Finally an alternative to incandescents?

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wrote:

The above is a good review of the situation. I can add that the rated life for LED bulbs is still a made-up number based upon what the marketing departments of the manufacturers feel they ought to say and the length of warranty that the company wants to (or can afford to) honor. Rated life is therefore set motr by the competitive environment, not by actual tested performance.
But when just incandescent lamps were available, the situation was not much different. Manufacturers have always been able to make incandescent bulbs last for 1000 - 5000 hours and they design their products to trade off performance against what they think they can sell. What they can't control are the user's socket conditions which might subject the lamp to high voltage, voltages surges or physical shock and vibration which can kill a filament bulb in short order. As a lamp engineer told me once, "few incandescent bulbs die a normal death where the filament evaporates until it breaks. Usually, some jolt -- physical or electrical -- takes them out early".
Tomsic
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Which means that the number is set to make them look good, not as any measure of reality. Added to this is the life of the LEDs themselves are reasonably well known AT SOME TEMPERATURE. *IFF* the manufacturer did their job in designing the heat sink, it may even mean something. How do you know?

Sure, but that's normal design and all well known. IME, incandescent bulbs last much longer, in most fixtures (some are bulb eaters), than the ratings. Comparing different technologies, and in particular how they will respond in different applications, is worse than apples and orangutans.
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I am what one would call a "frugalista", and a retired engineer to boot. In my mancave, in the summer, I put in the 9W CFLs to cut down on the air condx load. In the winter I put in 100w incandescents to normalize out the load on the electric space heater... In the summer, the light is free, in the winter, the extra heat is free. I probably save 2 or 3 dollars a year. But, just the feeling that I am taking advantages of the two technologies, makes it something I want to do....
I am a BIG fan of LED light sources. Up to now, the cost tradeoff doesn't make it attractive for me for house lighting. For flashlights, camp lanterns, emergency lighting --- I am enthusiastic about it..... Some day, maybe not too far off, they will be mass produced in a way to make them more cost effective..... I'll be one of the first in line for the conversion.... but not today.
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On Fri, 24 May 2013 10:03:04 -0700 (PDT), Robert

There is an article in Time saying that just when it looked like incandescently were dead, they are coming out with more efficient ones that meet the guv'mint standard.
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That's right. A company called ADLT has what they call a "2X Lamp" which is a halogen incandescent but with substantially increased efficiency such that it draws 50 watts but gives the output of a standard 100 watt bulb I think it's rated for 1500 hours life, but I haven't seen a price or found a retailer.
It sounds like a good idea, but I'm wondering if the LED train now has so much momentum that consumers won't consider anything else when they think high efficiency.
Tomsic
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On Fri, 24 May 2013 10:03:04 -0700 (PDT), Robert

I retired, too, (and have the pension to prove it ;) but decided it wasn't for me (yet). Design is too much fun. As an engineer, I understand how to make economic decisions. The most expensive initial expense isn't usually the best (economic) choice. I also know ugly. CFLs are *ugly*.

I turn lights off. Saves even more.

Not free, but cheaper.

Perhaps. I'd save nothing by replacing my incandescents with CFLs. I hate them where I have them but they do save something.

I have never seen an LED flashlight I like. I have a couple that have LED + tungsten. I never use the LEDs.

Perhaps. I still don't like the light and it's impossible to know what you're really buying. Choice is good.
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wrote:

Designed to make shop-lifting harder.

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On 04/26/2013 04:05 AM, Nate Nagel wrote:

I don't mind opening them much anymore, as I immediately reach for the razor knife to open them.
I do feel bad about returning an item, because if I return something I like it to be in the same condition as when I purchased it, something impossible to do with the HF-sealed clamshell packaging.
Jon
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Thanks Nate...all LED's tend to be like buying "a pig in a poke"!
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What $50 price? The link you provided to the HD website had them for $15.

Yes, good to know. At some point I guess I'll try buying one. My experience with CFL's though makes me hesitant. Even now the results from one brand to another or even within the same brand a year later are not consistent. These are even more expensive, so you really have to believe that
A: They put out nice light
B: They will last long enough to recover your money.
Has anyone seen any independent testing that supports b?
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On 04/26/2013 09:06 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I just went back and clicked on my own link; the "online price" (except you can't even buy it online, it's a "store exclusive" product) is $49.97 each for me. Maybe HD is adjusting the pricing based on location? Perhaps in your location they are actually readily available in stores at the lower price? I have no idea...
The Wikipedia article on high-CRI LEDs is actually where I discovered that HD was selling them, see the footnote at the bottom of the A19 section.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_CRI_LED_Lighting

In my opinion they do... of course today is only day two of use, but I am consistently noticing the difference when I go into the room where they're installed; it was annoying as there is no ceiling fixture in that room and it's naturally dark so the lighting in that room comes from a floor lamp on a wall switch as I mentioned above. In that particular room, the only really good solution previously would have been a 200W plus incandescent and my inner granola munching hippie was offended by that solution. I used a socket extension and a one-to-two socket Y-adapter to stuff two of my Philips LED bulbs in that light, and for a total of 20W worth of LEDs the total light is perhaps slightly less than I would prefer if energy consumption was not a consideration at all but it is definitely superior in every way to the 40W CFL that I was previously using, most notably the ramp up time (it seems like the brighter the CFL, or if it is enclosed in a globe for outdoor use or decorative bath fixtures, the more likely the CFL is to have a noticeable and annoying ramp up.) Combined with my third Philips LED bulb on a table lamp, the room is acceptably lit and it feels like a luxury to have a similar quality of light as I remember having as a kid before we worried about stuff like this.
I thought about using the Y-adapter idea with two of the more common 13W CFLs because my guess was even that would have been a better solution than the 40W CFL but never actually got around to doing it.
Remember once upon a time when it was recommended to use 150W bulbs or higher in a table lamp next to the chair you'd sit in to spend some quality time with a book to reduce eye strain? I do...

It seems like they will...
http://www.lightingprize.org/
http://www.lightingprize.org/60watttest.stm

So apparently all samples were proven to last at least 7K hours without failure; it's apparently too soon to say whether they'll actually last 25K hours plus or not but it's not looking bad.
I know it sounds like I'm really pushing these bulbs but I'm not affiliated with Philips or DoE in any way, I'm just a consumer who's discovered a product that I really like and am kind of excited about. I wouldn't pay $50 for one of these bulbs, mostly because I don't have the money to be shelling out $50 for the equivalent of something that I can buy for $2 give or take (in the form of a traditional incandescent) but at $15 you can make the argument that it will save money on air conditioning and electrical power, plus then you don't have to feel the guilt of running big incandescents - not that I have in years; at my last house the only incandescents were in seldom used hallways and in the living room and kitchen where there were dimmer switches and I could not find any acceptable more efficient solution (and yes, I have to admit, I did feel somewhat guilty about those...)
I'm also a little surprised that this is a Philips product. My money would have been on Cree a few years ago, but it appears that the commonly available Cree incandescent light bulb replacements don't have either the efficiency or CRI of the Philips bulb. I haven't seen any of them in operation so I can't comment how they stack up subjectively, but they're about $13 retail, dimmer, and have lower CRI (similar to the common Philips LED "bulbs" that are actually easy to obtain) and a quick google did not yield data on where they're made, so I'm just ASSuming China. So unless someone who's spent more time geeking out on this subject than I has data to the contrary, my (non-professional) opinion is that it's worth a little extra effort to search out the Philips L-prize bulb in particular. However, I wouldn't be surprised if the Cree and older Philips LEDs were still subjectively more pleasing than a typical CFL. I have a Utilitech 9W LED bulb that I bought last year when Lowe's had them on sale for $9 or so just out of curiosity, and I do find it preferable to CFLs and will continue to use it - but I'm sure that the CRI is probably around 80 and its color temp is a little higher than many people would probably like.
While I'm rambling on on the subject, I'm tempted to try to hack together an adapter that will allow two bulbs to act like a 3-way incandescent, because the very lamp that prompted that geekery is a 3-way socket and they seem to still be very common, especially for table lamps which may be used for both ambient light and also reading. It wouldn't actually work exactly like a 3-way as I'd be using two bulbs of equivalent light output rather than one appx. twice as bright as the other, but I hope that that changes in the future (or, if CRI is less important to you, you could use some of the Cree bulbs or older design Philips bulbs which are available in multiple lumen ratings.) Or maybe in a few years we'll be able to get high quality, high output 3-way LED bulbs? I can only hope so.
nate
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That's interesting. It shows up as $14.95 here. Technically you can also buy it online but you have to pick it up at the store. Try a NJ zipocode, 07753, and see what price you get.
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Yes, I hear you. If there is something that puts out the nice quality light that you can get from an incandescent, but uses a tiny amount of electricity, less heat, and lasts long enough for payback I'd be buying them......
There is another factor, which I learned from my experience with CFL. Let's say these last 10 or 15 years. A year or two from now, for whatever reason, one fails. With CFL by then they were different, that particular one was no longer available. So, you go to the store and you couldn't figure out, which if any of them would match the light, warm up time, etc of the ones you already had. Not a problem for a table lamp, but if you have 8 of them in recessed lights, at $15, it's a problem. It's gotten better as time goes on, but it's still like a science experiment when you need to get one that matches.
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On 04/26/2013 09:59 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

<snip>

That must be it, subsidies by location.
I'm in VA and the $49.97 price comes up. I set "my store" to the one nearest my parents in PA and it is also $49.97. Then I tried Florham Park, NJ (first NJ city that popped into my head) and picked the closest store, suddenly price is $14.97. So I'm guessing that if I were actually able to find a store in VA that had some in stock, they would be priced at $49.97? Don't know, there's not any stores w/in 50 miles of me that is also located in VA that has any in stock, so I can't try to order for in-store pickup so I can see what the pricing is.
Lesson: if you live in VA or PA, get someone from MD or NJ to buy you some of these and send them to you? (unless like me you live near a state border)
nate
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wrote:

If you get caught transporting these light bulbs across state lines, you'll be illuminated.

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On 04/26/2013 09:59 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Not a concern for me, as I don't have any can lights. But you do raise a valid point.
To me, that's another good argument for geeking out and trying to find the best product that you can for the money (something that I've been accused of doing before, and certainly am guilty of in many cases.)
nate
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I think the biggest selling point of these LED bulbs is that they're dimmable, and they're instant-on like incandescents. You don't have to wait a minute for the light output to rise.
But, the economics are an uphill battle for them.
Converting to CFL's was a no-brainer when they first came out because even at their $7 per bulb price tag, they'd save you 80% on your electricity, and that made them pay for themselves in a relatively short period of time.
Now, unless there's a government subsidy involved, paying even $15 extra to save an additional 3 watts is economically difficult. In a house with 20 light bulbs, $300 is a lot of money to invest in them, whereas 60 watts isn't a lot of savings to justify the investment. It's not even economically attractive to replace incandescents with LED's when the option of replacing them with CFL's is open to you.
I expect some people will buy these LED bulbs for dining rooms where they want the dimmability, but other than that the transition from CFL's to LED's is gonna be a slow one... until the price of LED bulbs drops to within a buck or two of CFLs. Unfortunately, the price won't drop until they start being mass produced, and that's not going to happen until they're economically competitive with CFL's and, except for a C-change in technology, that's not going to happen until the price drops.
Your classic Catch-22.
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nestork wrote:

Remember that these LED lamps have 30,000+ hour life, so even compared to your old $1 incandescents with 750 hour life the cost isn't worse, it's just front loaded (30,000/750@ i.e. 40 incandescents for the same span as 1 LED). So if you are paying even $40/lamp you are at break even just on lamp cost. The LG LEDs I'm using and quite happy with cost me $9ea so I'm way ahead on base lamp cost, and much further ahead on power savings as well as not having to replace them for a decade or two.
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wrote:

Tell me that after your LED lamps have 30,000 hours on them. IOW, bullshit!
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snipped-for-privacy@attt.bizz wrote:

There are decades of supporting data for 30,000hr LED life. LEDs are not remotely new technology and they are well studied.
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On 04/26/2013 12:45 PM, Pete C. wrote:

Much like CFLs I'd be suspicious that the electronics in the base are going to go Tango Uniform before the actual light emitting bits wear out. This is another reason that I'm partial to the "L-prize" bulbs because they would have had to have been built with better-than-bargain-basement components to make it through testing. Again, I wouldn't pay $50 for one but $15 for what appears to be the Cadillac (well, that's an old school comparison, perhaps Lexus or Benz?) of light bulbs seems like a good deal.
This teardown appears to support that reasoning (yes, I'm totally geeking out on light bulbs today)
http://www.molalla.net/members/leeper/L%20prize%20bulb.htm
nate
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