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Old 08-25-2014, 08:49 AM   #21
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anyone seen the led's on sale anywhere? have never tried one for the fact that I can buy the cfl 60 equivelant so cheaply it nullifies the cost savings for the led.
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Given that CFLs and LEDs consume about the same amount of power, that CFLs are dirt cheap and that I'm not particular about the light temperature, I don't see any 110 volt LEDs in my future until the price comes down markedly. ... .
Agree with travelover, though the light temperature (how 'white','amber' the light appears) is subjective. Some might prefer some LEDs appearance to some CFLs.

LEDs only save a bit more electricity than CFLs, so the reason to buy LEDs versus CFLs falls to other factors:

1: Breakage - those CFLs are delicate, easy to break - the mercury issue may be overstated, but... I really don't think you can compare a 'ball of mercury' to the mercury vapor that these CFLs put into the air. That vapor could be far, far more likely to enter your system than a ball that contains itself through surface tension - unless you swallowed it.

2: Appearance - discussed above.

3: Dimming - I just bought a 60W equivalent LED at Costco for ~ $6. Thought I'd try it out. Te key is, this is dimmable. AFAIK, the dimmable CFLs are more expensive than the cheap CFL prices you see, and they don't dim that well. This LED dims right in line with the two other filament bulbs (when I had to replace the dimmer on that circuit recently, the switch handle cracked, I replaced it with an LED/CFL compatible dimmer - NOTE - this still means the CFL must be a dimmable type).

4: Lifetime? LEDS supposedly have these long lives, but I've read many well researched articles questioning this. That published 25,000 hour life, from what I understand, is based on the rate that the bulb dims over the first X hours. But the circuitry that drives those bulbs has components that are not likely to withstand the generated heat for anywhere near 25,000 hours. We will see.


I need more feedback from DW, but this LED is still whiter than the bulbs, and I think casts a not-so-great color on the walls of that room. And it is more obvious as you dim it - the filaments become more and more amber as they dim, the LED stays the same color throughout. But it tracks the dim-ness of the other bulbs very closely, I did not need to re-adjust the 'minimum' dim setting (that keeps it from turning off completely when you go to min light).

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Old 08-25-2014, 08:52 AM   #22
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In our retirement community, one of the "perks" from the HOA fees for the villas (regular homes)... is replacement of the post lantern lights, and the garage door lights, which work on day/night sensors. Last month, all of the homes received new LED lights, which should cut down on the physical replacement costs.
Personally, I miss the soft warm glow of the incandescents, but understand the decision.
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Old 08-25-2014, 09:05 AM   #23
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In my condo complex we replaced all the common area bulbs with LEDs, incentivized by a "green" subsidy. We are talking hundreds of bulbs. Our electricity bills have since decreased significantly.
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Old 08-25-2014, 09:12 AM   #24
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I noticed a drop in my electrical bill when I replaced just two outdoor lights (that stay on all night long) with CFL's. I've since started to replace the interior lights, especially the ones that stay on a lot.
Please, only do the ones that 'stay on a lot'.

It takes more energy and materials (which must be mined, shipped, refined, shipped, assembled, shipped....) to produce and ship an LED or CFL than it does to make a lightweight filament bulb made of a bit of metal and glass.

If you put CFLs/LEDs in low use sockets, you are likely doing more against the environment (and your pocket-book) than for it.

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Old 08-25-2014, 09:31 AM   #25
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Once we figured out the dimmer issue with CFL we haven't had to replace any for burnout.
Wow, that hasn't been our experience at all. The CFL's seem to do well in lamps, but they laast about 3 years (maybe 1500 hours?) in the enclosed fixtures in our bathrooms. I think it is the combination of short duty cycle and heat that kills them. And I don't know if the LEDs will do any better: They still have fussy electronics that don't like to be hot. Maybe it's time to replace the fixtures with ones that are better ventilated. Or just put the 60 watt incandescent bulbs back in.
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Old 08-25-2014, 09:56 AM   #26
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I've yet to have an LED bulb die prematurely on me. As for CFLs, there are times when I bulb stop working I am sure it didn't last the 7 years as mentioned on the packaging. I do think though the choice isn't an either or thing.

For example, most LEDs aren't recommended for lights with enclosed covers.

But when I can, I'd go with LED and then ponder that those bulbs will probably outlast me.
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Old 08-25-2014, 10:34 AM   #27
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I have thought about getting LED bulbs for a while, but with all the improvement being made and the falling prices, and the long life of these bulbs, it seems prudent to wait a while and use up my supply of CFL bulbs. Also, I am waiting for a reasonably priced LED that gives the same amount of light as a 100 watt incandescent balb.
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Old 08-25-2014, 03:03 PM   #28
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Even at current prices, LED's have the lowest life cycle cost, then CFL's (about 2X LED) and then incandescent bulbs (5-10X life cycle cost vs LED). However, that may be of little value for bulbs that aren't used as often. Other considerations:
  • CFL's contain mercury, an environmental issue, LED's do not
  • CFL's are more sensitive to cycling than LED's, cycling shortens the ultimate life of CFL's considerably more
  • CFL's are more sensitive to humidity, see reports on CFL lifespan in bathrooms
  • CFL's are far more breakable than LED's
  • CFL's take several minutes to warm up and provide full output, LED's are instantaneous by comparison
  • We bought premium and bargain CFL's, but they all gave a yellow cast compared to the LED's we've had so far, noticeably. Could be we bought the wrong types, but the difference was dramatic.
  • While it takes a while (years) to breakeven, utility savings begin immediately using LED's, less so CFL's vs incandescent bulbs
One of many sources of info: Compare: LED Lights vs CFL vs Incandescent Lighting Chart
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Old 08-25-2014, 03:32 PM   #29
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Two thoughts on CFL and LED bulbs and their life expectancy.

According to articles I have read, some of the cheap ones will fail early not because the the light emitting part of the bulb fails but because the electronics that control the bulb fail. I have had CFL's that have lasted barely 2x the life of an incandescent bulb and others that have worked for many times that.

Second thought: I understand (please correct me if this is wrong) that the published lifespan of the bulb is an statistical midpoint. They line up 100 bulbs, turn them on and when the 50th bulb burns out, that midpoint becomes the expected lifespan of the bulb. So, if you are unlucky enough to buy a bulb that is in the first few percent to fail you will wonder why you bothered. OTOH, if you buy a bulb that is in the last few percent to fail, you will congratulate yourself on a very wise purchase.
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Old 08-25-2014, 04:00 PM   #30
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What you won't find on the CFL package...
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CFL lifespans are based on a three-hour run time per start. In other words, during CFL testing, bulbs are cycled on for three hours and off for 20 minutes until half the samples have failed. If you turn them on frequently for less than three hours at a time — as I do in my bathroom — you’re in for a surprise.

“Incandescents [and LED's] are somewhat immune to the number of times you switch them on and off,” Leslie says, “but the electrodes inside a CFL are stressed with each burst of starting voltage, and will eventually degrade and fail. With a CFL, the number of starts is the primary factor for determining how long it will last; the number of burning hours is secondary. A CFL rated at 10,000 hours in the three-hour-on standard test might last only 4,000 hours if left on for only 15 minutes per start.”
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Old 08-25-2014, 04:26 PM   #31
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I noticed a drop in my electrical bill when I replaced just two outdoor lights (that stay on all night long) with CFL's. I've since started to replace the interior lights, especially the ones that stay on a lot.
At my last house, I replaced about 72 bulbs with CFL type bulbs in just a few weeks. Six months later, at the end of my billing year, I got a zero bill. i.e. one month free, I had level billing. My monthly fixed payment was also adjusted down. At the end of the next year, the same thing happened since it was now a full 12 months with CFLs. Two year utility savings was about $380 at a time when my total electric cost was 9 cents per kWh. My electric per kWh is just a little higher now. But, from another thread on this forum, I have seen that I am on the low end of electric cost. I would imagine some on this forum could save quite a bit of coin by switching if they have not already.

ETA: had to correct the total electric cost, my original figure was generation cost only.
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Old 08-25-2014, 04:37 PM   #32
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Our DD replaced all the lights in their home about 2 years ago with CFL and saw a good drop in their electric bill.

The best explanation I have seen on all this is here: https://www.stearnselectric.org/file...htGuide_v2.pdf
One thing I would add to that pdf is a discussion of color temperature. They tell you to buy Soft White or Warm bulbs for general residential lighting, but not all CFL bulbs are labelled that way. 2700-3000 degrees kelvin is Soft White or Warm bulbs. Historically these low temp CFLs were the cheapest, not sure if that is true anymore.

3500 is bright white, maybe good for a bathroom mirror (unless you don't want to see what you look like, then laundry room or garage). 4500 is a bright white reading lamp. 5000 is noon, summer sun outside no clouds.

Higher temp is often described as bluer in appearance.
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Old 08-25-2014, 06:30 PM   #33
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The top table in that link assumes 30 light bulbs burning 5 hours a day each. I've got just a few that I might burn that much, and I've converted them to CFL or they are on dimmers and (hopefully) drawing less power. The others are only on a few minutes a day. Maybe others turn more lights on. My neighbors do comment that they often can't tell when I'm home, though in part that's because none of my most used rooms are on the front side.
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Old 08-25-2014, 06:32 PM   #34
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I think the concern over mercury in CFLs is a scare tactic. I used to play with balls of mercury when I was a kid and it never affected me. never affected me neveraffectedme.
Uh huh.

Did you weight 7 pounds at the time?
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Old 08-25-2014, 08:00 PM   #35
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Uh huh.

Did you weight 7 pounds at the time?
When I worked at a chem lab while in college, the old farts (aka guys not much older than me now) used to tell of a prank they pulled with mercury. They claimed they would place several drops into someones coffee. Many hours after drinking the coffee the person would have an "accident" because the urethral sphincter was often not strong enough to handle the weight of the mercury.

It could be they were just pulling my leg, but they seemed serious about it. And they were concerned about the health impacts they may have subjected upon themselves and their targets.
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Old 08-25-2014, 08:58 PM   #36
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Huge difference between the liquid and the vapors of mercury:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercur...mental_mercury

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... (liquid metallic mercury) is poorly absorbed by ingestion and skin contact. It is hazardous due to its potential to release mercury vapor. Animal data indicate less than 0.01% of ingested mercury is absorbed through the intact gastrointestinal tract, ....

.... In humans, approximately 80% of inhaled mercury vapor is absorbed via the respiratory tract, where it enters the circulatory system and is distributed throughout the body.[25] Chronic exposure by inhalation, even at low concentrations in the range 0.7–42 μg/m3, has been shown in case control studies to cause effects such as tremors, impaired cognitive skills, and sleep disturbance in workers
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Old 08-26-2014, 03:19 AM   #37
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And they were concerned about the health impacts they may have subjected upon themselves and their targets.
Precisely. I think marginalizing the risks is foolish, but failing to recognize that the risks are more extreme for children and especially pets is of especially great concern.
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Old 08-26-2014, 06:43 AM   #38
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Does anyone remember Minimata disease? Of course, this was mercury poisoning on a grand scale, far worse than exposure to a few broken light bulbs.

The Poisoning of Minamata
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:09 AM   #39
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We have had about 30 LEDs in place for about 5 years. 1 has failed in that time. A few CFLs and all the remaining incandescants.
Cycling and time in use are big factors. If you have an incandescant and never turn it on, it will last forever

I like the durability, longevity, and quality of light from LEDs.
While CFLs us a lot less power than incandescants, LEDs do use about 20% less power than CFLs.
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:20 AM   #40
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I was being somewhat facetious about mercury, but I think that the hazard from CFLs has been overblown, similar to asbestos. It is a long way from grinding asbestos in a ship yard 8 hours a day with no respirator, to shuddering over an undisturbed, well wrapped and sealed pipe in one's basement.

Maybe I'm wrong though. Anyone seen any data indicating a big flare up of mercury poisoning due to CFLs?
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