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Picked up a LED bulb for my floodlight last night

Post in 'The Green Room' started by EatenByLimestone, Apr 15, 2009.

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  1. TreePapa

    TreePapa Minister of Fire

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    I've seen the screw-in bulbs @ Home Dope-Oh recently, but I have not liked the Price$$, so I've passed. But the LEDs are purty nice in the "small" applications - we have a 4 or 6 LEDG booklite (very bright and white), a 1 LED flexible flashlite (bright enough), and a few others. But my favourite is an LED "camplite" (similar to this http://www.energizer.com/products/flashlights/outdoor-lights/Pages/batteries-lantern-headlamp.aspx but in red). My favourite part is that it still has the same D-cell alkaline batteries I put in it when I first bought it and the light is as bright as ever. And it "runs cool" ... it doesn't put out any heat.

    I s'pect that it will take a while for LED lights to be effective and cost efficient for regular home use, but for some specialty apps, they're great. And when one of the posters above listed CFL's shortcomings, he forgot to mention the mercury in the bulbs that makes them haz waste when they burn out. Rather a pain in the Donkey, esp. since, as other posters have pointed out, they don't last as long as advertised in some applications.

    Peace,
    - Sequoia

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  2. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    LED lamps in the higher wattages are still too costly. I find the light a bit harsh, as well. The big issue with the LED lamps is that the service life is still being held back by the lower life expectancy of the electronics onboard. The actual LED elements will outlast the electronics. It gets darned hot inside these.

    This same issue plagues CFL's, by the way. They work best upright, like a traditional incandescent lamp with a shade clamped to the bulb. Invert them and they die sooner due to heat buildup. Coop them up inside a non ventilated fixture, and the life goes way down. The electronics inside of these gadgets are just not yet up to the job. I am using a lot of spiral CFL's around here, however- and getting pretty good life.

    BTW please remember, ladies and gents- the CFL's have toxic mercury in them. Not good to just toss 'em in the trash. They need to be recycled as hazardous waste.
  3. maverick06

    maverick06 Minister of Fire

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    I've been thinking about getting the LED lights for a while, but havent heard much about them..... So am a little concerned. I have found some good deals here: http://www.dealextreme.com/products.dx/category.907 but havent tried any. i have some CFL that work forever, some seem to be highly overrated! (not even in enclosed areas).
  4. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    I can see LED bulbs working great for a spot light but notsomuch for a flood light. The light output for these bulbs is often mis-stated, because they beam in one direction and don't diffuse. So you end up with a really bright pin-point that fools a light meter. I hope I'm wrong and they've suddenly gotten better, but many of the efficiency claims about these bulbs are false. Maybe the newer multi-led assemblies are doing better. I've got a 22 led flashlight that does pretty well.

    I have two incandescent bulbs in my house. One is in my fridge and the other is in my daughter's easybake oven. Everything else is CFL. Well, that's not true. I've got two 50w halogen on the back porch. Once I changed all the bulbs I didn't notice a difference between the CFL and the toaster lights.
  5. kobudo

    kobudo Member

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    We use LED lights in our cabin as our main source of light since we are off the grid and rely primarily on solar. Just to correct one post: The LED's are great in cold weather. We have arrived to the cabin when the interior temp. was 4*F and they work just fine. The flrsnt. lights are however problematic in cold weather.
    During the winter months we do use some 60w incndsnt. lights because the LED's are directional and don't provide the rooms with the warmth and light of traditional bulbs.
  6. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    One LED light that I've found very useful because you tend to always have it, is a little key-fob light. Couple inches long, maybe about 3/4" wide and 1/4" thick. Has an LED in one end, a loop for your key-ring on the other, and a momentary push button on one side to turn the LED on. Puts out about as much light as one of the old doctor's "Open wide and say Arghhhh" penlights - it is no searchlight, but it's great for finding keyholes, or checking a mailbox, looking for footing, and general light duty flashlight stuff. Runs on a couple of the little coin size hearing aid batteries.

    I've found them in hardware stores for a buck or two, and even picked up one or two at trade shows as "give-away chachkes"

    Well worth the space on a keyring...

    Gooserider
  7. ROBERT F

    ROBERT F Minister of Fire

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    Just got a letter from lights of america, stating that the life listed on their led bulbs was mistated. And that if I so desired i could return them to the store of purchase and get a full refund. that would mean that bulbs that are 2 years old or close to it could be replaced with new ones at no charge. I have multiple 5 watt multi-leds on dusk to dawns, providing light on my wood stacks, front and side parking areas, and up the front driveway. they are resonably bright, but have a very blueish hue that makes everything kinda hard to see.
  8. rowerwet

    rowerwet Minister of Fire

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    back when my dad worked for GE they had an article in the co mag about the future of indoor lighting, GE is working on having whole panels of leds for room lighting, they would make a whole wall or ceiling the light fixture, they were working on office space installs at the time, retrofits to exsisting houses are down the road from there. The cost would be high initialy, but pay for itself over the life of the building due to reduced power use.
  9. DenaliChuck

    DenaliChuck Member

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    Just heard a NPR story about the Dept of Energy(?) doing a contest to get a LED that is an exact replacement for a 60w incandescent. Phillips submitted 2,000 for testing and 4-5 other companies are nearing submittal. The had to be the same lumens, be dimmable, be the same color temperature, be omni-directional, size...etc. Sounds like some better LEDs are on the way soon.
  10. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Last I looked, the LED's put out comparable lumens per watt as the compact fluorescents (I could be wrong).
    The CF's really aren't too bad, except for the warmup time and dimming.
    I'm thinking some other technology will come along and leapfrog led's for general lighting.
  11. rowerwet

    rowerwet Minister of Fire

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    the big problem is LEDs are directional, great for reading in the car or plane, lousy for lighting up the whole room, might be time to go back to polished tin ceilings to spread the light around.
  12. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    I realize this thread may be getting old but I did want to report on one brand of LED lights to avoid. I had picked up about 20 Osram Sylvania LED strip lights for a home remodeling project. They were intended to be installed in a very hard to reach location whihc made the long life claims a big plus. Before I could install them, I needed an under desk light for my office and hooked one up. This is a very similiar installation as an undercabinet light with ventilation on three sides and being fed from a commerical grade UPS that supplies all my office equipment. To date I am on my fourth light in about a year. The light is typically run 8 hours per day 5 days per week. I have done a postmortem on one of them and its obvious that one of the LED's have failed. The way the units are wired when one LED goes the entire fixture stops working. I usually can detect significant dimming before they go out.

    These units are made in China for Osram and of course Osram no longer sells the units. Nevertheless Osram Sylvania is a legitmiate brand and therefore even bug names havent figured out all the bugs with LED lights.
  13. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    One thought I've had, but not looked into very much, is to wonder about trying to use some of the LED lights developed for the automotive / trucking industry, like these just as a sample (Haven't done business w/ this outfit, just giving the link as a type sample). I haven't done anything with the white LED vehicle lights, but I have used the red and yellow versions on one of my sidecars, and have been VERY impressed with the amount and quality of the light they put out, not to mention the low current draw and long lifespan...

    Obviously since vehicle lights are designed for 12VDC power, one would need a transformer of some sort, but they draw so little power, you could probably run several off a "wall wart" style power cube...

    The only question might be how much actual illumination they put out, but since they are being billed as good for cargo and back-up lights, both of which are apps where one expects to get illumination, they might do pretty well...

    The other thing that might be nice about them is that they are quite compact, and don't need a lot of room to mount...

    Gooserider
  14. Chris S

    Chris S New Member

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    I saw the cree lights in january 09 at a trade show in Vegas- dimmable and very good light. The display showed a convetional lamp, next to their LED. they are costly, but I am really opposed to CFLs . I have tried LED from the big box store, and some I bought on line, and am not happy with any of them, except for that the draw is very low. I did buy a flood light- intended for an outdoor fixture, and was dissapointed in that as well.
    i do beleive however that it won't be long before Leds overtake cfls. the technology just has to evolve a little more
    I have them on every corner of my truck, and love them
    I had to order the Cree lamps- putting them in 6" recessed lights, I'll be sure to report back
  15. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    I'm just barely beginning my adventure with commercial LED lighting. OTOH I have worked with smaller LED indicators in electronics for 30-40 years now, so I'm not at all unfamiliar with their evolution.

    LED lamps are pretty darned pricey. I did spy some discontinued ones in my local Walmart, and I bought a couple of them. Made by "Lights of America" (in China, of course). Designed for 12VAC power in track lighting or landscape lighting. These are model 2001LEDG53-65K and I paid 5.87 each for them. A pretty good price for an LED lamp, I'm thinking. A lot of what I saw in stock recently had price points of around 12 bucks, 25 bucks, and on up to 40+ bucks for floodlight replacement units. Yikes! I think I'll stick with incandescents for floodlights. They are much cheaper, and last for years, normally. Yes, they use more power. But I don't think they have a really reliable LED product yet.

    BTW check packaging carefully. If it is tamperable, chances are some dishonest clown is going to be doing swapouts occasionally, at the stores expense. This was the case with one of several units I purchased. The plastic clamshell package has little 'pegs' which are easily and undetectably reclosable. I have a sharp eye, but this one fooled me at the store. Got it home and, under test, about 5 out of 20 of the clear plastic T1-3/4 size individual LED's were clearly nearing end of life. They were noticeably dimmer, and their color had migrated off from white to clearly a more yellowish hue. You are only safe from this scam if the packaging features 'destructive only' style opening. In retrospect, I *might* have detected a small portion of the bozo's fingerprint burned into the lens of that lamp. Maybe. :)

    I am intrigued with these little 20-LED lamps, just the same. They only draw about a watt at 12VAC. I plan to build one or two battery operated 'trouble lights' for general purpose use around the homestead. And of course I have to incorporate a DC-AC converter to get the 12VAC needed to run them. I'll also build in a 120 to 12V transformer to allow power line operation and charging of the battery.

    Bear in mind that pretty much every kind of LED lamp uses digital switching technology to convert whatever supply voltage to the correct one needed by the individual LED(s). Digital switchers are notorious RFI generators, so if you happen to like to listen to AM radio or you are a Ham or CB radio type, these little wonders may prove to be a major RFI nuisance. To most folks, this is of no consequence, but to radiomen, it really matters.
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