Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
CFL vs LED Light Bulb Thread
Old 07-31-2010, 10:16 AM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
easysurfer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 7,885
CFL vs LED Light Bulb Thread

Evolution from the Chevy Volt thread...

Should I upgrade my light bulbs to LED

Let the debate on CFL vs LEDs begin

I did go ahead and test out that $20 LED bulb I bought from Home Depot. As a 1 bulb task light, I'm quite pleased. $20 is still pretty much for one bulb -- I consider in an investment, not a general purchase
__________________

__________________
Have you ever seen a headstone with these words
"If only I had spent more time at work" ... from "Busy Man" sung by Billy Ray Cyrus
easysurfer is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 07-31-2010, 11:06 AM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ls99's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4,792
I have 8 CFLs in the garage. Put them in there 4 years ago. Except for one that was impacted by a ladder an broke they all are working.

Not using them in the garage door opener.

DW hates the color.

Also have six in the kitchen recessed light fixtures. DW hates the color, the lack of spectrum. This was done 'cause the recessed light fixtures are not insulation contact rated, incandescents make too much heat. I did not and still will not go through the work of replacing the recessed fixtures. So this was an easy, quick and low effort and low cost solution. Added bathroom type sealed cover with a gasket to eliminate free air flow into the attic. When we moved in, insulated the attic and around the fixtures.

Also the outdoor lantern style lights, on the garage walls, 5 of them, plus 4 on the patio have CFLs. About three years now, but we don't turn them on all that often. Garden lighting is solar rechargeable LED 10ea.

So in a few application they are useful.

CFLs lack of color spectrum truly sucks big time.
Did I say the colors are truly ugly?

Edit add: We Will Not Upgrade the CFLs to LED. Just don' see it as cost effective.
__________________

__________________
There must be moderation in everything, including moderation.
ls99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2010, 11:21 AM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
easysurfer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 7,885
I had one CFL that needed replacing in my kitchen light and the bulb fits there, but the one I got was is only 40 watt equivalent (though seems more like about 50 watts of bright white light to me) but I'll wait at least until 60 watt equivalents become more affordable.

My approach now is until they come down in price (to around $5 a bulb) I still have some extra CFLs around and will use these up first.

I do like the one $20 bulb that I got and use at my computer area task light.
__________________
Have you ever seen a headstone with these words
"If only I had spent more time at work" ... from "Busy Man" sung by Billy Ray Cyrus
easysurfer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2010, 11:31 AM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
youbet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 9,965
I just ordered 4 LED replacements for the 12V incandescents currently in my camper. $21.95 ea plus shipping. Ouch!

This is strictly a power conservation measure as we do a lot of boon docking and the incandescents pull 8X more current than the LEDS.
__________________
"I wasn't born blue blood. I was born blue-collar." John Wort Hannam
youbet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2010, 01:32 PM   #5
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 217
Just about all my CFL's burned out in less than a year,two different manufactures.
Expensive experiment.
Old Mike
__________________
mf15 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2010, 03:18 PM   #6
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 4,929
For what it's worth, I used to do electrical related engineering stuff, and fiddling around with these sorts of details appeals to my OCD.

I currently use compact fluorescent lamps with a high frequency ballast (pretty much all the newest ones come with this). These tend to be flicker free and have a power factor close to 1.0. I install these lights in locations that tend to be on for hours at a time, particularly where replacement is relatively difficult. They're currently installed in outdoor lighting fixtures, where I used a CFL designed for such use, and in indoor passage and nightlight applications (little 5 watters here). The outdoor lamps have been in service for about 10 years, and the interior ones from seven down to one year. They're holding up about as expected.

Elsewhere, in hard to reach locations, where I have dimmer circuits or where the lights are switched on for short periods, I am using quartz halogen lamps, mostly the MR16/GU10 base. These are almost twice as efficient as conventional incandescent bulbs, or half as efficient as fluorescent bulbs, but are better suited for the application. I use these in our master bath and walk-in closet and our entertainment room. (DW doesn't like me to call it a Man Cave or Home Theater. :-) ) I've had one bulb out of the 14 installed fail in the past year. Four have been in service for three years, the rest less than one.

I may eventually swap out some of the GU10 halogen lamps for LED lamps, as the prices drop. I've noticed a few of these coming on the market with brightness comparable to a 20 watt halogen lamp, but still at a very high price. At least one is dimmer compatible, no doubt with some clever electronics in it's built in power converter.
__________________
M Paquette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2010, 03:27 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: No. California
Posts: 1,600
I think every bulb in my house is a CFL, I replaced them when I moved in 6.5 years ago. One is starting to flicker in my closet now, but the rest are the original bulbs. I buy my bulbs at either Costco or Sam's club in the multi bulb packs. I even use them in my garage opener and outdoor porch lights.
__________________
KB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2010, 03:40 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,278
So here's an article that actually seems to have some references for the 'embodied' energy of CFL versus ILB.

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs ? A Tale From Dust to Dust | the Watt

It takes roughly 50 hours ( I got 65?) of use for the CFL to break-even with an ICB. Not a problem for high usage places, but they could be burning out from on/off cycles if you use them in places that only get 10 minutes a day or something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by M Paquette View Post
and in indoor passage and nightlight applications (little 5 watters here).
Would there be any savings here? That's a pretty small wattage.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2010, 08:34 AM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,971
Surprising thread. We had an old style (circular flourescent tube) in our closet, it lasted about 12 years. And we've replaced almost every bulb in our house (about 15) over the past 2-4 years, and none have failed yet. Some are used sporadically, others daily. Some were the somewhat expensive GE CFL's but most have been the Home Depot 4 packs made offshore (?). We'll see...
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2010, 09:46 AM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
calmloki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Independence
Posts: 5,459
I try to use CFLs in high use areas where we are paying the electricity, especially if I can get them at little cost. Several of the rentals got upgraded insulation and windows and CFLs were a gimme under state partial funding of the upgrades. As tenants moved out I would swap the CFLs to higher use areas - like common area and walkway locations where we burn the lights 14-16 hours/day. I got grumpy at the speed with which they burned out, but note on packaging that the ten year touted life is based on a couple hours use per day; a year and 8 months is about to spec in our walkway application.
__________________
calmloki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2010, 11:16 AM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Gotadimple's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,761
Quote:
Originally Posted by ls99 View Post

CFLs lack of color spectrum truly sucks big time.
Did I say the colors are truly ugly?
+1 on the color factor. I use them in the stairwells, where bright white light is helpful. I tried one in my kitchen yesterday as one of the BR40's burned out -- no go, big time -- way too bright!
__________________
Only got A dimple, would have preferred 2!
Gotadimple is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2010, 01:06 PM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
calmloki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Independence
Posts: 5,459
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gotadimple View Post
+1 on the color factor. I use them in the stairwells, where bright white light is helpful. I tried one in my kitchen yesterday as one of the BR40's burned out -- no go, big time -- way too bright!
BTW - have found that putting a CFL and an incandescent in the same enclosed fixture results in really fast CFL burnout - they don't like the high heat.
__________________
calmloki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2010, 01:09 PM   #13
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,860
I think most of you probably use a lot more artificial light than I do. It's not uncommon for me to have NO lights on other than the TV and/or laptop and/or an LED booklight operated with 3 AAA cell batteries that last forever. Other times I have one 60W incandescent light on, never more than one, and I am perfectly happy with no more lights than that. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2010, 01:47 PM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,278
Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
Other times I have one 60W incandescent light on, never more than one, and I am perfectly happy with no more lights than that. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
Heh-heh - I'll be sure to tell DW and the two kids that are home and their friends hanging out that we all should huddle around a single bulb at night.

Also, being that you are further south, you won't have as much variation in sunset as we do up north. It gets dark around here at 5PM in winter. So not just different strokes for different folks, but different conditions as well.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2010, 02:00 PM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
harley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Following the nice weather
Posts: 6,428
+1 on the complaints about the color.

Quote:
Originally Posted by M Paquette View Post
Elsewhere, in hard to reach locations, where I have dimmer circuits or where the lights are switched on for short periods, I am using quartz halogen lamps, mostly the MR16/GU10 base. These are almost twice as efficient as conventional incandescent bulbs, or half as efficient as fluorescent bulbs, but are better suited for the application. I use these in our master bath and walk-in closet and our entertainment room. (DW doesn't like me to call it a Man Cave or Home Theater. :-) ) I've had one bulb out of the 14 installed fail in the past year. Four have been in service for three years, the rest less than one.

I may eventually swap out some of the GU10 halogen lamps for LED lamps, as the prices drop. I've noticed a few of these coming on the market with brightness comparable to a 20 watt halogen lamp, but still at a very high price. At least one is dimmer compatible, no doubt with some clever electronics in it's built in power converter.
One of my biggest complaints with the CFLs is the lack of dimmability. They make them dimmable, but if you are foolish enough to pay the extremely high cost you'll find that they flicker and don't really dim, they sort of like chunk down in wattage.

I'm curious, do the halogens dim properly? And don't halogens usually run really hot? How do they compare color-wise? Aren't they sort of blue?

Personally, I'm stocking up big time on the incandescents. Can anybody say black market come 2012? I'll have to change my name to Harley Medellin.
__________________
"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." - Will Rogers, or maybe Sam Clemens
DW and I - FIREd at 50 (7/06), living off assets
harley is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2010, 02:21 PM   #16
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 4,929
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Would there be any savings here? That's a pretty small wattage.
The little 5 watt fluorescents replace 25 watt incandescents, and have a much longer installed life in this application. They wind up being on about 8-10 hours a day. That adds up to about 200 watt-hours per fixture per day, or 12 kilowatt-hours per month for two fixtures, or rounded to $3.49 a month ($41.85/year) at the $0.29062/KWh marginal rate. The CFBs last several years in this application, whereas the conventional light bulbs lasted around 6 months to a year.

The house is already pretty energy efficient, so yes, this is a small savings, but that is pretty much what anything we do would be at this point. Out utility bills run around 50-60% of the average for this neighborhood. All the little things add up after a while.
__________________
M Paquette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2010, 03:17 PM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,278
Quote:
Originally Posted by M Paquette View Post
The little 5 watt fluorescents replace 25 watt incandescents, and have a much longer installed life in this application. They wind up being on about 8-10 hours a day. That adds up to about 200 watt-hours per fixture per day, or 12 kilowatt-hours per month for two fixtures, or rounded to $3.49 a month ($41.85/year) at the $0.29062/KWh marginal rate. The CFBs last several years in this application, whereas the conventional light bulbs lasted around 6 months to a year.
OK, thanks. Your electric rate is almost 3x mine, so everything makes three times more sense now!

Our night lights were just those little 7W bulbs, but maybe you have a bigger space to light up. Most we have now are LED or Electroluminescent (eerie green glow). They wouldn't even get above the threshold of my Kill-a-Watt meter, so very low power. I bought the ELs years ago, and I think DW just picked up the LED ones when the old plug-in style fixture broke when cleaning or something. Nice thing about these is that they are so low power, they don't bother with the ambient light sensor, which usually caused annoying flicker (and yes, the engineer in me wanted to tweak the thresholds and hysteresis in the circuit ; wait, that's not so funny, I actually did that in our solar lawn lights - they stay lit all night now). And the LED should last 10 years or so, so no nuisance replacement of bulbs.

And my wife bought them already, so I don't even have to do any cost justification! What's done is done (or is that 'Watts done is done'?).

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2010, 05:35 PM   #18
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 4,929
Quote:
Originally Posted by harley View Post
One of my biggest complaints with the CFLs is the lack of dimmability. They make them dimmable, but if you are foolish enough to pay the extremely high cost you'll find that they flicker and don't really dim, they sort of like chunk down in wattage.

I'm curious, do the halogens dim properly? And don't halogens usually run really hot? How do they compare color-wise? Aren't they sort of blue?
The 'dimmable' fluorescents seem to use some sort of half-smart power supply, and 'dim' in a couple of steps. One I've tried just switches off one of two tubes as it is 'dimmed'. I guess it behaves about like an incandescent bulb on a high-low switch.

The halogen bulbs seem to dim just fine. The biggest gotcha when used on a dimming circuit is that the quartz envelope won't get hot enough when dimmed to drive the halogen cycle that keeps the bulb clean of deposited tungsten vapor. Running at full brightness for a little while clears this up, though.

The halogen bulbs are hotter than most incandescent bulbs, and produce a whiter light. It's still 'warmer' in color than daylight by quite a bit, though. I like them for reading and general task lighting, and have halogen or pressurized xenon lamps installed for undercounter and room lighting in much of the house.
__________________
M Paquette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2010, 08:46 AM   #19
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,528
I use CFLs on all the outside lights, which I leave on all night. Some are a pita to replace since doing so requires an extension ladder and the lower power usage appeals too. Collectively they burn about 120 watts. Many of the inside lights have dimmer switches on them so CFL's are ruled out there.

When LED's come down in price I'll consider them as the CFL's burn out. If they can be dimmed then I'll probably use them inside.
__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2010, 10:19 AM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,666
All our lights were originally CFL.
1-2 years ago I replaced about a dozen withe LEDs (mainly recessed fixtures).
I like the longer life of the LEDs and the fact that the one I dropped from 7 feet didn't break
I also didn't want any delay in illumination at our front step in the cold season, so the front step light is now LED as well.
__________________

__________________
"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
(Ancient Indian Proverb)"
Zathras is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Do I see the light or is it a train? Whatif Hi, I am... 8 01-25-2008 07:27 AM
Banning the Bulb ERD50 Other topics 134 12-27-2007 05:45 PM
When did you see the light? Rich_by_the_Bay Life after FIRE 130 08-12-2006 03:29 PM
Getting a Kid to See the Light TromboneAl FIRE and Money 35 08-08-2006 04:43 PM
When Did You See the Light? II (danger:religion thread) Zipper Other topics 75 08-05-2006 06:38 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:19 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.