Author Topic: LEDs continue to kick ass!  (Read 30932 times)

LadyM

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LEDs continue to kick ass!
« on: September 21, 2013, 09:04:24 AM »
I personally have a thing for good lighting, and perhaps it's my theatrical lighting background.  The warm amber glow of a tungsten filament bulb is something that a CFL has failed to match, much to my dismay.  CFLs just don't have the coziness factor to me, and I dislike their cold industrial color temperature; it irks me.  Yet I've purchased and used them anyhow because the reduced power consumption and resultant savings appealed to me despite the ugly-factor.

But recently, I've noticed more and more LED bulbs on the shelves, and I'm encouraged by everything I'm seeing.  I've even tried some out, and I'm super happy with the look of them in my home. Specifically, I'm referring to the Cree 9.5 watt (60-watt equivalent) warm white LED bulbs being sold at Home Depot:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Cree-9-5-Watt-60W-A19-Warm-White-2700K-Dimmable-LED-Light-Bulb-1-Pack-BA19-08027OMF-12DE26-1U110/203991774#.Uj2rWcZQGm5

I've bought several of these, and I love them!  The cost ($12.97 ea.), the light quality is much closer to that of an incandescent, and the effect on the power bill has been wonderful.

But it got me to thinking, and wondering, about the point at which you begin to save money on using this type of bulb, and how does it compare to it's fellow bulbs, like a 60-watt equivalent CFL and a 60-watt incandescent.  Sometimes it's just nice to see the numbers.

I just put together a spreadsheet comparing incandescent, CFLs and LEDs on initial cost, power consumption costs, and lifespan. I took a sampling of bulbs and their specs off the HD website. This is assuming all 60-watt equivalent bulbs, 3 hours of daily use, 365 days a year, at $.13/kWh.   

Here are my findings:

An incandescent costs about $.66, uses 60 watts, and has a lifespan of 2000 hours. Used 3 hours/day, 365 days per year, the cost of using this bulb is $8.54, and with the use listed above it will last about 1.8 years, so you'll be replacing it often. In that 1.8 years the purchase of the bulb + operation will have cost you $16.26. And just for further fun, if you were to use this type of bulb over 30 years, and assuming the cost of power never goes up, this bulb will cost you $256.23 to operate...$267.45 if you include all 16 bulbs you had to buy at the store since this bulb burns out so often.

A CFL costs about $5.49 (HD brand from a 2-pack), uses 14 watts, and has a lifespan of 10,000 hours. Used 3 hours/day, 365 days per year, the cost of using this bulb is $1.99, and with the use listed above it will last about 9.1 years*. In that 9.1 years the purchase of the bulb + operation will have cost you $23.69. Over 30 years, you will use 4 bulbs, and will have paid a grand total of $81.75 to buy and use this type of bulb.

* caveat to the lifespan - The life of a CFL is affected more by the number of times it is turned on, and less the number of hours it is burning. If you use CFLs in your bathroom, where you turn the lights on and off for brief moments, you're shortening the life of the bulb. This could be your problem if they aren't lasting, and perhaps you need to use LEDs or incandecents in areas where lamps are lit less than 3 hours.  See this link for further explanation: http://www.houselogic.com/blog/lighting/cfls-light-bulbs/

An LED (Cree brand from HD) costs about @12.97, uses 9.5 watts, and has a lifespan of 25,000 hours. Used 3 hours/day, 365 days per year, the cost of using this bulb is $1.35, and with the use listed above it will last about 22.8 years. In that 22.8 years the purchase of the bulb + operation will have cost you $43.85. Over 30 years, you will use 2 bulbs, and will have paid a grand total of $66.51 to buy and use this type of bulb.

I know MMM has already thrown out numbers on ROI, but that was awhile ago, before the Cree bulbs showed up in stores at their awesome price.  The prices keep coming down, and they are now more in the consumer's favor.  Plus they just plain look better than CFLs. 

The breakout point for LEDs to begin surpassing CFLs in savings happens at the 12 year mark (which is good, since the LEDs are advertised to last 22.8 years). The longer you commit to a bulb, and the longer you use it per day, the more the savings (or costs) compound. Over a span 50 years, if you just used a 60 watt incandescent FOR ONE LAMP, you would have bought 28 bulbs and spent $445.53!! For the same length of time, if you used the comparably watt'd LED bulb, you would have bought 3 bulbs, and spent $106.53, a savings of $339 to just light up one lamp.

There's an added environmental benefit beyond reduced power consumption: LEDs don't contain any of that pesky mercury that's in CFLs, and with the longer lifespans, that means bulbs are replaced less often, which means fewer bulbs tossed into landfills.

I've attached my spreadsheet.  You can adjust the cells in yellow: average daily use, # of days used, cost per kWh, and #of years to see how the adjustments compare.  Eventually I hope to add to this halogen-type bulbs and their equivalents for more cost comparisons.   

BlueMR2

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2013, 09:42:22 AM »
I'm still waiting to see if Cree is reliable.  There were a few other cheap brands that have already come and gone that had high failure rates.  I hope they are, since the pricing looks really good, but I'm concerned that it might be too good to be true.

I LOVE LEDs though!  I've done a couple LED upgrades with more expensive units that have proven reliability and they're absolutely great!  The price has kept me from doing very many though.  Plus I still have a small pile of incandescent bulbs that I can burn up while reliability numbers are built up from the Crees.

Christof

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2013, 11:03:48 AM »
I've been using CFLs for 25 years and LEDs for 5 years now... I've had more LEDs break in five years than CFLs in 25 years. Some of my CFLs are over 20 years old and still working. The other issue I found with LEDs is that they are like any high tech gadget. Those LEDs I purchased 5 years ago are dark compared to what you can buy today. I already have replaced some of those early LEDs with brighter versions, although I hate to throw that kind of money away.

Having said this: LEDs are amazing. They are silent, not flickering, the light is so much nicer and they are less toxic in usage. I wouldn't go back to CFL or regular lighting.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2013, 11:06:15 AM by Christof »

keepingmobens

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2013, 11:48:25 AM »
I love the new Kree bulbs, they appear to be of very good quality. They also make a 40 watt equivalent which I have found is more than sufficient for most applications. They cost only $9.95 and are rated at only 6 watts, but I have measured them on my kill-a-watt meter and they draw only 5 watts. I replaced some 14 watt Cfls, and they are actually brighter. Amazing.

Survive The Valley

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2013, 12:03:47 PM »
Wow, LadyM, how timely... I've just recently been smitten with the Cree 9.5w 2700k bulbs too!

Great analysis... really puts into perspective that on pretty much all characteristics LED can be a full on substitute to incandescents. If anything I think you may be giving incandescents too much credit! =) I think their typical lifespan might be closer to 1,000hrs so if you take that assumption LEDs are even more favorable.

Thanks for enjoying my own post/analysis about these wonderful Cree bulbs at http://survivethevalley.com/2013/09/20/leds-look-good-save-money-better-environment/.

To get an even better price than $12.97/bulb at Home Depot, you can buy the 6 pack at Home Depot and get the per unit cost down to $12.47 ($74.82/6 - http://www.homedepot.com/p/Cree-9-5-Watt-60W-A19-Warm-White-2700K-Dimmable-LED-Light-Bulb-6-Pack-BA19-08027OMF-12DE26-1U100/204084366#.Uj3WnGTF1pc).

If you have a Discover Card, you can then go to Shopdiscover.com and link to the Home Depot site and you’ll get an additional 5% cash back on the purchase (+ free shipping to your house, or you can also choose to pick up at your local Home Depot). Total cost could be as low as $11.85 + your local sales tax rate.

And in response to BlueMR2 and Christof about the quality and reliability of Creebulbs, I've just started using Cree myself so I don't have any personal experience, but I do know that the Cree brand has been highly regarded within the marine/reef aquarium hobbyist circle (I have my own 34g reef tank). "Reefers" can be pretty particular about the quality and reliability of their light (so that corals will grow fast and develop rich coloration) so considering that the Cree brand is strong among this niche is a good sign.

Finally, Cree does provide a 10 year warranty, so there's a good level of protection in case your bulb breaks down during that time.


Jamesqf

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2013, 12:31:02 PM »
The warm amber glow of a tungsten filament bulb is something that a CFL has failed to match, much to my dismay.  CFLs just don't have the coziness factor to me, and I dislike their cold industrial color temperature; it irks me. 

Now I'm just the opposite: I much prefer the closer-to-natural-daylight of good CFLs.

Appreciate the info, though.  I'm seriously thinking of picking up a couple of the bright-white or daylight LEDs next time I'm at HD.  Only reason I haven't yet is that I have CFLs in all my regularly-used lights (including my used-every-night bedroom reading light, which dates back to the mid-90s, before CFLs were twisty), and am waiting for one to burn out.

Nords

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2013, 06:54:47 PM »
I think advanced lighting has a very big future on highways and in parking lots and in security lighting and other government/commercial applications but... residential?

What percentage of a residence electric bill comes from lighting?  I wonder if it's better to focus the finances first on EnergyStar fridges, high-efficiency air conditioning/heating, high-efficiency water heaters, convection microwaves, and ditching the electric/gas dryer.

Nords

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2013, 10:10:55 PM »
One thing I can say with certainty: based on my kWh electricity rate and average daily use, LEDs in my livingroom and kitchen will have paid for themselves completely in saved electricity after 18 months. That's an easy win to me and they'll just be continuing to "give" money back to me after that.
18 months is a much better payback than 12 years.  And you're right, it depends on the rate you're paying for electricity.  Out here at 35 cents/KWHr it adds up fast.  In Texas at 8-9 cents/KWHr, not so fast.

Jamesqf

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2013, 10:36:46 PM »
I've found, even when labeled as producing 2,700 Kelvin colour temperature, fluorescent bulbs still cast a noticeably green hue.

Either our eyes or our CFLs must be different, then.  I don't notice any greenish hue, though some (the good ones!) can be much bluer than incandescent, with a color temperature closer to the ~5500K of daylight.

One thing I can say with certainty: based on my kWh electricity rate and average daily use, LEDs in my livingroom and kitchen will have paid for themselves completely in saved electricity after 18 months.

Is that savings compared to incandescent, or CFL?

Daley

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2013, 10:16:06 AM »
I've gotta agree with Nords here... I suspect that even with the higher kWh prices, the only place where even current lower LED pricing on lighting in the house would make sense is in situations like cjottawa's where it sounds like his house is brighter with the lights on at night than it is in the daylight hours. Those situations are going to have percentages of their electric bill spent on lighting be significantly larger.

It's not difficult to do incandescent using halogen with a dimmer and get a good 400+ lumen light going in a room for under 25W. Even more environmentally friendly than the Cree LEDs (and let me tell you, I was impressed for the first time with LED lighting with the warm white Cree bulbs - they're still not full-spectrum, but they're better), no e-waste, fully recyclable, and killer lifespan (trust me, tungsten can have an amazing operating life span when you run it cooler than rated and off DC power instead of AC). All it takes is not succumbing to the wussypants idea that you need to have your house visible from space at night. Let your eyes adapt to seeing with less light... your vision should improve, and you'll sleep better at night.

If you need to make your living space bright enough to see in every last corner and crevice, LEDs are definitely the way to go. That said, the less lighting you need, the less LEDs make financial sense... especially when measured against overall environmental impact in manufacture and disposal. More efficient tungsten-based lighting when employed smartly and sparingly is still one of the most affordable and environmentally friendly options, IMHO.

Zaga

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2013, 11:06:13 AM »
The town I live in applied for and received 2 grants to replace all of the streetlights with LED's, it's actually really cool to know that my tax dollars are being used efficiently.  I am so lucky to live in a municipality like this one!  The lights they got are very white-blue looking compared to the more yellow street lights that are outside of town, they give off great light even though it's different from the old lights.

Jamesqf

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2013, 11:32:14 AM »
It's not difficult to do incandescent using halogen with a dimmer and get a good 400+ lumen light going in a room for under 25W.

But having incandescents on a dimmer is going to lower your color temperature even further.  If you really want yellow light, why not go back to oil lamps?

Daley

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2013, 11:35:49 AM »
It's not difficult to do incandescent using halogen with a dimmer and get a good 400+ lumen light going in a room for under 25W.

But having incandescents on a dimmer is going to lower your color temperature even further.  If you really want yellow light, why not go back to oil lamps?

Because the incandescent is cheaper to run, safer, and you still have the option to go brighter if you need it. Plus, it's illegal to hunt whales for oil anymore... or did you not get that memo?

mm1970

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2013, 12:12:35 PM »
Quote
Specifically, I'm referring to the Cree 9.5 watt (60-watt equivalent) warm white LED bulbs being sold at Home Depot
Wahoo!

(I worked for Cree for almost 9 years.)

djulian529

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2013, 02:11:30 PM »
I switched to LED's this year for all of my bulbs at home.  Although it was an initial bigger purchase then I would have liked, I am definitely seeing a lower electric bill then I did this time last year!  I am a big supporter of LED bulbs for the house. 

Oh and BTW, for the times that I don't want to use the electric, I use the old fashion Kerosene Lamps!  Love them....nice lighting and during the winter months add warmth to the room as well!


Dee18

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2013, 06:12:37 PM »
Is the 9.5 Cree really as bright as a 60 watt bulb? I bought cfl bulbs that said they were 60 watt equivalent for my reading lamps, but the light they provide is so much less than the 60 watt incandescents that I cannot use them.  I don't want to make that mistake with an expensive bulb.  Thanks!

Daley

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2013, 06:16:27 PM »
Is the 9.5 Cree really as bright as a 60 watt bulb? I bought cfl bulbs that said they were 60 watt equivalent for my reading lamps, but the light they provide is so much less than the 60 watt incandescents that I cannot use them.  I don't want to make that mistake with an expensive bulb.  Thanks!

It is... in directions. It's not going to be 800 lumens of omni-directional light like a tungsten bulb is. At the center of the ring, I'd say it's pretty close to the brightness of a 60W incandescent, but not so much towards the top and bottom axis of the bulb. It's a bit like a ring of light.

theSchmett

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2013, 07:29:49 PM »
I bought WAY too many of the Cree daylight bulbs from HD. They are VERY WHITE, to the point of being too cool and thin looking. I'm using two as outdoor lights so I don't have to look at them!  One in the closet because it does do GREAT color rendering... but when they say daylight, they must mean high noon in the Arctic because its got no warmth at all.

Jamesqf

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2013, 10:38:45 PM »
Plus, it's illegal to hunt whales for oil anymore... or did you not get that memo?

Your oil lamp will work just fine on vegetable oil, or didn't you get that memo?

You're also missing the point, which is why go to all that trouble to mimic an unnatural color of light, just because the best our ancestors could manage was candles and burning torches?

Insanity

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2013, 10:58:39 PM »
One thing to consider, besides the current cost, is any cost savings that you have in switching to an off the grid model.

For instance, if you plan (like I do) on going solar at any point, the size of your array will diminish if you have LEDs.  We also have at least one in the house all the time - and three a good portion of the time.  I just switched the kitchen lights to LED (indoor flood lights so they are a bit more), but they are on almost all the time.

I'm hoping the savings will be very evident.  I still need to switch the office ones to LED as well.

Daley

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2013, 12:30:42 AM »
why go to all that trouble to mimic an unnatural color of light, just because the best our ancestors could manage was candles and burning torches?

FIRE LIGHT UNNATURAL! JAMES SMASH PUNY MAN'S LOGIC!

dragoncar

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2013, 01:19:34 AM »
why go to all that trouble to mimic an unnatural color of light, just because the best our ancestors could manage was candles and burning torches?

FIRE LIGHT UNNATURAL! JAMES SMASH PUNY MAN'S LOGIC!

Experiencing excessive blue spectrum at night screws ups your circadian rhythm.  After sunset, it's much more relaxing and IMO healthy to keep things on the red side, as your body will continue to interpret this as sunset.

Daley

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2013, 01:25:11 AM »
why go to all that trouble to mimic an unnatural color of light, just because the best our ancestors could manage was candles and burning torches?

FIRE LIGHT UNNATURAL! JAMES SMASH PUNY MAN'S LOGIC!

Experiencing excessive blue spectrum at night screws ups your circadian rhythm.  After sunset, it's much more relaxing and IMO healthy to keep things on the red side, as your body will continue to interpret this as sunset.

Completely agree, there's even plenty of solid science behind it. Warm light and lower quantities at that during night hours helps keep your circadian rhythm in check and moving closer in rhythm to daylight hours (says the guy currently posting at 2:25 in the morning).

I was mostly pointing out how absurd it is to call fire light "unnatural", however.

dragoncar

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2013, 11:26:44 AM »
why go to all that trouble to mimic an unnatural color of light, just because the best our ancestors could manage was candles and burning torches?

FIRE LIGHT UNNATURAL! JAMES SMASH PUNY MAN'S LOGIC!

Experiencing excessive blue spectrum at night screws ups your circadian rhythm.  After sunset, it's much more relaxing and IMO healthy to keep things on the red side, as your body will continue to interpret this as sunset.

Completely agree, there's even plenty of solid science behind it. Warm light and lower quantities at that during night hours helps keep your circadian rhythm in check and moving closer in rhythm to daylight hours (says the guy currently posting at 2:25 in the morning).

I was mostly pointing out how absurd it is to call fire light "unnatural", however.

Ah yes, I was mostly responding to James but thought your caveman impression was funny enough to be repeated "for truth" as they say


GuitarStv

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #24 on: September 23, 2013, 11:34:58 AM »
For all of the people who dislike CFL colours . . . are you buying the ones with normal colour temperature (2700K to 2900K)?  And if not . . . why not?  It's pretty easy to go into any place that sells CFLs and get a bulb that is hard to distinguish from an incandescent bulb.

Ottawa

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2013, 11:59:20 AM »
For Canadians living in Ontario:  The save on energy initiative has $5 off coupons for LED bulb purchases.  (There are also coupons for many other energy saving features).  Thus, the Home Depot Cree bulb: http://www.homedepot.ca/product/95-watt-60w-warm-white-led-light-bulb-1-pack/827146 will cost $10 per unit with the $5 off.  Download coupons here: https://saveonenergy.ca/coupons.  The event is on at most stores and will be 27 Sept to 27 October. 

It looks like you can use 5 coupons per visit (purchase).  I.e. buy 5 bulbs at $5 off each per visit. 

Jamesqf

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #26 on: September 23, 2013, 12:00:06 PM »
I was mostly pointing out how absurd it is to call fire light "unnatural", however.

It's as unnatural as any other technology, isn't it?  But by "unnatural", I mean that evolution has spent at least 60 million years tuning the visual systems of diurnal mammals like humans have had to work in daylight.    There's the whole problem of color perception, especially in the kitchen, or while reading or working.

As for circadian rhythms, that would only apply if you use your lighting (whatever it is) irregularly.  If you keep to the same daily schedule (even if it's not the schedule of the sun), then having a more natural daylight lighting helps balance those rhythms.

bigdaycoming

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #27 on: September 23, 2013, 12:18:04 PM »
I agree that the Cree is making LEDs much more interesting, and I expect that over time as their prices decrease they'll be your best bet - but for now I ran the same numbers in my own post over at http://bigdaycoming.com/led-bulbs-are-they-worth-it/

The end result is that I still believe that CFLs are a better bargain. The big difference in my numbers versus yours was the price of CFLs - I see prices as low as $1.37 a bulb once you buy a pack of 8.

Daley

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #28 on: September 23, 2013, 12:31:09 PM »
For all of the people who dislike CFL colours . . . are you buying the ones with normal colour temperature (2700K to 2900K)?  And if not . . . why not?  It's pretty easy to go into any place that sells CFLs and get a bulb that is hard to distinguish from an incandescent bulb.

I'd disagree. Even at the warmer color temperatures, the light produced appears harsher with CFLs due to the large energy spikes in the green and violet portions of the spectrum (IIRC on the specifics). Between that, the higher environmental damage, the disposal issues, the lifespan, the poor power factor efficiency, the safety issue with capacitor failure in cheaper bulbs, the flicker with some cheaper models, the inability to turn them on just for short periods of time without drastically shortening their lifespan, the higher levels of UV light produced and the subsequent damage it creates to belongings... if I'm looking solely to target a specific wattage level in use, I'd rather purchase a cheaper bulb and sacrifice a couple hundred lumens of general illumination for a superior lighting source across the board.

As I've said, incandescents (including halogens) on a dimmer last several magnitudes longer than the packaging claims, and I'd even put it against what a CFL supposedly can last under ideal circumstances. If I'm being billed the same wattage used between my incandescent and your CFL, yet my PF rating is 0.9 and yours is 0.6, and both bulbs last at least the same amount of time yet mine is a fraction of the cost to produce, ship, and recycle, and the only difference is about 30% less light which is still plenty for general home lighting... which one's the more economic and environmentally friendly choice?

dragoncar

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #29 on: September 23, 2013, 12:35:03 PM »
I was mostly pointing out how absurd it is to call fire light "unnatural", however.

It's as unnatural as any other technology, isn't it?  But by "unnatural", I mean that evolution has spent at least 60 million years tuning the visual systems of diurnal mammals like humans have had to work in daylight.    There's the whole problem of color perception, especially in the kitchen, or while reading or working.

As for circadian rhythms, that would only apply if you use your lighting (whatever it is) irregularly.  If you keep to the same daily schedule (even if it's not the schedule of the sun), then having a more natural daylight lighting helps balance those rhythms.

Fire isn't (just?) a technology, it's a natural phenomenon.  There are no naturally occurring LEDs.

And no, your body is attuned to the spectrum of light not just the timing.  Blue light stimulates you to wake up, while red light prompts sleep.  Ideally, your artificial light sources would move from blue to red over the course of the day - there are in fact programs to adjust the temperature of your monitor for those of us late night browsers.

Of course if the goal is to stay awake late at night, you would prefer full spectrum light (like in your office).

Spork

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #30 on: September 23, 2013, 01:46:31 PM »

I've asked this before... but it's been a while... and technology changes fast.

Does anyone have any real life feel for how long the LEDs last?  I've read all the "lasts a bazillion hours in a lab setting" stuff... but these are little computers.  I live in the country and my power is as dirty as a river outside a Chinese slag foundry.  I'd like to see how long those suckers last in a harsh environment.  (And I'd like to see some companies make 130v equivalents of the LEDs like the incandescent manufacturers do.)

I'm happy to spend a bit extra on a bulb that saves me money.  I'm not happy to spend a bit extra on a bulb that doesn't last.

Nords

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #31 on: September 23, 2013, 01:48:18 PM »
Let your eyes adapt to seeing with less light... your vision should improve, and you'll sleep better at night.
I'm only 53 years old and I still have good night vision, but I have major contrast problems when I try to read with "evening" lights.  When the eyeball's lens starts getting stiff & yellow its transparency to light drops as much as 25%.  I'm all for dimmer lighting in the evening but there's a reason the bright bulbs are called "reading lights".

Of course if the goal is to stay awake late at night, you would prefer full spectrum light (like in your office).
We keep trying that on submarines, but too many other factors (high workloads, long days, high CO2 levels, high-carb diets) keep putting the midwatches to sleep...

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #32 on: September 23, 2013, 01:48:52 PM »

I've asked this before... but it's been a while... and technology changes fast.

Does anyone have any real life feel for how long the LEDs last?  I've read all the "lasts a bazillion hours in a lab setting" stuff... but these are little computers.  I live in the country and my power is as dirty as a river outside a Chinese slag foundry.  I'd like to see how long those suckers last in a harsh environment.  (And I'd like to see some companies make 130v equivalents of the LEDs like the incandescent manufacturers do.)

I'm happy to spend a bit extra on a bulb that saves me money.  I'm not happy to spend a bit extra on a bulb that doesn't last.

Good Question Spork!
I have certainly found CFL's with the '7 year warranty' expire within a year (even with appropriate use).  And, unfortunately...I never keep/seem to find a lightbulb receipt.  Which pisses me off.

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #33 on: September 23, 2013, 02:19:45 PM »
Fire isn't (just?) a technology, it's a natural phenomenon.  There are no naturally occurring LEDs.

Fire may be "natural", but humans taking it into their homes and using it for light (and heat) is definitely a technology.  Nor is it common enough in nature for eyes to have adapted to the spectrum of firelight rather than daylight.

While I don't offhand know of any naturally-occuring LEDs, there are certainly a number of similar natural bioluminescent sources: fireflies, glowworms, foxfire, etc.

I think part of the problem here is that some people have come to think of the indoor "built" environment as the norm, and so resent any deviation from it, even though an unbiased observer would see the deviation as actually being closer to nature.

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #34 on: September 23, 2013, 05:50:06 PM »

I've asked this before... but it's been a while... and technology changes fast.

Does anyone have any real life feel for how long the LEDs last?  I've read all the "lasts a bazillion hours in a lab setting" stuff... but these are little computers.  I live in the country and my power is as dirty as a river outside a Chinese slag foundry.  I'd like to see how long those suckers last in a harsh environment.  (And I'd like to see some companies make 130v equivalents of the LEDs like the incandescent manufacturers do.)

I'm happy to spend a bit extra on a bulb that saves me money.  I'm not happy to spend a bit extra on a bulb that doesn't last.

The problem is it takes a few years to know if the claims are true.  I have seen a large number of LED signs and traffic lights with dead pixels.  Some have a significant number

VasyaPupkin

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #35 on: September 23, 2013, 08:43:10 PM »
My two cents on the reliability of Cree bulbs. Considering Cree is the maker of the LED diodes themselves and designs various light engines for others (Home Depot branded recessed fixtures were using them for years), it's probably one of the best choices out there! Other ones I've had good luck with are Philips and Lighting Science Group. Running a boatload of these around the house. I also monitor light output periodically with a light meter. So far I had one dead bulb- used in an enclosed outdoors fixture that gets rather toasty. That's despite a warning on the bulb not to do that, so my own fault
On the other hand, it's very easy to pickup a piece of junk bulb that will indeed die in no time due to poor thermals, poor design or cheap parts used

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #36 on: September 23, 2013, 10:41:19 PM »
Let your eyes adapt to seeing with less light... your vision should improve, and you'll sleep better at night.
I'm only 53 years old and I still have good night vision, but I have major contrast problems when I try to read with "evening" lights.  When the eyeball's lens starts getting stiff & yellow its transparency to light drops as much as 25%.  I'm all for dimmer lighting in the evening but there's a reason the bright bulbs are called "reading lights".

You're right, and that's where task lighting comes into play. And you're also absolutely right about age impacting vision and contrast, but the quality of night vision is also something that can still be impacted by diet and frequency/duration of use even in those with diminished lens transparency. Most people don't think they can see well in the dark, because they never let the house get dark enough to let their eyes adjust in the first place; or even when they do let the house go dark, they still spend most of their time staring into a lightbulb with moving pictures. Both defeat the issue of needing a good 30 minutes of low light exposure on average for the rods to properly adapt to the darker conditions... and there is still a certain amount of muscular health involved in effective pupil dilation.

It's the reason why I consciously stopped wearing sunglasses when I went outside - my vision and tolerance for both bright light and dim light improved the more I exposed myself to both in longer stretches. I won't stare at the sun or anything stupid like that, but I no longer squint when I'm outside and I don't need sunglasses to drive during the day anymore (with or without a brimmed hat), and that was something I thought was a near impossibility for myself not five years ago. Coincidentally, I can now make my way to the can and safely use it in the middle of the night without anything but ambient light (no more night lights), too. The eyes have muscles that need regular workouts just like the rest of the body.

If you use dimmer general lighting and let the house grow darker after sunset, you cease to notice the transition as much, and you get an added benefit of needing less task lighting for instances where the general lighting is insufficient. Getting rid of the sunglasses and the 60W+ general room lighting could probably do some good for a lot of people's pocketbooks and general vision.

Also, eat a danged raw carrot every once in a while. Beta carotene does wonders for night vision.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2013, 10:43:18 PM by I.P. Daley »

dragoncar

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #37 on: September 24, 2013, 12:27:45 AM »
Let your eyes adapt to seeing with less light... your vision should improve, and you'll sleep better at night.
I'm only 53 years old and I still have good night vision, but I have major contrast problems when I try to read with "evening" lights.  When the eyeball's lens starts getting stiff & yellow its transparency to light drops as much as 25%.  I'm all for dimmer lighting in the evening but there's a reason the bright bulbs are called "reading lights".

You're right, and that's where task lighting comes into play. And you're also absolutely right about age impacting vision and contrast, but the quality of night vision is also something that can still be impacted by diet and frequency/duration of use even in those with diminished lens transparency. Most people don't think they can see well in the dark, because they never let the house get dark enough to let their eyes adjust in the first place; or even when they do let the house go dark, they still spend most of their time staring into a lightbulb with moving pictures. Both defeat the issue of needing a good 30 minutes of low light exposure on average for the rods to properly adapt to the darker conditions... and there is still a certain amount of muscular health involved in effective pupil dilation.

It's the reason why I consciously stopped wearing sunglasses when I went outside - my vision and tolerance for both bright light and dim light improved the more I exposed myself to both in longer stretches. I won't stare at the sun or anything stupid like that, but I no longer squint when I'm outside and I don't need sunglasses to drive during the day anymore (with or without a brimmed hat), and that was something I thought was a near impossibility for myself not five years ago. Coincidentally, I can now make my way to the can and safely use it in the middle of the night without anything but ambient light (no more night lights), too. The eyes have muscles that need regular workouts just like the rest of the body.

If you use dimmer general lighting and let the house grow darker after sunset, you cease to notice the transition as much, and you get an added benefit of needing less task lighting for instances where the general lighting is insufficient. Getting rid of the sunglasses and the 60W+ general room lighting could probably do some good for a lot of people's pocketbooks and general vision.

Also, eat a danged raw carrot every once in a while. Beta carotene does wonders for night vision.

I'd at least wear Clear lenses with uv filters.  uv is the biggest daily risk to your vision

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #38 on: September 24, 2013, 01:03:38 AM »
I'd at least wear Clear lenses with uv filters.  uv is the biggest daily risk to your vision
Unless I wave them over a UV spectrometer tuned to those frequencies, I'm skeptical that they're the real thing and not a counterfeit.  We've seen too many knockoffs out here sold via fear marketing.

Personally I'm hoping that cataract surgery will give me clear & flexible lenses that will let me focus again.  But there's no hurry as long as I have a good strong reading light and reading glasses...

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #39 on: September 24, 2013, 04:14:51 PM »
I'm wondering the the LED lights will work to keep plans alive?  I took my track lighting to LED's from IKEA as I tend to work nights and want to leave a light on as it is dark when I leave and dark when I come home (computer NOC work).  I'm hoping that it keeps my plants alive as I also keep my blinds closed and very little sunlight comes in.

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #40 on: September 24, 2013, 04:34:37 PM »
I'd at least wear Clear lenses with uv filters.  uv is the biggest daily risk to your vision

Eh, I wear glasses... I'm not even sure I can opt out of UV coating on the lenses. That said, I do think the UV damage to eyesight thing - though a warranted concern under certain circumstances - is also a bit overblown for most people, too. After all, some UV exposure in the human body does convert to vitamin D, so it's not all bad. If I were out in the sun regularly enough to turn my hide into a leather purse, I'd probably be more concerned than I am currently.

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #41 on: September 25, 2013, 10:07:16 AM »
18 months is a much better payback than 12 years.  And you're right, it depends on the rate you're paying for electricity.  Out here at 35 cents/KWHr it adds up fast.  In Texas at 8-9 cents/KWHr, not so fast.

I think even 12 years isn't all that bad.  That's still like an 8% return every year.

I tend to think about LED cost savings as return on equity.  If you spend $10 on a bulb that saves you $5 per year in electricity costs, you've effectively locked in an annual 50% return on your equity, which seems like a much better deal than saying you have a 2 year payback period.

The only problem with switching to LED lights is that your house has a finite number of light bulbs.  If I could invest $100,000 this year to make the equivalent of $50,000 every year in the future forever, I'd be pouring every cent I could find into that investment.

The other consideration on LED bulbs is that electricity prices are almost certain to rise over the life expectancy of these bulbs.  That skews the math even more in favor of switching.

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #42 on: September 25, 2013, 10:35:17 AM »
Has anyone had any LED lights that have a flicker? We bought some a while ago for our bathroom, and they had a "refresh rate" effect-- kinda like waving your hand in front of an old CRT television or monitor. I'm guessing it's due to the 60Hz frequency of the AC current, but I don't know.

The cheapest 60W equivalent LEDs I can find cost 12.97-- will they also have a similar flicker, or do they control for that effect with the higher wattage LEDs?

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #43 on: September 25, 2013, 11:38:30 AM »
Has anyone had any LED lights that have a flicker? We bought some a while ago for our bathroom, and they had a "refresh rate" effect-- kinda like waving your hand in front of an old CRT television or monitor. I'm guessing it's due to the 60Hz frequency of the AC current, but I don't know.

The cheapest 60W equivalent LEDs I can find cost 12.97-- will they also have a similar flicker, or do they control for that effect with the higher wattage LEDs?

This would drive me nuts - I know there are ways to eliminate flicker.  But I hate the hit or miss nature of leds and cfls regarding light quality, strength, and longevity.

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #44 on: September 25, 2013, 11:49:11 AM »
Wow, this thread completely blew up while I wasn’t looking!  My apologies for missing out on so much of the conversation; I didn't mean to start something then completely disappear. 


Let me see if I can respond to some of the points brought up here –

To get an even better price than $12.97/bulb at Home Depot, you can buy the 6 pack at Home Depot and get the per unit cost down to $12.47 ($74.82/6 - http://www.homedepot.com/p/Cree-9-5-Watt-60W-A19-Warm-White-2700K-Dimmable-LED-Light-Bulb-6-Pack-BA19-08027OMF-12DE26-1U100/204084366#.Uj3WnGTF1pc).

And in response to BlueMR2 and Christof about the quality and reliability of Creebulbs, I've just started using Cree myself so I don't have any personal experience, but I do know that the Cree brand has been highly regarded within the marine/reef aquarium hobbyist circle (I have my own 34g reef tank). "Reefers" can be pretty particular about the quality and reliability of their light (so that corals will grow fast and develop rich coloration) so considering that the Cree brand is strong among this niche is a good sign.

Finally, Cree does provide a 10 year warranty, so there's a good level of protection in case your bulb breaks down during that time.

Good to know on all 3 counts, thank you, Valley!


The warm amber glow of a tungsten filament bulb is something that a CFL has failed to match, much to my dismay.  CFLs just don't have the coziness factor to me, and I dislike their cold industrial color temperature; it irks me. 

Now I'm just the opposite: I much prefer the closer-to-natural-daylight of good CFLs.

Appreciate the info, though.  I'm seriously thinking of picking up a couple of the bright-white or daylight LEDs next time I'm at HD.  Only reason I haven't yet is that I have CFLs in all my regularly-used lights (including my used-every-night bedroom reading light, which dates back to the mid-90s, before CFLs were twisty), and am waiting for one to burn out.

I'm glad the info is useful.  And hey, different strokes.  I know I've seen some back and forth regarding preferences to color temperature, and really it's a matter of preference.  If daylight is what does it for you, then go for it.  They do sell Cree Bright Whites in the 60W equivalent bulbs, if warm white isn't your thing.

For me, it's just that the amber color (and really Amber is what it is, not orange or yellow) is so attractive, especially when it comes to skin tone.  Even with "warm white" or 2700K CFL bulbs, I'm disappointed because there's something that's off.  They can go too green, blue, purple, or pink, but never enough amber to give that warm satisfying glow.  The greenish and blueish hues that come off of daylight CFLs are just too cold and stark for my tastes, and green does tend to make people look sickly.  The Cree warm white LEDs to me not only closely mimic the color temp of an incandescent, but they also have some type of silicone or plastic coating on them that creates diffusion, so the light is distributed in more of an omni-directional fashion much like a traditional incandescent.  The result is less focused and stark lighting.


I think advanced lighting has a very big future on highways and in parking lots and in security lighting and other government/commercial applications but... residential?

What percentage of a residence electric bill comes from lighting?  I wonder if it's better to focus the finances first on EnergyStar fridges, high-efficiency air conditioning/heating, high-efficiency water heaters, convection microwaves, and ditching the electric/gas dryer.

One thing I can say with certainty: based on my kWh electricity rate and average daily use, LEDs in my livingroom and kitchen will have paid for themselves completely in saved electricity after 18 months. That's an easy win to me and they'll just be continuing to "give" money back to me after that.

I have to agree with this.  We have seen similar dips in our electric bill since switching to the new bulbs.  And we still do our best to conserve electricity and shut off lights in rooms that aren't used, so it's not like we've increased our consumption just because our lighting is now cheaper.  If anything it's made us more conscious of our overall usage, and motivates us to use less and less.  I'm still on board with the energy efficient appliances idea, but I think exploring all facets of energy consumption is worthwhile, even lighting.


Is the 9.5 Cree really as bright as a 60 watt bulb? I bought cfl bulbs that said they were 60 watt equivalent for my reading lamps, but the light they provide is so much less than the 60 watt incandescents that I cannot use them.  I don't want to make that mistake with an expensive bulb.  Thanks!

It is... in directions. It's not going to be 800 lumens of omni-directional light like a tungsten bulb is. At the center of the ring, I'd say it's pretty close to the brightness of a 60W incandescent, but not so much towards the top and bottom axis of the bulb. It's a bit like a ring of light.

The Cree bulbs are as bright as a 60 Watt incandescent for sure, and I feel you pain and frustration at CFLs that made this claim but fell short.  Both the 60 and 40 watt Cree bulbs deliver light as advertised, although I've not taken a meter to them; I'm speaking purely from my own observations.

As to IP's comment on the distribution of light, he makes a good point as to how it differs in an LED.  However, the diffusion coating on the Cree bulbs goes a long way to provide omni-directional (and softer) distribution of light in an attempt to re-create the effects from a tungsten bulb.


I bought WAY too many of the Cree daylight bulbs from HD. They are VERY WHITE, to the point of being too cool and thin looking. I'm using two as outdoor lights so I don't have to look at them!  One in the closet because it does do GREAT color rendering... but when they say daylight, they must mean high noon in the Arctic because its got no warmth at all.

"Daylight" as a general rule is more blue.  You may think of it as having warmth because of the sun, but truly the spectrum leans blue.  In fact sometimes it's too blue - in Hollywood when filming is done inside an actual building with windows facing true outdoor daylight, they often have to hang transparent yellow filters on the outside of the windows to "color correct" the light to white, so that it doesn't come through as overly blue on film. 

If you want more warmth to your light, buy the Warm White.  They aren't offensively orange or yellow, but they do have warmth to their light.


For all of the people who dislike CFL colours . . . are you buying the ones with normal colour temperature (2700K to 2900K)?  And if not . . . why not?  It's pretty easy to go into any place that sells CFLs and get a bulb that is hard to distinguish from an incandescent bulb.

Yes, I have bought the warm white CFLs (2700K) and still been disappointed.  I've yet to meet an CFL that's indistinguishable from an incandescent, but then again maybe I'm just really picky or have a really discerning eye when it comes to color.  I believe it's the latter.  :)


I agree that the Cree is making LEDs much more interesting, and I expect that over time as their prices decrease they'll be your best bet - but for now I ran the same numbers in my own post over at http://bigdaycoming.com/led-bulbs-are-they-worth-it/

The end result is that I still believe that CFLs are a better bargain. The big difference in my numbers versus yours was the price of CFLs - I see prices as low as $1.37 a bulb once you buy a pack of 8.

My findings were somewhat similar, especially in the short term.  But I dislike the look of them so much, that I'd rather commit to the LEDs for the long haul.  And I also agree that prices have nowhere to go but down.



I'd disagree. Even at the warmer color temperatures, the light produced appears harsher with CFLs due to the large energy spikes in the green and violet portions of the spectrum (IIRC on the specifics). Between that, the higher environmental damage, the disposal issues, the lifespan, the poor power factor efficiency, the safety issue with capacitor failure in cheaper bulbs, the flicker with some cheaper models, the inability to turn them on just for short periods of time without drastically shortening their lifespan, the higher levels of UV light produced and the subsequent damage it creates to belongings... if I'm looking solely to target a specific wattage level in use, I'd rather purchase a cheaper bulb and sacrifice a couple hundred lumens of general illumination for a superior lighting source across the board.


What I.P. said.



I've asked this before... but it's been a while... and technology changes fast.

Does anyone have any real life feel for how long the LEDs last?  I've read all the "lasts a bazillion hours in a lab setting" stuff... but these are little computers.  I live in the country and my power is as dirty as a river outside a Chinese slag foundry.  I'd like to see how long those suckers last in a harsh environment.  (And I'd like to see some companies make 130v equivalents of the LEDs like the incandescent manufacturers do.)

I'm happy to spend a bit extra on a bulb that saves me money.  I'm not happy to spend a bit extra on a bulb that doesn't last.

I haven't had opportunity to use them long enough to know this and say for sure.  I think they are overall less sensitive to their environment than CFLs, but I could be wrong.  CFLs definitely need to be in optimal conditions to perform to their specs - see http://www.houselogic.com/blog/lighting/cfls-light-bulbs/


My two cents on the reliability of Cree bulbs. Considering Cree is the maker of the LED diodes themselves and designs various light engines for others (Home Depot branded recessed fixtures were using them for years), it's probably one of the best choices out there! Other ones I've had good luck with are Philips and Lighting Science Group. Running a boatload of these around the house. I also monitor light output periodically with a light meter. So far I had one dead bulb- used in an enclosed outdoors fixture that gets rather toasty. That's despite a warning on the bulb not to do that, so my own fault
On the other hand, it's very easy to pickup a piece of junk bulb that will indeed die in no time due to poor thermals, poor design or cheap parts used

I too had previously heard of Cree, and I believe it was in regards to larger, more commercial applications.  I've been enjoying a few Philips LEDs as well, and good to know about Lighting Sciences Group.


I'm wondering the the LED lights will work to keep plans alive?  I took my track lighting to LED's from IKEA as I tend to work nights and want to leave a light on as it is dark when I leave and dark when I come home (computer NOC work).  I'm hoping that it keeps my plants alive as I also keep my blinds closed and very little sunlight comes in.

For plants you really need to do some research.  Indoor plants need certain amounts of certain spectra of light, and you don't want to give them too much of one, and not enough of (or none of) another.  I'd say there's a good chance that there are LED plant grow bulbs out there, you just have to do some reading. 


I tend to think about LED cost savings as return on equity.  If you spend $10 on a bulb that saves you $5 per year in electricity costs, you've effectively locked in an annual 50% return on your equity, which seems like a much better deal than saying you have a 2 year payback period.

The only problem with switching to LED lights is that your house has a finite number of light bulbs.  If I could invest $100,000 this year to make the equivalent of $50,000 every year in the future forever, I'd be pouring every cent I could find into that investment.

The other consideration on LED bulbs is that electricity prices are almost certain to rise over the life expectancy of these bulbs.  That skews the math even more in favor of switching.

Excellent points, thank you!  I hadn't really even given thought to the rising costs of electricity, but you are right in that it really has nowhere to go but up.  Perhaps we can keep the cost down by not creating so much demand for it, maybe by using more LED bulbs?  ;)


Has anyone had any LED lights that have a flicker? We bought some a while ago for our bathroom, and they had a "refresh rate" effect-- kinda like waving your hand in front of an old CRT television or monitor. I'm guessing it's due to the 60Hz frequency of the AC current, but I don't know.

The cheapest 60W equivalent LEDs I can find cost 12.97-- will they also have a similar flicker, or do they control for that effect with the higher wattage LEDs?

I've noticed no flickering from any LED I've installed.  I'm no electrician, but I wonder if it's some sort of phasing issue at your home.  I've seen LCD computer monitors go squirrely once when we lost a phase here at work, and they just flashed.  Ultimately they shouldn't flicker, and if you have flickering problems you might have a larger issue in your home - panel issues, or GFI issues...It's worth looking into.  I've never seen flickering.

APowers

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #45 on: September 26, 2013, 08:09:44 AM »
Has anyone had any LED lights that have a flicker? We bought some a while ago for our bathroom, and they had a "refresh rate" effect-- kinda like waving your hand in front of an old CRT television or monitor. I'm guessing it's due to the 60Hz frequency of the AC current, but I don't know.

The cheapest 60W equivalent LEDs I can find cost 12.97-- will they also have a similar flicker, or do they control for that effect with the higher wattage LEDs?

I've noticed no flickering from any LED I've installed.  I'm no electrician, but I wonder if it's some sort of phasing issue at your home.  I've seen LCD computer monitors go squirrely once when we lost a phase here at work, and they just flashed.  Ultimately they shouldn't flicker, and if you have flickering problems you might have a larger issue in your home - panel issues, or GFI issues...It's worth looking into.  I've never seen flickering.

Maybe it's just a problem with cheap LEDs? I'm almost positive that it's a 60Hz flicker (not noticeable until you wave your hand around). LCD monitors shouldn't have a flicker at all, since they don't have a refresh rate the way a CRT does.

Anyway. I did do a cost breakdown, and lighting is so small a portion of our electric bill, and replacing the 10 most-used bulbs would at most save us less than $5/mo....we're more motivated to go after bigger fish first (water heater, etc.). Yay for cheap power!

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #46 on: September 26, 2013, 08:19:43 AM »
Has anyone had any LED lights that have a flicker? We bought some a while ago for our bathroom, and they had a "refresh rate" effect-- kinda like waving your hand in front of an old CRT television or monitor. I'm guessing it's due to the 60Hz frequency of the AC current, but I don't know.

The cheapest 60W equivalent LEDs I can find cost 12.97-- will they also have a similar flicker, or do they control for that effect with the higher wattage LEDs?

I've noticed no flickering from any LED I've installed.  I'm no electrician, but I wonder if it's some sort of phasing issue at your home.  I've seen LCD computer monitors go squirrely once when we lost a phase here at work, and they just flashed.  Ultimately they shouldn't flicker, and if you have flickering problems you might have a larger issue in your home - panel issues, or GFI issues...It's worth looking into.  I've never seen flickering.

Maybe it's just a problem with cheap LEDs? I'm almost positive that it's a 60Hz flicker (not noticeable until you wave your hand around). LCD monitors shouldn't have a flicker at all, since they don't have a refresh rate the way a CRT does.

Anyway. I did do a cost breakdown, and lighting is so small a portion of our electric bill, and replacing the 10 most-used bulbs would at most save us less than $5/mo....we're more motivated to go after bigger fish first (water heater, etc.). Yay for cheap power!

If non-dimmable LEDs are on a dimmer switch or are not getting the full power to the bulb they will flicker a lot!  It isn't an "off or on" scenario (I have two in my office on a dimmer and that is a problem I have).

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #47 on: September 26, 2013, 09:54:34 AM »
I'm happy to spend a bit extra on a bulb that saves me money.  I'm not happy to spend a bit extra on a bulb that doesn't last.

I'm a big fan of LEDs but they are still quite costly in Australia. In answer to the above I had one of my good quality cree leds fail after probably only 100hours. I think IP advised me it was more likely the fitting than the LED itself. In any case it cost lots (?$30 or $40 AUD,) and pretty well wiped out any cost savings I'd planned on.  The rest are fine. I have replaced the most frequently used  down lights in my house that has lots of downlights.

In case there are any other Aussies on this thread: The best LED I have is this beauty from http://brightgreen.com/au/led-lights. Well engineered. I have the DR700 retrofit. Not the cheapest. Nice colour and good brightness.

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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #48 on: September 26, 2013, 11:23:41 AM »
I'm a big fan of LEDs but they are still quite costly in Australia. In answer to the above I had one of my good quality cree leds fail after probably only 100hours. I think IP advised me it was more likely the fitting than the LED itself. In any case it cost lots (?$30 or $40 AUD,) and pretty well wiped out any cost savings I'd planned on. 

Shouldn't it still be under warranty?  Don't know about Australia, but in the US the Cree package says if it fails within 10 years, they'll either send a replacement or refund the purchase price.

Just bought a couple the other day, and notice that in my task/reading light, one 60W equivalent LED provides almost as much usable light as 2 CFLs, I think because they're more directional.

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  • Walrus Stache
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Re: LEDs continue to kick ass!
« Reply #49 on: September 27, 2013, 02:37:19 AM »
Possibly James, but at the time I wasn't aware of any warrantee like that and my inner Hasselhof got the better of me. Its was  pre-MMM days - it wouldn't have now. I've since learnt that internet based companies seem to be much more responsive to things like that, since if you are unhappy you can write a bad review.