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It is 2019 and incandescent is still better than LED  RSS feed

 
master pollinator
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Peter VanDerWal wrote:
Since Power = Volts * Amps.  For any given power level if you reduce the Volts you increase the amps.



All true & valid points. The deviation from my concept is that I don't try to maintain a given power level. I try to reduce it with LED's. My electric needs are small scale in comparison to most folks. Intentionally.
 
pollinator
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You missed the point.

Regardless of what power level you use, for THAT power level the current at 12V will be 10X as high as it would be at 120V.

14agw wiring can legally run 1440 watts worth of lights at 120V and even with 100 foot long wires will have less than 5% voltage drop.

The same wire at 1/2 the length (50 feet) and running at 1/10 the voltage (12V) can only handle about 30 watts before the voltage drop exceeds 5%.

Even with LEDs if you switch to low voltage you can not use wires smaller that 14awg either legally or practically.
 
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I read this thread a year or two ago and again just now.  It's an amazing thread.  

There's one angle I'd like to comment on, which is color temperature.  With incandescents, you have no say.  You get a warm color temperature with very high CRI (color rendering index) which is a high quality of light.  But it's always warm light.

With LED, you can control the color temperature.  Either high tech with full-spectrum smart bulbs and a home automation system that changes temp during the day, or manually.  Take a strand of cool temp LEDs intermingled with a strand of warm temp LEDs, put each on a dimmer switch, and be your own color temperature DJ. (Side benefit is it cheaply boosts the CRI!)

This is really important at two times: morning and night.  In the morning, you blast the cool LEDs and get that nice activating light.  Sleep psychologists often recommend staring into a blue LED in the morning to combat SAD or other sleep disorders.  It kick-starts your circadian rhythm.  At night, if you are the type who stays up past bedtime to play on the computer *cough*, the super warm, subdued light makes you sleepy.  This is something you cannot replicate with incandescent.

Obviously, natural sunlight does this sort of thing, er, naturally.  Yet there are times when we can't always live by that clock and need to simulate it.

As someone with a lifelong circadian rhythm delay (which sounds like BS but isn't) I can say that LED light has made a dramatic improvement in my conformity to a conventional sleep schedule.

 
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I haven't read this thread yet- need to though- I have gotten to like my incandescent bulbs more than LED or CFL's.

I wanted to share this option with all of you for extending the life of your incandescent light bulbs-

powerdisc.com

They used to make light bulb extenders back in the 1980's and it's hard to find these things anymore.
 
pollinator
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In my living room, in the lamp standing next to the seat, where I mostly sit, I had an incandescent light bulb. It was the last one I still had, that I bought in the time they were sold everywhere. In the time of the big promotion of CFLs I changed every light bulb that was broken with a new CFL. That was before I was on Permies. When finally I found out about the problem with the CFLs, I only had that one incandescent light left.
Now (some weeks ago) that last one has gone, stopped working. I am sad, I can't get these light bulbs anymore. Only one very specialised lamp 'boutique' sells incandescent light bulbs, but those aren't the ordinary ones, they are very expensive. If I'd known before, I'd bought the light bulbs in bulk, a box full of them
 
master pollinator
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I want to see next-generation incandescents, with the insulated, thick filaments that aren't prone to thermal shock that reduces bulb life. Of course those will be super efficient because they don't convert so much energy to heat, which to some is apparently a good thing (not for me, at least half the year round).

I would also like LEDs to shed the trappings of incandescent bulb fixture design for more amorphous design. All the failings of LEDs, in my opinion, have to do with making them fit incandescent bulb infrastructure.

-CK
 
gardener
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Chris Kott wrote:
I would also like LEDs to shed the trappings of incandescent bulb fixture design for more amorphous design. All the failings of LEDs, in my opinion, have to do with making them fit incandescent bulb infrastructure.


I agree. I'd rather use adapters to make them work with incandescent structures and let the LEDs do what they are best at.

I'd REALLY like to see the old, better incandescents back for sale. I have been picking up old lightbulbs at garage sales etc, the older the better. They last longer, and I can work with whether I want heat output or not by using them or LEDs.  The current bulbs for sale suck, they don't work either way well, and don't last.
 
master steward
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like this?

https://amzn.to/2RWCsLF


 
paul wheaton
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i tend to use these reflective style - to direct the light and heat where i want it

https://amzn.to/2RV6gIJ

 
Pearl Sutton
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Oh cool, Thank you Paul!

 
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I'm still worried about being able to find light bulbs for my incubator. Only incandescent works for the incubator. It does things that other light bulbs can't. I need those bulbs.
 
pollinator
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Chris Kott wrote:
I would also like LEDs to shed the trappings of incandescent bulb fixture design for more amorphous design. All the failings of LEDs, in my opinion, have to do with making them fit incandescent bulb infrastructure.



Pretty much this.


The widespread use of overly cool wavelength LEDs in all sorts of products is a major aggravation to me; that is a separate issue readily explained by the usual combination of corporate greed(slightly more lumens per $ or watt) and consumer stupidity. It's not a problem with LEDs, it's a problem with which LEDs are being used.

I think the power efficiency stuff in the OP is a bit of a red herring. Sure, it's a small amount of the power budget in a conventional Murican on-grid house. But the world is still full of dwellings that are none of these things! The implications for off grid use globally are pretty endless.


In my case, grid power would run about 70K to get it to my build site... it's at the road, I'm just a ways back from the road, and there's no transformer, and the poles would need extra support, and... That's with me doing as much of labour as I'm allowed to.

If I wanted lighting in my 4 old outbuildings that would be more money yet to run power to them and wire them up. Then I would get a monthly bill of around $20, increasing all the time, for the privilege of being connected... plus my power usage!

But LEDs are so thrifty that I can comfortably work at night with a good headlamp, and if that's inconvenient (welding, grinding..) can light the whole workspace with battery powered lighting. I will never need to run power to the buildings for this purpose.

Milwaukee has warm tinted workplace lights(they call it 'Trueview', not all their lights have it) using their powertool batteries, so it's actually pleasant light allowing for good depth perception and colour differentiation. I use the same light in my tinyhouse; I'll wire in dedicated lighting eventually, but the current system works so well that improvements to lighting are waaay down the list.

So I can light up a good work area in any of my buildings, or outside them, for a couple hundred bucks (light + battery/charger, though really in had those already), which is far less than the cost of the wiring for one building to have incandescent lighting... let alone power to that wiring!


I spend many hours a day working via artificial light, as it is dark here around 4pm in winter here...
 
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All people here try to get LED lights. The grid voltage is not stable and can drop from 220V (standard) to 100V. That turns incandescent bulbs into dim candles, while the regulated power supply of the LEDs still works flawless.
 
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Well, we found a bulb that is not an LED, and that is not a CFL, or incandescent.

It is the Finally Bulb, from finallybulbs dot com.

We love these bulbs.

They put out a warm glow, one that is soft white.

These are not LEDs: They do NOT put out an awful blue-ish cast that is hard to look at, and may be damaging to the eyes, according to some research.

These are not CFLs: They do NOT put out a horrible yellow-ish cast.

These look more natural than LEDs and CFLs because the spectrum of these bulbs is similar to that of the sun (and incandescent bulbs - which will be banned in a couple years).

Really happy with these bulbs.

Mac
 
Sebastian Köln
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So …if their claims are correct, they using an RF exited gas discharge lamp. So it is a (not so) compact florescent lamp with a good phosphor and plenty of marketing.
 
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centennial_Light



I thought this would be of interest,  longest lasting light bulb.

 
Dillon Nichols
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Mac McCoy wrote:
They put out a warm glow, one that is soft white.

These are not LEDs: They do NOT put out an awful blue-ish cast that is hard to look at, and may be damaging to the eyes, according to some research.




You can get that in an LED. Really. You just need to figure out what wavelength it is that you like, and maybe read up on CRI... and perhaps build the lights yourself from components if you are real picky. But the problem is not inherent to LEDs! Only to badly designed products using cheap, poorly selected LEDs.
 
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Sarah Koster wrote:I'm still worried about being able to find light bulbs for my incubator. Only incandescent works for the incubator. It does things that other light bulbs can't. I need those bulbs.



Are there heating mats that would work as well as incandescent bulbs?
 
Sebastian Köln
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Rebecca Norman wrote:

Sarah Koster wrote:I'm still worried about being able to find light bulbs for my incubator. Only incandescent works for the incubator. It does things that other light bulbs can't. I need those bulbs.



Are there heating mats that would work as well as incandescent bulbs?


As far as I know, lamps for heating purposes are excluded from the ban.
A search for "100W Incandescent Reflector Light" brings up many lamps.
 
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Incandescent lights were supposed to be banned here in Australia starting around 20 years ago, I thought? They are still available.


Good LED's are far superior to incandescent lights, unless you are using them for heating. The trouble is most LED lights are cheap garbage with terrible light. Mass produced rubbish sold as green... take a look at the people who's back yard they are produced in.
 
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I've wanted to reply to this thread for some time (probably 6 months) but I wanted to try to understand the various (especially Paul's) position more fully.

paul wheaton wrote:if you are trying to save energy, and you are still using a clothes dryer, then you really should not be exploring "which light bulb saves the most energy"
Heating and cooling use more energy - so those should also be explored first.

This is hugely, massively, ridiculously important. Using the dryer once uses as much power as months of Paul's lightbulbs.

paul wheaton wrote:if you really think picking out which light bulb to use will save you that much energy, there is a very good chance that exploring your lighting habits will save you far more energy (money) than trying LED.

Also hugely, massively, ridiculously important.

paul wheaton wrote:Next up:  incandescent light has two big properties:  high quality light + radiant heat.   Radiant heat, when pointed at a person, is more efficient than convective heat - which is the most common way that people heat a home.  I live in montana.   And when it gets cold outside, the days happen to get much shorter.   So when I need more light, I happen to also need more heat.  A twofer.

This is the central tenet of Paul's point and very important.

Radiant electric heat has been used in factories and churches for decades. This is because they don't heat the air which takes a huge amount of energy but only heat people (oversimplified but we'll leave it there).

So why hasn't it caught on?

Because it's rubbish, ok that's too harsh. People, in general, don't like radiant heat.

1st problem; it's directional.
If you are sat in the same place it works brilliantly. As soon as you move out of the direct radiance you get cold again. Also having multiple radiant heat sources isn't a great solution because of the way the energy spreads Inverse-square-law, which means that generally you get a lot more energy directly under one light, than you do when halfway between two lights.

2nd problem; it doesn't work nicely with other heating systems.
When I lived with my parents, my ceiling lights were behind my desk. The light was great for electronics, building computers and writing but I started to feel sick when sat there for 1/2 an hour. This was because I was overheating but because only my neck (lots of blood vessels, not a lot of nerves) was hot, my body couldn't work out why.

paul wheaton wrote:
  In the scenario of cold climate area and the lighting is in winter and a party is using electric heat, then using incandescent light will pay for itself by not only reducing your heat bill, but if used correctly, the light bulb can actually REVERSE your heat bill.   Proper use of an incandescent light bulb can save HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS PER YEAR.   Maybe even THOUSANDS!   In fact, for any type of heat, proper use of an incandescent light bulb can dramatically reduce your overall heat bill - and whatever you use for heat is going to use FAR more energy than what you use for light.  




So this works if;
you stay relatively still when you want heat,
when there is one heat source per person &
it's the main form of heating.

It doesn't work as well in communal spaces and as soon as you stop using incandescent for heating, the modern leds are 'better' than modern incandescents.

Longevity

paul wheaton wrote: Unlike CFLs, the amount of light it gives off five years later is the same as when it was brand new.



Not quite, the 10,000 hours life isn't based on the mean time between failures but on when the individual leds only put 70% of their original light. The leds should then continue to work for much longer than that. I'm not sure if the 70% is used on the average led or if it is a minimum expectation and the average led could be still at 80%. So leds do lose light output over time but they should last past that point.


A quick note on toxicity and manufacturing energy.

A standard incandescent is quite simple and relatively non toxic but all of the components are very energy intensive to manufacture, especially distilling air to generate the argon filling.

Leds themselves contain a very small amount of very nasty stuff.
The drive components in a well matched DC system should just be a resistor which is a bit of metal film rolled up inside a bit of plastic- not particularly toxic and the resistor is reusable and should last decades if not centuries.
The drive components in an AC or poorly matched DC system involve some sort of integrated circuit chip (really nasty stuff), a lot of copper wire inside inductor and transformers, some simple resistors, some capacitors (similar construction to resistors but with a fairly toxic paste inside and the part most likely to fail).
The vast majority of the weight difference is made up of the copper coils which should be negated by lighter mains wiring and isn't particularly toxic anyway.

So although the components of led lamps are more toxic, I would guess that the volumes required are so much smaller that there isn't a huge difference in the total toxicity.


As Paul has said, it all boils down to how the technology is used.
 
paul wheaton
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Shawn and I are talking about updating the section title in our book about light quality and light bulbs.  The chapter is named "The Wicked Lies about Light Bulbs".  For the section title I am thinking of:

The light quality is so good, it's like a slow drip of cocaine to you employees through the work day!



That title is a little too long.  

I am trying to stick to the theme of "wicked lies" and include a bit of what is actually said, combined with something a bit too silly.  

The truth is that the blue light is a stimulant.  

Any suggestions for a section title?


 
Chris Wang
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Rebecca Norman wrote:

Sarah Koster wrote:I'm still worried about being able to find light bulbs for my incubator. Only incandescent works for the incubator. It does things that other light bulbs can't. I need those bulbs.



Are there heating mats that would work as well as incandescent bulbs?



Yes, in an incubator you can use a variety of heating options that are far more reliable than incandescent bulbs. I use heat cords (sold as a reptile keeping product), but there is also a range of heat mats and other options available too. Incandescent lights are easier to use for brooding, but you can also substitute these for other heat sources.
 
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