Question about home CFL use

Discussion in 'Environmental Discussion' started by burritos, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. ryogajyc

    ryogajyc Active Member

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    It's not that simple, b/c a CFL bulb costs more than an incandescent bulb. The CFL bulb lifetime can be anywhere from about the same as an incandescent (if you turn it on/off frequently) to many times longer. At some point, the CFL bulb costs exceed electrical cost savings.

    Also, the CFL light equivalent of an incandescent is ~1/4 the wattage. So a 13W CFL is equivalent to a 60W incandescent. A 23W CFL is equivalent to a 100W incandescent.

    Edit: NM, I've noticed you fixed the 23W/100W comparison.
     
  2. sipnfuel

    sipnfuel New Member

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    Yeah sorry, i did edit it because I had to lookup after I posted how much light a 23 watt bulb outputs. I thought it was 60 watts, but actually it is around 100.

    Thanks your input on factoring in how much bulbs cost. It's not unusual for a CFL bulb to cost about $1 or so where I am. I don't know if that includes some kind of energy rebate built into the purchase price.
     
  3. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

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    You can get CFLs for under $2 each here, a little more if you want the globe to cover the curlies. I have had some IKEA ones being used for 6 years now, and that's about how long they last for my more frequently used lights. As I run out of CFLs, I'll slowly convert to LEDs or if I add lighting that makes me need different bulbs.

    As of now, I believe the ONLY incandescent bulb is in the garage door opener - I couldn't get a CFL to work, but that may be that I couldn't get it screwed in far enough due to the ballast being larger than a typical base.
     
  4. sipnfuel

    sipnfuel New Member

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    I have seen some newer low watt CFLs that are built much smaller and can fit in some tighter spaces. I believe they are 8 watt or 14 watt. However, they cost more.

    I have been thinking of using a bulb socket to outlet adapter and running a line to power (small) shop lights outside of the garage door opener housing.

    http://www.amazon.com/Leviton-125-2-Pole-2-Wire-Adapter/dp/B001PCVTFC



    I don't think it will look bad because wires already run out of the garage door opener.
     
  5. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

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    Well, considering they only stay on a few minutes whenever I open/close the garage or trip the door sensors, I'm not too worried about it yet. I'll probably get LED lights for there to replace once they die.

    That other option you list isn't too bad - I've got other wiring already in the garage, so it wouldn't be too bad if I had to go that route. In fact, it might be better as I could aim lights to where I wanted them to shine.
     
  6. WE0H

    WE0H Senior Member

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    Hi Pat,

    If you want dim-able LED lighting, start out by making your own LED lamp assemblies that run off of say 14v DC. Now take the circuits that you want to use dim-able LED lighting on and wire it so it is running on 14v DC. Your dimmer will be a pot with a switch. You know what I mean. No chance of radio noise this way either :)
    EZ ;)


    Mike
     
  7. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    A19 (standard size & shape) 60-watt dimmable equivalents running 800 to 850 lumens for $35 to $40. That's really bright and rather amazing for only consuming 12 to 13 actual watts of electricity. This fall will introduce the 75-watt, even brighter.

    40-watt dimmables are absolutely fantastic for ceiling fans, since they are basically immune to vibration. In fact, I dropped one... picked off the shattered glass... and kept right on using it. That glass is only cosmetic, not containing any special gas like most bulbs.

    Dimming switches are an issue. Most traditional ones don't have an attenuator sensitive enough, since they expect far more electricity passing through them than a LED consumes. 3-way switches have a similar exposure with cheap bulbs; the better LEDs work fine though. So, you to do some research/experimenting. Fortunately, he old issue of humming is pretty much gone now.

    Another thing to watch out for is the cheap LED only broadcast light in a single direction. The nicer bulbs spread all around, great for lamps.

    Long story short, I'd suggest trying one of the top LED bulbs for now, like this (Philips 409904) or this (EcoSmart ECS 19 V2 WW 120). Then you'll have a better idea what to look for later when prices come down.
    .
     
  8. icarus

    icarus Senior Member

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  9. WE0H

    WE0H Senior Member

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  10. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    Mike, it's not that simple... while lowering the voltage may achieve a dim like function, a good linear dimming action uses a PWM circut, Pulse Width Modulation. the shorter the pulse width the less the ON state, 50% pulse is half brightness, and a full HI state is full on. I have seen units in searches, but god are they expensive. The Nokia Theatre in LA has a lobby area that is completely lit by hundreds of LEDs. They are RGB with pure white available my mixing the 3 colors in the LED, VERY COOL!!! Multi color from 1 LED, dedicated controller, and they dim beautifully!
    I am actually thinking about designing my own PWM system., It's not that hard, I will need multiple units to drive strings of Cree bulbs. And of course, I will just have to beef it up to handle Hi current. The Cree LEDs have to be heat sinked. I bought some 3 watt Cree samples, and with full on state, they are damn bright! The problem is you would have to use a string of them to achieve a max desired brightness. Maybe a recessed system in the ceiling. It's going to be a while...
    If you can't dim the light, no matter what format, it will just not work for certain areas in my home.!
     
  11. WE0H

    WE0H Senior Member

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    Worst case you could carry different tint sunglasses :p

    Mike
     
  12. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Pat - I'd seriously suggest checking out THESE bad boys, selling at costco. We got a bunch after we tested a couple of their PAR30's for about a month, and they're GREAT:

    http://priuschat.com/forums/environ...-par30-25k-hour-dimmable-led.html#post1327149

    Did you forget? You commented on them at post #4 ... you even wrote a nifty 'jingle' :p Anyway, CREE LED's are light years ahead of the competition.
     
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  13. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    :D

    That's about where I am.
     
  14. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

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    John - Those are two of the bulbs you used, right?

    I got dimmers that stated for LEDs, and I still had a humming. Ironically, I only noticed it on the ones in the 4" cans, as the ones in the 6" never had an issue. I know the 6" ones are CREEs but I don't think the smaller ones are, so maybe that has a little to do with it. Either way, I'm still happy without having a dimmer on the smaller ones.

    I'm just not sure I want to spend $30-40/bulb compared to the CFL costs. Then again, with the infrequent use of some of my CFLs they might have another 5 or 10 years left in them. By then, I would really hope LEDs are competitive on price!

    I am impressed with the increased types of bulbs that have come on the market over the past 6 months. There was a much smaller selection when I got mine at the beginning of the year.
     
  15. drees

    drees Senior Member

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    Yep, a LOT of new LEDs coming out recently. Most appear to be of very good quality, too. Prices are slowly coming down, but still pretty expensive.

    My house is currently fully outfitted with CFLs. Have one Home Depot EcoSmart 430 lumen (40w equivalent) that performs as advertised. I want to try some of the Cree 6" floods in my kitchen (have 6 min there), but going to wait for my existing dimmable CFLs to die first.
     
  16. dtuite

    dtuite Silverback

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    Not a good idea to put LED bulbs in cans. The heat that they do produce is not radiated; it must be extracted through the base of the bulb. Cans are not designed with a way to conduct that heat to the environment safely. At best, the heat concentration will shorten bulb life; at worse . . . . (This a tech seminar at Cree.). On a slightly different LED subject, here's a blog entry: Deconstructing the $10 Million LED Bulb
     
  17. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Because of heat dissipation, LEDs do best in luminaries specifically designed for LEDs. As replacement lamps, current LED efficiency levels limit the standard A19 size to an equivalent wattage of 60 when using only passive cooling. More than this and the LED dies get too hot.

    The good news is that LED efficiency levels continue to improve. Better efficiency means that less power is needed and more of that power is converted to light. In other words, illumination increases by the square of efficiency.

    Still, the really big gains with LEDs will be when we can get away from LED conversions and instead focus on purpose built LED luminaries.

    Tom
     
  18. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    What you say is true. However (you knew that was coming, right ;) ) ... there are cans ... and then there are cans. Some are well insulated (makes sense) while others are not. Each bare can install ought to take in consideration the variables. Is it in a 2nd story, exposed to the harsh elements of the attic? ok, the can needs to be insulated. Is it in the ceiling downstairs venting into the 2nd story floor? Then you're good to go LED, because the LED's temps vent just fine in that application.

    Now, back to the well insulated can. Yes ... your 50K hour LED will suffer heat issues. You may get only 1/2 it's life. oh, wait ... that's still 25,000 hours! ok, there you go ... I can live with that. Incandescents get maybe 700 to 1,000 hours (often less is sub zero temps) CFL's get appx 10K hours ... maybe less if they're cycled off & on too frequently ... or even less life, in high humidity environments. Yes ... ALL lighting has issues. We all have to decide which set of issues is a fair enough trade off.
    http://priuschat.com/forums/environ...-par30-25k-hour-dimmable-led.html#post1327149
    I'm still finding these doo-zies take the cake -

    .
     
  19. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

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    From my use of the 6" CREE ones that EcoSmart sells, I would recommend. I wish they made a 4" version with the trim piece and cover all in one. It's a much cleaner look, IMO. But, I'm not one to recommend replacing a CFL before it's dead. If you had an incandescent, I'd say to change ASAP but not with a CFL.
     
  20. drees

    drees Senior Member

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    Uhh... this is a Cree designed bulb designed specifically for cans. The Cree CR6 - they make others as well.

    In my kitchen there are 6 bulbs - 4 of which are on a dimmer. Had to replace 1 of the 4 with a 75W halogena bulb to get the dimmer to work OK. Maybe installing a Cree LED dimmable to replace the 75W bulb will also work? Main drawback of the Cree's that I'm looking at is that they replace the entire trim of the can - I'm actually using a PAR30 bulb now so unless I replace ALL the bulbs with the Crees, it's going to look a bit funny. I see that there's a number of PAR30 LEDs now, but it's hard to tell if they're really floods or have a narrow beam. Would be nice if there was a display with all the different LEDs at the store.
     
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