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Podcast 349 - LED vs Incandescent Light  RSS feed

 
Adrien Lapointe
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Summary

Paul, Jocelyn and Fred discuss the question whether incandescent light is still better than LED light. The short answer is "yes." The longer answer fills a podcast. They explore many aspects: subsidy, energy sucking activities (heating, cooling, drying clothes, cooking), lighting habits, light quality, longevity, toxicity from cradle to grave, complexity, and the total energy cost. They talk about the advantages of the heat produced by incandescent and strategies to save energy by using focused tasks lights.

Relevant Threads

Is incandescent light still better than led light?
Paul's CFL Article
Paul's CFL Test
Paul's Make it Missoula light bulb blog post
Paul's electric heat Energy Saving Article
CFL toxicity
Phoebus Cartel
Centennial Bulb
The Age of Stupid Movie

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This podcast was made possible thanks to:

Doug Barth
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David Ingraham
 
Creighton Samuiels
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In the podcast, you mentioned that the incandescent bulbs have been officially banned, but you can still buy them.  I don't know where you are buying them, because I can't; at least not without ordering them from internet sites.  The incandescent look-alike bulbs available at retail stores near me are all halogen bulbs designed to look like incandescents.  I really would like to know where you get them from.
 
paul wheaton
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Creighton Samuiels wrote:In the podcast, you mentioned that the incandescent bulbs have been officially banned, but you can still buy them.  I don't know where you are buying them, because I can't; at least not without ordering them from internet sites.  The incandescent look-alike bulbs available at retail stores near me are all halogen bulbs designed to look like incandescents.  I really would like to know where you get them from.


I read this and popped into missoula to check two stores yesterday.  Yes, at walmart, there are no more standard incandescent 60 watt (or higher) bulbs.   Even the 40 watt or lower bulbs are sold only as specialty items with a much higher price tag. 

But this makes sense.   They are banned, and the light bulb companies lobbied for the ban, so they could sell bulbs that have a higher profit.   I stocked up when i saw it going down.

At the second place ... the good food store .... this is the place where I got the long life bulb for my experiments.  Looks like they still have them:

light-bulbs-grocery.jpg
[Thumbnail for light-bulbs-grocery.jpg]
 
Creighton Samuiels
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Well, I've never seen a store called "GoodFood" around here, and I know I've never seen "BluesBuster" lightbulbs either.  But thanks anyway.  I ended up buying a case of GE SoftWhite from Amazon.  I guess they were found in an old warehouse somewhere, or smuggled in from Canada.
 
Seva Tokarev
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Thank you for another valuable podcast. Wanted to share some notes.

I do not think that the conspiracy to artificially shorten the incandescent bulb life is real: it only makes sense in capitalist world; I grew up in Soviet Union, and incandescent bulbs there still had to be replaced rather regularly.

It is correct that DC LED circuitry is much simpler than AC; in fact, you can connect the light emitting diode directly to the battery, provided it's rated for the voltage. I think that's what actually takes place in most flashlights: the only other electric component there is the switch. Take one apart and see for yourself!

After experimenting with led lights for several years, I have been disappointed with the spectrum, price, and longevity; recently I have discovered GE Reveal LED, and they suit me so far (well, longevity is still being tested). They are not natural spectrum, but produce pleasant looking light (that is the big deal about Reveal trademark.) I suppose they are still subsidized, yet I haven't seen until recently many 570 lumen LEDs retailing at $6 a piece, and those that came close had terrible spectrum, or didn't last, or both.

One advantage of LEDs you missed is that they are not fragile; no filament, no glass.

It would be helpful if someone provided a link explaining the mentioned benefits of near infrared light for vision in particular (something I was totally unaware of); surprises me since I thought infrared is filtered out by cornea, and overexposure to it causes cornea clouding. I take it back, this is the case with 1400 nm and further infrared; looks like near infrared is mostly absorbed in retina but remains invisible since it does not trigger the receptor. Yet the only information I can find on this is about the dangers of overexposure.

I have considered LED as a grow light, but settled on an HPS.

You point on benefits of incandescent lighting during the cold months compels me to maintain two sets of bulbs, incandescent for the winter and LED for the rest of the year.
 
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