wanting a chandelier to be nice looking after 2014

cheerpeopleJanuary 22, 2011

What do you suggest for light bulbs when incandescents are no longer made after 2014?

I'm finally going to have a chance to own my own home- and now those cool chandelier light bulbs are going to be off the shelves 3 years after we move in.

Not really a fan of those with a lamp shade or shades, and those 'go green' lights, well- they don't look fancy at all.

Maybe you have mid priced or less chandelier to suggest or a type of bulb??

thx!

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DavidR

I think that eventually lighting designers will use the distinctive characteristics of LEDs to create fixtures that can't be made with the larger incandescent and larger still fluorescent lamps of today.

That process is barely beginning, from what I can tell. Most of what I see in LED lighting so far looks like it's trying to imitate incandescent, fighting against the fundamental nature of LEDs. That's a dead end. Maybe someone more in touch with modern lighting design than I am can point to an exception.

As far as replacements for existing chandeliers and simulated candle style fixtures, I expect that there too LEDs are the future - I see LED retrofits becoming the replacements of choice as (if) the price falls. CFs in that size are available, and I've used them, but IMO they aren't the optimum answer for that application.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 6:45PM
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brickeyee

Stock up now, just in case.

It is not like bulbs go bad when they are not used.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 10:46AM
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dilettante_gw

In three years, energy-efficient bulbs may be a lot better (and hopefully cheaper) than they are now, but for the time being I'm following Brickeye's advice to be safe. The current CF chandelier bulbs are horrible (ugly, dim, noisy, slow to warm up, out of scale), and the LED chandelier bulbs are funny looking and don't provide enough light.

FWIW, I think there's a provision in the light bulb law that will allow "specialty" incandescent bulbs to continue to be sold (although states with tougher environmental laws such as CA may not allow this loophole).

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 3:42PM
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susieq07

All I can say is they D--- well better bring those prices for LED down and pkg. them a few in a pkg. have you seen the prices of LED chandy base bulbs?? your lucky if you find one (yep they pkg. 1 per. pkg.) one bulb for under $6.00 is a deal!! they go up to $30.00

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 10:39AM
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DavidR

Right now good retrofit LEDs are sort of where retrofit compact fluorescents were in the early 1990s. For example, I paid about $20 for some of my first screw-in CFs in 1993. In 2010 dollars, that would be $30.18. Retrofit LEDs have just recently dropped to around $20.

The really high output / high efficacy LEDs are still in the labs, and medium output / medium efficacy units are just now making an appearance on the market. These are not cheap.

The reason is that LEDs are fundamentally not all that well suited to area lighting and high lumen output. They are too small and directional. Getting rid of the waste heat is a major challenge. (Those who are thinking that "waste heat" means "not as efficient as their reputation suggests" are on the right track, BTW. Check the lumens per watt ratings.)

It's taken a heroic and costly effort to get LEDs this far. The manufacturers quite understandably need to recoup their very large R&D investments in these devices.

As usual, though, the Chinese sweatshops are already providing a cheap alternative. There are plenty of LED retrofits, in various base sizes, in the $5 to $15 range.

However, read the fine print. These are mostly high color temperature (bluish) and many have low CRI. Efficacy seldom exceeds a pitiful 20-25 lumens/watt and is often much less. Many are so dim that they don't even advertise the lumen output. These are really only suitable as night lights.

As for reliability and longevity, they usually promise 30000 to 50000 hours. But then the $2 CFs promise 6000 hours, and many fail prematurely. Read the reviews on these cheap LEDs before you lay down your money.

There is significant potential for LEDs in home lighting, but a great deal more work lies ahead before they realize their fullest potential (rather than just substituting for existing light sources) AND also become truly affordable.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 4:41PM
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