.
They are used in fashion stores, etc.

Really strange that this technology is not pushed more - it use much less power than normal flourescent tubes and bulbs.


I also have read about microwave pumped sulfur gas lamps.  Microwaves heat sulfur inside a glass ball untiul it becomes a bright shining plasma.  1kW in a small box.  Problemis that they can not be made small, but they were tested some years ago in Stockholm in  a tunnel where light guides conveyed the light and leaked it out here and there.
Maybe we could have a light center in our house and only fiber optics to the lamps.

There are even more technologies under way.

To me it is just a wonder people are not aware...

> There are FL ballasts for tube style fluorescent lights that make no noise and
> are dimmable.

...And loose less power to heat than old inductor type.
...And make the tuber last longer.


--
Morgan Olsson

2007\09\05@082522 by Russell McMahon

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> Unfortunately "cheap" isn't a good guage in my experience. It's
> better
> to aim for brand. Sometimes the cheapest are actually much better
> then
> those more expensive. Took a while to find a brand that was
> consistantly
> good, and it was Phillips. TTYL

All IMHO, but ... .

Philips generally know how to make quality product OR know how to
manage to have their contracted suppliers supply quality product. In
my experience their brand means something.

FWIW when Australian Consumer tested CFLs relatively recently, Philips
had the most output per Watt input of any and were up to twice as
efficient as some. A recent promotion here sold 3 Philips Tornado 20W
CFLs for $NZ9.99 = about $US7.00. At that price it makes sense to buy
them in preference to no-name brands.


           Russell

2007\09\05@114612 by Gacrowell

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I've got nearly all CFL's, whatever it is they sell at Costco, and in
the past six months two of them have failed with arcing at the base and
heavy smoke.  Both times someone was around to notice and get them off
quickly but I wonder if they'd have exposed a flame if left on.  Also
very hot of course.

Phillips sounds pretty good.

Gary

> {Original Message removed}

2007\09\05@141003 by Robert Rolf

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Did you report the failure to Costco or your local fire chief?
They can't get a device banned if they don't know about the problem.

Certain models of LG fridges have a capacitor on the compressor board that
catches fire, and thereby sets the house on fire. It took many such fires before
Toronto fire department took notice. Even with the formal evidence, LG dragged
their feet in issuing a recall, and they weren't very thorough about it either.

R

.....gacrowellKILLspamspam.....micron.com wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>>{Original Message removed}

2007\09\05@160109 by Richard Prosser

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When was this? Any idea on models concerned?

I'm asking because we have an LG 'fridge,

Richard P

On 06/09/07, Robert Rolf <EraseMERobert.Rolfspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTualberta.ca> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> >>{Original Message removed}

2007\09\06@134541 by Lucas Thompson

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The Costco here sells Feit brand. IIRC they were about $8US per 4-pack after
a subsidy by the local electric utility. It seems like all of the local
retailers also carry almost exclusively Feit.

I bought several packages of the 32 watt model at Costco about 2 years ago,
installed about 20 of them and have had about 6 failures. Only one of them
produced smoke. Most of them seem to run hot enough to produce discoloration
of the plastic base that houses the electronics. All of them produced nearly
full brightness within a few seconds when new, but now most start out dim
and take about 2 minutes.

Philips does sound better!

On 9/5/07, @spam@gacrowellKILLspamspammicron.com <KILLspamgacrowellKILLspamspammicron.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> > {Original Message removed}

2007\09\07@142733 by Richard Pytelewski

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re:"LG" Products

Had an experienced appliance repairman to fix the refrigerator (not LG) last week and he said that he dreads working on LG products - said they were poorly constructed and he said he sees a higher than number of these over any other brand.  He warned against buying anything LG. FYI.....

Rich



{Quote hidden}

> >>{Original Message removed}

2007\09\07@144155 by Dario Greggio

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Richard Pytelewski wrote:
> re:"LG" Products
>
> Had an experienced appliance repairman to fix the refrigerator (not
> LG) last week and he said that he dreads working on LG products -[...] He warned against buying
> anything LG. FYI.....

in my experience, OTOH, I always found them rather good & reliable.
Sure, things can change quick ...

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