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Old 06-17-2015, 07:15 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort View Post
I don't know what percent lighting was for our usage, but once we got the smart meters and we could see were we were using electricity hour by hour, most of those charts, for us anyway, were really not true.
Well, they are averages, so they won't be true for everyone, or like the 2.4 child average (or whatever it is these days), it won't be true for anyone.



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It is like the constant quote I see about home car washing. A common one says, "The average person uses 100 gallons of water to wash the car at home." I heard this time and time again, quoted by our dutiful local media, during our last big drought about 6 years ago.

I say, WHAT?

Turns out that is true if you turn on your hose and just let it run uncontrolled the whole time you wash your car for the average 10 minutes it takes.

Really, how many people leave a hose running without a control sprayer these days? Seriously.

When it comes to "averages" of water, gas or electricity quoted in media, I am very wary of such numbers. There is always an agenda behind them.
I don't know, 12% sounds pretty realistic to me. You've got things like a fridge running 24x7, heating and cooling is like dozens of bulbs at once, plus many misc things.

Got a better average number?

Heck, even if it was double, I can't see changing a panel size over it.

-ERD50
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Old 06-17-2015, 08:00 PM   #42
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Daylateanddollarshort ...if CFLs were burning out as fast as incandescents, you have a situation where you have either gotten the world's worst CFLs or have had the world's best incandescents.

LEDs will replace all other lighting as time goes on ...sort of the march of technology, but initially it will be cost and utility driven.

It will make huge differences in the total power usage for every house ... Even total electrical panel size will decrease ...and amazing change, yes?


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I had 4 incandescent bulbs in a half bath at my last house... they were there when I bought it... they were still there when I sold the house 25 years later... the bathroom was used every day I was there (well, I guess you have to take out 3 years when I was an expat).... the light would go on... do your business and off... so, from maybe one minute up to 15...

I would be hard pressed to find a CFL that could do the same...

When I first started to use CFLs, they would burn out easily... even the couple that I used for lighting the house at night which would burn when it got dark until going to bed... the newer ones are much better, but still go out faster than they state...

I am moving to LEDs.... so far have replaced only the kitchen pot lights and a couple of others... will be doing more as others go out....
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Old 06-17-2015, 08:40 PM   #43
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When it comes to "averages" of water, gas or electricity quoted in media, I am very wary of such numbers. There is always an agenda behind them.
I wonder if there is an agenda, too. Cooking is a big percent for us and I've never seen that as a biggie on any energy chart, yet we can see the spikes on our energy reports when we use even the convection oven.
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Old 06-17-2015, 11:22 PM   #44
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I was really startled when a CFL burned out at my last house but then I thought about it and realized that it had been in use for eight years. The rest of them were going strong when we left.

I put LEDs into the current house and my husband said we had a big drop in our electric bill, but I don't remember the numbers. I used Home Depot Eco-something from Cree for the recessed cans. The light is very nice and they dim well. Of course the price took a big drop the next year. I did have one that flickered, but I just took it back to HD and handed it over. As the CFLs die in floor and table fixtures, I'll replace them with LEDs, but so far no deaths.

EcoSmart, 6 in. 9.5-Watt (65W) Soft White Dimmable LED Downlight, ECO-575L at The Home Depot - Tablet

I have a Philips LED in one fixture. It's shaped like an A-type incandescent bulb except that it's flat. It makes me smile every time I see it because it's so silly.
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Old 06-18-2015, 02:58 AM   #45
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Wow. I have to remember to stop licking and eating my LED fixtures. I also better stop crushing them and using my blower to distribute the dust in my house.
Well, the key is that they don't burn out anywhere near as soon as CFLs, so they don't make it into the trash at anywhere near the frequency of CFLs.
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Old 06-18-2015, 04:58 AM   #46
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I had LED cans installed throuout for a remodel. Would be annoyed if I had to replace any of them for another decade at least.

The CFLs I had have burned out. Other thing is, when it gets cold, it takes a few minutes for the CFLs to reach brightness. This is in California.
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Old 06-18-2015, 05:38 AM   #47
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I replaced 18 can lights in the ceiling with sealed LED units and have been very pleased.

pros:

- better quality light (to me anyway)
- last longer than CFL's which had terrible longevity for me
- no longer have to clean the lens cover of dust and dead bugs
- reduced energy usage

cons:

- initial expense
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Old 06-18-2015, 05:41 AM   #48
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Other thing is, when it gets cold, it takes a few minutes for the CFLs to reach brightness. This is in California.
I actually like this feature of CFLs that most folks complain about. Walk into the cold bathroom, flip the light and the CFLs sort of fade on instead of WHAP. Easier on the pupils.
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Old 06-18-2015, 05:50 AM   #49
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What type of warranties are available with LED bulbs?

-gauss
IIRC some are warranted for 8-10 years. I had one fail that I bought at Home Depot. I took the bulb back and they wanted the original packaging that it came in since I did not have the receipt. They no longer sold that brand.
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Old 06-18-2015, 06:16 AM   #50
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What type of warranties are available with LED bulbs?

-gauss
The ones I bought at Home Depot are supposed to have a 10 year warranty. I actually had 2 of them fail in the first year and took them back there and they exchanged them no questions asked.
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Old 06-18-2015, 08:08 AM   #51
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...
I put LEDs into the current house and my husband said we had a big drop in our electric bill, but I don't remember the numbers. ...
I don't take much stock in any claims about the bill going down. Far too many variables to attribute this to a lighting change in most cases.

You'll get a better idea with an estimate of hours/day for each bulb you replaced, times the wattage difference ( about 50W delta for a 60W filament to LED), divided by 1000 to get kW, times 30 days/month, times your kWh rate.

Replacing ten 60W filaments on 8 hours a day (that's a lot of light!), would be 50*10*8 = 4000 W-hr/day = 4kWh/day * 30 = 120 kWh/Month. At $0.11 (you really need your marginal rate here, not average which may include fixed monthly costs), that's a reduction of ~ $13/ month. Maybe noticeable in the other noise, but again, that was a LOT of light.

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Originally Posted by Nunthewiser View Post
I actually like this feature of CFLs that most folks complain about. Walk into the cold bathroom, flip the light and the CFLs sort of fade on instead of WHAP. Easier on the pupils.
I predict that this will be programmable in future bulbs. Decades ago, Philips had some filament bulbs with a chip in them - not programmable, but they had bulbs with soft start, and auto time-out after X hours (it would flash to give you a 5 minute warning, and a double flick of the switch would reset the timer). Nice, and the built in soft start (short time for most bulbs, barely noticeable) made them last a long time. I think one lasted ~ 20 years in a hallway that was stitched many times /day.

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Old 06-18-2015, 09:14 AM   #52
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Replacing ten 60W filaments on 8 hours a day (that's a lot of light!), would be 50*10*8 = 4000 W-hr/day = 4kWh/day * 30 = 120 kWh/Month. At $0.11 (you really need your marginal rate here, not average which may include fixed monthly costs), that's a reduction of ~ $13/ month. Maybe noticeable in the other noise, but again, that was a LOT of light.
For filament bulbs, maybe add in another $13/mo during the summer months for increased AC, assuming the thermostat was set below the outside temp 100% of the time? For winter, the filament bulbs cut heating costs over other options--they run for "free" in theory if a home uses electric resistance heat.

All are minor points, visible only at the margins.
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Old 06-18-2015, 01:07 PM   #53
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Initial cost is often brought up, but for new construction - LED can actually be your cheapest option. Reason being - the LED fixture cost can often be offset by the reduced electrical work needed. Fewer circuits and wire runs.

One such example: We just built a pretty massive pole barn (54x60.) I have 24 4' LED fixtures illuminating the main open area and another 14 recessed cans illuminating an enclosed room. All of these are on a single 20A lighting circuit, and it's barely 50% utilized with all lights on.

Another big advantage of LED - if you live in an area prone to power outages, your standby generator can easily power your entire house lighting needs while still leaving the majority of the generator's output for needed appliances.
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Old 06-18-2015, 01:38 PM   #54
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Initial cost is often brought up, but for new construction - LED can actually be your cheapest option. Reason being - the LED fixture cost can often be offset by the reduced electrical work needed. Fewer circuits and wire runs.

One such example: We just built a pretty massive pole barn (54x60.) I have 24 4' LED fixtures illuminating the main open area and another 14 recessed cans illuminating an enclosed room. All of these are on a single 20A lighting circuit, and it's barely 50% utilized with all lights on.

Another big advantage of LED - if you live in an area prone to power outages, your standby generator can easily power your entire house lighting needs while still leaving the majority of the generator's output for needed appliances.
That's an extreme example though. Most rooms in most houses will be wired for just a few 60W bulbs. Some layouts might have say, ten 60 W bulbs in a kitchen/dining area or family room? But 60W filaments draw ~ 1/2A, so ten of 'em is 5 Amps on a 15 amp line - lots of margin. Kitchen circuits tend to have their own circuits for the various appliances, a refrigerator often has it's own, so those lights probably are not sharing with much other stuff anyhow.

For an area as big as you are talking about, tube fluorescent would probably be used, and those are about as (more?) efficient as LED (thought the LED probably looks better).

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Old 06-18-2015, 01:41 PM   #55
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The lumens per Watt for LEDs is just about the same as florescent. I don't think there are savings to be had in circuits, etc.
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Old 06-18-2015, 01:48 PM   #56
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For filament bulbs, maybe add in another $13/mo during the summer months for increased AC, assuming the thermostat was set below the outside temp 100% of the time? For winter, the filament bulbs cut heating costs over other options--they run for "free" in theory if a home uses electric resistance heat.

All are minor points, visible only at the margins.
They would have an effect on A/C as you say, but I think you are overstating it. From wiki (COP = Coefficient of Performance; efficiency doesn't apply, as A/C is moving heat, not converting it - I know you know that, but in case others don't) :

Quote:
a SEER of 13 is equivalent to a COP of 3.43, which means that 3.43 units of heat energy are pumped per unit of work energy.
The United States now requires that residential systems manufactured in 2006 have a minimum SEER rating of 13
So the added $13 in lighting (mostly heat) would take $13/3.43 ~ $3.79 in extra cooling costs. But to my point, if you are running the A/C that much, $13-$20 is going to be hard to pick out from seasonal variations, etc.

And as you say, unless you heat with resistance heat, gas or heat pumps are probably roughly 1/3 the cost. So roughly the same offset in heating season, you'd get ~ 1/3 of that 'waste' back in reduced heating bills.

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Old 06-18-2015, 01:57 PM   #57
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Ten cans is a lot of light? Hah! You haven't seen my house. My family room/kitchen has ten LED cans, three LED pendants, one LED chandelier, one LED wall sconce, one LED light in the pantry, T5 fluorescent under cabinet lighting, and elderly T10 fluorescent soffit lighting. From where I'm sitting right now, I can see eighteen light switches. I never turn all the lights on in the kitchen because it makes my eyes hurt.
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Old 06-18-2015, 02:05 PM   #58
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Ten cans is a lot of light? Hah! ...
To be ON all at one time? Eight hours a day, on average? Yes, I think that's a lot.

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... I never turn all the lights on in the kitchen because it makes my eyes hurt.
Oh, I see you already answered that question!

My context was in talking about averages, and what it would take to get a 'big drop' in the bill. Then people throw out extremes, as if any one case says anything about averages.

Until I see some data, I'll trust the 12% figure I posted earlier.

-ERD50
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Old 06-18-2015, 07:50 PM   #59
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I love LED lighting

The quality of LED lights are still very wide ranging.

Technically speaking : Super cheap product is out there but the materials are inferior - down binned LED lights/ chips and poor quality / improper material heat sinks. Also the voltage regulation to an LED light is very important so those should be of good quality, usually built right into the base of a typical LED screw in style lightbulb.

The LED lights that typically suffer infant mortality of failure within 3-6 months are usually very poor quality down binned LEDs and thus priced very cheap ( $3-$5 range)

Pay attention to wattage too. There are many 5 watt or 6 watt lights being sold versus the better 10 or 15 watt. Just like incandescent or cfl, pay attention to the wattage.

Also The higher wattage bulbs, eg 50w LED or more really need to be of highest quality to last the rated 20000 hours etc.

Some LED bulbs use an incorporation / array of 10-20 small 0.25w LEDs. Others use just a few higher wattage LED. Light diffusion is better with large array- while light concentration is better with fewer LEDs. Also tinting can be done by manufacturers by adding a few colored LEDs to a large array - eg. Soft light sometimes uses a few yellow or red LEDs along with the white ones.

Higher quality product will give better results / ROI. Typically the higher quality product will have name brands such as Philips, CREE, etc.

Opening these up for visual comparison inspection and you will see a large difference in quality.
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Old 06-18-2015, 08:17 PM   #60
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OT - interesting thing about LEDs in traffic lights. Since they don't emit nearly as much heat as the incandescents, snow doesn't melt off the bulbs. It's a big problem and has led to many serious accidents.
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