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THE Lighting Thread (merged)

How to save energy through both societal and individual actions.

Re: I want to import LED lights

Unread postby WatchfulEye » Mon 21 Jan 2008, 19:14:19

I bought one as a test - It was a 'GU10' fitting, so a direct replacement for mains-voltage dichroic halogens.

It was a 1 W, compared to 35 W for the halogens - it was also about 3 times the price.

In short, it's dire. I mean, it's a complete and total waste of money.

The light output is miniscule - yes, it uses 3% of the energy, but it produces about 4% of the light. Instead of producing a nice 'flood' of light like the halogen, it produces a 'pencil' beam which projects a tiny bright spot of light (like a flashlight).

The color is terrible. They are a vile ice blue. Colors of food, skin, flowers, clothes, decorations, etc. are hideously distorted, with skin taking on a ghastly greenish hue. Food looks awful, although I suppose they might be quite useful as a way to lose weight!

They flicker - badly. Worse than old-style fluorescent striplights.

I suppose they might be useful for task lighting - e.g. desk lamps. But even then, you couldn't use them for visual arts because they make colors look so distorted.

Compact fluorescents are light-years ahead. CFLs don't flicker at all (unless you get cheap junk), and produce a reasonably warmish light similar to normal incandescent. CFL colors are inaccurate compared to halogen, but are miles better than LED - CFL light tends to mute reds, wheras LED tends to enhance turquoises and blues making things look very unnatural.
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Re: I want to import LED lights

Unread postby vision-master » Mon 21 Jan 2008, 19:33:51

The color is terrible. They are a vile ice blue. Colors of food, skin, flowers, clothes, decorations, etc. are hideously distorted, with skin taking on a ghastly greenish hue. Food looks awful, although I suppose they might be quite useful as a way to lose weight!


I run some LED string lights against some lower walls behind funiture and such and they work pretty good as accent lighting. You can stumble around pretty good with them on after downing a few mixers.

Also, I found this LED table lamp at a discount store for $15 and yes, it has a vile ice blue color to it. I don't use it.
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Re: I want to import LED lights

Unread postby mistel » Thu 24 Jan 2008, 00:47:12

Thanks for the replies.

I bought a few different types off Ebay from China. They were cheap, I suspect they will be crappy.
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Re: I want to import LED lights

Unread postby mistel » Sat 09 Feb 2008, 22:52:00

Well I got the LED lights and they are a little disappointing. It is like WatchfulEye describes, kind of a cool blue light. I actually don't mind the color so much, and the 48 LED GU10 are not that bad. I would guess they are about 1/2 the brightness of the halogens that they replaced. I could live with them. The 18 LED regular base lights are pretty bad. They are really dim. I am not sure what they could be good for, maybe for outside lights where you don't really need a light but just need a marker of some sort, like at the end of a driveway?
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Re: I want to import LED lights

Unread postby WisJim » Sat 09 Feb 2008, 23:28:25

I have bought a number of LED lights that fit regular 110 volt fixtures, mostly from http://www.superbrightleds.com/edison.html Some of them are the sickly ice blue color, which is okay for a night light etc., but not for a regular light or reading light. However, they do have some that are a nice "yellower" kind of loight, but so far they don't offer the practical style of multi-LED bulbs in the "yellower" colors.

I have a Model E27-W57 that has 57 LEDs and uses only a few watts (they say 5.5 but my meter says less), and it covers quite a reasonable area, but it is the bluish color that people don't seem to like. I think we have some E27-WLX-1W which is a 1 watt warm white LED that is a much nicer color, but it is a very concentrated spot. Use it in the shop on a light on an arm for lighting up detail work--and it is the most expensive of the ones we tried. The E27-x24 LED was only $10 or $11 in the "white" color--bluish again--and works for a wall light in a ceiling fixture that is on a lot of hours. We are always trying different types of efficient lighting, but haven't been real happy with the LED bulbs for house lighting most of the time. They are great in flashlights, though.

A thought about prices. When we started using CFLs about 20 years ago, they were in the $15 price range, which would be equivelant to $30 or $40 now, I think, and I figured that they still paid for themselves in energy and bulbs saved. Now they are usually available for $2 or $3 (CFLs I mean), and are hard to beat. I think that LEDs will be constantly improving, and prices will keep dropping. Keep checking them out.
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Re: I want to import LED lights

Unread postby SpringCreekFarm » Sun 10 Feb 2008, 09:58:44

I'm just curious whether any of those CF lights are still going after 20 years.
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Re: I want to import LED lights

Unread postby mistel » Sun 10 Feb 2008, 11:06:01

Hopefully people will keep buying these LED's. They are really just a work in progress at this point. Eventually, some company will come up with a good design that works well and can be mass produced cheaply. Then they will take off.
The LED's I ordered just 2 months ago have been changed from 18 to 27 LED's. Eventually they will get it right.
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Re: I want to import LED lights

Unread postby WisJim » Mon 11 Feb 2008, 14:10:38

SpringCreekFarm wrote:I'm just curious whether any of those CF lights are still going after 20 years.


I think that the first one, in the kitchen ceiling, was still going strong after 8 or 9 years, then we did some house remodeling and the bulb got put out in the barn where it isn't used much. I don't even know for sure which one it is anymore. Today there is such a wide range of quality and countries of origin, that I am not sure what to recommend for long life any more.
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Re: I want to import LED lights

Unread postby jedinvest » Mon 11 Feb 2008, 17:54:37

I use about a 50/50 mix of CFLs and incandescent around the house. I often mix incandescent and CFL in one fixture if I can so they even out each other's weaknesses.

I must admit the 100-watt equivalent CFLs are a great energy saver and good for the workbench for sure. Some have lasted a long time in certain fixtures -- possibly the ones I've paid more for, but I loose track after a while of which one I bought for how much.

Some are pretty crappy, take a long time to turn on, die a premature life, even catch on fire -- one time! It's important to put them withing fixtures with non-combustible glass. I am still looking for appropriate fixtures in some cases.

LEDs are ghastly: I still have a bunch of Christmas lights that no one likes. Always get colored bulbs as the imitation white lights give a death-like unrealism to everything.
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Re: I want to import LED lights

Unread postby Revi » Mon 11 Feb 2008, 18:05:27

We have LED lights in our solar back up light system. I figure that they will get us around the house without candles if something happens. They don't cast a very bright light, but they will be on for 50 years, so that's ok. We also have a few sockets to plug in a radio or charge a cell phone. I like the fact that they only draw .18 milliamps, so they won't tax the batteries at all, even though we never turn them off.

They aren't the bright lights, but they will look pretty good if we have no grid electricity.
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Re: I want to import LED lights

Unread postby efarmer » Mon 11 Feb 2008, 21:52:54

[align=justify]LED lights are work in progress at this point. Most of the units available that are affordable look blue because they are blue to start with. The red, and green, and amber, and then dim blue, and finally bright blue LED lights came in evolution over the last few decades. The trick with first generation white LED units is based on TV tube technology based on phosphors. (These are the red, green and blue dots that make up the image on a TV tube image.) They put a yellow phosphor inside a blue producing LED and this is how you get a bluish white light from it. This is also used in fluorescent light technology, but in fluorescent lights, the mercury vapor in the lamp tube gives off ultraviolet (black light) and the powder coating inside the tube contains a mix of red, green, and blue phosphors to shift the ultraviolet to a visible light. By doctoring the red, green blue mix the factory makes warm white, daylight, cool white, etc. types of bulbs. The geek term for this is color temperature, in this case actually it's equivalent since nothing is really getting white hot inside the LED or fluorescent tube.

Having said that mouthful, there are large projects underway to make large scale ultraviolet LED units with red , green, and blue phosphors that will be bona fide fluorescent lamp replacements with 10 years of better lives and great efficiency. This time is not very far off, and is being actively pursued in Japan, with hopes to mandate all of their office lighting to go LED when it is ready and in production. When this happens the bluish white LED products will be much less valued or desired.

Many designs that run the units on AC allow them to go off at line cycle zero crossing (the frequency that your AC power system uses, 50 or 60 times per seond in most places) but this is easily remedied so they have almost no flicker capability. This is important for lighting, but even more so if you are taking video images or viewing images on scanned video displays, where lighting flicker mixes with frame rates and makes bizarre effects. As long as normal things hold up, being an importer of these puts you toe to toe with people who buy them by the container (those big metal boxes you see on flat train cars and cargo ships from Asia). I personally would go lean on them beyond emergency lighting or personal portable lamps.
Shanny, the bright red LED flashlights are great for astronomy since you can illuminate around your area and your night vision is immediately restored where you left it when the LED goes dark.
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Re: I want to import LED lights

Unread postby eric_b » Tue 19 Feb 2008, 20:50:15

I'm not familiar with many 'plug-in' LED fixtures.

White LEDs are still relatively new. In the past few years the efficiency has increased to the point where LEDs are now slightly more efficient than most fluorescent fixtures. CREE semiconductors latest white LED offerings (xlamp, xre) are of a higher caliber than the older 5mm LEDs. These white LEDs have a lifespan of over 50,000 hours and in the best cases you get a clean, elegant white light.

(cree's site) link
(seoul semiconductor) link

To get a white light these LEDs combine a blue LED with a scintillator (like a phosphor) which creates the rest of the spectrum (green thru red). The problem is variances between each batch of LEDs and the scintillator used means the tint of each LED is a little different. Because of these tint variances each LED is graded, or 'bined'. Higher grade LEDs will have the purest white and they are also the most efficient (create the most light for a given amount of power). Cheap, poor quality white LEDs often have hideous tints (purple, green, blue) which make them unsuitable for indoor lighting, IMO.

These new LEDs create of lot light from a very small package - the die is just a few mm per side. You might get over 100 lumens from one of these LEDs. This isn't bad - a hundred watt incandescent light bulb puts out 1800-2000 lumens for comparison. So to get a lot of light from an indoor fixture you're going to need multiple LEDs. You also want a decent current regulating power supply. Some power supplies used in flashlights use PWM which means the light flickers at high frequecies.

It's still cheaper to use CFLs, fluorescents and high wattage discharge bulbs if you need a lot of light indoors... however I'd expect to see an increasing number of LEDs for mainstream use in the next 10 years. Once the quality of the light is improved, along with increased efficiencies, and LEDs may well come to dominate all lighting.

However there's one area these new LEDs really shine in. Flashlights. The benefits of the LED - very efficient (long run times), tough, small size & long life. These newer LED flashlights should be part of any bugout/survival kit.

Here are the three premium LED lights I own: (800x600 pic) jpg

All of these lights use the new Cree xre/xlamp LEDs. From left to right, the Fenix L2D, Fenix L1D, cr2 ion.

The L2D runs off 2 AA batteries. It has several brightness levels. The low setting (around 10 lumens) lasts for over 55 hours! (over two days). These lights are regulated to supply a constant level of light until the batteries are nearly dead. The low setting supplies enough light to read, navigate and do most chores up close. The L1D lasts over 25 hours on low, and ion is close to 35 hours of light on its low setting. Combine these with rechargeable batteries and a solar charger and you'll always have light. I've been using the L2D as a lamp on my computer desk for the past year. I set to its medium setting (around 50 lumens for 9 hours) and stand it on end pointing towards the ceiling.

You can get these lights here: link
-or- link and link

My recommendation is to stick with the new Cree and Seoul (which uses the cree die) white LEDs - these are a big step up over previous generations, especially 5 mm LEDs. They should last nearly forever.

Comparison of Cree and Luxeon Rebel LEDs. The cree (on the leftm L2D) has a cooler, bluer white, compared to the warmer tinted Luxon (in the L1D): jpg

Few more pics. Close up of the ion finger light: link

On low the ion has a runtime of well over 30 hours. The lithium primary battery has a 10 year shelf life and works in weather extremes (including cold) that would kill an alkaline battery. It supplies enough light to navigate a dark trail or read a book, and the output is very smooth (flood) with no annoying hotspot - perfect for up close work. In the image below I'm using it as a reading light suspended about 20" above the books (low setting): link

If you are looking for more information on LEDs, try the candlepower forums: link
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Re: I want to import LED lights

Unread postby BillPeakOil » Mon 17 Mar 2008, 12:23:45

Thanks WatchfulEye,

That's good to know the LED technology isn't good enough yet. I knew they were expensive and was wondering if I should try some. I think I'll wait now!
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Re: I want to import LED lights

Unread postby luxlighting » Tue 15 Apr 2008, 23:27:24

Led bulbs like other lamps .have quality one ,have fake one ,if you learn led well ,it will be better for you to find an excellent bulbs .
Some Led will very bad ,and chip size at 12mil .its light is so poor .and quality is not so stable .may some sales advertise can light 50,000 hours .actually when light 10 hours continuous .it will become very dark .
So All led bulbs should choose excellent led chip .and solve its heat .that is very important .Not you buy one poor lamp ,and then think all led bulbs are bad .
We usually use three kinds of chip :
For Power led bulb ; 1. CREE XR-E XLAMPS ( That will approve quality from CREE company.but very expensive ) .
2.WeiTian chip ( 90-100Lumens/W similar to CREE .but price is very competitive .So usually we introduce these bulbs to our customers .in our MR16 ,GU10 ,JDRE27 ,E14,PAR20 ,PAR30 ,PAR38 bulbs ) .
3.Use Luxeon chip 50-60Lumens/W ) .A MR16 3*1W can substitute 50W incandescent bulbs .Also can charged by solar electricity.
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Re: I want to import LED lights

Unread postby GeoUSA » Tue 27 May 2008, 14:57:22

I haven't noticed anyone mention the terms "warm white" in this thread on LEDs. Warm white LEDs are the new generation that produce a light much more like traditional household lights.

I had already replaced every bulb with a CF that would accept one. What remained were 3 halogen track lights. A handful of vendors in Asia are starting to sell warm white LED bulbs on eBay with high shipping costs. I recently discovered a good wholesaler in California ( www.ledwholesalers.com ). I ordered and placed 2 warm white LED 2 watt GU10 bulbs in one fixture. This reduced the consumption by 36 watts and is nearly as bright and warm. For the other 2 halogen fixtures I installed one MR16 2 watt LED bulb in each. With some MR16 fixtures you have to take care to not lower the wattage use too much or you can overstress the bulbs.

I have since replaced several CF bulbs with warm white LED screw in bulbs. Newer LED bulbs have a wider viewing angle and the absolute best (and most expensive) warm white LED bulbs use surface mount technology. These have 170 degree or better viewing angle.

I agree with others who say LED bulbs are a work in progress. My first generation CF bulbs (straight and without the corkscrew shape were also not ideal). My first experience with warm white LED bulbs were several sets of holiday lights for the tree.
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Re: THE Lighting Thread (merged)

Unread postby Narz » Mon 04 Aug 2008, 11:54:07

Costco now has some really nice "accent lighting" LED's (four circular 2.5 Watt each lights) for around $20 after tax. 10 watts of total light doesn't sound like much but via LED it's excellent. Good enough for reading, lighting up a whole room, pretty much anything except stuff like finding small items under a dresser or something. My girlfriend & infant daughter like it. They're a nice pure-white color too, not blue at all.
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Re: THE Lighting Thread (merged)

Unread postby mrobert » Mon 04 Aug 2008, 12:01:25

@luxlighting: I love you man. We need 1 more billion like you an we are saved :)
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Re: THE Lighting Thread (merged)

Unread postby phaster » Wed 06 Aug 2008, 01:13:45

I just ordered a: Waterproof IP 65 PAR-38 LED Bulb 21-Watt
Image

I'm all in favor of LED bulbs for my house and my various rental properties, because if they work as advertised the cost over the long run is the least expensive option.

I'm going to try the various color temp (3000K, 4000K and 5000K), to see which one I like the most, any one else have an opinion about this line of LED lights? link

UPDATE Aug 15, 2008: Been playing aound with the bulb for a few days now and thought I'd report my initial thoughts.

Basically LED bulbs IMHO are still a work in progress.

I'm using the 3000k 21 watt par 38 bulb as a replacement for my desk lamp and the light intensity is very very bright! Having said that the light intensity is very columnated (and i'm using the 120 degree bulb).

The initial plan was to put these LED bulbs in a solartube (which is a combination skylight with a built in light bulb), I'm currently using 27 Watt CFL and wanted to replace it with the 21 watt LED. Think I'll hold off for a while.

The pro's of the LED are it seems brighter, and uses less power, and it turns on and reaches full brightess as soon as I flip the switch. According to the specs the LED light bulb should last 10 times as long (80,000 hours vs 8,000 hours) but I'm sure those values are calculated "under optimum conditions"

The major drawback I see aside from the narrow beam (which might be taken care of with a well designed light diffuser), is the weight of the LED bulb itself, best guess it feels like its about 5 times the weight of the CFL (basically the LED bulb has lots of metal around it for a heat sink from the AC to DC transformer). I also kinda hear a slight hum from the bulb, so for now I think I use the LED bulb where I can keep an eye (and ear - there is a slight kinda annoying hum from the built in transformer) on the bulb for a while...
I'm 100% sure that unsustainable conspicuous consumption & economic mismanagement will result with a proverbial hell on earth! But the damage can be reversed if we acknowledge the problem, then use the scientific method to fix the problem.
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Re: THE Lighting Thread (merged)

Unread postby kiwichick » Tue 19 Aug 2008, 20:32:11

this may be of interest[email]wwwbluglass.com.au[/email]
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Re: THE Lighting Thread (merged)

Unread postby phaster » Wed 12 Nov 2008, 01:18:49

ya know you're a light bulb geek when: ya see a light bulb at a store and ya buy it just to see how bright it is!

the other day had to pick up some garden stuff at home depot and this item caught my eye

http://www.goodmart.com/products/537162.htm

this was the biggest Compact Fluorescent twist bulb I've ever seen (9.5 high and 4.5 inches in diameter), thought I'd buy two of them to try out and they sure are BRIGHT!

2700 K
4200 lumens
10,000 hours MTBF
68 watt power consumption

and the home depot price $14.97
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