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LED home lighting; not quite ready or ready for prime-time?
Old 06-16-2015, 09:14 PM   #1
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LED home lighting; not quite ready or ready for prime-time?

Recent discussions on a photovoltaic thread brought up an interesting branch of discussion dealing with energy cost savings dealing with LED light bulbs for the home.

I've added a lot of LED's in my RV and it saves me on my battery loads when camping off-grid. I've wanted to pull the trigger and buy them for around the house, but I do not know the pros and cons.

Can anyone offer any advice and experience on LED's in the home?
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Old 06-16-2015, 09:21 PM   #2
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My neighbor recently switched from CFL's to LED in his house. He told me that while he saw a significant decrease in his energy bill when converting to CFL from incandescent, he has not seen any change going to LED.

That got me to compare the watt rating on LED's and comparing them to CFL's. They are nearly the same! So when would an LED be a better option than a CFL?
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Old 06-16-2015, 09:49 PM   #3
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Downside=expensive.

Upside = Everything else.

Now Watch = The cost is coming down both fast and greatly. We might as well ask (in 1972), are computers a good thing, they are so expensive?
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Old 06-16-2015, 10:31 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by skipro33 View Post
My neighbor recently switched from CFL's to LED in his house. He told me that while he saw a significant decrease in his energy bill when converting to CFL from incandescent, he has not seen any change going to LED.

That got me to compare the watt rating on LED's and comparing them to CFL's. They are nearly the same! So when would an LED be a better option than a CFL?
That is correct, a CFL is about 5% less efficient than an LED, so there is not much of an energy savings difference.

When LED's are 35 cents each, I'll switch out all my CFL's as I can buy CFL's for 22 cents each everyday.

I will use LED's for specific reasons, outside in winter they work better than CFL's which dim down. Also for immediate light turn on ability, the LED's still win.
Finally if I was going to replace a light really high up (like on a ladder) I'd use an LED as it will outlast a CFL.
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Old 06-16-2015, 11:20 PM   #5
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We're getting rid of CFLs because the mercury, EPA clean up instructions and energy use and the remaining incandescents due to the energy consumption. I just took a big box of CFLs to the hazardous waste box at Home Depot.

Our CFLs were burning out like incandescents. We started the switch over to LEDs several years ago and have not had to replace a single bulb yet.

I'm also on a long term mission to get our kwhs below 10 a day on a regular basis, so for us every watt counts.
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Old 06-17-2015, 03:12 AM   #6
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So when would an LED be a better option than a CFL?
Cleaning Up a Broken CFL | Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) | US EPA
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Old 06-17-2015, 03:31 AM   #7
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Many people hate the quality/colour of light from CFLs. For these people, LEDs are a big iimprovement.
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Old 06-17-2015, 03:54 AM   #8
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Outdoors.

Yesterday we bought a set of 4 high quality solar LED garden path lights to put around our pool, as a trial. We want to replace the fixtures installed 13 years ago; two don't work even though he light bulbs are good. Each of the new lights has 3 LED bulbs. DH set them up at 3PM. The lights were still on at 5AM when the birds woke me up. The lamps with bulb and battery only cost $25 each. We're definitely getting more today.

My cousin put in recessed lighting all over his house and used LEDs everywhere. His choice of bulbs and fixtures is much dimmer than I would have selected. His electrical bill is very low, and in CA no less.

We are gradually switching over as bulbs burn out, but that seems to happen infrequently. We still have incandescent lights in many places. We have some CFL lights in the garage, closets, and hallways, but why replace them unless there is a problem. In the summer we don't use a lot of light fixtures anyway.


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Old 06-17-2015, 05:00 AM   #9
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A few years ago I replaced some of the high usage fixtures with CFLs, now I'm starting to replace some of those with LEDs. Some will stay incandescent. I see no reason to replace very low usage bulbs. If they burn out I may replace them with LEDs. Likewise when some of the CFLs go I will probably replace them with LEDs.

LEDs look better than CFLs and seem to have more shapes so I can replace the round bulbs in my bathroom vanity, for example, which I didn't find an option for with CFLs. Pay attention with LEDs whether it is a focused light vs a diffused light, and decide what you need in each area. I just replaced some dimmable inside floods with LEDs and found that my 14 yr old dimmer does work with them, though it only goes down to about 25%, and one of them will not light unless I raise the power and then dim it back. No buzzing or flickering with mine as others have reported. LEDs work better outside that CFLs too.

The disposal of CFLs is a pain. I guess that's why some might just replace them all and once and be done with them, though I'm not going to bother. There are some places where I don't mind a CFL at all. The slow start can be an advantage with a light you turn on first thing in the morning, to get your eyes used to light.

I've switched over all my Christmas lighting to LED. That seems like a no brainer as the light seems better, more reliable, and cheaper to use for hours at a time even if it is just a month or less. Plus there is a lot more it seems they can do with changing colors and synchronization. I haven't really looked into the technology but it wouldn't surprise me if home lighting becomes even more of a design feature with LED in ways most of us aren't thinking of right now.
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Old 06-17-2015, 06:23 AM   #10
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Do LEDs bulbs last any longer than CFL's?

I was a bit disappointed to see CFL's die a couple of years after I put them into service.

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Old 06-17-2015, 06:33 AM   #11
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"The life of a CFL is significantly shorter if it is turned on and off frequently. In the case of a 5-minute on/off cycle the lifespan of some CFLs may be reduced to that of incandescent light bulbs."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compac..._lamp#Lifespan


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Old 06-17-2015, 06:44 AM   #12
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I haven't had a single LED bulb burn out. Have had several CFLs burn out.

Plus, unlike CFLs, no mercury in an LEDs.

One disadvantage of LED is that many brands can't be installed in an enclosed fixture.
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Old 06-17-2015, 06:45 AM   #13
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I have heard that the inexpensive LED bulbs available in dollar stores do not last very long either. Ikea has a good range of LED bulbs that are competitively priced. They also have 100W-equivalent LEDs, which I have not seen elsewhere in Canada -- other retailers like Canadian Tire and Home Depot only seem to carry tup to 60W-equivalent.
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Old 06-17-2015, 06:53 AM   #14
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Do LEDs bulbs last any longer than CFL's?
Have either been around long enough for most folks to figure out on their own? LEDs are touted as lasting longer.
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:40 AM   #15
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Our new home is equipped with CFL's everywhere. When we decided to add some under and over cabinet lighting, we contacted an electrical contractor who recommended LED strip lighting. We opted for the strip lighting and love it. We added dimmer switches. The LED strip lighting/and or the dimmers required transformers and we had to add a box to hold the switches. Total job was $1500 and it only took one day to install. The LED strips can be cut and/or spliced. We love the lighting effect. Some of our neighbors are now doing this after they saw ours.
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:40 AM   #16
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Some of the purpose built fixtures are nice in that they can make them very low profile. We have 8' ceilings. Replacing the old fixtures with low profile LED versions gave me a feeling of more headroom.
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:48 AM   #17
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Have either been around long enough for most folks to figure out on their own? LEDs are touted as lasting longer.
Our CFLs burned out frequently and then to dispose of them they had to be taken to a hazardous waste disposal dropoff location. So far no LEDs have burned out and we started the switchover several years ago.
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:52 AM   #18
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We have all of our can lighting on a dimmer so LED was the way to go. Replaced 14 regularly used standard lights 2 years ago and I'm sure they have paid for themselves 2x over with the significantly reduced electric bill.
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:56 AM   #19
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I much prefer the LED light quality--choose a higher color temp bulb. CFLs were failing left and right in our ceiling fans. Had a couple LED bulbs bad out of the package but after swapping those we have had zero failures. We use LEDs in product I design at Megacorp and the failure mechanism is infant failure and then a very long life until light output is about half the original rating. We only burn them out if we abuse (overdrive) them in some way.

I'm looking at LED bulbs for the workshop but the market still hasn't settled. You can buy bulbs that go into florescent fixtures but then you still have to deal with the ballast. There are some units that have the LEDs as part of the fixture but the market is still stabilizing.
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Old 06-17-2015, 11:06 AM   #20
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My experience:
LEDs last longer, generally, than CFLs
Both LEDs and CFLs have had failures well before their rated lifetimes (for some bulbs)
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