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Old 06-01-2015, 01:46 PM   #61
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We have battery powered, motion detector LEDs around the house. If we are late coming home the dog can walk around the house and the lights turn on and off for him. I use rechargeable batteries charged with a solar charger.

I just got some string LEDs that are little fireflies. For now I have them circled in mason jars. They look like this, but mine are battery not solar, though I do have a solar light mason jar lamp on the patio.

Solar Firefly Jar Decorative Outdoor Light | Solar Accents
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Old 06-01-2015, 01:51 PM   #62
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I ran a 36" string of LEDs under the shelf beyond the lid in my VW Passat's trunk as the one small bulb in the corner of the trunk did not provide any light at night. Now my trunk is a "light show" at night when I open it. Stck them on with 3M adhesive automotive tape roll. Connected the + and - to the existing light socket.
One thing to be careful about there - if they are truly designed for 12V (they often are), a car battery is more typically 13.6 V, and often 14.4 V while running/charging.


Most of these little strings use series resistors to limit the LED current (rather than an active electronic 'driver'). Bottom line, a small increase in voltage can mean a large increase in LED current, and burning out of the LEDs. Mathematically, the LED probably runs @ about 3.3V, they use three in series, so 9.9V (say 10V). So 12V-10V is 2V across the resistor. Increase the voltage to 14V and you have doubled the voltage across the resistor, doubling the current to the LEDs.

That's a little bit of a simplification (the LED voltage isn't quite that constant versus current), but pretty close.

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Old 06-01-2015, 01:51 PM   #63
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I put in 3 Mr. Beam motion detection battery powered LEDs in pantry. Works great I can find what's in there. Including multiple items we'd bought as we couldn't find them.

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Old 06-01-2015, 03:13 PM   #64
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^^ I bought a somewhat similar but brighter (I think) 5 meter roll of 5050RGB that I was going to fool around with. I plunked it in the light shelf above my bedroom and there it sits. It is quite novel how many colors and effects it can do with its remote control, and quite bright. But I really only need white light....
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Old 06-01-2015, 03:17 PM   #65
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One thing to be careful about there - if they are truly designed for 12V (they often are), a car battery is more typically 13.6 V, and often 14.4 V while running/charging.


Most of these little strings use series resistors to limit the LED current (rather than an active electronic 'driver'). Bottom line, a small increase in voltage can mean a large increase in LED current, and burning out of the LEDs. Mathematically, the LED probably runs @ about 3.3V, they use three in series, so 9.9V (say 10V). So 12V-10V is 2V across the resistor. Increase the voltage to 14V and you have doubled the voltage across the resistor, doubling the current to the LEDs.

That's a little bit of a simplification (the LED voltage isn't quite that constant versus current), but pretty close.

-ERD50
The ECU in my 2014 Passat monitors and adjusts all the voltages to the car, including each light bulb. I can, and have, used my Ross Tech software package (VAG back engineered diagnostic software) to monitor and adjust light voltages, especially for the headlights as I can run it up to 13 VDC. Headlights are a bit brighter. HIDs are the next upgrade for me once I find the time to install projector lenses in the headlight housings and retro fit the HID bulb and ballast.

Take a look at this:

Ross-Tech: Home

Cars are way more sophisticated than in past years, especially now that most cars have several "modules" to control and monitor various functions (engine, transmission, comfort control, safety systems, braking, ESP, etc.).

In a lot of newer cars, LEDs are replacing traditional filament bulbs as a matter of course. In my previous Passat (2005), I installed several LEDs in tail lights, trunk lights, interior, etc. Only in that car was I required to install a ballast resistor in the tail light wiring because I would get a "light out" indication on the dash as when the ECU was doing its pre-start check of each light, it did not see the resistance of the filament in the old light and threw a warning.

Really, take a good look at the Ross Tech stuff, you will be amazed at what the possibilities are.
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Old 06-01-2015, 04:22 PM   #66
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The ECU in my 2014 Passat monitors and adjusts all the voltages to the car, including each light bulb. ....
Thanks for that info - I didn't know that! Hmmm, I'll try checking the bulb sockets in the 'new' car in our place, a 2011 Honda CR-V. My Volvo is a turn-of-the-century model, I still have to trim the wicks in its lights!


Quote:
In my previous Passat (2005), I installed several LEDs in tail lights, trunk lights, interior, etc. Only in that car was I required to install a ballast resistor in the tail light wiring because I would get a "light out" indication on the dash as when the ECU was doing its pre-start check of each light, it did not see the resistance of the filament in the old light and threw a warning.
I had to do something similar when I switched to CFLs on my front outside lights, which had a timer in place of one wall switch. The timer relied on a trickle current through the filaments, and a CFL would not complete the circuit. I got by with a small filament bulb in one socket.

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Old 06-01-2015, 05:19 PM   #67
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Thanks for that info - I didn't know that! Hmmm, I'll try checking the bulb sockets in the 'new' car in our place, a 2011 Honda CR-V. My Volvo is a turn-of-the-century model, I still have to trim the wicks in its lights!




I had to do something similar when I switched to CFLs on my front outside lights, which had a timer in place of one wall switch. The timer relied on a trickle current through the filaments, and a CFL would not complete the circuit. I got by with a small filament bulb in one socket.

-ERD50
You can buy LED kits for (modern) cars to replace OEM bulbs in the interior, marker lights, trunk lights, etc for under $100. The newer LED bulbs usually come with a ballast resister built into the bulb. Those LEDs certainly make a nice difference, especially with map lights and door puddle lights.
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Old 06-01-2015, 06:27 PM   #68
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I'm not buying the 22 year life though on these things. I put in a Cree 60W less than a year ago and the damn thing died! Great, spend $14 on the thing and it doesn't last any longer than an ordinary incandescent. I'm making sure to keep receipts on these things from now on. I bet they don't last anywhere near as long as they claim.
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:16 PM   #69
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I'm not buying the 22 year life though on these things. I put in a Cree 60W less than a year ago and the damn thing died! Great, spend $14 on the thing and it doesn't last any longer than an ordinary incandescent. I'm making sure to keep receipts on these things from now on. I bet they don't last anywhere near as long as they claim.
It's an average lifespan. Some bulbs will last 100 years, some will last 200 years. But they're designed to average out to 22 years.
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:41 PM   #70
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I'm not buying the 22 year life though on these things. .... .
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It's an average lifespan. Some bulbs will last 100 years, some will last 200 years. But they're designed to average out to 22 years.
No, it's not even that. From my earlier post:

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The sad fact is - that '22 year estimated life', isn't.

It's a calculation based on how much a bulb dims over a shorter time (months?), and they extrapolate that out a 70% dim level.

It really has nothing to do with the electronics going belly up and having the bulb go out completely, leaving you in the dark (probably what happened to yours). ...

-ERD50
I'm looking to see if there is any data on real MTBF rather than this silly dimming spec.

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Old 06-01-2015, 08:09 PM   #71
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I'm not buying the 22 year life though on these things. .... .
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Originally Posted by razztazz View Post
It's an average lifespan. Some bulbs will last 100 years, some will last 200 years. But they're designed to average out to 22 years.
Quote:
No, it's not even that. From my earlier post:

Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
The sad fact is - that '22 year estimated life', isn't.

It's a calculation based on how much a bulb dims over a shorter time (months?), and they extrapolate that out a 70% dim level.

It really has nothing to do with the electronics going belly up and having the bulb go out completely, leaving you in the dark (probably what happened to yours). ...

-ERD50
By the way: I was just trying to be funny with that "averaging out" thing.
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Old 06-01-2015, 08:32 PM   #72
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By the way: I was just trying to be funny with that "averaging out" thing.
I kind of figured that. I like the LED bulbs over the CFL ones, but in both cases, I don't think either lasts as long as claimed. BS marketing as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 06-02-2015, 03:21 AM   #73
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The led bulb control/voltage conversion circuitry life is a work in progress, yet it appears led bulbs are being rated for the led diode life without taking the whole package into consideration.

I recently installed 30 Feit 65 watt dim-able BR30 2700K 93 CRI in my recessed/downlight sockets. The 2700K matches the color temperature we are used to in incandescent bulbs while the high CRI rating of 93 means that the color spectrum is maintained true, great for cooking, picking which socks match, etc.
(During installation I ended up using needle nose pliers to slightly bend the fixture socket as the led bulbs necks were slightly wider that the standard incandescent bulbs)

The change over ran right at $200 as the local Seattle area Costco stores offer an automatic rebate from Puget Sound Energy, the bulbs are about half price at $7 apiece. I kept the receipts in case of early bulb demise, although I'm pretty sure Costco keeps your member purchase info as I recently returned an item for the first time and they had the purchase data. (right handy)

No cost savings data as they were installed last month, but most are in banks of 4 on a dimmer, and the leds are brighter than the incandescent bulbs they replaced and I have them set at ~ 2/3 power. Due to the high CRI fo 93 they must filter out some of the yellow spectrum, as a result these bulbs consume around 13 watts instead of 10w, still a bank of 4 led bulbs now consumes the power one previous incandescent required.
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Old 06-02-2015, 06:34 AM   #74
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An suggestions on LED landscape lighting? Two fixtures of our wired in lights are not working but the bulbs are fine. I wonder if there are any really good solar/battery LED fixtures that one can turn off? We need to redo the lighting by the pool this summer.


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Old 06-02-2015, 08:23 AM   #75
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I kind of figured that. I like the LED bulbs over the CFL ones, but in both cases, I don't think either lasts as long as claimed. BS marketing as far as I'm concerned.
Yep. When the math works with the guarantee that's in the fine-print, then I'll consider it. The CFL guarantees have worked ok for me...didn't have to send them back, just needed to call them with a few values from the receipt and the packaging or from the bulb. Seemed kind of silly to mess around like that for a $4.22 check, but it's the principle of the thing. Especially when the marketing was 7 years and it lasted less than 2.
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Old 06-02-2015, 04:18 PM   #76
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Yep. When the math works with the guarantee that's in the fine-print, then I'll consider it. The CFL guarantees have worked ok for me...didn't have to send them back, just needed to call them with a few values from the receipt and the packaging or from the bulb. Seemed kind of silly to mess around like that for a $4.22 check, but it's the principle of the thing. Especially when the marketing was 7 years and it lasted less than 2.
Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. 2 years vs claimed 7. My LED lasted <1 year but was supposed to last 22. I'm very leary about these claims now. As far as I've seen, both CFL and LED don't last significantly longer than the incandescent but cost 5X as much. Sure they use less energy but at the higher cost and the BS "long" lasting they cost more. I hope the newer ones last longer but I'm pretty pessimistic about it.
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Old 06-03-2015, 12:01 PM   #77
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We bought three small base flame-shaped LEDs for a ceiling fan (on a dimmer, that we never use). They all failed in about three weeks. Replaced with original incandescent lamps.

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Old 06-03-2015, 12:03 PM   #78
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As to our savings, I now recall DW bought a gadget from the local power company that turns off our entertainment center when we are not watching. It is supposed to stop 'vampire' power consumption. Maybe it does.

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Old 06-11-2015, 04:01 PM   #79
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... I hope LEDs continue to come down in price and I hope they will be reliable (that 20,000 hour life is a bogus number). I have just one so far, a dim-able one. Just a little odd as is it in a fixture with two filament bulbs, and when you dim them, they get yellow/orange, and the LED stays 'white-ish'. ...
Quick update - at Costco the other day, I see they have a 3-pack of dimmable 60W equivalent LEDS, for just $7 after rebates at the register. I pick them up, figuring they'll be fine and I could return them if they aren't.

So I replace the one LED in that kitchen fixture with 3 bulbs in it, and the color difference is noticeable - the new ones (from the 3-pack) look better. The 3-pack are 2700K versus 3000K on the previous one. The 3000K looks bluish, the 2700 are closer to the filament bulbs. And the 3-pack are 9.5W versus 13.5 watts (small delta, but still a plus). So far so good.

Next, I replace the other two filament bulbs, and that evening I notice a fluctuating brightness. Hmmm, move the dimmer setting a bit and it comes and goes. Not 60 Hz flicker, but a fluttering kind of random change. Annoying, though fairly subtle. These dimmers were put in just a year ago when the old one physically broke, and I made sure to get LED/CFL compatible dimmers. Some googling and I find others complain of this as well.

One solution is to add a resistive load which seems to smooth out the response, but cuts the efficiency somewhat. I will experiment, and see if something as low watt as a 4-7 W night light will do the trick. One place sells a load for this, but they don't mention wattage or R value, though it looks pretty small.

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Old 06-11-2015, 08:05 PM   #80
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Our power bill since we moved back in from 4 years overseas has dropped from $75/mo to $25/mo, DW tells me.
We have a 3000+ sq ft home, no LED lights, some fluorescents and the electric bill is around $35-$45 a month for 7 months of the year.

What we need is an "LED" central air conditioner for the other 5 months of the year.
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