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LED for the house

Posted by bus_driver (My Page) on
Wed, Nov 9, 11 at 12:35

I check the lamp aisle at Lowes and HomerD often to see what is newly introduced. LED replacements for the "A" incandescent lamp (the common 60W and similar) are priced around the $26.00 range. I found some Sharp brand LED lamps of that type at Ollies for about $10.00 and decided to test a couple of them in my house. Made in China, not dimmable. The package does not mention dimming at all, but the Sharp website has the info. I tried the lamps for various uses and found one fixture that really benefited from them, a vast improvement over the incandescents in both brightness and light color. And these 4 LED lamps combined use less wattage total than did just one of the previously used incandescents. As the variety of the LED lamps increases, they may prove to be very useful in several applications.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: LED for the house

How are the brightness. Last year when I looked into these they had substantially less lumen output than the bulbs they claimed to be replacing. Still I got some that I've going to put up in some relatively hard to access spot the next time the incandescents there burn out.


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RE: LED for the house

Previously, I had 4 of the globe-shaped 40 watt lamps. The LED is supposed to be equivalent to a 48 watt (?) lamp and uses just 9 watts of power. The comparative brightness of the LED is incredible, much greater and the color is much whiter. The old ones looked better from the standpoint of looks alone. After a day, the performance of the LED has even won over my wife. A year ago I bought a couple of LED lamps on eBay from China. They worked but I was very disappointed. Light output very low.


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RE: LED for the house

I think they will eventually replace incandescents and CFL's. The price point needs to come down for demand to rise, though. I know I really like how bright my LED flashlights are, and the batteries last forever.


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RE: LED for the house

Well, it's clear they CAN be bright. They prime users have been the automotive and also traffic signal user (admittedly only RED and GREEN primarily). It's just that a lot of consumer grade stuff cheaps out.

I do get a copy of Architectural Lighting and they have a lot of snazzy LED stuff there.


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RE: LED for the house

We have cans in the kitchen with PAR20 halogen lamps. Home Depot also sells a Philips LED advertised (on the package) as a replacement. One little problem. The halogen lamp puts out 580 lumens while the LED 280.


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RE: LED for the house

The previous lamps were G25 40 watt and the lumen output was not on the package. The LED are 600 lumen output at 9.2 watts. And "Not Dimmable" is at the bottom of the package in fine print, about 2 point type. Websites show the typical 40 watt incandescent at 400-500 lumens.


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RE: LED for the house

I'll be waiting for the price to come down significantly before I'm swapping out LED's for the CFL's. However, we put LED's in for under cabinet lighting and love them. The light spectrum is great and they are tiny compared to any conventional bulbs.


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RE: LED for the house

Did some more research. Sharp has these on their website as commercial products, not residential.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sharp


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RE: LED for the house

Let me add that nothing on the carton nor the website suggests that these are not to be used in residential. They are UL listed without mentioning the application for them. Standard Edison base. I am glad I bought them. I think Lowes has the Sylvania. I see no reason for me to try those at this time. The carton suggests that these will last about 25 years with 3 hours use per day. I do not expect to last for that many more years.


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RE: LED for the house

Good info and thanks for posting, but what's "Ollies"?

Consumer grade cheeps out? IMO a lot of industrial/commercial users of LEDs are disappointed. Dating back several years, at least, my observation indicate that lot of substandard LEDs are installed because I see a lot of relatively new traffic signals with parts of their arrays kaput. The same thing goes for truck lights. I bet a lot of fleet managers got suckered by promises of never replacing another tail lamp, but I see bad LEDs on the backs of lots of trucks.


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RE: LED for the house

Been looking over the thousands of LED lamps for the home offered on eBay. Posting just my thoughts and ideas, not that I claim to be correct. The "E27" apparently is what we call the Edison or Medium base, the standard for our 40, 60 and 100 watt incandescents. I think the 27 is the diameter of the screw base in mm. I found on eBay a pack of two lamps at almost giveaway prices but the shipping is $14.95 for the pair from Hong Kong. So calculate the total cost delivered to your door. Those are posted as 5 watt and 500 lumens output. I am skeptical. Either the power draw is greater or the lumens output is less- compared to the Sharp lamps I have seen. I found the warranty insert for the Sharp lamps I have. 3 years with proof of purchase, customer pays shipping costs. So they have some confidence in the product.


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RE: LED for the house

I failed to mention that those contemplating buying LED lamps on eBay should carefully watch the voltage. Much of the world uses 220 volts and many of the lamps are so listed. Some list a range of voltages and a few of those show lower wattages (and presumably lower lumen output) at the lower voltage, as I would expect. I have no actual experience with those.


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RE: LED for the house

FWIW, several bad LEDs in a truck lamp is not usually cause for replacement. Most states will pass the light if 50% or more of the LEDs work.


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RE: LED for the house

Someone asked, what's Ollies. Ollies is fairly recent in my area. A chain selling closeouts and surplus, similar to Big Lots. Some items are almost always in stock while others are seen only once and until they are sold. One has to be careful and aware of prices. Some of the items are not bargains.


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RE: LED for the house

I can imagine that some fairy-tale princess said "You've got to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince". I am still trying various LED lamps. The latest is a 13W "corn" purchased on eBay. Arrival takes about two weeks. Several vendors offer them, all appear to be in China. Mine is marked 110 volts. Presently it is in a keyless porcelain fixture in my basement 10 feet off the floor. Not a good substitute for a 100 watt incandescent nor a 23 watt CFL. But it is better than nothing. And better than the kerosene lamps of my early childhood. This 13W is the largest LED I have found to fit the E27 fixture threads. It might be OK in some applications, but I have not yet found one at my house. It might be better for an 8 foot ceiling. Soon I will test the actual amperage draw and calculate the wattage based on the voltage at my house. The price of these lamps has dropped about a dollar on eBay in the last two weeks. This frog is not a prince.


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RE: LED for the house

the E27 base is the European & other overseas standard; the U.S. uses E26.


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RE: LED for the house

That may be correct. Depending on where the measurement is taken on the lamp threads, one can read it either way. I have found that they will interchange in actual use.


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RE: LED for the house

To clarify about the reading of the dimensions, I used calipers on a lamp screw base for the measurement.


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RE: LED for the house

Bus driver,

The E26 is the standard used in the US and Japan - the E27 is standard used through-out Europe. ROW, I'm not sure.

Since the specs are usually 26mm or 27mm, +/- 1mm, interchange between the two is usually never a problem - and mfgs seem to keep it that way.

I've been using the Lowes "Utilitech" brand LEDs #33802 40 watt equivalents since April (bought at $9.98 each) and have had excellent results. Fully dimmable, tested them at 6.3 watts, and 450 lumens.

Our home is in the mountains with a mostly knotty pine interior and mission style lamp glass through-out, so the 3000 degree temperature does not work everywhere, but for high use areas, such as over the kitchen sink, or less noticeable such as guest bath, and outdoor lighting, they have been great.

Been keeping an eye out for more of the newer 2700 degree bulbs for other areas. We have about 20 of the current ones in places where you don't notice that temperature difference and they have all worked great.


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RE: LED for the house

yosemitebill mentioned the LED lamp at Lowes. I think the item number is really 338802. Not in stock at the Lowes store I visited today. I was going to buy one to try. But can be ordered online and picked up in the store. Now $15.98, apparently $12.98 a month ago. Some posted online reviews show that some samples do not last very long before failure. Big price jump since April. I am still thinking it over.


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RE: LED for the house

Amazon offers the same Utilitech lamp as does Lowes. Model LA19DM/LED. About $25.00 at Amazon. And customer reviews are posted there. I do not know a regular place to buy the Sharp lamps I found at Ollies. Sometimes Ollies has an item only once, until their stock sells out, then no more.

Here is a link that might be useful: Amazon


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RE: LED for the house

Yes bus_driver you are correct, the Lowe's item number is #338802 - thank you for correcting my mistake.

My understanding is that the Utilitech brand is a Lowe's owned trade name, and the bulbs are made by Feit for Lowe's.

At the time I purchased them, the regular price was $19.98 and then on-sale for $9.98. Although I have see them sold "on-sale" quite often since then.

I too have read the reviews - mostly all positive - and that's why I decided to try them. But then somebody says something like it quit working so they threw it out and they're out the money. Well, they have a two year, in store replacement warranty, so what's up with that?

No, I don't have any interest here in Lowe's or their LED light bulbs - just trying to share information on a topic that interests me very much.


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RE: LED for the house

Apparently the LED suppliers are concentrating on commercial lighting first. Some of those products are suitable for residential use, but are typically not bargain priced.

Here is a link that might be useful: LED


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RE: LED for the house

I hope we get more posts about LED lighting. Ollies is now sold out of the LED lamps at the store I shop. Not to hijack the thread I started, I bought at Ollies today an EarthBulb from Earthtronics screw-in CF that is dimmable with most modern dimmers. Supposedly 60 watt equivalent using just 16 watts. It is rather long and will not fit in some places. An outer shell makes it look a bit like a conventional lamp. Ollies price $2.99. It is rather dim at first, about like a 25 watt, and then gradually gets brighter. Once at full brightness, the dimmer reduces the light output somewhat, but only down to about 20 watt equivalent while the incandescents are dimmed to no visible output. The model may be AT16SW1BDIM, found on the bottom of the box. I love things that reduce costs and this should reduce the electric bill. I love the environment, but also insist that things we do must be practical. This is mostly practical but not spectacularly so.
Amazon offers it for $9.75 plus shipping and they post a review buy a user. That Amazon review is not mine.


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RE: LED for the house

More on my post of Saturday Nov. 26 on the LED "Corn" from China. I have a digital snap-around meter with lowest ampere range of 20 and high range of 200. Set on the 20, this lamp showed 0.01 amps and the voltage supplied was 122.6. Not sensible for the amperage. I have a Sperry Energizer E-1 that multiplies the amperage by 10 if desired for more precise readings on very light loads. With it, the amperes was 0.045. Thus the wattage is 5.517 under my test conditions. The advertised wattage was 13. The lamp itself has no wattage marking. No wonder I am disappointed in the light output. I have no way to measure lumens. The time to buy LED lamps on eBay is not yet here.


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RE: LED for the house

I contacted the seller from whom I bought the "corn" LED. My Message: "The one I received is marked AC 110V. I tested it and the ampere draw is 0.045 at 122.6 volts. That is 5.517 watts, not 13W."
His Reply: "The power can not test like this.When we test power,the light have to full work and it is 13W.Pls do not worry this.If you have any questions,pls let me know first."


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Wattage calculation

I cannot be certain that my meter reads amperage precisely. It does read voltage exactly like other devices I have.
I had a very old (marked) 95 watt A19 incandescent at the shop and tested it in the same setup. Amperes were 0.64 for a calculated wattage at 120 volts of 76.8W. My meter now is suspect.


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RE: LED for the house

Maybe make up a little lamp socket test fixture with a zip cord plug so you can connect a wired multimeter in series?

As an alternative, I've been using one of the original "Kill-A-Watt" brand digital meters for years and have found it to be very accurate. Plug the meter in and plug the product into the meter - even does readings over a period of time.


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RE: LED for the house

I contacted the LED seller again. Here is part of his response. "-you have to let light work more than two hours and test this again."
Not sure if he means a burn-in period of two hours of use or two hours of warmup with each use. I may do more testing, but remain skeptical.


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RE: LED for the house

I burned the light for 2 1/2 hours continuously and got the same reading. I now do not trust the original wattage claim nor the response of the seller.


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RE: LED for the house

"I burned the light for 2 1/2 hours continuously and got the same reading"

Of course you already knew that would be the result - but you still needed to perform that in the interest of "proper scientific procedure."

While I really want to say that this is just cheap junk, the numbers for wattage are about half of what they say they should be - and I can't help but to find that just a little bit odd.

Are you sure the bulbs are only 110V as labeled, or maybe 120/240V?

While a resistive load would drop to 1/4 wattage, going from 240V to 120V, the switching power supply in the bulb, if it does use one, could have some serious design/programming flaws.

So, unfortunately, that still makes it cheap junk! :)


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RE: LED for the house

While I really want to say that this is just cheap junk, the numbers for wattage are about half of what they say they should be - and I can't help but to find that just a little bit odd.

What do you find odd. That the lamps are cheap junk or the Chinese would lie?


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RE: LED for the house

My meter is BK Precision Model 350A with capability of AC volts up to 750 and AC amperes up to 1000. My earlier memory was not correct about the ranges of the meter. The accuracy, or not, of the meter has not yet been verified for amperes, but it reads voltages correctly. I did not expect the 2 1/2 hours to change the amperes. After all that time, the lamp was just barely warm, so the energy wasted is obviously very low. It is entirely possible they make all of them for 220 volts and then simply label those for whatever the market wants.
Years ago, before most clothing manufacture moved offshore, a local shirt factory would be rushed to complete an order, lets say, of 100 dozen of a certain size of shirt. In some cases they would sew the size label for that size into whatever shirts were on hand and ship them. That threw the problem into the lap of the retailer.
And how any people check the amperage draw of lamps? Oh, yes, the lamp has no UL markings.


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RE: LED for the house

This "project" gets attention here at a moment now and then. My meter seems to be accurate. For a test of my meter, the Sharp LED of the first post is marked as 9.2 watts. My meter reads .076 amperes at 122.5 volts for a calculated wattage of 9.31. Close enough for my purposes.
The Chinese "corn" puts out good light to be just 5.517 watts. But it is not the claimed 13 watts.


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RE: LED for the house

Well, I wouldn't complain that it uses less power than they say it should, since that's a good thing, but if it produced the same amount of lumens, that would definitely be a very major achievement!

I actually created a test bed with three porcelain lamp sockets that all sit side-by-side on a table. I place an incandescent 40 or 60 watt bulb in one, and then an equivalent CFL and LED bulb in the other two.

It provides a good subjective comparison of brightness, light distribution, and color temperature.

While some people may shrug-off LED lighting still, I think they will replace incandescent and fluorescent light faster than most people imagine. The technology has been improving at an astonishing pace. Most of the "Chinese junk" is really they older technology that's currently being replaced.

Ten years ago CRT television dominated the market and suggesting that LCD and plasma flat panels would completely replace them, as they have today, was simply laughed at.

BTW Mike - really enjoyed your comment!


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RE: LED for the house

About half of my home lighting is LED. The products out there now are definitely not commodities, which some brands and models being vastly superior than others, or at least considerably different in their characteristics.

The best places to use CFLs thus far are for recessed downlights, where LEDs perform best due to their directional nature. I'm particularly fond of the Cree CR6, or the less-expensive rebranded Ecosmart version sold by Home Depot for $40 (less if subsidided by utilities or local jurisdictions, or if you buy in bulk on HD's website). These combine a floodlight and trim bezel in one piece, and are placed in a standard 6" recessed can. They give off warm light nearly indistinguishable from 75w incandescent or halogen 75 watt floodlamps, but draw less barely only about 10 watts and last 12 times longer than halogens, and can be dimmed to 5% with most standard dimmers. And since the trim baffle is included, you save the $10 per light these would normally cost. So the LED light bulb is effectively only about $28, about what what three halogen PAR30 or PAR38 bulbs would cost. Considering the much lower power use and longer life of the LED modules, they quickly pays for themselves even at today's prices.

There were some standard dimmable 40-watt-equivalent bulbs sold by Lowe's (Utilitech) and Home Depot (Ecosmart) that were 7 to 8 watts that sold for $10 a few months ago, but have inexplicably risen to $16 since. There are still some $10-ish 5-watt non-dimmable LED bulbs (25w equivalent) sold at the big boxes and online lighting retailers, some of which are good. Most of these are "snow cones" - shaped like standard (A19) light bulbs but only the top half lights up; the bottom section is a heat sink. Whether this helps, hurts, or doesn't matter depends on which lamp fixture they are used in. They are much more expensive than CFLs, but are even more efficent, they turn on at full brightness, they don't contain mercury, they are more often dimmable (and dim better), last much longer, and don't mind being turned on and off frequently. The higher quality LEDs also give off better quality light.


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RE: LED for the house

This might be a nice way to seal up old can lights that are leaking a lot of air into attics. They can be expensive to replace with sealed versions, especially if someone needs to be hired to do the change.


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RE: LED for the house

Just a heads up...

If anybody is interested in doing their own comparisons, I saw that Lowe's currently has the Utilitech #338802 40 watt equivalent LED A19 bulbs at $11.98.

While the online description still specs them at 450 lumens, the actual packaging is labeled at 430 lumens.

Like I said before, I have no interest in Lowe's or these bulbs other than the fact that I have been using about 20 of them since around April with very good results. Only complaint, of a personal nature, is that I prefer 2700 degree over their 3000 degree temperature in some of my indoor lighting applications.


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RE: LED for the house

.... and likewise the similar Home Depot LED A19 Ecosmart #864680 bulb (made by Lighting Science) is back down to $9.99.

All of the four Lowes bulbs (and the one HD bulb) I bought have worked perfectly. Weird about the online sites (both Lowe's and Feit's) showing 450 lumens when the package (mine too) says 430.


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RE: LED for the house

OK, so I was at Lowe's this morning to pick up something else and walked by the light bulb area. The packaging on the LED bulbs discussed above are now (once again?) clearly labeled 450 lumens.


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RE: LED for the house

Recent article on the subject.

Here is a link that might be useful: Article


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RE: LED for the house

Are you sure the 450 lumen bulb isn't the 4,000 or 5000K version?

I'm not completely convinced Cree is a great investment. Yes, they are at the forefront of a booming industry, and have the most crucial experience, great products, and also lots of components for others to use. But the problem with hot new industries is that they attract new competitors like sugar attracts flies. LG, Samsung, Toshiba, and others are jumping into the LED game, Lighting Science and Feit are covering the low end of the market, and newcomers like Switch are betting on unique innovations. Someone's going to get crowded out.


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RE: LED for the house

"Are you sure the 450 lumen bulb isn't the 4,000 or 5000K version?"

Had to stop by there today for something and did a double check - 450 lumens and 3000K.

Thing is, I could have sworn the first ones I purchased said 450 lumens on the package, but I tossed the packages a few months ago. My "backup" bulbs, still in packages all say 430 lumens.

I was tempted to buy a new one and compare it to the others but remembered a local grocery store had Sierra Nevada Pale Ale on sale for the same price! Guess who won?!


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RE: LED for the house

No question in my mind that LED is the future of most lighting. Shop lumens, not watts. General rule of thumb right now seems to be that the efficacy of LED bulbs are about 8x higher than non-halogen incandescents, and about 5x higher than halogens. The technology is moving fast, and current products are still quite a ways below their theoretical maximum. From what I have read, efficacies in the 250-300 lumens/watt are theoretically possible. Current state of the art is about half that. And current consumer products are about half again.

I agree with lee676s post on the Cree downlights - at least for highly used areas. Have also had really good luck with various Philips replacements - including their recent 10 watt MR16 replacement. These are relatively expensive compared to no-name ebay specials. But as with most things, you get what you pay for.

Mixed reaction to the Lighting Sciences/Ecosmart A19. I tried three of them. They don't dim as well as Philips, make strange humming/ringing noises, and two of the three cause a lot of RFI (radio frequency interference) on nearby AM radios.

Obviously, the key to keeping the cost reasonable is to install them in highly used locations first, especially here in California where the Tier 2 and Tier 3 power rates are so outrageous ($0.30/kwh or more). I noticed step functions in my power bill after I installed them in the kids bedrooms. They will easily pay for themselves, just in electric savings, in a year or less.

There is only one highly used bulb type that I have not found an acceptable replacement. It is a 50 watt BA15D-based xenon (halogen) bulb that is used in our bathrooms. Unfortunately, I suspect that it will be a while before such a replacement is commonly available. (I did find one web site starting to sell them. But no specs on lumen output.)


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RE: LED for the house

"Obviously, the key to keeping the cost reasonable is to install them in highly used locations first, especially here in California where the Tier 2 and Tier 3 power rates are so outrageous ($0.30/kwh or more)."

It's funny you brought that up. Just last night I was calculating what my Nov PG&E bill would have been with the current "winter rate" and tiers if I used 1500 Kwh - $269.88! Fortunately, I only used 853 Kwh.


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RE: LED for the house

Yosemite: I have almost given up trying to figure out how they calculate how many kwh goes into each tier and how the baseline credits work. We have a TOU meter, and the prime time Tier 2/3 rates are about $0.50/kwh.

In our last bill (oct 22 - nov 21) we used almost exactly what you did - 849 kwh. That is much better that a year ago, just before I started the LED upgrades, at 938 kwh. I can attribute much of that to the LED lights.

My goal is to get it into the 700s. With my latest set of LED light replacements, several Philips 10w MR16s replacing 50w halogens, I should get pretty close.


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RE: LED for the house

Our best month, when I guess all the planets aligned, was October - 665 Kwh. Enough daylight, and no little heaters anywhere.

I think our worst will be December. We have year-round clear Christmas lights all around the house, and use them year-round, (very dark here) but they are all LED. The problem is we're up in the Sierra Foothills, with property, and I have about a quarter mile of little incandescent Christmas lights on field fencing along some areas of our property. It's a private road shared by three other neighbors and each December everybody looks forward to it!

I'm not trying to digress from the OP here, but instead hope it helps shed some light here on one of the reasons that LED growth seems to be quite strong in California. The cost of electricity here is ridiculous and you have to re-evaluate even Christmas lighting here. Clark Griswold would not be happy!



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RE: LED for the house

Sept 23-Oct 21 here was 805 - a three year minimum for me. (Worst was in nov-dec 2008 - 1314 kwh.) Since I just replaced those MR16s a week ago, and they are used several hours/day, it will be interesting to see the next bill. We are approaching the winter solstice, so between it and the January bill, they should represent a new 'worst case'.

I started trying CFLs when they first came out in the 1990s. Quickly encountered all the things that folks dislike about them. When we rebuilt/expanded our house four years ago, LED lights were unfortunately not at a point where I could consider them. So I tried to use CFLs in as few places as possible to meet Title 24 regs. That has all changed. Almost all our highly used incandescents are now switched over to LED. Would like to change some of the CFL fixtures to LED, but that is much lower priority.

Bottom line is that LED is here, and just makes lots of sense. Break even on cost, in highly used fixtures, is often less than a year just due to electric savings. The ROR is way better than installing solar panels - where break even, even after government subsidies, is 8-12 years or more. And CFLs remain problematic.


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RE: LED for the house

For decorations, I have several of the 7 watt candelabra base lamps. Identified at times as E11/E12 base. While non-incandescents are available with that base, none of them are small otherwise. Maybe later.


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RE: LED for the house

"No question in my mind that LED is the future of most lighting."

Not till the price comes down a lot.


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RE: LED for the house

The local Lowes also is now at $11.98 for the referenced LED lamps. And HD is at $9.97. The HD is dimmable while the Sharp in the original post is not. The Sharp and the HD lamp are not exactly alike and have enough differences to know that the difference is more than a label.
I suspect that two years from now will see many more different LED offerings at lower prices.
Online reviews were not good for a three-way CF lamp. I have not tried one of those.


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RE: LED for the house

The Sharp LED lamps in the original post have been in daily use since purchased and are still quite satisfactory. I bought 4 of the LED lamps at HD today and the first impression is that they seem to be as good as the Sharp. We'll see.


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RE: LED for the house

Further searching on eBay for the LED selection turned up an interesting comment. Some of the LED lamps caution about operating for more than 16 hours for longest life. The exact wording is a obviously crude translation into English. I assume that after a suitable rest period, another operating cycle can begin. But the details are not furnished.


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RE: LED for the house

"Not till the price comes down a lot..."

For me, it already makes sense to consider every incandescent bulb that is on for more than, say, an hour or two a day. Fiscal break-even for LED could be a year or less just based on energy savings. Savings on bulb replacement is frosting on the cake. As the cost continues to comes down, it will make sense to convert even more bulbs.

CFLs have a lower initial cost. But they use a bit more power than current LED bulbs, and come with all of the oft-quoted disadvantages of CFLs (e.g., lack of decent dimming, poorer color rendering, warm up times, etc.)

The interesting thing to me is how fast the cost of LED bulbs can drop to match CFLs. When CFLs first came out, they were fairly expensive too. But how much difference in manufacturing cost is there between the ballast/gases/coatings in a CFL vs the driver circuitry, LEDs, and heat management in LED bulbs? I suspect that as LED volume continues to build, not much.

In any event, if I were to build a new house today, it would have as close to 100% LED as possible. Even in rarely used locations.

Bus_driver: I would think that any bulb recommending 16 hour or less usage is admitting that they have poor heat management. I'd look at a different brand.


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RE: LED for the house

Received the LED lamp with the candelebra (E11/E12) base. A little larger overall than the typical 5 to 7 watt teardrop incandescent often used in decorative and seasonal lighting. Quite bright and white light. It is the one that the seller cautions about operating for more than 16 hours. No cool down time interval is specified.
Reading about LED in a trade journal. As some know, lots of electrical contractors have crews that specialize in lighting maintenance for industrial and commercial facilities. LED is a new ballgame. Supposedly will not require the frequency of maintenance of fluorescent, for example. But industrial and commercial LED apparently uses
separate ballast/power supply from the lamp. The article suggests that the lamp life may be 5 times that of the ballast/power supply. So some maintenance will be required. The article also suggests that the technology is changing rapidly and some fixture makers are issuing upgrades for some fixtures that are less than 3 years old.
The Home Depot lamps are doing well in my in-home test. I hope the price will drop within the next 6 months. The Sharp lamps continue to be outstanding in performance.


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RE: LED for the house

Additional comments: I know nothing about the expertise- or not- of the writer of the recent LED article. If correct, it suggests that the LED lamps that screw into ordinary sockets are likely to fail from long-term use due to the ballast/power supply rather than failure of the LED itself.
And with the increasing availability of LED lamps, one might assume that the price reductions of CFLs due to increasing production volume probably have reached near their nadir. Ollies has some CFLs at really low prices- and power companies are offering them at no cost.


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RE: LED for the house

There's a gas station/convenience store down the street that recently remodeled and they have converted all the exterior lighting to LED including the parking lot lights and fixtures under the canopy.

I'd imagine that the company did the math and the ROI of the higher cost fixtures must be relatively short, especially for an operation that's open 24 hours. The lights I've notice are a grid of individual LED's. When one burns out do the replace a single diode or wait until enough burn out to justify replacing the entire grid?


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RE: LED for the house

Obviously the use of LEDs in that situation is not from government dictate but from an economic analysis done by a proprietor. I think the development of more efficient lighting would have occurred at about the same pace without any mandates. My interest at the moment is to get better lighting at lower operating cost because it benefits me. Better the government leaves us alone.


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RE: LED for the house

Agree with bus_driver about the economic analysis. Adam Smith called it "the invisible hand of the market". No one needed government mandates when when commercial/institutional switched from incandescent to fluorescent lighting 70 years ago, and when radios and TVs switched from vacuum tubes to solid state 40 years ago. Lighting is no different.


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RE: LED for the house

I found this article. Click through 11 pages to see it all. Make your own judgment about the value and usefulness of the article.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lighting


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RE: LED for the house

Each building trade has it's own language and words may mean one thing in general use while meaning something different in a trade. Found another article that calls the power supply for the LED a "driver". Not everyone uses that term and it may take a while to get a term standardized. In a discussion of the lamp life, the term "socket turnover" is used. Incandescents would have the greatest socket turnover while LEDs are anticipated to have the least, of lighting types currently in use.
And if you own a mercury vapor light that is powered through your meter, get rid of it as soon as possible. Power hog! The ballast for it uses far more power than does the light. Very inefficient!


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RE: LED for the house

With LEDs we will see ultra low "socket turnover" compared to incandescents. I expect that the incidence of metal fusion will be very high unless some lubricant/protectant is used when installing LED replacements in fixtures designed for incandescents. This will be especially true for cheap fixtures and LED "bulbs" in outdoor locations. I don't suppose there is any engineering standard for the LED replacements to prevent this problem.


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RE: LED for the house

Today on a website, an ad popped up for Home Depot (Evil Orange). It showed a lamp and the text mentioned some specs that I have not seen on an item in any store. LED item of higher wattage than any I have seen. So I clicked on the link and up popped a curlycue CF. I never did find the advertised LED. Lowes is far from perfect but I would rather shop there.


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RE: LED for the house

Home depot are offering some nice, high-quality brand name LED replacements here in Canada, but certainly aren't cheap. What I like the most are the pot lights, which include an integrated trim ring.

Some of the cheapie LED fittings still employ 'traditional' LEDs, the ones set in clear plastic with a rounded end. Don't buy these, as they're the dimmest and least pleasing in terms of colour temperature. The new generation ones have a tiny, bright yellow 'chip' or clusters of chips.

I think CFLs have been such a bust since they were mass produced - unreliable, short life span, poor colour temp. When the incandescent 'ban' takes hold, LED will take off and the price point will drop rapidly - their power supplies will be simpler and should end up cheaper than CFL.

Bring em on.

I love the colour temperature of halogens, but the cool running temp of LED will probably sway me, they'll be safer in terms of fire.


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RE: LED for the house

Home Depot drastically reduced the prices on Philips' omnidirectional 7w (40w replacement) and 12.5w (60w replacement) LED bulbs a few days ago. They are now $11.97 for the 7w and $14.97 for the 12.5w bulbs (at least where I live, where there are no subsidies). These are the futuristic-looking yellow T-shaped bulbs that glow 2700K white when on. (the larger 75-watt-replacement version still costs a hefty $39.97). But the new lower prices will put the hurt on the off-brand 3000K snow-cone LEDs that HD and Lowes are now selling that radiate all their light out the top half of the bulb, and give off noticeably cooler light than the incandescent bulbs they're designed to replace. (Lowes wants the same $12 for their Utilitech 40-watt replacement).

I think these are for most people and most lamps the best value in A19 (regular light bulb shape) LED replacement bulbs. Hopefully it will set off a price war and soon the Utilitech and Ecosmart bulbs will be $5 each....


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RE: LED for the house

I could save significant electricity by installing CF or LED in some outdoor fixtures. One thing that argues against it that heat from the incandescents heats up the fixture ameliorating some effects for he damp dnvironmentsd


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RE: LED for the house

lee676 posted about HD and the recent price reduction. I have not been to HD in the last couple of weeks. The reported reduction does not show on the HD website, as best I can tell. I have not seen those particular lamps in person. The reported price is still a little high to be interesting to me, but it reflects a desired trend. Thanks for the information.
For seldom-used lamps in high humidity locations, I wonder if any of the non-incandescents will be satisfactory. In one farm building cellar where high humidity was desired, I installed two pull-chain fixtures with 100 watt incandescents at least 40 years ago. Seldom used since then. Recently the floor joists above showed signs of failing and the lights were turned on to inspect for that, the original lamps as far as I know. One failed within seconds and the other failed about 15 minutes later. One can only assume that the vacuum seal in the lamps was originally slightly less than perfect or that the humidity caused some corrosion of the filament leads where they passed through the glass envelope. It is doubtful that any of the new types would have fared better. The NM cable appears none the worse for the exposure.


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RE: LED for the house

I'm grateful for this discussion and I hope it keeps current for quite a while.

Our hundred-year old bungalow still has some of the original wiring, and there is one section in particular that I want to have replaced this spring. So I plan to have an electrician come in and do considerable upgrading throughout. I'd like to include LEDs where they'll work.

Thanks for helping me do my research!


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RE: LED for the house

" One failed within seconds and the other failed about 15 minutes later. One can only assume that the vacuum seal in the lamps was originally slightly less than perfect or that the humidity caused some corrosion of the filament leads where they passed through the glass envelope."

Next time do an experiment and put half of the fixtures on a timer so they are on for a few minutes a day and see if that helps them. Let's see, 40 years for the first test and 40 years for the second..... ;-)


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RE: LED for the house

lee676 posted on January 23 about the Home Depot lamps. The larger Philips lamps not reduced in price at the store near me. Costco has three types of LED lamps in the store near me. Items at Costco may vary from store to store. One of the lamps at Costco appears to be a closeout at a bargain. The Philips and the Costco lamps in fine print on the package note that the lamp must be used with a shade. Does anyone know precisely why? I am good at guessing and speculating about that but want a better explanation.


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and now for something completely different

DOE report:
Performance of T12 and T8 Fluorescent Lamps and Troffers and LED Linear Replacement Lamps

http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/publications/pdfs/ssl/troffer_benchmark_01-09.pdf

"In the meantime, LED technology is not yet ready to displace linear fluorescent lamps as replacement light sources in recessed troffers for general interior lighting."


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RE: LED for the house

The link by ionized, offered again below, is excellent. Some new information for me to digest.
On another site, the explanation is stated for why some CFLs slowly come to full brightness. Fluorescent tubes light output is adversely affected by cold (I knew that) and heat (I did not know that). That explains why some CFLs are not to be used in enclosed fixtures. The ones that start dim use mercury amalgam which must be heated for the mercury to vaporize. The others that start quickly use mercury vapor. Notice that the ones with outer shell start slowly. It suggests to me that the ones that start slowly are the better choice for enclosed fixtures if they will fit in the available space. Still learning.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link


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RE: LED for the house

I am reading a lot about starting fluorescents and their ballasts this week. That is how I ran across that information about the LED arrays. I am glad you enjoyed it.

I have something to offer on on your CFL comments. It is OT for this thread so I will keep it brief. I may post some questions here for some expert comment soon. The way I understand it, the price you pay for "instant start" is using up the electrodes very quickly so bulb life is shortened significantly. It is not a big deal if lights are tuned on once a day. It is a big deal if you turn the lights on and off frequently. Rapid start is better on bulbs, but you have a dim bulb for a second or a few. Programmed start ballasts are now available due to less expensive, more sophisticated electronic ballast. They can yield better performance without sacrificing bulb life. CFLs can't be much different than linear tubes in these respects.


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RE: LED for the house

Not an expert on fluorescents. Your understanding matches mine. I know of no way to determine exactly how sophisticated is the circuitry/ballast in a CFL. The incentive to simplify and cut costs is great. Manufacturing to a price point may result in the simplest item that will function. Creative package lettering can "give" a product qualities that it really does not have.
If a manufacturer made just 10 million CFLs and discovered a way to reduce the unit cost by just 1/100 of a cent, the result is $1000.00 more for the manufacturer. On the shelf at the store, will the consumer choose the one priced $1.49 or the one priced $1.99? And will there be any difference in performance and/or service life?


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RE: LED for the house

As posted earlier, 4 of the Home Depot LED lamps were purchased. Package says suitable for use with modern dimmers. They do dim significantly but not to the extremely low levels of incandescents. But when dimmed to about 50% of light output or lower, there is a flicker that is slightly noticeable. The chopped sine wave of the AC by the dimmer results in longer times in which the LED is not lighted. LEDS apparently respond faster to power supply changes than does a heated filament.


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RE: LED for the house

Very happy with the Home Depot EcoSmart 6" LED recessed/can light bulb for my kitchen. In NYC, they cost $25 plus tax. The GW's Lighting forum alerted me to them, and that they are identical to the more expensive Cree branded CR6 can light. Nice warm white glow (2700K), good color rendering, instant on, and dimmable. I found them to seem much brighter than their 575 lumens designation on the packaging.

BTW, there is a lot of information about LED lighting on the GW's Lighting forum.


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RE: LED for the house

The Lighting forum appears to be new. A needed and welcome addition. Thanks for the heads-up on that.


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RE: LED for the house

While the "lighting forum" has been around for around a couple years now, I think most of it has been dedicated to the aesthetics of lamp fixtures, as opposed to the electrical technology behind them.

There are some very knowledgeable posters, such as "davidtay" and others that have very good technical knowledge, but most posts seem to be more associated with whether a particular fixture will look good or illuminate an area properly.

Either way, both this thread, and posts on the Lighting Forum, are very resourceful.


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RE: LED for the house

I should have posted the link to the Lighting Resource Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute some time ago. It is a good resource for lots of lighting studies.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lighting Resource Center


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RE: LED for the house

This link may be up for only a limited time.

Here is a link that might be useful: New LED


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RE: LED for the house

I do not think that LEDs are worth the money. A small town where I live, installed them for street lighting. They are not worth a darn for illumination!! But the fixtures they mounted them in are very stylish. Oh and by the way, they save money with the amount of electricity they consume!!


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RE: LED for the house

I just looked at the Lowes ad that came today. They have two lights at what they claim is a reduced price. There is an omni light #338931 which is apparently a 60W replacement at 13.5W and an indoor flood #338929 (65/12.5W).


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RE: LED for the house

The LED stop light bulb replacements have been a real disaster in snow and ice areas.

Without the heat from the incandescent bulbs they snow and ice up badly.

Heaters have been proposed now to solve the problem.

The more complicated things get the lower their reliability.


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RE: LED for the house

Troffer LED replacements for linear tubes. Take home message: don't do it.

http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/publications/pdfs/ssl/led-t8-flourescent-replacement.pdf


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RE: LED for the house

If you are using LED Lights for your Lamp that's great for the electricity bill you will get.


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RE: LED for the house

Consumer Reports in the October 2012 issue has a report on "lightbulbs" that is interesting. Includes some LEDs.


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RE: LED for the house

The way I see it is: the LED bulb manufacturers are pumping out the LED bulbs like there's no tomorrow,
thinking everyone is going to run out and spend the
high price they have put on their product. But, the
buying public is smarter than that, (thanks to the internet).
Soooo, the warehouses are filling up with LED bulbs
that aren't selling. Eventually, the manufacurer has
to drop the price to a point that the customer is going
to realize a savings in energy use, compared to the cost
of the bulb, "IN A REASONABLE TIME PERIOD". I mean HEY,
if the bulb costs me $46, and I won't recoup that money,
in energy savings for 72 years, then I'm not going to
buy them. That's the way I see it. We just need to
relax, and eventually the price of LED lighting will
drop to a logical/sensible price. And the manufacurers
realize they will only make a 50% profit, instead of a
2,000% profit. It's just the old law of: 'Supply and
Demand'. But, if people are willing to go out and
spend $46 for an LED bulb that is the equivalent of a
100 watt incandecent bulb, then things will go on as
they have.


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