Author Topic: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?  (Read 1688 times)

Omy

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What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« on: September 02, 2019, 09:31:50 AM »
I decided to change all of our recessed flood light bulbs to LEDs. We will be home a lot more now and they should pay for themselves within a year. Now I have 27 used (but working) incandescent flood lights.

Any creative ideas that don't involve throwing them out? I hate tossing perfectly good items into the landfill.


Cadman

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2019, 09:48:59 AM »
Do you have a Habitat for Humanity store nearby? Please donate them... If they're US-made they'll eventually all find a home.

Villanelle

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2019, 09:56:24 AM »
You could see if your community has a Buy Nothing group on Facebook. 

Aunt Petunia

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2019, 10:47:03 AM »
Give them away. I had tons of people interested when I got rid of mine.

sparkytheop

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2019, 07:18:59 PM »
There are people out there who would want them (like me...) Ask around, post on FB, whatever, but you definitely don't need to toss them.

bmjohnson35

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2019, 12:52:06 PM »

If you plan to move anytime soon, save them for the new buyer. We will likely sell our townhouse in 3 yrs and we will backfill all of our fixtures with our old bulbs.

BJ

RWD

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2019, 01:34:13 PM »

If you plan to move anytime soon, save them for the new buyer. We will likely sell our townhouse in 3 yrs and we will backfill all of our fixtures with our old bulbs.

BJ

Holy crap that's cheap.

BlueHouse

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2019, 01:43:31 PM »

If you plan to move anytime soon, save them for the new buyer. We will likely sell our townhouse in 3 yrs and we will backfill all of our fixtures with our old bulbs.

BJ

Holy crap that's cheap.
Nope, that's thrifty.  I have extra locks and cylinders from when I had them changed out so that when I move again, I'll just put the old ones back in.  No sense in my paying multiple times for the same service

RWD

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2019, 01:58:39 PM »

If you plan to move anytime soon, save them for the new buyer. We will likely sell our townhouse in 3 yrs and we will backfill all of our fixtures with our old bulbs.

BJ

Holy crap that's cheap.
Nope, that's thrifty.  I have extra locks and cylinders from when I had them changed out so that when I move again, I'll just put the old ones back in.  No sense in my paying multiple times for the same service
Locks are not the same thing. The next owner might swap them out anyway so you might as well keep the ones you commissioned. Spending the time to change all your light bulbs back to leave inferior, inefficient lights behind for the next owner just to save a hundred bucks or so is cheap.

Fishindude

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2019, 07:01:01 AM »
Save them for spares or use them until they are shot.

Omy

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2019, 07:26:23 AM »
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/3d/6d/67/3d6d67c6551da6edf8a6f18affe235c0.jpg

So I found these snowmen you can make out of light bulbs. I might just bring them to the next family craft night!

GreenEggs

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2019, 07:27:41 AM »
I decided to change all of our recessed flood light bulbs to LEDs. We will be home a lot more now and they should pay for themselves within a year. Now I have 27 used (but working) incandescent flood lights.

Any creative ideas that don't involve throwing them out? I hate tossing perfectly good items into the landfill.




If they are energy wasters.  I just threw 100+ in the trash.  Why give them to somebody else to waste energy with?

v8rx7guy

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2019, 08:09:44 AM »
My vote is also to toss them.

Syonyk

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2019, 10:07:10 AM »
If they are energy wasters.  I just threw 100+ in the trash.  Why give them to somebody else to waste energy with?

Because "energy wasters" is just dependent on the location?

A friend lives up in the Quebec area, which is insanely hydro heavy, and literally just uses resistive heaters for heating houses.  They're 99%+ hydro, so... why not?  At that point, there's no real disadvantage to incandescents, and the better light quality is quite welcome.  Plus, they're lower energy to make by far than LEDs, and don't have anything remotely hazardous in them.

bacchi

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2019, 10:30:10 AM »
If they are energy wasters.  I just threw 100+ in the trash.  Why give them to somebody else to waste energy with?

Because "energy wasters" is just dependent on the location?

A friend lives up in the Quebec area, which is insanely hydro heavy, and literally just uses resistive heaters for heating houses.

Yeah, if you're using resistive heating then incandescent bulbs are great...in the winter. In the summer, why would you create more heat in the house? Or it doesn't get warm enough there for AC?

Quote
They're 99%+ hydro, so... why not?  At that point, there's no real disadvantage to incandescents, and the better light quality is quite welcome. 

Oil and NG are still used by almost 50% of Quebecers to heat their homes.

Quote
Plus, they're lower energy to make by far than LEDs, and don't have anything remotely hazardous in them.

Table 4.7 -- manufacturing energy is insignificant for both types of bulbs. The majority of the life-cycle energy is from operation and that's where LEDs shine.

https://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/publications/pdfs/ssl/2012_LED_Lifecycle_Report.pdf

Syonyk

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2019, 10:55:43 AM »
Yeah, if you're using resistive heating then incandescent bulbs are great...in the winter. In the summer, why would you create more heat in the house? Or it doesn't get warm enough there for AC?

At least in their area, they've got enough light from the sun that artificial lighting is limited in use - and it doesn't get that hot anyway.  The heat in the winter, and especially the radiated heat from some bulbs, far outweighs the slight inefficiency in the summer.

We've got full LED bulbs in our house, and it's been a struggle to make the house reasonable in terms of light quality.  I've ended up replacing a ton of them with the "color shifting" ones that redden as you dim them, because a dimmed LED without that is a hideous shade of grey.  Given how heavily dimmed we mostly use them, I'm not sure I'm saving much in terms of energy over incandescents in a lot of areas.

MilesTeg

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2019, 11:12:44 AM »

If you plan to move anytime soon, save them for the new buyer. We will likely sell our townhouse in 3 yrs and we will backfill all of our fixtures with our old bulbs.

BJ

Holy crap that's cheap.
Nope, that's thrifty.  I have extra locks and cylinders from when I had them changed out so that when I move again, I'll just put the old ones back in.  No sense in my paying multiple times for the same service

Actually, it can range anywhere from "cheap" to "contract violation" depending on the nature of the sales contract.

VTKate

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2019, 11:22:21 AM »
If you're in an area w/cold winters you might be able to offload them to folks who could use them for small heating applications (keeping coops warm-ish, etc).

Papa bear

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2019, 12:39:43 PM »

If you plan to move anytime soon, save them for the new buyer. We will likely sell our townhouse in 3 yrs and we will backfill all of our fixtures with our old bulbs.

BJ

Holy crap that's cheap.
Nope, that's thrifty.  I have extra locks and cylinders from when I had them changed out so that when I move again, I'll just put the old ones back in.  No sense in my paying multiple times for the same service

Actually, it can range anywhere from "cheap" to "contract violation" depending on the nature of the sales contract.

Yup.  Those items could be considered fixtures and part of the real property.  Not personal property.  Window coverings, ceiling fans, etc are similar in that regard.  Could find yourself in a lawsuit because of lightbulbs. 

Plus thatís cheap. 

As to the OP, someone will want them for various purposes. Areas where you need light and some heat, they are very useful. We stocked up on 100watt incandescent bulbs for that reason. 


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Prairie Stash

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2019, 05:22:39 PM »
If you care about the environment, toss them, they might be functional but they aren't "good". Offloading obsolete money wasting technology is cruel, it hurts the person receiving them. The next person is going to lose money operating them, have you really helped them in the long term?

Even in Quebec, @Syonyk they waste money, LED's are cheaper to operate than Incandescents and have terrific payoff periods. The box will tell you the wattage of the LED (dimming reduces it). Incandescents always use more power/lumen.

Did you know that all the power not used by Quebecers can be sold to other parts of the continent such as New York, New England and Ontario? Its a source of revenue for the province, which is why they encourage conservation; so that they can make money off Americans. It seems smart to me, selling stuff to foreigners is a smart way to keep taxes low.
http://www.hydroquebec.com/international/en/exports/

if you follow Canadian politics its a major reason that Newfoundland wants out of the Churchill falls power deal, there's a lot of money to be made selling power south of the border.

Syonyk

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #20 on: September 04, 2019, 07:28:53 PM »
If the waste heat from the bulbs is just going to offset resistive heat, it's about a wash.  And if it's going to offset oil or natural gas heating with hydro power, it's probably a net win for emissions.

Just run 'em until they die, then replace them.  And keep some around for heat lamps in engine bays/chicken coops/etc.

tawyer

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2019, 10:16:57 AM »

If you plan to move anytime soon, save them for the new buyer. We will likely sell our townhouse in 3 yrs and we will backfill all of our fixtures with our old bulbs.

BJ

Holy crap that's cheap.
Nope, that's thrifty.  I have extra locks and cylinders from when I had them changed out so that when I move again, I'll just put the old ones back in.  No sense in my paying multiple times for the same service

Actually, it can range anywhere from "cheap" to "contract violation" depending on the nature of the sales contract.

Yup.  Those items could be considered fixtures and part of the real property.  Not personal property.  Window coverings, ceiling fans, etc are similar in that regard.  Could find yourself in a lawsuit because of lightbulbs. 

Plus thatís cheap. 

As to the OP, someone will want them for various purposes. Areas where you need light and some heat, they are very useful. We stocked up on 100watt incandescent bulbs for that reason. 


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If it's not part of the contract, then why not? Other comments in this thread have indicated that incandescent bulbs are not necessarily the environmental disaster that I thought they were, and that some people actually prefer them, so who knows what the new owner would prefer. Better than landfill.

Whenever one person calls another "cheap" for $X, I wonder if said person would give the other $X, since $X is of no significance to them...

affordablehousing

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #22 on: September 05, 2019, 10:42:12 AM »
now that Trump is rolling back lighting requirements why don't you send the box to him so he can keep his asshole warm and highly visible inefficiently!

bacchi

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #23 on: September 05, 2019, 10:58:51 AM »
now that Trump is rolling back lighting requirements why don't you send the box to him so he can keep his asshole warm and highly visible inefficiently!

Eh, this change is useless. No company is going to take the chance of Trump losing in a year and the rule being reinstated. Just like very few US companies are moving out of China -- it takes a lot of money to set up a factory in another country -- when the tariffs will likely be rolled back in 16 months.

RWD

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #24 on: September 05, 2019, 11:12:38 AM »
If it's not part of the contract, then why not? Other comments in this thread have indicated that incandescent bulbs are not necessarily the environmental disaster that I thought they were, and that some people actually prefer them, so who knows what the new owner would prefer. Better than landfill.

Whenever one person calls another "cheap" for $X, I wonder if said person would give the other $X, since $X is of no significance to them...

Why not go the extra step and just take all the light bulbs and leave empty fixtures? Save even a few extra bucks. I'm sure the buyer will be quite happy to choose the exact bulbs they like the most. /s

I am personally making this choice. We've spent around $250 on LED bulbs for our house and I plan to leave all of them. $250 is certainly of significance to me but not more important to me than maintaining a standard of ethics. Switching back to incandescents takes time and effort (it requires a very large ladder to reach the bulbs in our vaulted ceiling) and while it would save us some money it just passes that cost on to the next owner.

You may even get slightly higher offers on your house if you advertise that all the lighting has been converted to LED, so maybe it wouldn't be a financial loss at all to leave them behind.

tawyer

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #25 on: September 05, 2019, 11:39:25 AM »
If it's not part of the contract, then why not? Other comments in this thread have indicated that incandescent bulbs are not necessarily the environmental disaster that I thought they were, and that some people actually prefer them, so who knows what the new owner would prefer. Better than landfill.

Whenever one person calls another "cheap" for $X, I wonder if said person would give the other $X, since $X is of no significance to them...

Why not go the extra step and just take all the light bulbs and leave empty fixtures? Save even a few extra bucks. I'm sure the buyer will be quite happy to choose the exact bulbs they like the most. /s

I am personally making this choice. We've spent around $250 on LED bulbs for our house and I plan to leave all of them. $250 is certainly of significance to me but not more important to me than maintaining a standard of ethics. Switching back to incandescents takes time and effort (it requires a very large ladder to reach the bulbs in our vaulted ceiling) and while it would save us some money it just passes that cost on to the next owner.

You may even get slightly higher offers on your house if you advertise that all the lighting has been converted to LED, so maybe it wouldn't be a financial loss at all to leave them behind.

I don't see the purpose of snark tags, but it would be because the OP and responses indicated that they had lots of incandescent bulbs. Also, the nuances presented in other comments indicate that it might not be passing on costs, so there's no ethical issue here. Fair point about advertising the LED lighting though, I can see how that could increase the sale price by more than the cost of the bulbs.

affordablehousing

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #26 on: September 05, 2019, 11:56:54 AM »
My real gripe is with cool temperature bulbs. They make everything look like a hospital. I understand people need to help the environment and save money and stuff but there is nothing worse than a house with mixed color temperature bulbs. 2700 kelvin or bust, or at least don't invite anyone over to your house! In my book that's an automatic one star on Airbnb.

MilesTeg

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #27 on: September 05, 2019, 12:05:22 PM »
My real gripe is with cool temperature bulbs. They make everything look like a hospital. I understand people need to help the environment and save money and stuff but there is nothing worse than a house with mixed color temperature bulbs. 2700 kelvin or bust, or at least don't invite anyone over to your house! In my book that's an automatic one star on Airbnb.

Generally the higher the temperature, the better the light is for fine detail work, reading and other tasks. Cool temps are mood lighting =P

techwiz

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #28 on: September 05, 2019, 12:18:11 PM »
This question reminded me that I have a box of old bulbs in the basement that I should do something with from when we converted all our lights..... a year ago or has it been two?

They were still working so I didn't throw them out, but sitting in my basement taking up space it not a good solution either.

The suggestions to give them away is a good one, but only if being used for the heat source like one to be used to heat a chicken coop. I remember as a kid they had "Easybake" ovens with the 60 watt bulb used to cook the little cakes and things. Just think of the energy wasted in heat from all those bulbs.  LED blubs are so much better light and energy efficient I would hate to have older bulbs out there just wasting energy.
 
The arts and craft idea of the snowmen looked interesting.

Posting to follow and hopefully there will be more ideas and suggestions.
 

RWD

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #29 on: September 05, 2019, 12:20:02 PM »
I don't see the purpose of snark tags

/s  means "sarcasm", not "snark"

Syonyk

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #30 on: September 05, 2019, 12:21:44 PM »
My real gripe is with cool temperature bulbs. They make everything look like a hospital. I understand people need to help the environment and save money and stuff but there is nothing worse than a house with mixed color temperature bulbs. 2700 kelvin or bust, or at least don't invite anyone over to your house! In my book that's an automatic one star on Airbnb.

You can get the warmer LED bulbs, as well as the dimmable color shifting ones.

Our house is a mix - bedrooms are the warmer bulbs, the living room is dimmable warmer ones, the bathroom sink area is cooler/whiter bulbs, kitchen is whiter.  I certainly agree that all "white/blue" isn't a good mix for a home, but they have their utility in certain places.

solon

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #31 on: September 05, 2019, 01:44:34 PM »
My real gripe is with cool temperature bulbs. They make everything look like a hospital. I understand people need to help the environment and save money and stuff but there is nothing worse than a house with mixed color temperature bulbs. 2700 kelvin or bust, or at least don't invite anyone over to your house! In my book that's an automatic one star on Airbnb.

You can get the warmer LED bulbs, as well as the dimmable color shifting ones.

Our house is a mix - bedrooms are the warmer bulbs, the living room is dimmable warmer ones, the bathroom sink area is cooler/whiter bulbs, kitchen is whiter.  I certainly agree that all "white/blue" isn't a good mix for a home, but they have their utility in certain places.

Can you post a link to a dimmable color shifting bulb? That's new to me and I want to make sure I'm looking at the right thing.

And what does it do? As you dim the bulb, the light gets warmer?

Syonyk

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #32 on: September 05, 2019, 01:55:53 PM »
The ones I'm aware of are the Philips Warm Glow ones - and, yes, they red shift as they dim, just like an incandescent.

https://www.amazon.com/Philips-LED-Dimmable-White-Effect/dp/B00TZ905GQ

https://www.usa.lighting.philips.com/consumer/choose-a-bulb/warm-glow-dimmable-led-lighting

They don't turn that hideous greyish death color that a normal dimmable LED gets.

BlueHouse

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #33 on: September 05, 2019, 02:07:07 PM »
My real gripe is with cool temperature bulbs. They make everything look like a hospital. I understand people need to help the environment and save money and stuff but there is nothing worse than a house with mixed color temperature bulbs. 2700 kelvin or bust, or at least don't invite anyone over to your house! In my book that's an automatic one star on Airbnb.

You can get the warmer LED bulbs, as well as the dimmable color shifting ones.

Our house is a mix - bedrooms are the warmer bulbs, the living room is dimmable warmer ones, the bathroom sink area is cooler/whiter bulbs, kitchen is whiter.  I certainly agree that all "white/blue" isn't a good mix for a home, but they have their utility in certain places.

Can you post a link to a dimmable color shifting bulb? That's new to me and I want to make sure I'm looking at the right thing.

And what does it do? As you dim the bulb, the light gets warmer?
I have the Phillips Hue bulbs, so I can dim as much as I want, and I can also change color (not just dim from white).  I have mine set with themes (such as watch TV, Read, Dance Party, etc). and also hooked up with IFTTT to turn a single bulb on Blue when rain is forecasted.  For some reason, I can hear the forecast 1000 times, but I don't remember it, but when I walk out the front door in the morning, if that hall light is blue, I pick up an umbrella.  I love my Hue bulbs, but I don't want or need them everywhere.  The other advantage with these (or any smart bulb really) is that you can control a single fixture even when there are multiples on one circuit (recessed lights in TV room when one person wants to read). 

Syonyk

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #34 on: September 05, 2019, 02:25:56 PM »
The fully color changing ones are insanely expensive and the usual "smart thing" gaping security hole in your home's network.

The Warm Glow ones are only a dollar or so more than the normal dimmable LEDs.

Cadman

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #35 on: September 05, 2019, 04:53:39 PM »
LED bulbs are great, but they're not a panacea. Between solar power, cheap local rates, and living in the midwest where incandescents provide useful heat during the winter (and summer light lasts past 9PM so lights aren't really needed), I can't make LEDs pencil out.

Many people can, and more power to you!

But finances aside, there are some serious issues that (most) LED replacements currently have. Their switch-mode power supplies have difficulty starting in cold temps. I've watched our neighbors go through 5? 6? sets of replacement bulbs because they simply strobe in 0F weather. I tried a few brands myself and finally found one that works for our outside lights.

They are terrible RF emitters, blasting noise out onto the EM spectrum and messing with my radio reception (and digital OTA TV if bad enough).

The LED chips themselves are rated for 25k or 50k hours, but the assembly itself often doesn't last longer than a good quality incandescent because of cheap capacitors rated to 105C.  And when they do fail, the company is happy to cough up a free replacement. Great, now I'm responsible for the production of 2 LED units from some factory in China, oceanic transport, and disposal of the 'bad' one when my old incandescent I replaced was working just fine.*

Dimming. I love my dimmers, have them all over. I bring my kitchen halogens down at night and it looks/feels great. Color-shifting 'smart' bulbs are getting there, but you will always have a minimum v-cutoff and PWM noise. For that matter, I can't find a good 40W LED replacement to run at line voltage. They are ALL too bright. I finally gave up.

Reliability: A filament. That's it. No PCB, no solder joint fatigue, no Chinese cap failure or switch-mode ICs.

Safety: Many of these LED units should have a legitimate warning of 'burn base down only" but since they don't, they end up in can fixtures. Now the LED chip heat sink that's rejecting power is directly heating the PCB mounted above it. The components literally cook until 'something gives'. I took a failed unit apart recently that suffered this fate and it was blatantly obvious that the designers knew this was going to fail. They all were. The black scorch marks were not endearing, either.

Cost: Four US incandescents for $1. How can LEDs compete with that? They can't, and so the parts quality and the manufacturing quality suffer to try to get these as cheaply made as possible. Then it's a race to the bottom as the competition is doing the same thing. How many RFI parts can you cut before somebody notices? EU-bulbs? They've got rules. AFAIK, the FCC here in the US isn't too concerned.

Environmental Impact: An incandescent bulb is 100% recyclable. It's glass and some metal. An LED unit, OTOH, is technically electronic waste. You've got multiple types of plastic, adhesives, FR4 boards and misc passive components. The manufacturing footprint is larger, as is the transportation component. But hey, it uses less electricity, right? So we can pat ourselves on the back and try to not think about how they ended up on the shelf at the local Walmart.


To summarize:
Cold Weather Starting: +1 Incandescent
EMC Compatibility: +1 Incandescent
Dimming: +1 Incandescent
Life: +1 Incandescent
Reliability: +1 Incandescent
Safety: +1 Incandescent
Cost: +1 Incandescent
Environmental Impact: +1 Incandescent
Energy Usage in Application: +1 LED

I won't even get into those that collect incandescents, or use them as electrical loads for soft-starting old electronics, or using them to balance PV panels, or 100+ other uses where you can't use an LED bulb.

*Sunbeam brand incandescents and other Chinese-made house brands should be binned. Total crap. When you get 10 to a box you should figure something is up.

Prairie Stash

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #36 on: September 06, 2019, 06:05:14 PM »
LED bulbs are great, but they're not a panacea. Between solar power, cheap local rates, and living in the midwest where incandescents provide useful heat during the winter (and summer light lasts past 9PM so lights aren't really needed), I can't make LEDs pencil out.
An 60w incandescent, at $0.10/kwh is expected to cost $6 over its lifetime. A similar LED bulb is expected to use $1 over the same time frame.

A KW of electric is 3400 btu, so a 60w bulb supplies 200 btu/hr (roughly). At $0.10/kwh this is a 200btu for $0.006/hr of heat. Natural gas is about $4/mmBtu in the midwest; they peaked in 2006 at $15!. So 200 btu is worth about $0.0008. (in 2006 that was $0.003).

If you run an incandescent for 1000 hours just for the heat you get $6 of heating costs, the same BTU from natural gas is $0.80. I assume 100% of the heat from the bulb is useful, in the winter, and not wasted in the summer.

Total cost of an incandescent is $6, total cost of the LED and natural gas is $2 (I rounded up to account for furnace operation costs). Incandescent, when accounting for heat, are $4 more per bulb to operate.

An LED will last for roughly the same time as 25 incandescent bulbs...the replacement costs of those bulbs is ($0.25/bulb) a further $6. spread out over many years, a relatively trivial cost compared to the electric costs.

Over the lifetime of a single led bulb, it is expected to save $100 in electric costs (once gas offset is factored in) and the led cost of the bulb is $5?

Where did my math go wrong? please fix it with more accurate numbers. I'm not sure I follow how its cheaper to use incandescent bulbs?

That's why I think its cruel to give them to others, you're passing on an obsolete technology and an unwitting consumer will end up paying more for those "free" bulbs.

tawyer

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #37 on: September 06, 2019, 08:08:50 PM »
Piggybacking here: same question as OP, but for CFL bulbs. Does anybody have a different conclusion about what to do?

Mr. Green

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #38 on: September 06, 2019, 08:26:07 PM »
I initially read this as the OP had 27 flood lights on the outside of their house! "Dad, why do other kids talk about nighttime when there is no darkness here?"

bacchi

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #39 on: September 06, 2019, 09:53:12 PM »
Environmental Impact: An incandescent bulb is 100% recyclable. It's glass and some metal. An LED unit, OTOH, is technically electronic waste. You've got multiple types of plastic, adhesives, FR4 boards and misc passive components. The manufacturing footprint is larger, as is the transportation component. But hey, it uses less electricity, right? So we can pat ourselves on the back and try to not think about how they ended up on the shelf at the local Walmart.

It's called "life-cycle analysis" and it comes out in favor of the LEDs.

As for the LED problems, it sounds like you need to buy better quality ones. And buy ones that are rated for enclosed cans.

bacchi

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #40 on: September 06, 2019, 09:55:45 PM »
Piggybacking here: same question as OP, but for CFL bulbs. Does anybody have a different conclusion about what to do?

Use them or give them away. Old ones are comparable to older LEDs and are still way better to use than incandescents for most of us.

Omy

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #41 on: September 07, 2019, 08:36:03 AM »
I initially read this as the OP had 27 flood lights on the outside of their house! "Dad, why do other kids talk about nighttime when there is no darkness here?"

LMAO!

Cadman

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #42 on: September 07, 2019, 02:06:25 PM »
LED bulbs are great, but they're not a panacea. Between solar power, cheap local rates, and living in the midwest where incandescents provide useful heat during the winter (and summer light lasts past 9PM so lights aren't really needed), I can't make LEDs pencil out.
An 60w incandescent, at $0.10/kwh is expected to cost $6 over its lifetime. A similar LED bulb is expected to use $1 over the same time frame.

A KW of electric is 3400 btu, so a 60w bulb supplies 200 btu/hr (roughly). At $0.10/kwh this is a 200btu for $0.006/hr of heat. Natural gas is about $4/mmBtu in the midwest; they peaked in 2006 at $15!. So 200 btu is worth about $0.0008. (in 2006 that was $0.003).

If you run an incandescent for 1000 hours just for the heat you get $6 of heating costs, the same BTU from natural gas is $0.80. I assume 100% of the heat from the bulb is useful, in the winter, and not wasted in the summer.

Total cost of an incandescent is $6, total cost of the LED and natural gas is $2 (I rounded up to account for furnace operation costs). Incandescent, when accounting for heat, are $4 more per bulb to operate.

An LED will last for roughly the same time as 25 incandescent bulbs...the replacement costs of those bulbs is ($0.25/bulb) a further $6. spread out over many years, a relatively trivial cost compared to the electric costs.

Over the lifetime of a single led bulb, it is expected to save $100 in electric costs (once gas offset is factored in) and the led cost of the bulb is $5?

Where did my math go wrong? please fix it with more accurate numbers. I'm not sure I follow how its cheaper to use incandescent bulbs?

That's why I think its cruel to give them to others, you're passing on an obsolete technology and an unwitting consumer will end up paying more for those "free" bulbs.

Prairie Stash, the reason they don't pencil out for me is twofold. We heat with electricity and we have a 10kw solar array so operating cost is nil. So I'm looking at $5/LED for decent dimmable units versus, well, just about free for incandescents.

To my point above about LED life, see my note about the electrolytic caps. 50x life is all marketing. Crack open many popular units today and you'll find a 105C cap rated at 2000 hours. For every 10C reduction you can double the cap's life, but many of these are running in the 100C range which means on average, they last as long as two of my old bulbs.

As I said, I'm not against them, and they're definitely cheaper to run for most, but they really are lousy in most every other aspect.

bacchi

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #43 on: September 07, 2019, 04:08:56 PM »
Prairie Stash, the reason they don't pencil out for me is twofold. We heat with electricity and we have a 10kw solar array so operating cost is nil. So I'm looking at $5/LED for decent dimmable units versus, well, just about free for incandescents.

Damn, you could've gotten a smaller array if you switched to LEDs!

Quote
To my point above about LED life, see my note about the electrolytic caps. 50x life is all marketing. Crack open many popular units today and you'll find a 105C cap rated at 2000 hours. For every 10C reduction you can double the cap's life, but many of these are running in the 100C range which means on average, they last as long as two of my old bulbs.

If you get Cree bulbs from the Orange Box, they have 130C caps. So do Feits. You'll also notice, if you take one apart, that the hot components are separate from the heat sensitive components. This allows the internal temperature at the cap, in normal operating conditions (e.g., inside a house), to remain below 95C, which is where the 25k hours lifespan is derived from.

I haven't had a can-enclosed rated LED fail but I suspect that they use a 130C cap that's rated higher than 2000 hours. The cost is minimal for such an upgrade, which is why we're not paying $25 for can-enclosed rated PAR30 bulbs.

Cadman

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #44 on: September 07, 2019, 05:49:57 PM »
Smaller array? Naw, I'm a huge power consumer. Drop in the bucket : ) 

Good to know about the orange-box Crees. Unfortunately, John Q. Public wouldn't know an electrolytic from a tantalum, and is really just looking for the cheapest replacement he can get out the door. As an engineer, I have a problem with what's being put on the shelves because it's garbage. If I could find decent indoor LEDs (I've tried) that meet my criteria in my OP, the first thing I'd do is submit a Digikey order and void the warranty.

For outdoor, I was able to locate some Feits (I ran a few A/B/C tests out here) that are indistinguishable from incandescent and their switchers will actually fire below 0F. So far I've had good luck with them.

Radagast

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #45 on: September 07, 2019, 11:23:16 PM »
I decided by far the best use for most of mine was as landfill. I did put three over the bathroom mirror to speed up defogging. But when they die, LED forever.

I never replace CFLs unless they die, which has happened exactly once. I have tended to put them in bedrooms or similar places where starting off very dim might be a good thing, easier on the eyes.

dragoncar

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Re: What should I do with used incandescent light bulbs?
« Reply #46 on: September 08, 2019, 01:03:09 AM »

If you plan to move anytime soon, save them for the new buyer. We will likely sell our townhouse in 3 yrs and we will backfill all of our fixtures with our old bulbs.

BJ

Holy crap that's cheap.

Haha, yeah I wouldn't do that w/ incandescent but I've got some bulbs I paid $10 for the amazing CRI and I'm going to swap them out w/ $1-2 LED bulbs.  If you are worried about the purchase contract, just swap them out before listing the house.  That way nobody is deceived.

And yeah, give them away or list them on ebay.  There are plenty of people like cadman who will pay a nice premium for the old-school stuff or at least be ecstatic that they got it for free.  I think there are legit uses for lights that also put out heat.  Reptile lights.  Easy bake ovens.  Etc. and so forth.

I do agree with cadman about the downsides of LEDs.  They have gotten quite good and cheap, so they do pen out for me financially, but I'm unhappy with the failures on the driver circuitry side.  Haven't seen significant diode failure, but those PAR lights do get hot in those cans and the drivers do NOT like that.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2019, 01:04:43 AM by dragoncar »