LEDs solve recessed ceiling light problems

I thought I'd share this with anyone interested. I just found out that the new LED recessed lights solve serious problems that exist with recessed lights, depending on where they are installed. Case in point, I have 9 of them in a cathedral ceiling. With conventional lights, that isn't good. First, the area around the lights typically has no insulation, so there is heat loss. Second, with a metal fixture, it gets cold, transferring the cold to the trim. That causes condensation in the winter. I have paint peeling around the lights. In the past, I've repainted and it's OK for a few years, but then returns. Besides the heat loss due to no insulation, there is also significant air leakage because most of these are not even close to being air tight.
So, I just discovered that LED retrofit kits exist that solve all this. They come in 4, 5, 6 inch versions and consist of an adaptor on a length of wire that screws into the existing socket. Then the new LED light gets pressed into the existing fixture. It solves the above problems. They are available in depths under 4", so there is still space for 3 or 4 inches of insulation above it. Second, they are inherently mostly airtight. Some pass an ASTM standard that says they are in fact airtight. But even the ones that don't say they meet the std, sure look airtight to me, especially if you put a little caulk under the trim before shoving it in. They are almost all made of plastic too, so transfer of cold will be limited.
They generally run about $35, but there are ones that cost more than 2X that. Lowes has a Utilitech one that is 5 or 6", 700 lumens, equiv to about a 65W, for $25. So, if you have recessed lights in a cathedral ceiling or going into an attic space, they are definitely worth considering.
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On 8/9/2013 11:10 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

The new LED lights are not your daddy's LED lights. I have a 12watt bulb replacement in my desk lamp sitting atop my workstation and I'm very satisfied with the light. I bought it earlier this year at Home Depot and I'm sure it's already obsolete. I was in college when an LED was a dim little indicator that only put out red light. ^_^
TDD
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On 8/9/2013 1:00 PM, The Daring Dufas wrote:

Hah... I remember VW using LEDs for idiot lights on the A1 and A2 chassis cars. But blue LEDs hadn't been invented yet so the high beam indicator was a little blue painted grain of wheat incandescent bulb.
I also remember seeing my first blue LED in the flesh. Ooooooh.
And yes, new LEDs are great. Unfortunately the nicest I've tried has already been discontinued - the Philips L-Prize. I haven't tried any of the can lights though, and the specs on those look better than any of the "bulbs".
nate
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wrote:

The screw-in LED bulbs incorporate some of the best LED engineering around because getting rid of the heat becomes especially hard when the LED bulb design is restricted to the size and shape of a standard light bulb.
I'm disappointed that Philips didn't put their marketing (and pricing) strengths behind the L-Prize lamp. It has great performance specs, particularly color, and the DOE life tests (200 samples) are now at more than 25,000 hours with no failures, no drop in light output and no significant change in color.
Tomsic
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On 8/9/2013 5:44 PM, Tomsic wrote:

it was available in Home Depot stores for $15 in subsidized areas for a couple months. Unfortunately I found out about this shortly before they disappeared. I bought six, the really frustrating thing is I seem to have lost the two that I didn't install into light fixtures immediately!
I've found only two possible drawbacks to them
1) some may not like the sub-3000K color temp, but that was part of the L-prize requirements, so don't blame Philips for playing by the rules.
2) poor power factor
other than that, they're really nice and demonstrably superior to comparable CFLs in every way save purchase price.
nate
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Nate Nagel wrote:

They (and other LED lights) beat on purchase price as well when you consider the purchase price vs. life. You need at least several CFLs to cover the life span of the LED so the cost per hour of service live is about the same or less depending on the quality of each.
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On 8/10/2013 9:09 AM, Pete C. wrote:

I've had very few CFLs actually fail in service; I however have replaced some with L-Prizes where a nicer light quality was desired... Undoubtedly "something better" will come out before the latest good quality LED bulbs fail as well, and they'll likely get replaced by that while still serviceable.
I'll be really happy when some good "bath bar" type globe bulbs are introduced. CFLs in that application really suck.
nate
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<stuff snipped>

I wonder if the prices reflect the true manufacturing costs or the extra "utility" of a longer life? I pay $2 each for lithium AA and AAA cells (you think the smaller cells would be a few cents cheaper!) and it's worth it for hard to reach or hard to reprogram items. But there, too, I wonder is the price reflective of the manufacturing costs or the usefulness of not having to change the battery quite as often?
I also noticed that the increased voltage of lithum AA/AAA batteries changes the performance of a number of items. X-10 RF transmitters have a longer reach and the LCD display on my Acurite weather station really "pops" in high contrast compared to the rechargeable LSD (Low Self Discharge) NiMH batteries I had been using. It was basically readable at only one narrow angle on the LSD NiMH cells.
--
Bobby G.



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<stuff snipped>

And when that crossover line is reached, I'll start switching out dying CFLs for LEDs. I wonder if the longer life span of the LEDs means that crossover point may not come for quite some time?
--
Bobby G.



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Big snip...

I understand the need for high power factors in commercial/industrial systems; but why in residential systems where there are such mixed loads and a power transformer for every few houses. Seems like the cost of adding power factor correction in an LED bulb ought to be equated somehow with the need to do it.
Tomsic
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On 8/11/2013 1:04 PM, Tomsic wrote:

Lower power factor causes losses (higher current through wire resistance) for a utility and generators have to have a higher rating. The European Union requires power factor correction for some power supplies - I don't know which.
The lower power factor CFLs and probably LEDs is the same as in power supplies and is caused by distortion of the current waveform instead of the phase displacement that motors cause.
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Yes, I understand that and the added complexity of the distorted waveform so that any power factor correction circuitry will have to be electronic rather than a simple capacitor (or inductor in some cases). I'm wondering how serious the problem really is in homes where loads are relatively small and the pole transformer tends to isolate the local power factor problems from the larger distribution system. I haven't seen any articles, studies, etc. that report any numbers or claim that systems have been damaged by power factor problems.
Tomsic

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On 8/13/2013 6:38 AM, Tomsic wrote:

Does the transformer reduce distortion power factor?

An article on the actual magnitude of the problem would be interesting.
The EU requires switch mode power supplies (like in computers) rated over 75W have some power factor correction. That is about all I have seen.
I agree with you that it may not be practical, or useful, to correct CFLs or LEDs. I believe CFLs use small switch mode power supplies. My guess is that LEDs don't use filter capacitors that cause a lot of the problem.
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Yes, that's my understanding too. The capacitors take up too much space in the base modules of screw-in CFL and LED bulbs.
Tomsic
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On Tuesday, August 13, 2013 10:12:24 AM UTC-4, bud-- wrote:

They do use capacitors as part of the switched power supply. And as I recall there is an issue with them not liking tradional triac dimmers because of where in the AC waveform the triac type turn on and what the typical LED power supplies want. There was a leading edge, vs trailing edge issue, something along those lines.
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The LED downlights are one of several lighting products now where LEDs do work well, can provide the proper amount and quality of light for a reasonable price. The Lighting for Tomorrow Lighting Fixture Design Competition has been judging LED downlights and retrofit kits for several years now, so take a look at their winning products and the associated specifications at http://www.lightingfortomorrow.com/ to see what's out there. One of the 2012 downlight winners had an adjustable gimbal so it could be used as either a downlight or a wall light.
Tomsic
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On 8/9/2013 12:10 PM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Just pay attention to the color temperature and CRI of the new LEDs that you put in. Cree CR6 is one choice with a high CRI and a low color temp (former is indisputably good; latter is a matter of preference. But I cannot see anyone wanting a light much over 4500K anywhere in a residence... above that is getting into "HID headlamp" territory.)
nate
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Nate Nagel wrote:

Even more importantly, be sure to match the color temperature of all lighting sources in a given area, even if they are different technologies. Few things will drive people more nuts than mismatched color temperature sources in the same area.
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As my eyes age, I am more and more accepting of the bluish hues of LEDs because older eyes skew way toward the yellow because of aging tissue:
http://www.sharecare.com/health/eye-vision-health/how-aging-affect-eyes-vision
<<The conjunctiva turns thinner and more fragile with age and takes on a yellowish tinge from an increase in elastic fibers. The sclera also assumes a yellow hue from a collection of lipid, or fat, deposits.>>
So the bluish-tinged light from some LEDs neutralizes the yellow overcast that effects aging eyes. I've switched from tungsten filament flashlights to LEDs because I find it very hard to see as clearly with the old-style yellowish bulbs. The only exception is the big hand-held 12V spots.
--
Bobby G.




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Welcome to 2008!
Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org

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