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Household Bulbs - Is LED Really Better?

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#31 HawkMan

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 11:49

Want a laugh about lights and bulbs?

I just bought my new place and it was specced up with GU10 downlighters throughout, rather than hanging pendant lights. Great.

When you buy a place, a survey is done and a report telling you it's energy efficiency - which allows space for any suggestions. Seeing as my place is new-build, it's REALLY efficient, but the jobsworth filling the form felt he had to put something in the "Recommendations" section. He recommended that swapping out all my downlighters for hanging pendants with low-energy bulbs could save me...

12p per month!

Wow. What an awesome suggestion. Don't get me wrong, 12p per month over a year would be £1.44! Nice savings. But wait...

I'd have to buy the bulbs, which would cost me over that. And the pendant fittings. Oh wait, I'd have to have the downlighters stripped out, my ceiling re-skimmed, looking at about a grand or so there...

What a tosser!


What you forget is that halogen has about 2000 hours of use on a good day. LED will have a lifetime of 20-25k. more on better brands, and even then, LED's never die, their lifetime is the time untill they reach 80% so they will still last long after this, before they hit 70 and 60%.

Also you shouldn't need to strip anythign usually, there is LED replacements for most any of the Halogen fittings today, both the 12V and 230V variants.

As for the OP. instead of those LED's I would suggest getting one of those with 3 LED's for for the 35 watt equivalents and 5-6 for the 50 Watt equivalents. Also don't get the cheapest brand LED. they have much shorter lifetimes. their light falloff and light color might not be what you expect and they might not even e uniform across the lights. The cheap ones also often have noticeable flicker in them while the more expensive like Philips don't have flicker and will all have uniform color and excellent lifetimes, they also give warranties on them.

Also something to remember about FCL spots. They are far more bulky and will stick out more, and they don't project the light forward like a LED and a good Halogen. so they won't be as good a spotlight.


#32 vetneufuse

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 11:57

1 pound per bulb? ha... I'm currently putting Halo LED recessed lighting in my basement, the bulb and reflector/trim are separate pieces... the bulb costs up to $70 and the trim pieces (special ones jus for it ... just because that's how they make money....) cost another $30 per bulb... but these bulbs are dimmable to 5% of their output, and look exactly like the incandescent equivalents... no startup pause like some... you'd never know they where LED unless you took the recessed light apart and read the labels

just put about $1,700 into them so far...

#33 Mainer82

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 11:59

Not all LEDs are directional. I bought these for exterior lighting on my house and they work very well, they actually don't attract as many bugs as my prior CFLs:
http://www.homedepot...tgry=Search All

Cree LED

#34 +Nik L

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 12:01

So how much did this genius get paid to save you all of that money?

It was part of the survey, which was necessary, so such a point is moot.

#35 vetneufuse

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 12:16

Not all LEDs are directional. I bought these for exterior lighting on my house and they work very well, they actually don't attract as many bugs as my prior CFLs:
http://www.homedepot...tgry=Search All

Cree LED


Cree LED's are nice, very bright, better then most of the cheap Chinese lets just throw 100 cheap SMD LED's on a board and call it a LED light ones.... usually 1 Cree LED can replace tons of single SMD LED's that are cheap bulb quality.... my exterior house lighting is all Cree, a single 3 Watt chip can put out the equivalent of a outdoor quality halogen bulb

these omnidirectional ones though of course need more then one LED chip to get all the angles... but still Cree chips are some of the best LED's out there for brightness, efficiency and wattage to Lumens

#36 Slugsie

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 12:19

Most of the LED lighting I've seem seems a bit directional (i.e. will light up things below it, but not much else). If you have a large-ish room, LEDs might not be suitable.

Buy one and try it first?


I have some LED bulbs similar to the ones in the OP, and they are anything but directional. They have a wide 120degree beam, and produce a night bright clear white light. They replaced some halogen bulbs, and the results are so much better.

#37 HawkMan

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 12:23

Cree LED's are nice, very bright, better then most of the cheap Chinese lets just throw 100 cheap SMD LED's on a board and call it a LED light ones.... usually 1 Cree LED can replace tons of single SMD LED's that are cheap bulb quality.... my exterior house lighting is all Cree, a single 3 Watt chip can put out the equivalent of a outdoor quality halogen bulb

these omnidirectional ones though of course need more then one LED chip to get all the angles... but still Cree chips are some of the best LED's out there for brightness, efficiency and wattage to Lumens

if it's a 30-35W Halogen yes ;)

#38 Roger H.

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 12:56

Since my earlier post I've been checking out stuff on Amazon for replacements for my 50W Hallogens (4 of them) in the kitchen which are GU10 based. I bought the Phillips GU10 ones which are supposed to replace 50W but the beam wasn't as wide and not as bright. I bought a few and didn't like them either:

Posted Image
http://www.amazon.co...=UTF8&psc=1

That one isn't dimmable - does this pop thing too :p Kinda funny I saw it at first because I have a Lutron electronic dimmer in the kitchen. :p it was bright but probably because of the amount of small LEDs it just seemed "dull" or unfocused (not that I want laser lights) - dunno... had a weird look to it.

Posted Image
http://www.amazon.co...=UTF8&psc=1

That one looked awesome (when looking at it in the ceiling) excepting it just wasn't bright enough. I knew they were 35w replacements but figured i'd give it a shot. If they had 7watt versions (sold out) those would probably perfect since they have nice fading dim to it also.

I'm thinking of checking these out because they seem bright enough and 3 bulbs vs 1 might work better for width of the beam (still says 60 degree)

http://www.amazon.co...s_228013_a1_1_p
http://www.amazon.co...JU/ref=pd_ybh_5

I generally go for "Bright White" bulbs instead of the standard "yellow" ones (hate that!) - Bright White is 3000K - not the "Daylight" ones which are 6000K+. :p

Maybe some of you guys that bought can show actual pictures of what they look like against a wall or skintone and the floor space to get a real idea of the color
and beam they cast.

#39 Jub Fequois

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 13:06

Perhaps a more relevant discussion is the energy you can save, because frankly, the money doesn't make it worth it. I personally try to adapt low-power habits with my purchases, including home cinema products, computers, light bulbs, washing machines and so on … It might be a feeble thought, but hopefully the more people do it, the less strain on the planet.

#40 vetneufuse

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 13:15

if it's a 30-35W Halogen yes ;)


most exterior halogens are in that range of wattage

#41 HawkMan

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 13:20

Maybe some of you guys that bought can show actual pictures of what they look like against a wall or skintone and the floor space to get a real idea of the color
and beam they cast.


unfortunately that won't work either, skin tone varies as does "white", and the color of the light outside as well as other lights in the room and the camera will affect the actual tone you see, not to mention your badly calibrated monitor :)

#42 exotoxic

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 13:23

I have one of these:
http://www.thelightb...12WLEDBulb.aspx

While expensive, CFL's kept blowing and the slow warm up was annoying. The LED is pretty much exactly the same as an ordinary incandescent bulb and lasts much longer.

#43 HawkMan

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 13:24

most exterior halogens are in that range of wattage



Seems to be mostly 50 here. depends on whether it's decoration or light for light.

#44 HawkMan

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 13:33

Perhaps a more relevant discussion is the energy you can save, because frankly, the money doesn't make it worth it. I personally try to adapt low-power habits with my purchases, including home cinema products, computers, light bulbs, washing machines and so on … It might be a feeble thought, but hopefully the more people do it, the less strain on the planet.


Quality Halogen: 2 000h lifetime, average half that at best. costs anywhere from 3 to 10 dollars (roughly calculated, and this is for quality bulbs, prices varies wildly between the different sockets to for some reason)
Quality LED: 25 000h lifetime, far beyond that unless it actually breaks, costs from 10-20 for the 35Watt equ.

so for a Halogen to last as long as a LED on average you'd have to take that cheapest 3 dollar prices and multiply by 25. then it's 75 Dollars, as opposed to the 10-20. without even considering the savings on power, which I honestly don't care about. we have cheap power.

#45 vetneufuse

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 14:17

Seems to be mostly 50 here. depends on whether it's decoration or light for light.


I'm talking about exterior accent lighting, or as most around here call them "landscape lights"