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I've seen people use christmas LEDs in their lamps... Here's a how-to that is pretty cool...
Cheap LED Lighting

Cheers!
 
master steward
Posts: 22746
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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I've had gobs of people ask recently. And with my latest article on light bulbs that went out today, I was asked again, so I thought i would respond here.

I am a big fan of LED night lights and have a few in the house.

I have not shopped for a regular led light because my current power bill for lighting is less than a dollar per month. With my lighting bill so low, why not splurge on the highest quality lighting available: incandescent.

Further, incandescent light warms me in the winter. I can turn the thermostat down and save money.

Earlier in this thread are links to the toxicity reports for led lights. That makes be very nervous.

So, overall, I am currently not a fan of LED lights. I expect that soon people are going to start unravelling the wickedness behind the CFL and ditch them. I suspect that the government will start subsidizing LED lights - ug.

I think the best way to lower the costs of lighting is:

1) turn off the fucking lights when you aren't using them. Seriously. People are spending hundreds of dollars every month on lighting.

2) move the lights closer to you. Illuminate what you need to see rather than entire room that you are not looking at.

3) One 100 watt bulb puts out more light than two 50 watt bulbs. Strategize to have fewer lights.




 
Brent Rickenbacker
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Yes... Turn off the lights if not in use. Thats a biggie.

I have read about the trade off of heat with conventional light bulbs... To be honest, I dont worry about heat anymore. A light bulb can warm up a small bathroom, and contributes to the warms of the household. It definitely is a trade off.

As for heat, I don't need the heat from my light bulbs anymore... My woodstove is practically running us out of the house. My heat pumps have been OFF all winter. I love it!
 
pollinator
Posts: 940
Location: Stevensville, MT
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Paul and Jocelyn discuss Paul's CFL experiment and seed saving in this podcast.

Paul talks a bit about LEDs.
 
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As you may know, Philips had a big "Earth day" (April 22, I think) launch of their L-Prize LED bulb

About that Philips LED, its quality issues, and how
Philips won the US Govmt prize for it:
http://dunday.com/2012/03/lots-of-public-money-for-doubtful.html

The lobbying, the evading of rules, the poor quality of the bulb on
testing - as referenced with competition rules, patents, lobbying
finance records, the prize committee's own lab test document etc´╗┐...
 
Posts: 45
Location: Bedford, England: zone 8/AHS 2
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Damnthematrix Hatfield wrote:Everything around you is made with oil. We hit Peak oil sometime in 2006. PO means inability to grow the economy, which means inability to repay debts, which means collapse of capitalism which means you will be on your own.


If only that were the case! The huge increase in oil prices means that oil shale (fracking) is now an economically viable source of crude oil, so peak oil has been delayed. The high price of shale oil will delay the point at which we reach peak oil, by reducing consumption in the short-term, and the cost is encouraging investment in energy sources that are either fully sustainable (PV, CSP, wind, hydro, algaculture, waste-conversion biofuels) or will take many thousands of years to use up (fusion). However there'll be nowhere near as much investment as if we were staring into an energy abyss, since a large amount of investment is going towards shale fracking.
 
Posts: 55
Location: Ottawa, Canada
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I picked up some LEDs at Home Depot at $25 for packs of two.

These are 8 watts each and they supposed to replace 40 watt bulbs. I find they are much brighter than the 40w equivalent CFLs that they replaced.

They give off a very white lights which is similar to sunlight.

I'm pretty happy with them so far and have switched out my most commonly used CFLs to LEDs now.

I was also surprised by how warm they got, not as bad as an incandescent but warmer than a CFL.
 
Posts: 194
Location: S.E. Michigan - Zone 6a
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In my somewhat dated, non-current opinion I don't think we will see the real gains in led lighting until we stop trying to make them fit into an incandescent socket. This is somewhat like the square peg - round hole analogy in that in trying to make them backward compatible we are not taking advantage of the LED's potential. This is why flashlights converted so well to LED, the power source (1.5V batteries) is very close the input required by the LED. When we try to make something that fits into a 120V socket we have to embed a voltage converter into the LED "light bulb" and this voltage converter generates heat and wastes some power.

In my case I'm building a new house and want some general low level lighting in my great room. If I knew a little more about what I'm doing I could have one transformer and run several lights off of it. However I would have to be concerned with the phantom load of the transformer and actually switch it off.
 
Cory Arsenault
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Location: Ottawa, Canada
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Good point.
 
pollinator
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Location: Vancouver Island
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Jerry Ward wrote:In my somewhat dated, non-current opinion I don't think we will see the real gains in LED lighting until we stop trying to make them fit into an incandescent socket. This is somewhat like the square peg - round hole analogy in that in trying to make them backward compatible we are not taking advantage of the LED's potential. This is why flashlights converted so well to LED, the power source (1.5V batteries) is very close the input required by the LED. When we try to make something that fits into a 120V socket we have to embed a voltage converter into the LED "light bulb" and this voltage converter generates heat and wastes some power.


That is somewhat the same problem with florescent lighting... CFLs are more of a problem than well designed long tube models, because of the power supply in the tiny base.


In my case I'm building a new house and want some general low level lighting in my great room. If I knew a little more about what I'm doing I could have one transformer and run several lights off of it. However I would have to be concerned with the phantom load of the transformer and actually switch it off.


Transformer? That would use more power, not less. The tiny switchers being used do pretty good that way, they just don't last as long as they could. Trying to fit a number of LEDs into the space of a filament doesn't make sense though, they could be spread out some. Probably some heat is generated spreading the light out too. LEDs tend to be a narrow focus (why they make good flash lights) and so seem harsh unless they are diffused some. Automotive turn signals are a bit better for LED layout, but still harsh unless filtered/diffused and require a 12v (or so) power source. I don't know how well they work in series, one could put ten in line and run them from 120v I guess... even AC. I don't know if flicker would be a problem or not. I do note that even cheap "night" light replacement LED "bulbs" seem to have a large capacitor in them as they do take time to fade. Ten in a row might be a bit bright But if they could be spread through the house maybe not.... but the ones in rooms unused could not be shut off.

Should you decide to use a computer as an entertainment center, one of the spare hard drive power cables would have 12V on it too. The computer would have to be running when you wanted light. There are switching power supplies out there, they don't cost much (compared to the same size transformer) and some of them seem to have very little phantom power draw... though I would switch them off too.

If you are building a house, you have the opportunity to have a switch beside the light switch that turns off the outlets too, though I would leave at least one unswitched for phone or alarm clock.
 
Posts: 135
Location: Springdale, WA USA - Cold Mediterranean Climate
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The big problem with LED's is that they can last 20 years, but if the engineering pushes them too hard, they may only last days. Like a lot of things, they have an operating window. They have a minimum amperage and a maximum amperage. Running them at 95% of their maximum power level will allow the manufacturer to use fewer LED's, but will also burn them out sooner. Typically, electronic components are never driven past their half capacity level if they are needed to last any length of time.

60 cycle or 120 cycle flickering can also happen if they skimp on internal parts. Like wise skimping on internal parts can also leave them vulnerable to power spikes. Unfortunately, short of building your own lights, I don't know how to determine if a manufacturer is skimping on stuff until after you have owned the bulb for a time.
 
Posts: 5
Location: Transylvania
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Hy everybody ,I am Adrian from Transylvania.This is a huge forum and I don't find where to introduce myself so this topic is good like any other.
About LED lights...I started to change all my incandescent bulbs on LED's and I do this with LED strips (SMD 352 .those are the cheapest on the market ,here where I live.These strips are 5 meter long and I am able to make two lamps with,let say a ceiling lamp and a work or reading lamp . I start with LED's from a few months and I am truly satisfied how they work.
I solved the focusing angle mounting them on a circle shape for ex and this way the light is spread well.
These LED's work on 12Volts and the hall 5 meter long strip can be powered by a small 3 Amp. adaptor.So with every 5 meter I buy two adapters 2Amps each because I make two lamps from each strip.
From my studies I can tell you that if you want to buy LED's ,take care to buy quality ,good brand.mine are chinese but I assume this .LED manufacturers are giving a lot of technical data about there LED's but they never say what are electrodes (anod and cathod) made of ,how pure is the material they are made with.This is the reason why not all the LED's are functioning really 40000 hours ,assuming you powered them corectly.
There is a long story behind the LED's ,but the real examples what are already done by members speaks from it self.
IMG_3777.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_3777.jpg]
90cm LED strip...please excuse the mess
IMG_3780.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_3780.jpg]
3,5 meters strip kitchen ceiling lamp
 
Posts: 276
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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I started replacing my conventional flashlights with LED ones about three years ago. I held off on buying edison-base bulbs to replace our 120v-system home lighting for seveal reasons: high price of the good LED bulbs in Canada; concerns about whether the technology of mass-market bulbs (40-100 watt equivalents) had advanced far enough; lack of enough info about how companies were standing behind the warranties on their products. Walter Jeffries's post, back on page one of this thread, gets at some of what I was concerned about - but he posted it in 2010.

So in the very recent past I've dipped my toes into the world of home-lighting LEDs. I want to learn from all of you - so I'm willing to share my experience to date, also.

I bought two 60w incandescent equialents (800 lumens) - 9w edison-27-base LED bulbs, costing $8.16 each with free shipping, through a "sale" offering at Amazon.ca - the Canadian version of Amazon.com. (Brand is Light-In-The-Box.) These are 5000* K diffuse-light type, and bulb shaped. They simulate outdoor sunlight. Actually, I'd say they give the impression of light from 75w conventional frosted bulbs. I've found these to be great for reading lamps. We've used them just for a short while, but so far are happy with their light, and very much so with their use of less than 1/6 the conventional amount of juice. Not sure how Amazon (or the source company) would stand behind the product if it fails before expected, but at the price - an extremely good price, for Canada - I couldn't resist.

Next, I bought our household's first "warm light" LED bulb. This one's to illuminate the sink, where we do the dishes. It goes into a hanging fixture that places the bulb around head height over the sink. This bulb is 500 lumens (so equivalent to maybe a 40w incandescent), so this is quite enough light with a nice warm feel for that situation.

The bulb uses 6.5 watts - so around 1/7 the amount of power as with incandies. It cost $11, and would be cheaper no doubt in the U.S. Brand is Cozyair. These bulbs are expected to have a lifespan of 40,000 hours, and I bought it from a man I know who works in a Home Hardware (Canadian hardware-store chain) location, and he assured me the store stands behind them.

I'm saving receipts: The familiar old incandescents, with a lifespan of maybe 1/30 of what these LEDs are supposed to have, became so cheap to buy that no one buying ordinary ones would have kept receipts or cared about free replacement. I've started a file to keep my receipts, and plan to note with which location in our house or shop each bulb is used. I want my money's-worth with the LEDs, because of the up-front cost.
 
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I guess my contribution to this topic would be to ask... "what are the best natural alternatives to light bulbs for use indoors?"

All this research about lightbulbs is making me want to do away with electric light bulbs all together and start wearing a candle on my forehead... or sumthin.. Solutions?
 
Joel Bercardin
Posts: 276
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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Vincent Alexander wrote:I guess my contribution to this topic would be to ask... "what are the best natural alternatives to light bulbs for use indoors?"

All this research about lightbulbs is making me want to do away with electric light bulbs all together and start wearing a candle on my forehead... or sumthin.. Solutions?

Not sure just what "natural" would be, other than sunlight admitted through windows, skylights, open doors. Moonlight can be hard to read or do fine tasks by. Candles, kerosene lamps, naptha lanterns, and such are contrivances. My wife and I lived in a cabin for five years with kerosene lamps, including a couple of Aladdin-brand lamps - they burn kerosene but utilize a manufactured netting 'mantle' that surrounds the wick and results in a 4 or 5-fold increase in light output (my estimate). Almost as bright as the conventional old Coleman lantern.

In 'the developed world' gas lighting replaced kerosene more than a century ago, and was in turn phased out when people could convert homes, office, street, and public-space lighting to electric. There was a reason for that. Kerosene lamps, and even more so candles, are pretty limiting when compared with electric light.

It would be very hard to convince my wife and me to voluntarily go back to kerosene. But maybe that's just us.
 
pollinator
Posts: 930
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
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Hi all; Been living off grid for 30 years now. I have tried most forms of lighting , kerosene, mantle lights , 12 vt car bulbs , 12 vt incandescent (edison base ) Fluorescent, compact florescent , started using led about 10 years ago. The early models are small , but do give off a good amount of light , however it is a bluish light not the yellow light that incandescent produces. Last fall while wondering home depot I spotted an led flat light . Really kind of neat looking. Also very spendy at apx. 100.00 for a 12x 12 . Went home and got on line and found amazon had 12x24 20 watt for 77.50 producing the equivalent of 50 watts of light ! These are hands down the best off grid lighting ever ! Hardly any power use ( apx 2 amp at 12 vt) , no flickering ! mounts on a wall or on a roof , 1/2" clearance and a very nice bright light ! our 82 year old cabin has never been this bright before ! I just checked and amazon is out of stock on the "lighting ever 20 watt flat light" Do you homework before buying , not all are created equal. A lot of the other manufactures had poor feedback.
 
Posts: 91
Location: Piedmont, NC
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So I am looking for recommendations for led battery powered motion sensor lights.

I just ordered two different ones to try them out. One for looks, and one because it uses a 9 volt battery and I think it should last longer. The one I ordered for looks is this one: 2 x OxyLED T-03 Bright Wireless Motion Sensing LED Wall Light / Night Light/ Step Light for Pathway / Staircase / Garden / Yard / Wall / Drive Way , the other one is the Mighty Light, both from Amazon.com. The ones I ordered for looks is for inside bathrooms (I see no reason that practical can't also be beautiful.) I can see this being used nightly as well as during power outages in other places in the home. I paid a little more for this one even though a look alike twin was available due to the stainless steel instead of chrome (although it said aluminum in the description, it said chrome in the specs.) The ones for the outside had mixed reviews, but they were the only ones I could find that used a 9 volt battery. Since our keyless lock batteries have already lasted for 3 years, I am hoping this one will at least come close. The locations of the outside ones preclude using solar due to shade. (We have several solar motion sensor lights for security - love them.)
 
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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No great suggestions on LED motion lights, except to say the solar ones I have had came with LONG cords to put the solar panel a long ways from the light and didn't need a lot of light to keep the battery charged, roughly a minute of partial shade for every minute of run time for the light.
 
Sherri Lynn
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That's a good point. One of my locations it might be possible to hide the wires. . .
 
Joel Bercardin
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Please try to include the brand name of the LED products that you've felt good about, if you mention something. If you can do that, it will help the people reading this thread to access good products rather than disappointments.

R. Scott, do you know the brand of those LED solar lamps that you're pleased with? The long wires, provided with those units, sound like an advantage. About six years ago, we tried some solar powered motion sensing lamps on our place at the front gates (deer fencing) and it didn't work out - proper location for the lights was not good for gathering electricity via the little PV's during the day.
 
Joel Bercardin
Posts: 276
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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Along the line of my previous post, I thought I'd mention a couple of things about brands. Maybe two years back I was on a homesteading forum and there was a little discussion about LEDs for home and shop lighting. A guy or two said they'd had bad luck with Phillips products (I seem to recall the experience was that some of that company's bulbs were not destined to last 15 years but had given-out in a matter of weeks).

Can't say about Phillips, myself. Haven't bought any. I got some "off brand" LEDs - standard edison base, screw-in bulbs - at a very low price from Amazon, and they're working out well except that they're daylight rather than 'soft light' and I think I prefer the latter, since it's more like the indoor incandescent-bulb light that we'd grown used to after decades of living with them (i.e., since infancy).

I bought some Sunbeam brand 800 lumen bulbs in a packaged 3-for-price-of-2 deal, and I'm using them in fixtures in my shop. These are 9-watt soft-light bulbs, and I'm impressed that the bulbs put out stronger light than the 60-watt incandescents they are meant to replace. Stronger but very pleasant light.
 
Posts: 232
Location: Western Massachusetts (USDA zone 5a, heating zone 5, 40"+)
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In Massachusetts, I am now seeing Greenlite brand LED bulbs for sale for 99 cents. That's for the 9W bulb that replaces a standard 60W Edison bulb. They have other shapes (including flood lights) for a bit more money. I have converted almost all the lights in our house to these LEDs and so far (after 4 months of using them) am very happy - they are instant-on, dimmable, and provide bright, warm light with no flickering or buzz.
 
Joel Bercardin
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Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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Do people here know about 1000bulbs.com? It's an online catalog source for light bulbs of various kinds. Their prices are good, but they're in Texas - for me, the shipping (except if I made up a very large order) would bring the unit price for LED bulbs up too much.

Still, their online catalog is an excellent resource to look at what's available on the market right now. You can use the online listings, search function, and descriptive info to learn about what's out there (bulb types, shapes, and bases; brightness & color temps; warranties; all these things). It helps me in the sense that the education makes my local shopping less confusing and more effective.

https://www.1000bulbs.com/category/led-light-bulbs/
 
Joel Bercardin
Posts: 276
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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I'm trying a new bulb, and am impressed so far. It's a "flood light" shaped (BR30 is what the style is called), "edison" threaded base. Brand is Luminus "dimmable Wide Flood", 13.5W (65W equivalent), 3000K (hence, daylight type). 4-year warranty, and estimated for 40,000 hours of service. Stated as being for indoor or outdoor fixtures.

I bought two of them, individually packaged, from Costco - for $15 each. Previously, Costco was only selling them in "two packs".

I got these for my metal (welding, grinding, cutting, shaping) workshop area to replace two ordinary 60W round-bulb incandescents (bare bulbs in overhead sockets). They're on a 20-amp circuit, along with a sizable compressor. The old lights drew enough power that, when the compressor kicked in, it often threw the breaker... a real nuisance.

Many guys like fluorescent-tube lights for the workshop, but I never have. The new LED floods are brighter and distribute the light more usefully than my former bulbs. I like their performance for lighting the general area, and I have two other round-bulb LEDs right above my workbench (plus intensity lights right on the workbench to illuminate things I'm actually drilling, grinding, or setting up for welding.

You can read about the floodlight bulb here: http://reviews.costco.ca/2070-en_ca/100083200/conglom-inc-cad-luminus-led-br30-dimmable-light-bulb-reviews/reviews.htm
 
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Rocket Canner Fryer and Forge - Draft Plans
https://permies.com/t/64465/Rocket-Canner-Fryer-Forge-Draft
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