Light Bulb Wars!

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

  1. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known 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.

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    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!
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    Below, the entire fixture, with the two LEDs in line, and two fluorescents back to back with them.
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    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
     
    #26
  2. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart 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 Very Well-Known 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 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 Very Well-Known Member
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    Certainly not an "or what"!
    Frank
     
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  7. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known 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 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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