Low energy floodlights

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Hi,
I want to buy a (300/500W halogen equivalent intensity) low energy floodlight for my drive.
I've found: http://tinyurl.com/pa87 But I'm not convinced how bright it will be.
I've also found: http://www.screwfix.com/app/sfd/cat/pro.jsp?ts 662&id178 Just the ticket but I would prefer white not sodium orange.
Any product/supplier suggestions sub - 100? What lamp technology should I be looking for?
David
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An internal transformer running something like a car headlight, is the most inexpensive system for this type of situation, and you know how bright car headlights are.
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BigWallop wrote:

You do what now?
Pray tell, how is that more efficient or cheaper than a mains halogen of the same power oputput?
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To OP, good news, your screwfix link is to a high pressure sodium fitting with is not the bad old sodium orange but more a golden white (quote from lamp data). BUT, IIRC they have a warmup time & don't restart immediately when hot . . . . or have I mixed it up with another system?
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Because it's only 12 volts at 20 or 50 or 100 watts on each lamp, so the power supply unit is very small and costs very, very little to run. For an output of 60 watts of low voltage lighting, the equivalent running cost of a power supply unit is as little as 20 watts, so it doesn't take a lot of brain cells to work out the maths there. It's the reflector size and shape which creates a bright floodlighting effect. And I for one, would rather run a decent low voltage lighting system, than a bloody great 300 watt tungsten halogen, that you can almost sunbathe under. The low voltage system can also be connected through a cheap PIR detector with a small relay, to switch the lighting on when something triggers it, so that can also be set into the equation. When the lamps are off, a decent PSU also, quite literally, runs at a very negligible cost.
If you ask the owners of the three builders yards where this type of system is installed, I think they'll tell you that the old halogen lamps cost about three times the amount than the new 12 volts systems they now have. They tried many different styles and methods of lighting their yards, and all were costing them a small fortune because they are left on all day, every day.
So we asked them if they wanted to try a 12 volts system for a trial period, just to see if it would help bring the bills down a bit, and they accepted. Our proposal was the supply and installation of a low voltage lighting system at no cost to them for the duration of the test period, and the only thing they had to pay for was the power to make everything work. A bit of an offer they couldn't refuse. The deal was, we would leave the existing lighting in place, to be reinstated if our system failed to meet expectations, and all they would be paying for during the test was the supply power.
We fitted a meter to the existing lighting supply circuit and separated it from the rest of the building, and a reading was taken at the beginning of the proposed three months test of the old system, and it was left to do its thing. We then swapped the same supply over to the newly installed 12 volts systems and again, a reading was taken from the meter and the next three months test with the new system began.
To see their surprise when the new 12 volts systems came in at under a third of the running costs of their old halogen lighting, and having had nothing but good reports from the fleet drivers who used the yards at all hours of the day (hence it having to be left on all the time), they promptly asked us to go ahead and install another two systems in their satellite depots and they had no problem paying us for them, as they would recoupe the installation cost from the savings they made, in a little over two years. And the lamps themselves are cheaper and easier to replace in the fittings, which was also of great benefit.
They also use portable dual input voltage (110 - 240), emergency lighting systems which we supplied for them to use on their building site cabins and things. They liked the idea of having lights in prime areas (site offices, stairwells, and loos mainly) that stayed on for a couple of hours or so even if the rest of the power to the site was cut. It allows them to carry on with paperwork and meetings, which is very common on sites, as you'll know.
So yes, I would recommend the use of this type of lighting around the house as well. For convenience and running cost, they are hard to beat. And whether it says 100 or 1000 watts, then it can't be any dimmer or brighter than any other 100 or 1000 watts. Can it ?
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1000 Watts at 12V uses the same amount of electricity as 1000W at any other voltage!
In fact, it will use slightly more electricity to run a 1000w 12v bulb as there is a loss at the transformer (they get hot!)
If you were talking about Amps, then it is different - 1Amp at 12v is a lot less than 1Amp at 240Volts
With Watts it is all the same
If you can achieve less total wattage with low voltage lights, then of course there will be a saving - but lower voltage requires thicker (more expensive) cable, and is a lot more prone to voltage drop
Sparks...
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But that's what I said, 100 or 1000 watts on one type of lamp, is no greater or smaller than 100 or 1000 watts on another.
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BigWallop wrote:

I've just got back in and read both this reply and your earlier one, and must say that I'm none the wiser as to what your thinking is.
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me) - think it's something about distributed light being more effective than a single point source so you can get away with a less total power. Almost makes sense :-)
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I confess I find the thought of my garage gable-end being festooned with miscellaneous automotive lamps rather appealing. Kind of a Mod retro thing.
500Watts at 12 volts? 40+ Amps? You'd be able to smell if the wiring's not up to it!
Not sure the Bravo Alpha Charlie will approve.
I'm utterly unconvinced about the "power" argument though.....the goal is a nett reduction in Erg-usage.
Thinking aloud...a bank of car batteries, a yacht wind generator, some photovoltaics for good measure....perhaps the electricity bill could be reduced to zero.
D
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If you were using car lamps you could always use the correct car cable for the low voltage side. However, a suitable 40 amp transformer wouldn't be cheap.
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You're not alone ...
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1,000 joules of electrical energy per second.
Anyway different kinds of lamps have different efficencies in turning electrical energy into visible light. A 50W lamp of the most efficent kind will give off about as much light as a 1,000W lamp of the least efficent kind.
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Hi
Its rare that I'd disagree with Bigwallop, but I think I will on this one. AFAICS your power savings appear to have come from a) photocell operation, and b) lower total lighting wattage
It is also true that LV halogens are a bit more efficient than mains ones, but the setup cost is somewhat higher too.

I think CFLS are cheaper.

its between 60 and 70w. There are no 300% efficient power supplise.

As do 150w, 300w 500w and 1kW halogs. The larger size of the car headlamp reflectors acts to provide a narrower central light beam, and is not usually of any advantage for yard lighting.

yup, thats the issue, the lower power. You could of course use a 150w halogen instead of a 300. Its only when you need much lower powers than that that LV wins, simply because low power mains halogs are not much use.

In fact all controllers will work with mains halogens, but only some will work with LV systems.

and mains runs at zero cost.

Yes, that is a real plus in some locations. For home lighting tho, battery backup systems arent normally installed.

they're beaten by fluorsecent and CFL, or, if you dont mind odd colours, they're thrashed royally by sodium and mercury lights.

yes, there is a wide difference in efficiency of different types of bulbs.
I think you made the right choice, because of the want for battery backup, and the division of the lighting into separately controlled [low power] areas. But for home use the picture is quite different.
Regards, NT
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With a lamp of the same characteristics it will always take more energy to use a 12V lamp and a transformer than a 230V lamp. Transformers are not 100% efficent devices.
The power rating of a lamp simply reflects its consumption of electrical power. A lamp's output of visible light is generally measured in lumens or lumens per watt.
There is a nice table at http://www.lightswitch.co.uk/help/lpw.htm
The most efficent is low pressure sodium, typically used for streetlights...
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mains halogens of non-linear construction (GU10-type fittings), nor for 12V reflector halogens. It's been asserted repeatedly here that the thicker filaments of the 12V result in more light-per-electrical-watt than the weedy she-cannae-take-it filaments of 240V halogens; so that's a factor you have to balance against the inevitable, but possibly modest, losses in going down from 240V to 12V by either pure-induction transformer or the magick which is a switched-mode PSU (called an "electronic transformer" in the electrickal trade).
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Mark Evans wrote:

and halogen mains bulbs at 5 quid a pop that l;ast about a mointh on average are very expensive.

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On Wed, 1 Oct 2003 09:25:45 +0100, vortex2 wrote:

One has to ask why you want the level of light on your drive? All it does is make the darkness beyound the the reach of the light appear even darker and you don't stand a chnace of developing any night vision. Oh and don't forget the light pollution.
The only thing I can think of that would require that level of light is working out there but you'd be far better off with a lower level general light, couple of bulkhead, sheilded/reflected so light does not go upwards at all with 60W bulbs and then have portable light source to illuminate the immediate work area. This has a few advantages for the working point of view as well as reducing much of my adverse comments above. You don't have dark shadows in the work area anymore as you have light coming from more than one direction at a lower but more even level. You can move the work light around so that you illuminate exactly what you want not just where the light happens to fall.
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I live in a dark place, where dark pollution is a big problem :-) The nearest street light is 200 metres away.
The problem is that my children's desire to skateboard and rollerblade after school is undiminished in the winter and I get fed up with 500W lamps being casually switched on and forgotten all the time. I also disapprove of indoor skateboarding.
We're talking about a 1/2 tennis court sort of area.
I therefore intend to install an energy efficient floodlight turning on (via photocell) at dusk and going off on a timer later.
David.
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On Wed, 1 Oct 2003 20:27:54 +0100, Vortex wrote:

You don't know what dark is with a street light that close. Nearest one to us is 1 1/2 miles away. B-)

Not that big, but I agree that something more than a couple of bulkheads with ordnary 60W bulbs is required. Without knowing where you can fix lights I really do think you'd be better off going for a number of smaller lamps each covering an overlapping section of the ground. If you can get the fittings CFL would be good from the lecky bill POV.
I want some reasonable external lighting here, it's dangerous outside on a cloudy moonless night there simply isn't *any* light. You literally can't see the end of your nose, to give you an idea headlights from cars on a road 4 miles away can look like someone playing a torch on the house. Ring (OK I know) do a nice looking 75W halogen cast Ali lamp, damned if I can remember the name (Aristo?) in single and double head versions. These are designed with minimising light pollution, unlike the 3.99 500W flood light...
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