Light Bulb Wars!

Discussion in 'Energy & Fuel' started by Ted Richards, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Terry Page
    We were at our Wal-Mart a few days ago, and I spotted a product new to me: LED "fluorescent" lamps, which directly replace real fluorescents, at cost comparatively equal. Packed two to a box, under 10 dollars. I thought, what the heck, let's try 'em! Regarding your experiences with LEDs, these babies are warranteed for 5 years. Light output according to the box is 5000` Kelvin, essentially daylight. I am delighted with them so far.

    [​IMG]




    I installed the two in my 4-lamp fluorescent fixture in my shop. Had quite a time with camera to get anything better than a huge bright glaring ball of light image, but finally, got it acceptable. Below, a close-up of the new LED lamp illuminated next to a standard 40 watt Cool White fluorescent. Note the superior light output of the LED!
    [​IMG]


    Below, the entire fixture, with the two LEDs in line, and two fluorescents back to back with them.
    [​IMG]


    For comparison, here is a pic of my 96-inch two-lamp fixture, like they use commercially. It consumes 160 watts of power. By comparison, an LED equivalent with four 48-inch lamps would consume 52 watts! The huge difference between the two results from the heat energy produced even with fluorescents, which are called "cool". They get pretty warm. LEDs operate cold, produce almost no heat, certainly not measurable amounts.
    [​IMG]

    I believe the problems folks are having with LED lighting stems from improperly-designed peripheral equipment. LEDs are unique in that they require very low voltage direct current, around 5 volts maximum, each LED diode itself. In theory, an LED can never "wear out"; so long as it is fed direct current it will emit light forever, as it is a Solid State device. Failure could occur, of course, in attachment of it's wires or connection means, and the source of voltage supply.

    If LEDs were failing all over the place, the automotive and trucking industries would surely not be equipping all the newer vehicles with them. Some of the red taillights are entirely LEDs, with highlighting white ones up front in all sorts of unneeded designs!
    Frank
     
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  2. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Very Well-Known Member
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    Not only do they put out much more light, the LED replacement bulbs seem to work better when the fluorescent fixture has a weak ballast. I replaced several bulbs on some very old cheap fluorescent fixtures in the basement that were erratic about coming on, and needed replaced. They have worked fine so far. Maybe it's just a coincidence, or due to something else, IDK.
     
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  3. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Nancy Hart
    Thank you so much for this! The thread seemed to be going against any new lighting concept, but based on what, seemed nebulous. So, you discovered these new LED replacements yourself? I had never heard of them before I spotted them a few days ago. They make sense, for sure. When lit, one can vaguely see each LED inside, the outer tube being rather frosted like the incandescent bulbs we've seen all lour lives. I counted 35 LEDs to the center, so figure about 70 per tube. They are all "glued" in place in a straight line, which must be oriented to the top of the fixture to secure maximum effectiveness.

    This leads me to wonder, and perceive yet another "imponderable". LEDs operated on alternating current, AC, will turn on and off, producing "flicker" perhaps detectable by the human eye. Fluorescents actually turn "on and off" with the AC frequency, but their phosphorescent coatings give off light for the short time they are "off", releiving us of the perceived flicker. Thus, are the LED tubes actually flickering, and we cannot see it? That is, are they not being "fed" direct current. Taken further, the simplest and most expedient way to power 70 LEDs in that tube would be to connect them in series, like the old Xmas tree lights; one light goes out, the whole string goes dead!

    I'll advance the opinion: IF the flicker on AC is not obvious, then the makers are indeed placing the LEDs in series, and if ONE fails, the lamp becomes useless. Given the warranty, they seem pretty sure of their product's integrity.

    NOW, Nancy Hart, please if you will, explain how you are able to understand the technical drivel I put forth above. Are you a Physicist? You are indeed new here, and somehow escaped my vigilance of seeing new members logging on. My usual questioning mood was whetted by your correct usage of "fluorescent".

    Sorry, I'm just so amazed. Please if you are not offended, tell us more about yourself!
    Frank
     
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  4. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Very Well-Known Member
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    Geez @Frank Sanoica, I don't understand it, all I know is troubleshooting on the internet. They claim when a cheap fluorescent fixture is erratic about coming on, it's usually because the ballast is going bad...and it happens gradually. I don't even know what a ballast is for, but I can point to it. :)

    Anyway, new fluorescent bulbs didn't make a difference, after about a week. No problem with the LED bulbs so far. In fact I'm probably completely wrong. lol
     
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  5. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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    Coincidentally, I just bought a pack of those lights, too. $8.88 plus tax. I don't understand all the Impish technical drivel but when I replaced the old light over the sink in my bathroom, I could see that it was a lot brighter. Am I a genius, or what? ;):D
     
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  6. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    Certainly not an "or what"!
    Frank
     
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  7. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Nancy Hart
    The ballast traditionally was a big, heavy "transformer", almost, which lowered your 120 volt house supply down to only a very few volts, as a fluorescent tube once "fired" would be destroyed instantly by 120 volts.

    Today, most ballasts operate electronically using solid state circuitry, are lightweight, and produce little heat of their own. It is not clear to me, yet, whether the LED "fluorescents" even need the ballast present. Depends on the engineering approach, and how they're doing it, I dunno. Since our 120 volts is alternating current, AC, a quick-acting light producer such as an LED will flicker on and off 60 times per second if fed AC. Not detectable by human eyes in case of the incandescent light bulb, which stays hot and glowing during the off times, nor the fluorescent tube which remains glowing during those off times.

    LEDs remain one of the most efficient devices at producing light electrically. They are now being used to produce television picture screens even. The original means, cathode ray tubes (CRTs) are now dinosaurs, and move over, liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and Plasma screens. Only thing having a "tube" still, that I know of, are the X-ray tubes, and many may now be mostly metal. The original radar-tubes of WW-II were all-glass, but today's microwave "radar ovens" use metal tubes called Magnetrons.
    Frank
     
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  8. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Very Well-Known Member
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    A coincidence. The LED shop light bulbs I bought were GE T8/T12 universal bulbs, from Lowes. They have been out recently. Friday there was one two-pack on the shelf, but when I took it to the checkout, the lady said they had been recalled, and she couldn't ring them up. :(

    "The pins on one end of the lamp can be energized during installation/removal, posing electric shock and electrocution hazards."

    It wouldn't happen if you just turned the light off when you put them in, would it?

    Doesn't scare me. They're already installed. Ha!
     
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  9. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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    Mine, too @Nancy Hart . That should take care of that job for a while. :D
     
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  10. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    I don't know any of the technical stuff that some of you guys do, but I like what they're doing with LED bulbs these days. I have always hated the curly bulbs that they were pushing off on us a few years back, but LED bulbs always used to be far too dim for practical usage. Now, the LED bulbs are bright enough and they seem to last a long while.
     
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  11. Neville Telen

    Neville Telen Well-Known Member
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    So the Nannyites have again been busy here. Went yesterday to pick up some incandescent (or faux incandescent) 150 watt and 200 watt bulbs at Home Depot, and not one to be found. Talked to the manager. He said they "cleared the stock" last month, due to "complaints from the PC crowd", and will no longer sell them. Don't recall what sort of crapola they sell now, only that a 100 watt is the most available, and the package said that 100 watts is now equal to 1200 lumens...at least in Nannyite World. In the real world, a 100 watt incandescent is equal to 1600 lumens, not that it matters, since I need 150 watt/2250 lumens bulbs. Anyway, from Home depot my quest for the Holy Grail took me to Target, Best Buy, and as a last ditch, the supermarket....each and every one already hit by the PC putzes. Had to give up, go home, and do a phone blitz to find the two remaining sources in the Bay Area that are members of La Resistance. So looks like all my spare money this month is going into stockpiling lightbulbs. Who would of thunk it?


     
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  12. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Neville Telen
    I absolutely fumed when Congress went in and attacked the lighting industry! First thing to go was Cool White fluorescents; the rationale I forget now. Incandescent light bulbs, ya gotta go to mercury-filled coils. After all, people (read that one morons) have been burned by hot incandescents! I hated the coiled bulbs for their unusually yellow, peculiar color output, until Lowe's started stocking 5000K, or essentially Daylight color output. We put them in our ceiling fan lights because of the nice white output.

    Now of course, it's LEDs. No heat, no Mercury, but ya gotta have a whole BUNCH to get reasonable light output. My two new fluorescents, LED-type, in my shop, are the most-agreeable "fluorescent" type lamps I've ever had.
    Frank
     
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  13. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    Given the government's supposed obsession with the environment, it is insane that they want us to use mercury-filled bulbs. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the technology in the LEDs has gotten a lot better but I would still rather have the incandescent bulbs.
     
    #38
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  14. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Very Well-Known Member
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    My problem was and still is that the CFLs (or any fluorescent for that matter) don't work a -40. The LEDs I've tried are not much better, so it is old incandescents or halogens. We also use them as small heaters, so we don't want them to be super efficient for that purpose. I like LEDs inside the house, but not outside in winter when it is almost always dark.
     
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  15. Beatrice Taylor

    Beatrice Taylor Well-Known Member
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    I still use the old TNT light bulbs in my little apartment.

    A couple of years ago the apartment complex where I live got a grant to replace all of the old bulbs on the property with spiral fluorescent style bulbs that were supposed to last for at least 10 years, they've all burned out and I've gradually gone back to my stash of old-style bulbs from the dollar store.

    Don's mention of using the old style bulbs as heaters reminded me of using a mechanic's lead light with a 100W bulb as a heater under the hood of my car or under the kitchen sink during periods of extreme cold. The heat that they emitted was just enough to keep things from freezing up during subzero temps. The simple life, LOL!!!
     
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  16. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    The incandescent bulbs were good for chicken coops in the winter, too. That was all they needed as a heater.
     
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  17. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Beatrice Taylor "..... using a mechanic's lead light...."

    I have numerous life-long scars, visible on my forearms mostly, from inadvertant contact with the metal "hood" reflector of my worklight, while working under vehicles, lying on my back. Some years back I found a suitable LED bulb for such use, and relish the fact that the drop-light works cold now. Occasionally, I will unthinkingly contact it, immediately drawing back expecting pain which does not present itself!

    I can readily understand preference for incandescents in cold climates, however.
    Frank
     
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  18. Neville Telen

    Neville Telen Well-Known Member
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    You can still buy them (or their nearest equivalent) online. Once I stock up (and buy out) the local source, I'll start hitting the online suppliers. I intend to stockpile enough to last five years, as the current crop of weak 100 watt crapola will not cut the mustard for my ole eyes.
     
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  19. Neville Telen

    Neville Telen Well-Known Member
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    Yep, Lowe's has been raided by the Nannyites too (https://www.lowes.com/pl/LED-light-bulbs-Light-bulbs-Lighting-ceiling-fans/4294801193), same worthless junk as HomeDepot. Strongest is 100 watt that ain't near a 100 watt. Definitely time to stockpile!
     
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