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Posted: 8/10/2011 9:04:45 AM EDT
I am looking to change over my lights to more efficient bulbs.

I have a number of them that are on dimmers in various applications
(Bathroom, bedroom, Dining room, living room track light, outside light).

The LED bulbs look interesting because they appear  to use
less power and produce less heat (though they are a bit pricier).


Has anyone here switched over to them and is able to give me some
info as to do I need to replace my dimmers, what brands are better, etc.


Thank you
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 1:31:07 PM EDT
IMHO, they have not hit the tipping point in terms of cost/benefit.  I have only two of them, one in my youngest daughters lamp which stays on 24/7.  The other is in my reading lamp, right next to my bed and the LED doesn't heat up so much so it is more comfortable.



Been thinking about others, especially for the main rooms of the house where the CFL's fail at higher rates than they should (one fails almost yearly).  



Almost forgot, got some accent lights upstairs that are not yet set up, but they cost about $50 and I still need another $20 worth of them to finish it up.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 5:37:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/10/2011 5:37:52 PM EDT by Mr_Harry]
Originally Posted By Jame_Retief:
IMHO, they have not hit the tipping point in terms of cost/benefit.  I have only two of them, one in my youngest daughters lamp which stays on 24/7.  The other is in my reading lamp, right next to my bed and the LED doesn't heat up so much so it is more comfortable.

Been thinking about others, especially for the main rooms of the house where the CFL's fail at higher rates than they should (one fails almost yearly).  

Almost forgot, got some accent lights upstairs that are not yet set up, but they cost about $50 and I still need another $20 worth of them to finish it up.




Thank you

Anyone know if they require "Special" dimmers


Link Posted: 8/10/2011 5:41:17 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Mr_Harry:
Originally Posted By Jame_Retief:
IMHO, they have not hit the tipping point in terms of cost/benefit.  I have only two of them, one in my youngest daughters lamp which stays on 24/7.  The other is in my reading lamp, right next to my bed and the LED doesn't heat up so much so it is more comfortable.

Been thinking about others, especially for the main rooms of the house where the CFL's fail at higher rates than they should (one fails almost yearly).  

Almost forgot, got some accent lights upstairs that are not yet set up, but they cost about $50 and I still need another $20 worth of them to finish it up.




Thank you

Anyone know if they require "Special" dimmers




You need to get dimmable bulbs, they are available.  

Link Posted: 8/10/2011 5:47:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/10/2011 5:52:19 PM EDT by AZ_Sky]
I'm in the industry and I've been holding off on this new fangled lighting.
I have absolutely no use for cfl's - I'm waiting for LED technology to emerge and I think it finally has.
These are somewhat expensive but I'm going to purchase a couple of these to see how they work:

http://www.switchlightbulbs.com/

ETA: Review - http://www.slate.com/id/2298444/
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 5:49:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/10/2011 5:54:16 PM EDT by Foxxz]
I have been experimenting with LED bulbs for a while I like these the best





http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202668646/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053





60w equivalent output (850 lumens). About 12w draw. They throw light in all directions. Turn on instantly. And they dim without special dimmers. I replaced 6x 60w bulbs I keep on the most in my house. I noticed about a $20/m decrease in my bill. Plus it doesn't heat up my room.

They have a 950 lumen bulb that throws out a cooler whiter light. Its not warm (yellowish) like a normal bulb.
http://www.homedepot.com/Electrical-Light-Bulbs-LED/Philips/h_d1/N-5yc1vZbm79Z15b/R-202530170/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053



I also like these. They dim a little better. But they take about half a second to come on after flicking the switch. This bulb throws out a really warm (yellowish) light I can not distinguish from a normal incandescent.



Both bulbs are full brightness right away. No warm up.
-Foxxz

 
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 5:49:42 PM EDT
i hope you have several hundred dollars. it's not worth i right now, prices are still too high compared to the actually savings you might get. go CFL instead.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 5:52:41 PM EDT
Originally Posted By armoredsaint:
i hope you have several hundred dollars. it's not worth i right now, prices are still too high compared to the actually savings you might get. go CFL instead.


+1
LEDs will come around, they'll get cheaper, then it'll be worth it, but at $15-20 per bulb, not yet.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 7:35:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/10/2011 9:09:44 PM EDT by Skibane]
Originally Posted By Mr_Harry:
I am looking to change over my lights to more efficient bulbs.


If you're using compact florescent bulbs, you're already where you should be.

Many of the LED bulbs currently on the market are less efficient than their 2-dollar CF counterparts - i.e., they produce fewer lumens of light per watt of power consumed. Also, it's almost impossible to find a LED bulb with a good color spectrum - Most of them look like the florescent tubes of 50 years ago: cold and ghastly.

There are a few niche applications where these disadvantages can be overlooked - But for most residential lighting purposes, CF (or even halogen incandescent) is still the way to go.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 7:42:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/10/2011 7:44:46 PM EDT by Palm]
I just put in a test bed of LED lights in a 500 sqft room.  It is in a commercial facility.  They work great, but the manufacture representative (for one of the top 3 lighting manufactures) told me that practical residential applications are 3 to 5 years out.  It is starting to work for commercial facilities because they leave their lights on for longer periods of time, therefore shorting the pay back period.

BTW: the lumens per watt issue and color spectrum have been address in the latest generation of LED lamps.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 7:51:41 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 8:06:00 PM EDT




I'm sorry, but when did the idea of saving a nickel's worth of "efficiency" to justify spending more dollars exponentially become such a fad?
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:13:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/10/2011 9:15:16 PM EDT by Skibane]
Originally Posted By Palm:
BTW: the lumens per watt issue and color spectrum have been address in the latest generation of LED lamps.


Yes, some of the latest discreet LEDs have decent efficiency and color fidelity - but few of them have found their way into bulbs you can buy on the consumer market yet. Most of the stuff currently available at your local Home Depot is still pretty crappy.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:16:32 PM EDT
Originally Posted By futuremodal:


I'm sorry, but when did the idea of saving a nickel's worth of "efficiency" to justify spending more dollars exponentially become such a fad?


Have you done the math?
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:18:46 PM EDT



Originally Posted By futuremodal:






I'm sorry, but when did the idea of saving a nickel's worth of "efficiency" to justify spending more dollars exponentially become such a fad?


It's more than a nickel. We put $80 worth of CFL's in our house and the electric bill dropped by about $25 a month. That was about 10 months ago and none have died yet.

 
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:47:59 PM EDT
I say wait. Cree is pumping out new LEDs faster than you can say "my crappy CFL burned out", and soon enough they will release a cheap high CRI LED in the hundreds of lumens per watt range. Right now we are in the 200lm+/W range for production LEDs, which is almost the maximum physically possible for a white light source.

Plus, they are very expensive right now.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:57:54 PM EDT
You know how when you shop for fancy loudspeakers, you would look at an audio frequency graph (spectrum) to see how "flat" it is? Well, look at the light frequency analysis graph for fluorescent or LED lights and you will know why they suck.
Link Posted: 8/11/2011 5:58:26 PM EDT
If you just want to try one Lowes is/was running a sale on some last week.

$12 locally for a "bulb" that fit in a standard lamp socket. I bought one just to see how it works.

I prefer the LED light over CFLs. Not as harsh. When the price of these things drops to around $4-5 each I may just start converting.
Link Posted: 8/11/2011 6:42:13 PM EDT




Originally Posted By SuperSixOne:





Originally Posted By futuremodal:





I'm sorry, but when did the idea of saving a nickel's worth of "efficiency" to justify spending more dollars exponentially become such a fad?


It's more than a nickel. We put $80 worth of CFL's in our house and the electric bill dropped by about $25 a month. That was about 10 months ago and none have died yet.


1.  LED's are more costly than CFL's.

2.  Your anecdote is anecdotal.

Link Posted: 8/11/2011 6:46:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/11/2011 6:53:14 PM EDT by itstock]
Wait 3 years.  You will thank me.  

If you are looking to put them in to a business/commercial building that runs 24/7, they are worth it now.  Unfortunately, for residential use, they don't live up to the lifespans suggested and they are still too pricey.

Color rendering sucks
glare sucks (though this isn't an issue with most fixtures)
light spread sucks
color temperature sucks

They just aren't ideal for consumer use....YET.  IF you are buying now, CREE and ELite  products are the only two I would purchase.

(Electrical Contractor...not trying to up-sell customers on a product that isn't there yet)

Link Posted: 8/11/2011 6:51:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/11/2011 6:51:44 PM EDT by itstock]
Originally Posted By Mr_Harry:
Originally Posted By Jame_Retief:
IMHO, they have not hit the tipping point in terms of cost/benefit.  I have only two of them, one in my youngest daughters lamp which stays on 24/7.  The other is in my reading lamp, right next to my bed and the LED doesn't heat up so much so it is more comfortable.

Been thinking about others, especially for the main rooms of the house where the CFL's fail at higher rates than they should (one fails almost yearly).  

Almost forgot, got some accent lights upstairs that are not yet set up, but they cost about $50 and I still need another $20 worth of them to finish it up.




Thank you

Anyone know if they require "Special" dimmers




Some do, some don't.  Some dim, some don't.

It's really that simple.  There are plenty of companies that make cfl/led friendly dimmers, which limit the low end of dimming.  What happens when you put some of the bulbs on a non-special dimmer is that they flicker when dimmed all of the way down.  The "special" dimmers are within a percent or two of regular dimmers, so instead of $20, you spend $22.
Link Posted: 8/11/2011 7:02:35 PM EDT



Originally Posted By itstock:



Originally Posted By Mr_Harry:


Originally Posted By Jame_Retief:

IMHO, they have not hit the tipping point in terms of cost/benefit.  I have only two of them, one in my youngest daughters lamp which stays on 24/7.  The other is in my reading lamp, right next to my bed and the LED doesn't heat up so much so it is more comfortable.



Been thinking about others, especially for the main rooms of the house where the CFL's fail at higher rates than they should (one fails almost yearly).  



Almost forgot, got some accent lights upstairs that are not yet set up, but they cost about $50 and I still need another $20 worth of them to finish it up.

Thank you



Anyone know if they require "Special" dimmers









Some do, some don't.  Some dim, some don't.



It's really that simple.  There are plenty of companies that make cfl/led friendly dimmers, which limit the low end of dimming.  What happens when you put some of the bulbs on a non-special dimmer is that they flicker when dimmed all of the way down.  The "special" dimmers are within a percent or two of regular dimmers, so instead of $20, you spend $22.


I noticed that Lowes had a special display of LED dimmers out last time I was in there.



 
Link Posted: 8/11/2011 7:08:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/11/2011 7:15:21 PM EDT by Fast_Jimmy]
Originally Posted By AZ_Sky:
I'm in the industry and I've been holding off on this new fangled lighting.
I have absolutely no use for cfl's - I'm waiting for LED technology to emerge and I think it finally has.
These are somewhat expensive but I'm going to purchase a couple of these to see how they work:

http://www.switchlightbulbs.com/

ETA: Review - http://www.slate.com/id/2298444/


Interesting that you have no use for CFL's despite being 'in the industry'.  I'm in the 'industry' , too, and we save thousands of dollars a year with them.

ETA:  It would be nice if the people at SWITCH bothered to put power consumption in their breathless presentation of their products.  The lumens are on par with incandescents and weaker CFL's, but don't you think power consumption would be a useful bit of info for an energy saving product?
Link Posted: 8/11/2011 7:30:56 PM EDT



Originally Posted By Fast_Jimmy:



Originally Posted By AZ_Sky:

I'm in the industry and I've been holding off on this new fangled lighting.

I have absolutely no use for cfl's - I'm waiting for LED technology to emerge and I think it finally has.

These are somewhat expensive but I'm going to purchase a couple of these to see how they work:



http://www.switchlightbulbs.com/



ETA: Review - http://www.slate.com/id/2298444/




Interesting that you have no use for CFL's despite being 'in the industry'.  I'm in the 'industry' , too, and we save thousands of dollars a year with them.



ETA:  It would be nice if the people at SWITCH bothered to put power consumption in their breathless presentation of their products.  The lumens are on par with incandescents and weaker CFL's, but don't you think power consumption would be a useful bit of info for an energy saving product?


It isn't listed on their site for some reason but some articles out there say that the 75W equivalent bulb uses 16W and the "60W" uses 13W.





 
Link Posted: 8/12/2011 4:46:14 AM EDT
FYI the LED bulbs I got have a 5 year warranty. Sounds pretty good to me.



-Foxxz
Link Posted: 8/12/2011 4:49:59 AM EDT



Originally Posted By Foxxz:


FYI the LED bulbs I got have a 5 year warranty. Sounds pretty good to me.



-Foxxz


Same here, from Home Depot.



I love their brightness and natural color. I don't think the price is too bad, unless you need super bright.

With LEDs, at least the ones I have, I think they are really conservatively rated. Try one and see.



 
Link Posted: 8/12/2011 4:56:54 AM EDT
Tag
Link Posted: 8/12/2011 4:58:30 AM EDT
LED's as replacements for incandescent or CF bulbs still have a long ways to go. They are very expensive, and most have a horrible color output.



It will be several years before they can compete with CF bulbs. I have purchased HONEST '60 watt replacement' CF lamps for $1.25/ea.



They have all the well known shortcomings that CF are known for....but they cost $1.25, and cost WAY less to operate than incandescent bulbs.



I am looking forward to advances in LED technology and manufacturing, to make them economical realities.
Link Posted: 8/12/2011 5:12:53 AM EDT
Lowes had a sale a while back, $10 for 40w equivalent. I replaced my whole house (I had just bought it and was doing reno) so I can't give you a savings number. Here's what I have though: 2300 ft2, Florida heat, and my July electric was $167.



The bulbs could be a bit brighter, not for themselves per se, but in a two bulb fixture 80 watts is a bit low for what I'd like. The bulbs themselves are quite bright. In fact, I bought a few $25 spots/floods and they were too bright so I installed the regular LEDs in those fixtures.




They have a five year warranty and I had three die right away but I have not sent them back yet.
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