LED Light Bulbs now cheaper than Incandescent

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On 8/24/2015 10:00 AM, rbowman wrote:

There are at least a couple LED lights that really light up the night. Perhaps a 3 watt D cell LED light, taped to the frame?
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On 08/24/2015 05:27 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

I've thought along those lines given the price of Denalis:
http://www.twistedthrottle.com/brand/denali/
You get the mounts, wiring harness, relay, and dimmer module but $380 is still a stiff price. However 2 10W LEDs do shed a bit of light.
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On 8/24/2015 2:00 AM, Robert Green wrote:

You may be right. In some palaces though, the low price is by utility subsidies that can go away. I bought one of each size we use as a spare anyway.
In any case, no one can complain the price is too high to make the change and save on the electric bill.
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On 8/22/2015 8:02 PM, rbowman wrote:

I don't think we were ever *given* any, outright. But, we've been able to buy them for $0 at local stores (rebates).

We tend not to have problems with low temperatures... :>
But, the CFL's take longer to start as they age. And, they don't come on at full intensity, initially (as they age).
I've got a carton of LED floodlights (spotlights?) that I'd like to try installing in the garage (in recessed cans). But, the ceiling is so high that I think I would have to space them too close together to get uniform light coverage. Or, replace them with greater output bulbs (which means the ones I have are useless, in either case!)
The garage lights go on and off a dozen times or more, EVERY day (in and out of the car -- even if the car never leaves the garage, access to the freezer out in the garage, access to my files, spare parts, cables, etc.). So, tubular flourescents (currently in place) tend to fail quickly. CFL's would suffer from slow starting and intolerance of the temperature extremes. Incandescents are costly (energy) to light such a large space *well* (many people seem content to have dark garages; I want to be able to *work* in mine!).
So, LED seems the logical choice.
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On 8/23/2015 1:12 AM, Don Y wrote:

Are the present lights hard wired or plug into a ceiling mounted receptacle? If plug in. it would be easy to get the adapters to try a couple. If they are anything like my outdoor floods you will get plenty of light from them
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On 8/22/2015 10:52 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I've tried just holding them up near the ceiling to get an idea as to how much usable light they throw. The beams are too narrow (in cans) and the floor too far away. I'd have to dot the ceiling with lots of cans to cover the length and width.
The (current) tubular fluorescents throw light in essentially all directions. So, more "general" coverage (light reflecting off walls, ceiling, etc.)
I'd thought of "tubular LED" replacements but that just strikes me as so much a kludge...
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<stuff snipped>

But a strip of low wattage LEDs in a "light bar" makes sense because they can tolerate a few failures before the total light output becomes too dim to be useable. Mount them in standard packages that can draw power from a fluorescent ballast . . . Hey, off to the patent office you go!
I have been thinking about replacing the 48" shoplights in the basement. My wife says they flicker but I do like the nice, even diffuse light they produce even if it seems I am replacing ballast all the damn time.
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There are actually direct drop-in LED tubes that can replace fluorescent lamps without rewiring. Of course I first found out about them when the CPSC announced a recall of them..
Yes, they still work through the ballast. And yes, I get very painful headaches in visualizing how this works.
More common is a two or four fott LED tube which fits in the fluorescent fixture, BUT where it's hooked up directly to the 120V (in US) AC line. In other words, you disconnect the ballast and run the utility wires directly to the lamp holder clips at each end.
Roughly twice as efficient as the fluorescent system (i.e. half the wattage for the same light) AND they work fine in the cold.
NOTE: this is actually a great format for LEDs. The Big Problem with getting a decent amount of light from them is heat buildup. Even though they're much more efficient than incandescent, they still produce heat... so anything above the equivalent of a 40 watt incendescen - 8 or so watt LED, requires heat fins and venting and painful annoyances.
If instead of using the incandescent lamp form factor you (the manufacturer...) goes for two foot tubes, the heat is disspiated over a much larger area, so you can pump in more watts and get more light.

The LED quivlant of a twin-40 sells for 30 or so dollars. Well worth it.
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writes:

OK, Don, cancel the trip to the Patent Office. )-:

Hmm. After I wrote that message I started thinking about just how you would power LEDs from the fluorescent ballast. I'll have to look that up because I am very interested in switching to LEDs entirely. Even though shoplight bulbs are cheap, they still contain mercury and even though much of the mercury in the ocean comes from Chinese and Indian coal-fired power plants, every little bit that doesn't sneak in some how has to help.

I could do that, I've changed enough failed ballasts that it would be a piece of cake.

Sold and Double SOLD! Thanks very much for the pointer. I'll report back on what I find.

Precisely. I took an old piece of shelving, spaced out 5 porcelain flush mount sockets and wired it so that it generally lit up the same area but it still wasn't as diffuse as a fluorescent tube.

My friend in AZ has been struggling for years trying to find reliable LED path lighting and heat dissipation is indeed a serious problem for LEDs. I wonder if we'll ever have truly "cold" light that radiates just visible light and very little heat.

I think so. Thanks again for the tip.
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Hi Bobby,
On 8/23/2015 10:45 AM, Robert Green wrote:

Naw, I've got this PERPETUAL MOTION MACHINE that I'm convinced is going to revolutionize modern industry! It works on the same principle as Escher's "Waterfall" -- but 37.4% more efficient!!

It's not really practical. The ballast runs at many hundreds of volts with very low current. So, you're taking something that was autotransformed *up* and now trying to bring it back *down*. Conversion == losses.

I decided that it wasn't going to be worth the effort to salvage a cheap fluorescent fixture!
I have 6 or 8 "retractable cord reels" (?) that I plan on installing on the garage ceiling. This would allow me to "pull an outlet down" wherever I need one (the walls are inaccessible as they are lined, floor to ceiling, with industrial shelving).
I figure, at that time, I'll install some new fixtures alongside each of the cord reels and make *one* big remodeling mess instead of *two*!

You just have to remember not to put a regular fluorescent lamp in there, thereafter!

You can use a diffuser in front of the lamps. But, to be effective, the diffuser has to be set apart from the lamps -- cutting down on your usable space. It's my garage lighting problem, again: need point sources to be high up (to throw light more uniformly without requiring a multitude of fixtures). But, then they need to be *brighter*...
E.g., we have 8 ceiling fixtures in the living room that bathe the room pretty uniformly. The ceiling is only slightly higher than nominal (floor is actually lower). Had the ceiling been 12 ft or more, the lights would have been ineffective. You'd need far brighter ones (for the same spacing) -- and then would burn your retinas each time you happened to glance up at one!
[This is one of my pet peeves against LED point lighting. My eyes don't "recover" like they did when I was younger]

We've (AZ) not had any problem with the token path lighting ("landscape lighting") fixtures, here. Light is a slightly different color...

Heat is proportional to voltage across the lamp and current through it. You need "power" to make light. The question is: how much power to make how much light?
[I suspect there are some chemical lights that run cool. But, probably not "rechargeable"]

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<stuff snipped>

I've got Maxwell's Demon locked up in the liquor cabinet because he refused to keep sort hot molecules for cooler ones in my perpetual motion machine.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxwell%27s_demon

I am on the edge about it. I like the diffuse light but the newer higher-efficiency ones really do flicker.

Sounds like a plan. I am still enamored of the LED tube replacement even it if means rewiring the cord and disconnecting the ballast.

I hear you. It's a conundrum.

Ditto. )-;

For some odd reason in addition to the walkway lamps burning out frequently for some odd reason the scorpions seemed to like them, too.

Yes, I believe bioluminescence is quite cool but also quite dim, usually very green and obviously not easily rechargeable. But I think it points towards a future technology where heat won't be as much of a problem and almost all of the power a bulb consumes is emitted as visible light. We've been slowly walking down that path for the last 100 years so it seems almost inevitable.
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On 8/23/2015 11:15 PM, Robert Green wrote:

I tried that approach, initially. But, the little bugger kept trying to extort money from me! Kept threatening to kill Schrodinger's cat! I never got up the nerve to peek in the box to see if he carried out his twisted threats!! Sick little bugger! :-/

Electronic ballast?

I'm very sensitive to light, shadow, reflection, etc. E.g., when I installed the overhead lighting in the kitchen, I very carefully considered where I would be standing when *needing* the light most (e.g., food prep, cooking, etc.) to ensure their placement wouldn't end up casting shadows (*MY* shadow!) in my work area!

(!!) Hmm, I haven't noticed that. I rarely have to "service" the fixtures so, for all I know, they could be *packed* with scorpions! The incandescent bulbs we've used in these places haven't lasted long at all. But, then again, I was using 20W units so they might naturally be short-lived.
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<stuff snipped>

I haven't seen Schrodinger's cat since Pavlov's dog starting hanging around. I'm afraid to look in the box.

I really don't know - they are sealed and I just swap them out. I'll look more carefully if I decide to keep them. I just know there are green ended bulbs, narrow tube bulbs, metal ended bulbs. I suppose I should go to Google and figure it all out but the fixtures aren't very well marked so I am not even sure what I would be able to determine what was what.
<stuff snipped>

That's why I am so found of my 100 LED "showerhead" flashlight. The four inch diameter head is broad enough for the LEDs to cast a very eery (but easy to see with) light that doesn't have the harsh shadows of other flashlights with much smaller light sources. Plus the bluish tint really counteracts the aging yellow eyeball problem. They aren't well-made, unfortunately, and many have failed. But they are so well-suited to the task I just keep buying replacements. Harbor Freight sells one that came sealed tight (not a return) with 3 of the 100 LEDs already DOA. I could live with that if the LEDs were bluish, not yellowish and if the battery compartment contacts didn't fall out after the first use.

That's a heart-warming thought. Last month I saw a small paper hornet's nest on the side of the house. By the time I got to it last night it was the size of a human head. I got to use the yellow Tyvek jumpsuit, face mask and respirator I bought as a Halloween costume (Walter White of Breaking Bad).

I forget what sort of bulbs he was using but I do recall they soaked up the heat all day long and that he had to use fairly well-sealed (meaning poorly ventilated) units to keep the scorpions and other vermin out. I think it eventually turned out that all the bulbs he bought were from a defective batch. The early adopters get the arrows in the back, just like the Old West pioneers.
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On 8/24/2015 3:22 PM, Robert Green wrote:

Damn dog... drooling all over the place! And who the hell hung that **BELL** on his collar???

Until you do, we can, at least, *pretend* all is well!
[I wonder if even *listening* for a tell-tale purr is considered risky?]

I think the replacements make the most sense when you have things like "in-ceiling fixtures" as are common in businesses. For a "shop light hanging on chains", I think you have more options.

I am not fond of HF products. I might buy an *anvil* from them (i.e., just a block of steel!) but the more "involved" the tools get, the less confidence I have in their offerings.
[I used to work for a major US hand-tool manufacturer so I see lots of "issues" in their products that never would have made it through our "quality" screening]
That said, I have several of their disposable DMM's lying around the house. They're small and a lot easier to use than my bulky 6.5 digit DMM :-/

If it was otherwise reliable, you could try (?) replacing the LEDs. IMO, the toughest part of a product is the packaging.

ROTFL! Yeah, critters don't stop working just because you've turned your interest elsewhere!
I cut down a tree some years back. I was slow getting the last of the "cut logs" out of the back yard. When I got around to it, termites had eaten the underside of the log out!

Why keep the critters out? Were they interfering with the light distribution or cosmetics? If they only represent a problem when he has to *open* the enclosure, just do so with gloves on, etc.
Our fixtures are essentially open at the bottom. So, something *could* crawl inside. But, unless they crawled on top of the bulb, we'd never be able to detect that without disassembling the fixture.
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[snip]
Photos of a Costco twin-pack of Feit brand four foot LED tubes that somehow or other are drop-in replacements for fluorescents and work through the ballasts. As I said elsewhere, my head hurts trying to visualize the wave forms...
http://www.dburstein.com/images/0-fluorescent-led-102.jpg
and
http://www.dburstein.com/images/0-fluorescent-led-104.jpg
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On 8/24/2015 6:22 PM, danny burstein wrote:

Dunno. They could transformer couple to get down to a better working voltage. *Or*, just rectify and chop *that* (buck regulator) to feed the LEDs.
I'd be interested to know how efficient the system is -- watts in vs. watts delivered to the LEDs. I suspect there are still some issues (I know there have been some recalled products from "dangerous overheating" -- which suggests too much lost in heat in the process!)
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Lie this one?
http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2015/Cree-Recalls-LED-Lamps/
- they claim to have sold 700,000 of them. My mind boggles.
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On 8/24/2015 7:02 PM, danny burstein wrote:

Could well be. I forget the name of the vendor. I just remember the overheating. One has to wonder just how hot they got... *or*, if the plastic just has a low melting point.
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writes:

Now you have me worried. I was just about to hit the local Home Depot but burned up lamps do not have a high Spouse Approval Factor. We've had several of the older CFL self-immolate and though nothing caught fire, the house stank of burning plastic for days.
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On 8/25/2015 8:48 AM, Robert Green wrote:

That's why it's important to know the internal circuit topology.
Most consumer kit is frighteningly marginally designed. Micropennies become significant! So, often things are designed on the bleeding edge in terms of performance (er, "safety").
I've encountered LCD monitors from (what you would *think* were) respectable manufacturers (HP?) that were actually *fire* hazards! (with this eventually publicly acknowledged). Imagine the monitor on which you are reading this "suddenly" catching fire! :-(
"Honey, the computer's on fire!"
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