Okay, I finally got on board with LED lighting

Sprinter Posted By Sprinter, Apr 10, 2018 at 10:20 PM

  1. Sprinter

    Sprinter
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    Probably just procrastination, but I decided it's about time. One of my issues was that I have a lot of enclosed ceiling fixtures. I'm aware that LED's don't like heat buildup. A lot of engineering goes into heat dissipation in any LED application, even flashlights. Most of the models I've seen have warnings about that, but at least one says it's okay for fully enclosed fixtures. Also, I was skeptical about color rendering.

    So I ordered 12 60 watt equivalent TCP brand bulbs to see. They claim they are okay for enclosed fixtures. I guess we'll see. I replaced 12 of my old CFLs the other day. I'm happy with the color (2700 K) and frankly, the brightness gets pretty close to the 100 watt equivalent CFLs I've been using and the color is better. And gee, instant on! How nice is that? So I ordered 18 more which pretty much gets me fully LED now except for some 4' fluorescent fixtures that can wait.

    If anyone cares to comment about the enclosed fixture thing, I'd like to know more about that. I don't want to see output efficiency or lifetime suffer in those applications.

    I'm disappointed that 100 watt equivalent bulbs are not ready for prime time, as I like bright in the house. But I have a couple of table lamps that are large enough to put a two-bulb adapter into. That helps some.

    Who else is pretty much fully LED and what has been your experience? So far, I like them. But I'm curious about others' thoughts.
     
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  2. Tegbert

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    I’ve been fully led for a few years now. Have everything including fluorescent tubes and metal halide replaced with led. All 22 fixtures in the shop are converted to led. Instead of 2 per housing I only used one and they are brighter than before.

    I’ve had a few fail premature in enclosed housings but I don’t remember if they were rated for enclosed or not. Probably just a cheap bulb to begin with.

    If doing the fluorescent tubes make sure to get the ones that bypass the ballast. Also since leds are directional the leds in the tubes are facing off to the side a little to direct the light down and out so take that into consideration when switching to them. If using two per fixture (if you have the dual fixture) then it’s not an issue. I’ve had really good luck with the Hyperikon brand with the tubes and the led corn light in the metal halide so much so that when more of the house ones fail I will replace them with those.

    I personally like bright white light so all mine are the daylight ones at 5-6000k.


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  3. Sprinter

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    Thanks. My only experience with that color was with a CFL in another house. I really didn't like the blue color, but maybe I'll try that in the garage or utility room or something. It just doesn't seem flattering in the house, but that's a personal preference issue I guess. Maybe I'll get a pack of those just to try in a few areas. It is kind of odd that what we like to see outside looks so different indoors. Maybe just what we're used to from a lifetime of incandescent light, I'm not sure, although bright halogen lamps look fine, and maybe that's because they are incandescent too.

    The black body spectrum from incandescent lighting seems nearly impossible to truly represent by other means, but it's getting surprisingly good lately.
     
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  4. vinny11950

    vinny11950
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    I have been transitioning to LED bulbs when necessary. I buy them at HD, and a few have failed prematurely. I had 2 bulbs on my ceiling fan fail in about 18 months.

    I have an LED fixture in a can light in the bathroom. At first I worried about overheating, especially in the summer. But after leaving it on for a few hours in the summer and then taking the temp reading with the IR gun, I was fine with it. It gets hot, but not crazy hot.
     
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  5. peakbagger

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    I wish I could get the same pricing and availability on the LED tubes that require removing the ballast then the so called universal replacements that require a ballast. My cheap fixtures don't like the universal tubes. Both Lowes and Home Depot seem to only stock the universal tubes (which are not so universal).
     
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  6. EatenByLimestone

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    Your going to love the 4ft tube conversion.

    I did the complete tear out of ballasts for my kitchen conversion. Literally night and day. T8s were good, but the leds are better.
     
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  7. tadmaz

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  8. Sprinter

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    Seriously or a joke? if that's true, the tubes must be putting out a lot of noise and maybe you're in kind of a fringe area too. I guess it's possible, but troublesome. AM radio is probably out of the question too.

    I'm too far away to get an OTA signal, but I'd feel uncomfortable with that much noise being produced.

    Also, $11,000 is a bit out of my range right now. Ouch (That's what the link brings up now!!!)

    Anyway, yeah, the direct wire system seems to be the way to go.
     
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  9. Tegbert

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    They shouldn’t unless they are cheap no name brands. If you get some that cause interference your supposed to report it to the fcc. Not sure what they do but that’s what they say.


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  10. Sprinter

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    Interesting. If there is such a warning issued by the FCC, that would indicate there is a known problem out there. I've worked with RF issues in my career, and I'm sure the FCC would be interested in products that do emit excess RF. They put a lot of effort into assuring minimal interference like that before they approve a product. It's a real no-no.

    Everyone complains about all kinds of pollution, but RF pollution is getting right up there.
     
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  11. Marshy

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    I just purchased a ton of LED 60w replacement bulbs on sale at lowes about a month ago. From memory they were about $1/bulb. I even bought the outdoor flood bulbs for the motion activated light. I've only used a few so idk how they compare long term but the light is crisper than the CFL. I'm waiting for the CFLs to burn up before I replace them. One thing I noticed when looking at all the led bulbs, theirs not much selection for a standard socket bulb less than 40w equivalent in the store... actually none.
     
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  12. Ashful

    Ashful
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    I also made a big leap into LED's over the last two weeks, but 20+ bulbs later, I'm in the process of switching back to incandescents and halogens.

    I purchased a myriad of PAR20, PAR38, BR20, and BR40 LED bulbs for two bathrooms in our house. All had CRI > 90 (most were CRI ~ 94), and were all 2700 - 3000K. Most were made by Hyperikon, but I also tried other manufacturers.

    There were a few minor issues, all manageable, with one exception: all of them made the room look sickly and depressing to me. At full brightness, they hit the spec'd color temperatures, and really do look pretty close to incandescent (2700K) and halogen (3000K). But the spectrum is not the same, despite the high CRI.

    The three or four wavelengths they're mixing and filtering to approximate a broad spectrum just aren't doing the job, for me. I might get used to them, as most of us have done with the fluorescent lights we live under at work, but I decided I'd just rather not.

    Perhaps the biggest issues, other than just not looking that great, was with dimming. We typically install bulbs of higher intensity than we would want for continuous use, and run them all on dimmers. That gives us the ability to bump them up on occasions when we want more intensity ("are these socks blue or black?"). The LED's really fail here, in many ways:

    1. Some stayed the same color temperature while dimming, which is weird for anyone used to the red shift displayed by incandescents and halogens, but acceptable.
    2. Some actually shifted toward the blue, when dimming, which just looks wrong.
    3. All of them appear to suffer reduced CRI when dimmed.
    4. Some would not light if the switch was left dimmed. They had to be initially turned on at full intensity, then dimmed down, every single stinking time.
    5. Some would randomly flicker if initially turned on at less than full intensity. This would go away if turned on at full intensity, then dimmed.

    Coming at this from a @woodgeek angle, I began thinking about efficiency, and I'm really wondering if there's any advantage to the LED to those living north of Florida. Initial cost is higher. I don't think they're less harmful to the environment to manufacture. I live in a climate where my heating costs are at least 5x my cooling costs, so any waste heat from halogens is just more heat in the envelope of my house.

    Bottom line, I'm sure I'll try LEDs again in the future, but the general consumer tech isn't where it needs to be for me to make the switch today. Maybe there are better bulbs out there, but I wasn't buying the cheapest options, either.
     
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  13. Sprinter

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    Trying to accurately mimic the black body spectrum with leds or any other solid state source is always going to be a problem. We are spoiled by the incandescent's smooth characteristic black body curve (you can get a hint of that in my avatar of Max Planck, an early hero of mine - and not just because I happen to look like him lol). Black body radiation is governed by quantum mechanics too of course, as Max proved, but renders a nearly smooth curve as opposed to the larger discrete energy jumps seen in led and other technologies. That's a big challenge.

    I'm spoiled too and it's why I've never been very happy with any alternative either. But I must say that the TCPs I bought are at least a lot better than the CFLs I'm replacing in both color rendition and instant on, but that's not saying much:rolleyes: And their CRI is only 90 as I recall. But I really have no experience with other brands at this point. These things will probably improve over time if consumers demand it, but the solid state physics involved is rather daunting.

    My goal in going led was just to see if leds would be an improvement over my existing CFLs. And they seem to be so far by a big margin. The colors are better and I'm hoping for good lifetime. I think those claims are bit exaggerated, but what should one expect? At less than 6c per KWH here, grid cost was not the issue so much.

    Dimming feature is not an issue for me but I see a lot complaints that dimming is still a big problem regardless of mfg claims. The only dimmer I have anymore is a 300 watt halogen torchiere lamp and I'm going to keep it til it dies or I do...
     
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  14. Sprinter

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    "Crisper" is a nice way to describe it. Don't wait to replace the rest of the CFL's. It's costing me about $70 for the whole house and they are so much nicer than the CFL's. Color wise and I'm sick of the dim warm-up period. I'm keeping my CFLs just in case and because, well, I just never throw anything away;).
     
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  15. woodgeek

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    Ah. I am not a fan of my directional LEDs either, which I only have in my kitchen, not dimmable. The light distribution is always hard to predict beforehand and seldom resembles that of an incandescent flood or spot. The emitters are smaller and more glarey. Even leaving CRI and dimming aside. I messed with my floods and spots first and it made me crazy.

    If your whole house is filled with dimmable light cans (which IIRC is how you described it) then you are stuck. I am not a fan, there was a fad of architects/builders going crazy with can lights and spot fixtures and frankly I think its a problem aesthetically and psychologically....that scheme makes the ceiling dark and the floor bright, and casts shadows on everyones faces...very inefficient. Such lighting is fine for task lighting, but not for general ambient illumination. Lots of lumens on the floor and you can't see people's faces.

    I have a buddy with a newer townhouse...and the whole thing is cans and he has been having conniptions about CRI and lights aesthetics for years..and gone through generations of bulbs and never been happy. And old folks with table and floor lamps just swap out the bulbs and can't tell.

    Long term—I would think about fixture substitution. Ask yourself if you like the 'effect' from the can lights.

    I would start small, and leave any directional lights alone for now. Get high CRI edison bulbs to replace your incandescent edison bulbs. I know you have a lot of filament incandescents. Phillips is now making some nice, dimmable filament LEDs, that shift red spectrum when dimmed. They are decorative (90% of folks think they are incandescent looking at them) and very efficient. I use them in my bathroom fixtures. I have my OLD Phillips L-prize bulbs that also have the red-shift dimming and high CRI in my dining room.

    I have hyperikon omni's in my living room, and they work, but I don't care for the color too much.

    And update your outdoor lighting to LED.

    The heating argument is bogus...your other heat sources are much more efficient. As for efficiency....call it a 10% hit on your electricity use, maybe 15% given your past description of lumen overdrive. Is 10-15% 'bad'? Who can say? If you don't like it...blame your builder who put in the can lights and spots.

    And remember that electricity is only half of your primary energy use, and a quarter of your carbon footprint. It was never like those LED bulbs were going to slash your CO2 footprint...you might have gotten 3-4% better. But with can lights and spots, you might be 'stuck'.
     
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  16. Ashful

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    Excellent info, as always, woodgeek. That carbon footprint statement interests me, but that’s a discussion for another thread. You are right about the down side of can lights, and our great room, kitchen, study, and all bathrooms are filled with them. From big R40’s in the larger rooms, right down to 12V halogen in R20 cans in the study.

    If you’re on a mission to do LEDs in can lights, I found the frosted lens BRs look much nicer than the typical ripple lens PARs, in LEDs. I feel the opposite is true in halogen or incandescent, so I initially went that way with the LEDs, too.

    Outdoor can lights and barn goosenecks are already LED, and they look great out there. I still have lots of glass fixtures (lamp posts and wall lanterns) that have filament bulbs, which I haven’t tried switching to LED, yet. Maybe that’s the next step.

    I have noticed more neighbors leaving their outdoor lighting on all night, and often even all day. One of them told me it’s because they’re LED, and “don’t cost anything”. This bothers me on many levels, but I do wonder if that’s the direction that mass mentality is heading on this.
     
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  17. tadmaz

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    Yea no joke! The instant I flip on the laundry room lights, the TV signal completely goes away. I'm 25 miles as the crow flies, large antenna w/preamp, some channels are very weak as it is. I luckily don't use the laundry room lights very often.
     
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  18. Corey

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    I've been installing some LEDs whenever I update a fixture or a CFL or other bulb dies. Generally about 4 categories:

    1) Ambiance only. Have several 'Edison Style LED Filament' bulbs when I want just a touch of warm, glowing light
    data?1522430821.jpg

    2) General Lighting. Bulbs for bathroom, closets, stairway, etc - where I want something resembling a standard 60w incandescent. Picked up a stack of generic bulbs off the clearance rack for $1 each and I've had good luck with them. I am sort of a stickler on the light color, too and to me, if I did not know these were LED, I'd swear they were just general incandescents.

    3) Work Lighting. Garage, shop, etc - I want something with a crisp, white light, but not blue-ish. Again, picked up several "100w" bulbs off the clearance rack and have been pleased with the performance and light color so far.

    4) Dimmable Lighting - Sometimes you want a bright light and sometimes a warm glow. This has been the hardest for LEDs as they generally don't dim well and even if they do, you generally get less light, but not necessarily warmer light like with an incandescent.

    I've been using both the Sylvania 'Sunset Effect' aka 'Premium Dimmable' LEDs https://www.sylvania.com/en-us/innovation/education/home lighting ideas/Pages/Premium-Dimming.aspx and the Phillips 'Warm Glow' bulbs https://www.usa.philips.com/c-m-li/warm-glow-dimmable-led-lighting

    Both these bulbs sweep through a pretty convincing color spectrum when dimming. I believe the Sylvania is listed as 2000K to 3000K color temp and does go from a very warm to nearly stark white color - though it can be just a bit 'notchy' on the actual curve, but very nice at any specific level. The Philips bulb is a bit less range... I believe 2200K to 2800K, but virtually indistinguishable from an incandescent.


    Combining all these options, it seems there is a LED bulb for pretty much every application I need.
     
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  19. begreen

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    That bothers me too. It's like someone switching to diet cookies and then eating 3 times as much.
     
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  20. Ashful

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    Then you understand the difference between conducted emissions and radiated emissions. This is almost surely a conducted emissions/immunity problem, if it’s knocking out TV tuners at several rooms’ distance.

    The FCC published new guidelines for LED manufacturers in 2016, linked to their Part 15 rules (sections 15.107 and 15.109). You can download the document thru their Office of Engineering and Technology Laboratory. This outlines conducted emissions limits for unintentional radiators, in the 30 - 1000 MHz space (television broadcast space).
     
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  21. woodgeek

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  22. Ashful

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    Googled "Philips 469734", which took me to Home Depot, where they list it as CRI = 80. Given the low satisfaction I had with CRI = 94, and your assessment of these low-CRI bulbs being good, I'm beginning to suspect the CRI system is not a perfect descriptor of light quality. Or put more accurately, it does not correlate well to how well they mimic incandescent.

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Philips-60-Watt-Equivalent-A19-Dimmable-LED-Light-Bulb-Glass-with-Warm-Glow-Effect-2-Pack-469734/302187938
     
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  23. woodgeek

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    Phillips website lists all of this line of products as having a CRI >80. So the HomeDespot value is probably just a guess from whatever intern had to put something there.

    I think I agree about the limitations of CRI/color temp. High color temp CFLs ARE bluer than halogens.

    I have settled on buying big names (mostly Philips) and returning them promptly if I don't like them for any reason (i.e. amazons 30 day free returns).
     
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  24. Ashful

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    I’ve bought about 40, and returned maybe 25 bulbs at Amazon, in the last two weeks. I was starting to feel bad about the multiple consecutive returns, until I remembered the amount of my year-end Amazon statement.
     
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  25. peakbagger

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    I did order some direct LED replacement bulbs for my cheap 4 foot fluorescents from 1000 bulbs.com These require removing the ballast out of the circuit which I had to do as the cheap ballasts in the lights (Lights of America) didn't like the universal style LED tubes. Price was around $6.50 a piece but shipping wasn't cheap. Ordered 8 and 3 were damaged from shipping but they quickly sent me three replacements. They are listed as 4100K. They are in my basement shop so light quality is not that important but would have gone "bluer" if I had my choice.

    My basement can be cold so I really wanted rapid start and long life, hopefully that's what I got.
     
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