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  • 'Upgrade' to LED or CFL Lights

    Anyone made or making the switch to LED or CFL lights as their old lamps burn out or maybe not even waiting and swapping them out now?

    I looked at the price of these replacement lamps and while they may burn only 10 to 15% (in watts) of an incandescent lamp, when you factor in the cost of the lamp I bet the payback time is 3 or 3 years. I noticed on reading some of the boxes that they are only guaranteed for 2 or in some cases 3 years, then you have to jump through some hoops to score a replacement lamp or the cost of a lamp, which it seems for most manufacturers is the only commitment they make. Never mind that the box says will burn for 22.5 years at 3 hours per day.

    Here are some of the problems I see today that make it tough to 'go green' with lighting in your home.

    1. There are very few choices for dimmable CFLs, and there are few choices in CFL or LED compatable dimmers at this point in time.
    2. Most of the product labels for CFLs say they can not be used in fully enclosed fixtures and not with dimmers.
    3. Most of the LED packaging I read when compared to the equivalent CFL use just as much power or slightly less, so not much gained for the added expense as the CFLs are 30% the cost of a LED.
    4. Not many LED choices out there, at least in the stores I looked at in the area there is a limited selection provided and within that narrow choice range they don't stock enough to be of use to anyone. what I mean is what good is it to have only 2 of a particular size lamp on the shelf? I am guess that his is there stock level because the shelf is full and ALL the LED choices have only 2 or 3 lamps in any given size.

    I was looking at changing some of the lamps that we use most often and/or have high 'on' times each day as those would be the biggest money savers but I don't know if its worth it yet and for the places I would want to 'upgrade' they don't have enough in the size I need to do the job. I guess I could buy some then wait for the m to restock but that would mean a another trip and more fuel and time burnt too.

    I figure I will hold off for another year or so until LED production picks up a bit and more manufacturers get in the game. Then the prices should drop a tad and availability and selection should go up.

    One of the buildings at work was just re-lamped with all LED fixtures, replacing hundreds of fluorescent fixtures in the drop ceilings. The new fixtures have IR detectors that will shut the lights off 5 minutes after everyone leaves the room. In some of the corridors which are not heavily traveled the lights go off and when you start walking down the hallway they all come on in groups of 2 or 3 without having to touch a switch. The light they provide is bright white, nice and crisp and clear for a business setting. At home you would want warmer colored LEDs which are available of course. I was told the projected payback for this building upgrade is 4 years. That's to pay back the cost of the new fixtures and the installation cost. The LED lamps are supposed to have a 20+ year lifespan.
    ---------------
    Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
    ---------------
    “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
    ---------
    "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
    ---------
    sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

  • #2
    Re: 'Upgrade' to LED or CFL Lights

    I've replaced the flood lights in my home with the LED all in one units from HD. I only swapped out the can-lights I use the most often though as it would cost a fortune to replace all 31 units just in my basement! I really like them, and after my bad experience so far with the absolute junk CFL flood lights I'm willing to give the LED units a shot. They are slightly whiter than the original incandescent units, but not that noticeable. I hope they drop to the mid teen price range, as I would definitely replace all my lights with them.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: 'Upgrade' to LED or CFL Lights

      the city of la started replacing the street lights recently and traffic lights several years ago with led's. the street lights are much whiter and have several rows of led's. i would imagine the payback would be fast as the cost to keep several dozen city workers employed is not cheap for regular lamp replacements.

      rick.
      phoebe it is

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      • #4
        Re: 'Upgrade' to LED or CFL Lights

        We have three lamps in our house that burn 24/7. I replaced the incandescent bulbs in these three with CFLs around six years ago. Only one has failed (yet). I would imagine that I've recovered the cost several times over.
        "HONK if you've never seen a gun fired from a moving Harley"

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: 'Upgrade' to LED or CFL Lights

          Originally posted by Doctordeere View Post
          We have three lamps in our house that burn 24/7. I replaced the incandescent bulbs in these three with CFLs around six years ago. Only one has failed (yet). I would imagine that I've recovered the cost several times over.
          I did the same with a pair of CFLs in the coach lamps on the garage. They burn all night to light the driveway and walk up to the door. I put dates on them with a sharpie because its so long between lamp changes I don't remember. I get 6 or 7 years out of them where I was getting about 6 months with regular bulbs.
          ---------------
          Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
          ---------------
          “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
          ---------
          "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
          ---------
          sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: 'Upgrade' to LED or CFL Lights

            I don't like them. The light bothers my eyes. It doesn't seem natural to me. I prefer my whale oil lamps and candles
            sigpic

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: 'Upgrade' to LED or CFL Lights

              Originally posted by NHMaster3015 View Post
              I don't like them. The light bothers my eyes. It doesn't seem natural to me. I prefer my whale oil lamps and candles
              Now here is the most intelligent response, the hell with technology that replaces jobs and drains our consumer dollars! Go back to oil or gas lamps on the streets and employ more people to light and snuff them out as needed. Softer light would calm the night atmosphere and reduce violent crime.

              Last year I switched to cfl outside floods and wired in dusk till dawn electric eyes. I found the made for indoor 65watt floods last longer than the 125watt outdoor ones. Costco sells a wide variety of cfl's really cheap. I loaded up on several different shapes and wattages including round for bathroom vanity, standard 60w for my drop light (they work great and easily survive repeated drops). I would prefer LED replacements but believe they are still too pricey and need to be tested for durability outdoors.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: 'Upgrade' to LED or CFL Lights

                Here in CA we have something called Title 24 that says, more or less, that you have to put energy efficient lighting into new construction or remodels. When I re-did the kitchen I followed the code, installing 26W flourexcent cans. At first flip of the switch I was livid, as the can lights cost $40 instead of $6 and the lights were very dim. After 4-5 minutes, though they brighten up a lot and are plenty bright enough. The only disappointment so far is that they don't seem to last any longer than regular incandescent spots in can lights. I also put the curly CFLs in lamps and such when the incandescents burn out, but I've been unimpressed with their longevity, as well.

                I have always felt that it takes a LOT of can lights to illuminate a space, and with incandescents this not only gets expensive to run adds heat to the room. I'll probably switch to LEDs before too long... they're coming down in price and probably really will be reliable.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: 'Upgrade' to LED or CFL Lights

                  I do not like the CFL lights at all! They take a while to get to full illumination, often they flicker,
                  they are fragile, they are hazmat items with mercury [a step backwards!]

                  Often they never last as long as advertised and they can cause radio frequency interference!!!!

                  Now let's look at the LED lights..the new stuff out today!
                  I like them!
                  They are instant on, have the correct white level and no glare. they last a very long time
                  can be easily dimmed, but are expensive. They are not a hazmat challenge and are well made

                  Sadly both types of lamps are made in china..it seems us Americans have lost the ability to make
                  something as simple as a light bulb!

                  I have halogen lamps for the exterior lighting really bright and runs well!

                  I also stocked up on 100w incandescent bulbs so I'll have them and my grand kids will have them.
                  I'll sell you one for $100.00 as they will be a collectable soon....I say stock up and use them as long as you can!
                  the few pennies you may save in electricity will never be recouped from a CFL bulb!


                  Cactus Man

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: 'Upgrade' to LED or CFL Lights

                    At our local Publix supermarket their store brand incandescents are made in the USA. I read on either this or another forum that a lot of the generic incandescents are made here.
                    When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: 'Upgrade' to LED or CFL Lights

                      Originally posted by cactusman View Post
                      I also stocked up on 100w incandescent bulbs so I'll have them and my grand kids will have them.
                      I'll sell you one for $100.00 as they will be a collectable soon....I say stock up and use them as long as you can!
                      the few pennies you may save in electricity will never be recouped from a CFL bulb!


                      Cactus Man
                      They sell 97 watt bulbs for now to get around the 100W ban. I cannot tell the difference between 97 and 100 watts, they both leave sun spots when I stare at them...


                      Originally posted by NHMaster3015 View Post
                      I don't like them. The light bothers my eyes. It doesn't seem natural to me. I prefer my whale oil lamps and candles
                      They do make them in different colors. I forget which color has the yellow tint, but I have ones that have an off white color similar to the ol incandescent bulb we all loved and hated.
                      We don't have preventative maintenance around here, we have CRISIS MANAGEMENT!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: 'Upgrade' to LED or CFL Lights

                        You want the warmer color temperature LEDs or CFLs, they would be in the range of 2600K to 2900K.
                        The packaging rules that EnergyStar put on them requires them to put the color temp, equivalent wattage
                        to an incandescent bulb, energy use in one year, and a couple other things on the package so that we can
                        make informed choices.

                        Not sure about CFLs but LEDs when used with dimmers will not power up at less than ~10%, and at that 10%
                        they are a bit brighter than an equivalent rated incandescent bulb which you can bring on at a very low power
                        level of say ~5% and get a nice warm glow affect, not so with LEDs.

                        Get the facts on the "Light Bulb Law" here:

                        http://www.energystar.gov/ia/product....pdf?7538-4541

                        Attachment

                        Myth #1: The Government is banning incandescent light bulbs and forcing you to buy CFLS.
                        There is no ban on any technology and incandescent light bulbs are not going away.
                        Consumers will have a range of better bulb choices in a variety of colors, bulb types, and light levels including improved incandescents, CFLs, and LEDs. Most major lighting manufacturers now produce 2012 EISA-Compliant incandescent light bulbs (and sell them at major retailers including Home Depot, Walmart, and Amazon). These bulbs look, feel and operate just like regular incandescent bulbs; they just do it more efficiently. And efficient halogens – a type of incandescent – that already meet the standard are in stores for purchase now. Additionally, many types of bulbs are exempt from the law, including specialty bulbs, globes and three-way bulbs.
                        Attached Files
                        ---------------
                        Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                        ---------------
                        “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                        ---------
                        "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                        ---------
                        sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: 'Upgrade' to LED or CFL Lights

                          Well, we're still a bit behind the times here. Florescent tubes in kitchen and in the shop and incandescents in the living room, library, tv room, and bedrooms. I've replaced the all-night outside lamps with CFL's and they serve the purpose there. But, I'm not impressed with their slow warm up or the RF noise that they emit. Their not nearly as noisey as some of the older "tube" balasts and fixtures, but I've replaced all of those.

                          LED's will be great, at least the few that I've seen; but the initial cost is really high and I haven't found much in the way of variety. For just the two of us, lighting is fairly minimal as we don't feel the need to light up the whole house. Typical winter night has two 40-watt florescents on in the kitchen, on 40-watt in the TV room and one 60-watt on in the library. These are only on from about 6:00 to midnight. During the day, the only lights in use are in the basement which takes 320 watts in total for about four to six hours on an average project day.

                          Biggest consumers of electrical power in our home is probably the furnace and the refrigerator. Tools aren't on all that long for any particular operation, and probably don't add up to an hour or so total. I can't quote the numbes, but traditionally the electrical consumption is comparatively low for us. Still, our objective is to lower this even further over the next year or so.

                          With regards to the LED bulbs, I have a friend who is a lighting engineer for Phillips. I think I'll be seeing him this weekend and I'll try to remember to get his latest insights on their progress in the LED business.

                          CWS

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: 'Upgrade' to LED or CFL Lights

                            If you have 6 cans in a room with 75W PARs in each, that's 450W. A horsepower is 746 watts. So it can get expensive to run incandenscents in can lights. It takes a lot of cans to get decent illumination. Here in CA our electric rates are insanely high. The national avg is about 12 cents per kW-hr if I recal correctly, so it might not make as much sense from a cost payback point of view if you're paying that amount or less.

                            The worst part is the heat though. Most all of the energy you feed any light ends up as heat. Here it tops 90 in the summer pretty regularly. Standing under an array of incandescent blowtorches gets uncomfortable.

                            Having said all that, I agree that flourescents are a short term solution. LEDs are already coming down in price. Costco has LED motion sensing outdoor lights with LEDs (two, taking the place of the typical flood lamps) for about $60. I'm thinking about getting a couple to replace the traditional ones that light up the side yards, but worry that they might not be bright enough. Unfortunately the ones at Costco don't list the light output on the package. Next time I'm there I will make note of the manufacturer and see if they can provide the specs.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: 'Upgrade' to LED or CFL Lights

                              They should list the output in lumens which is part of the labeling requirement,
                              but maybe that requirement doesn't apply to a fixture with LED lamps included.

                              Traditional incandescents are only about 15 to 20% efficient, that is only about
                              15 to 20% of the energy consumed is converted to visible light, the remainder
                              is expended as heat. In the summer or warm climates this is additional heat load
                              for the HVAC system, on cooler days it becomes supplemental heat in the space, but
                              IIRC some old style can lights need space between the insulation and the light and they
                              will lose heat to the unheated or attic space when on or off.
                              ---------------
                              Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                              ---------------
                              “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                              ---------
                              "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                              ---------
                              sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                              Comment

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