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  •  LED's for general purpose lighting... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek

    ...haven't made much sense as yet.  When I check the specs every year or two I find that the lumens output per kilowatt is the same as a CFL...well, unless you want a blue LED--color spectrum is part of the issue.  In addition the price of LED's is much higher.

    My experience with LED's is mixed, for lighting apps I've mostly I've found them overpriced and unreliable.

    Not that LED's don't have a place or can't make a large impact.  I'm finally ready to replace my 20+ year old CRT with a large LED TV which will use less power despite being much larger.  I've been waiting and waiting for this to become mainstream and for prices to drop.  

    And LED's for spot/directional lighting are much more efficient than a CFL because they require fewer lumens to do the job (and therefore much less energy.)  This is the area where I suspect you made the big gains, correct?

    For backpacking/camping/astronomy LED's are tremendous battery savers and much preferred by me over the other options.

    "Money is like manure. You have to spread it around or it smells." J. Paul Getty

    by Celtic Pugilist on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 11:54:37 PM PST

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    •  How about in terms of production and (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek

      pollution of the land fill.  It seems like LEDs would be a lot less polluting in those respects.  Also, what are the differences in life, is LED longer?

      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 08:40:21 AM PST

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      •  LED's theoretically longer lived (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek

        But in practice there have been a lot of teething problems for LED's at least these less expensive ones.  I don't know what the real lifetime is of the bigger, general-purpose LED replacements.  However, I've had a high percentage failure of LED nightlights and such, enough that I'm not even tempted to buy a much more complex LED bulb assembly at roughly 10x the cost of a CFL.  The LED's have a much longer potential lifetime, so eventually I expect winners to emerge.

        I'm not an expert on the relative pollution track.  However, I'm not worried about CFL's in that regard since there is collection of them in big box stores.  I save the failed ones on a shelf until I have few, then take them in when I need some replacements...about once every 2 years.  

        I've been using CFL's for about 7 years in various homes.  There are over 100 installed inside/outside my home at present, including in garage door openers and a range vent.  1 to 2 have failed per year for the past several years.  This year I had a spike of 4 failing--three of them in the 6-7 year old age range, one infant mortality in its first year.  

        The standard GE CFL's I've used were crap though.  They had high infant mortality in the first year or two and I have very few of them left in "backwater" services.  They also are not instant on so I really detest them.  The enclosed CFL types (replacements for spots and globes) are also lousy because they are not instant on and take forever to warm up/come to full brightness.  However, I can't recall any of them failing yet, and a few get heavy use.  A big problem with the spot replacements is physical length, they project too far.  This is also true of the standard GE spiral CFL's.  That is one reason I use the Home Depot store brand for standard CFL's...that and because they are instant on and have typically been cheaper.

        "Money is like manure. You have to spread it around or it smells." J. Paul Getty

        by Celtic Pugilist on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 12:10:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  though, i'd suggest switching brands because.... (0+ / 0-)

          .... the CEO of Home Despot is a rightwinger extremist, who was largely responsible for the downfall of Elliott Spitzer, who if he had remained if office, would have taken down some of the more egregious fraudsters on Wall Street.  

          Whatever source Home Despot has for their branded bulbs, is almost certainly selling under other brands through other retailers, and it's worth looking for them elsewhere.  

          "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 03:36:07 PM PST

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          •  HD's name isn't on the package, but model #'s (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek

            ...haven't changed during this whole period.  The name has changed though.  Started as "Commercial Electric"  then went to n:Vision, now EcoSmart.  They seem to sell them as the house brand, not sure where else to find them, haven't seen them elsewhere.

            There were some small changes to the form of the 100 W equivalents from the Commercial Electric since they had an issue with nearly melting when they failed (one of the dozen or so I have of the originals finally went out this way after 7 years.)

            "Money is like manure. You have to spread it around or it smells." J. Paul Getty

            by Celtic Pugilist on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 05:04:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  no, i was using LEDs for generic and task light. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Celtic Pugilist

      Generic room lighting was reduced overall and task light was used in a few areas.  I don't believe in "decorative" lighting and similar applications.

      Interesting point about lumens per watt.  That's an instant meme and a new metric added to my evaluation of light sources.  As it is I'm sticking with CFLs for the near term, though the discovery that they don't last as long as claimed when they are cycled for short periods, is a problem.  That would be the application for LEDs: short-cycle lights used when quickly entering and leaving a room.  

      For emergencies and power failures, clearly any low-wattage light source preferably DC, is preferable; and I have a couple of LED flashlights and so on (but am generally underprepared in this area; in any case candles are viable in emergencies, provided that one is highly vigilant about fire safety issues).  

      "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 03:33:19 PM PST

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      •  I don't do decorative lighting either (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek

        We have some exterior lights like that, but I probably don't turn them on more than a few hours in a whole year.

        The lumens/watt measurement is one I've manually calculated to put things on an apples-to-apples basis.  The typical LED replacement uses a fraction as much power, but also puts out a fraction of the light.  This is terrific efficiency improvement if the location only needs that much, but not when it needs the original amount to illuminate an area.  The CFL range is typically more limited, but I have not really needed to go below the ~40 W equivalent (about 9W actual).  I use a mix of the 40, 60, and 100 W equivalents with some of the 250 W equivalents in the garage.

        I replaced the chandeliers and most other fixtures in the house.  Part of it was to update (2nd owner), but the primary reason is that many of the old fixtures were stuck with candelabra bulbs, globe bulbs, or couldn't take an appropriate brightnesss CFL.  CFL globes are awful for baths because of low initial brightness/long warmup.  And CFL's in candelabras are too bulky, don't look right, and are too expensive--they just aren't good physical matches.

        I modified the garage door openers to take CFL's.  The issue was that there was a cone shape for the neck of a regular bulb, while the base of most CFL's is broader and squarer.  So I took a dremel grinder head to the plastic housing.  Some folks warned me that the vibration of the opener would kill the CFL's, but it has been about two and a half years and I haven't lost one yet.  

        I have lost two CFL bulbs so far in the range vent hood.  They were both older GE's that were never very reliable to begin with (and were taking longer and longer to turn on.)  The service is pretty rough and each has lasted about a year in that location (in addition to their previous services elsewhere.)

        Enclosed fan light fixtures are tricky, but I've found the Sylvania micro-mini spiral CFL's can fit in the tightest applications, so I reserve these more expensive bulbs for that.

        "Money is like manure. You have to spread it around or it smells." J. Paul Getty

        by Celtic Pugilist on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 06:30:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  wow, pretty good! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Celtic Pugilist

          And extra credit for taking the Dremel tool and modding the fixtures in the garage door openers.  

          If you own the house you can replace the fixtures that don't take standard bulbs.  Bathroom light/fans may need to have separate light fixtures installed alongside, and of course it also saves energy to not cycle the fan when it isn't needed to remove poopy smells or steam from the shower.

          IMHO chandeliers, candelabras, and ceiling fixtures are silly: they take more time to clean, it's dangerous to have to climb ladders to replace bulbs, and the bulbs are nonstandard.  I'd get rid of all of that stuff and replace it with fixtures that use standard bulbs that can be replaced from a standing position.  One exception is the bathroom, where a light on the ceiling or above a mirror seems to be the only viable solution (lamps on cords are a hazard around water and in any case there's limited space for them).   That and the garage door opener, where the light needs to come on at the same time as the door goes up.  

          "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 06:57:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  We've got extra tall ceilings (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek

            ...and open layout so the two chandeliers are needed for the spaces.  It's not the home I would have built, particularly because of the inefficient cathedral ceiling, but it has grown on me.  We don't use the largest one as much since usually a floor/table lamp and/or light from the adjacent space is sufficient.  I got a great dimmable double circular fluorescent torchiere for free when I bought bedroom furniture--I rave about that thing because it is perfect for what would otherwise be a dark corner in the living room.  Because of the torchiere I rarely need the chandelier.  Since I purchased chandeliers with CFL's in mind, I don't have to replace bulbs much--haven't had any go out yet in the big one after 3 years.  Replacing bulbs/cleaning will be easy compared to the time I spent 16 feet up on a ladder reworking the messed up box and hanging it.  I don't need to go nearly as high to work on the chandelier itself.

            The other chandelier is over the dining room table and gets a lot of use.  I had to erect scaffolding to hang it because of the height and lack of nearby walls.  It is hanging from about 14 feet of chain as memory serves.  But the bulbs are just accessible standing from floor level.  After three years it burned out two bulbs in the past few months.  Both of the bulbs had already spent several years in two other homes.

            I prefer a good overhead light fixture for rooms to provide even illumination.  A well designed two or three light fixture works well for me.  Ceiling fan lights, spots, and cans I don't care for.  Many of the ceiling fan lights are poorly designed with nearly opaque glass.  They just don't put out the lumens or do so very unevenly if they are spot style.

            What I consider a good overhead fixture is one where the glass is near white and not quite transparent, so that it diffuses the light well, but doesn't reduce it too much or alter the hue greatly.  I shouldn't be able to see the bulb directly as that produces glare.

            "Money is like manure. You have to spread it around or it smells." J. Paul Getty

            by Celtic Pugilist on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 09:00:51 PM PST

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