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marty reed
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ok well i have been looking for a cheap way to light up my house i came across this video
and i thought it was a good idea and was at a friends house and he had some lights off of a 16wheeler truck and thay where led was thinking how moding them for lights in side the house on a dc volt system any one think this will work or any ideas try to do my best to keep the footprint of my new house as small as i can

thecheapguy
 
marty reed
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and anther thing i have deen kicking around was led christmas lights 
 
T. Joy
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Filled with toxic chemicals.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ac/20110211/sc_ac/7837372_leds_filled_with_toxic_substances_study_says
I'm still looking for an alternative. I have solar garden lights I charge on the deck and bring inside at night for night lites and am looking at using an oil lamp and making my own soy wax candles but so far those are the best solutions I've come up with and they are more mood lighting than functional working lights.
 
                              
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Location: Colorado, Zone 5, Cold Semi-arid
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Stock up on standard incandescent light bulbs.  They are energy efficient if used correctly, i.e., not left on for hours at a time, and if sized appropriately.  Don't use a 100 Watt bulb if a 60 Watt bulb will do.  For outside lighting, and some indoor applications, use timers, motion sensors and dusk-to-dawn (photo-sensitive) fixtures.

Use task lighting instead of general lighting where appropriate.  You will need less lighting.  Instead of trying to light an entire room with one overhead fixture with multiple bulbs, use several small single-bulb lamps or fixtures where you need light, and that can be switched on/off separately.

DC lighting is also available; no need for an inverter.  Just make sure you use 12 Volt bulbs with a 12 Volt system, 24V with 24V, etc.

LEDs and CFLs do have their uses, but often do not provide adequate lighting for general tasks, may require more bulbs to equal the same apparent light levels as incandescents, are composed of toxic materials, and give off "cooler" light than what most people are used to.

LED Christmas lights are a safe choice, as they don't get as hot as old-style incandescents.  Your tree, real or plastic, probably won't go up in flames if left on for three days running.

The key to energy efficiency is wise use.  Turn off lights when lighting isn't needed.  Use less light when and where possible.  Light what space needs lighting; leave unlit what doesn't need lighting.

 
            
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led lighting is certainly the wave of the future.  Their advantages include that they will burn up to 20 years straight (100,000 or so hours), and use a fraction of the wattage of incandescent bulbs.  In intermittant usage, they will last much longer.  They contain no mercury, unlike CFLs, and are unbreakable under normal usage.  I've dropped my LED flashlight a number of times, with no problems.  I have an LED flood light that contains 9 1 watt LEDs, this uses 9 watts of electricity at 120VAC, and is about as bright as a 60 watt incandescent bulb.  I also am using two strings of warm white LED christmas lights instead of my incandescent porch light.  They are not as bright, but the amount of light is more than adequate.  They also radiate less heat than even a CFL, which I have had explode on a few occasions.

If you are choosing LEDs for lighting, be sure to get the warm white bulbs, which are more yellowish, rather than the cool white bulbs, which are bluish white.

LEDs are still a little expensive, but the prices are dropping rapidly as production ramps up.  I got the christmas lights on sale for half off the day after christmas.  It's the best time to shop for them, altho supplies are more limited.

LEDs are somewhat directional, but new configurations face the diodes in different directions to spread the light beams. 
 
Roy Hinkley
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Location: S. Ontario Canada
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I keep my eyes out for LED spotlights that have a separate solar panel.
All my exterior lighting is an accumulation of these over the years.

Some are a kit with 3 spots(3 LED's each) and a single panel(6" square). I have a number of these, some here, some at the cottage.
Recently I found some with the same panel but a single spotlight with 12 LED's. They're bright enough for security lights.
 
marty reed
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led spote lights i seen some of these for commerial signs i thought thay where preatty neat im looking for a cheap way to light my house on a off gride system
 
            
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Initially speaking, LEDs are not cheap, but if you take into consideration their extended lifespan and the amount of electricity they use over that time, they are the cheapest form of lighting on the market today.
 
            
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In all fairness, I am posting the following link about the toxicity found in LEDs that have been crushed.  But think, who in their right mind is going to go around crushing the things?

http://www.walletpop.com/2011/02/15/light-bulbs-advertised-as-green-contain-arsenic-and-lead-stud/
 
Walter Jeffries
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I've been using led lights for the past four years or so.
I've used many different models and brands.
I am an engineer - I've worked with LEDs a lot in my projects so I know LEDs.
I had looked forward to the day they would be here for home lightning.

I'm very disappointed with commercial units. Very.
They do not live up to the promise.
There is the fact that they just are not very bright, very monochromatic, are off color and flicker. Gads, I thought we were past that horror of flickering lights.

But it gets worse. They're unreliable. The manufacturers make claims of them lasting for tens of thousands of hours but I've had over 60% of the units fail completely in the past four years, sometimes in warrantee, sometimes out of warrantee. Generally it is the power supply and wiring harnesses that are failing.

But it gets worse. On top of the above failures a unit that has 20 LEDs will typically have 1 or 2 LEDs fail in it. Actual failure of the LEDs. Gets worse though because with 100 LEDs we're still getting 5% to 10% failure rates so the count goes up.

And it bets worse... The LEDs are not all created equal. In a instrument panel this doesn't matter much but in a lighting system it looks weird. More expensive units do tend to be better about this one but still aren't right.

The LEDs are also a very focussed light rather than the diffused light of incandescent and florescent bulbs.

The best solution I've found was actually to use LED flashlights. Flashlights! Yes, crazy. They're better quality than the home lighting fixtures. Setup a DC power supply system with battery backup and then run that in your home. Works for us since we have such a small house.

I dearly hope they'll solve these problems but as of today I would recommend not buying LED lighting fixtures unless you're willing to accept the above problems as part of the deal. Maybe in 5 or 10 years it will be better.

Cheers

-Walter
Sugar Mountain Farm
Pastured Pigs, Sheep & Kids
in the mountains of Vermont
Read about our on-farm butcher shop project:
http://SugarMtnFarm.com/butchershop
http://SugarMtnFarm.com/csa
 
T. Joy
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Well that's disappointing to say the least!
Sigh. Candles and early bed times it is then.
 
Walter Jeffries
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craftylittlemonkey wrote:Well that's disappointing to say the least! Sigh. Candles and early bed times it is then.


Yeah. The LEDs aren't complete duds but they're not ready for prime time. I still use the ones I have, of course. In retrospect I would have saved the money. They do use less energy, but they give less light.
 
                                
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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PaulB wrote:
In all fairness, I am posting the following link about the toxicity found in LEDs that have been crushed.  But think, who in their right mind is going to go around crushing the things?

http://www.walletpop.com/2011/02/15/light-bulbs-advertised-as-green-contain-arsenic-and-lead-stud/



 The lighting debate reminds me of the bag debate that went on a few years ago. Paper or plastic?    


 I think it's great that there is more awareness and discussion about the ecological concerns around lighting and lighting choices.    I do however think that deciding what is the more green choice that only focuses on end of life issues isn't enough to get the whole picture.    I don't have the answers but I do think it's important to expand the questions.  


 That fact is that whether it's traditional bulbs, CFs or LEDs  they are all ecologically damaging if you start at the beginning of each of their life cycles.    A true accounting would consider the whole kit and kabboodle.  
 
When you start looking at all of it, it gets complex and the questions of what is ecologically greener becomes way less cut and dry.

For instance in the case of traditional bulbs you have tungsten which at it's end of life is less an ecological problem because of it's properties.   But if you go back to the beginning you'll find that tungsten mining is responsible for a lot of environmental pollution including destroying rivers and contaminating drinking water.  In China a whole area was forced to relocate when they started getting sick and getting things like skin ulcers from the run-off from the local tungsten mine.  Most of the worlds tungsten resources come from places like China and less developed countries.

Then there is the energy needed to process it.  In the case of tungsten it's quite high compared to other metals.  

Then there is the issue of limits to resources.  The world reserves of tungsten are limited which is why there are attempts to recycle and reuse it.  The tungsten found in traditional light bulbs is one of the easiest forms to recycle.  Yet when do we ever here about recycling trad bulbs.  They just get used and thrown out like most other 'disposable' products.

Of course when you look at the materials in other types of bulbs you'll find similar issues with extraction pollution and environmental degradation.   It's really just a given at this point that the majority of resource extraction has some ecological effect.  


So in a true cost account of what is 'greener' would have to take into account the factors involved in the production of the resources that make all of them.  

It would have to take into account the energy used to produce these resources and what source that energy is derived from.   Hydro electric?  Less polluting.   Coal fired?  More polluting.


Then there are the factors of how the bulbs are actually produced.  Are there by-products in the manufacturing processes?  What happens to them?  How much energy use is involved?  


I think it would be a safe assumption that all processes have a polluting waste effect.   While it might be relatively easy to do a base comparison simply on the greenness 'levels' of those effects it get more complicated when you factor in the life of the product.  

For instance say it's figured out that the production  and resource costs and waste by-products to make 20 traditional bulbs is definitely less then 20 LED equivalent bulbs.   The issue then is that over a period of time because of the nature and lifespan of the bulbs you're going to need produce a lot more trad bulbs to produce the same amount of long term light as an LED bulb.      

Each uses resources that pollute to make them but then the questions are is it 'greener' overall to have a finished item that last longer?  That once the resources are out of the ground they stick around longer?   Does the overall ecological cost of making trad bulb--because you need more-- outweigh the higher  initial ecological costs of making a LED?  


Then we move on to energy use accounting.   Trad bulbs use more energy but they also some heat.  Need to account for that.  CFs and LED use less energy and don't provide heat.     This sort of ecological accounting of course depends on a lot on the source of energy production that runs them.   Is it better ecologically to have trad bulbs using more energy if it's mostly coal fired or natural gas?  Those send off pollution.  Or is it greener in the long term to have bulbs that on their own have a higher a higher ecological cost then a trad bulb but don't need as much energy over their life cycle?   Even alternative energy systems aren't immune from these questions and need to be calculated in.      Solar panels are great in terms of non pollution during their use but they use a lot of 'toxics' in their production as well.  They also have end of life issues in terms of toxicity since many use things like cadmium which is why future thinking solar companies are looking at disposal issues, 20 to 30 years down the line.    Is it better in terms of life cycle greenness to have three solar panel set-up  that runs trad lights or have two or one that's capable of running CFs or LEDs?

Then there is end of life.  Most end of life concerns are around the toxic pollution of the heavy metals.   Trad bulbs do win out in this regard.  However at this point they are just disposed of like you would a Schick disposable razor so all of the energy and resource extraction that went into making them is thrown out as well.      Cfs and I expect LED's are capable of and there is a willingness to recycle and some of the resources reused.  


As I said above I don't know the answers to all these numerous questions.   I have yet to find info that looks at it all in a comprehensive manner.   The main point though is that what is 'green' or best in terms of greenness is a lot more complicated then just the end of a bulbs life.  


There is another thing that does bug me about the bulb debate.  I think it's great that people are having it but to me at least it is minor compared to the much larger issue of waste in general.  Right now it's estimated that 70% of heavy metal contamination in landfills comes from e-waste and it's increasing every year.   These metals are the same ones that are proving a concern in bulbs  and then some.  They also include persistent chemical like PDBEs.    Computers, cell phones, VCR, stereos, TV both old and new styles and pretty much anything that has anything electronic in it is a culprit.  E-waste disposal programs catch only a small percentage.  

 That's not to say that people shouldn't look at or be concerned about bulbs.   It's just the same sorts of concerns I see being expressed about bulbs are already at play,  and in a much larger way.

 
Irene Kightley
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We lived without electric lighting for a while and candles and petrol lamps are lovely but really dangerous (we have cats) and you have to buy candles and petrol.

Being off-grid, I started using LEDs as soon as they came on the market and I agree with Walter some of them are a complete waste of money. This expensive warm LED cluster only lasted six months before dying.



I've tried various shapes and styles and I've had more than six years service from some of our LEDs. They don't give off a lot of light but for less than a couple of watts, they "open out" a room and that means that you can find things and you don't trip over the dogs ! 

Here are some examples - all of these are more than four years old.









I've lots of photos of low energy lighting here :

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hardworkinghippy/sets/72057594120244868/
 
Walter Jeffries
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Odonata wrote:Trad bulbs use more energy but they also some heat.  Need to account for that.  CFs and LED use less energy and don't provide heat.


Good point that gets missed a lot. Incandescent bulbs produce _useful_ heat. In our northern climate that heat is not a waste product at all. We're working to heat our homes and that little extra heat from bulbs helps. It is also important in a spring house, brooder, etc. It is unfortunate that the government is effectively banning the incandescent bulbs. Better to just let energy prices rise, without subsidies, to their natural levels and let people make choices based on the economics.

The biggest thing we did was in our cottage we have lots of windows well oriented and shaded. This means we actually use lights very little - primarily turning them on in the dark of winter in the evening and early morning. Adjusting schedules to the seasons helps.
 
Walter Jeffries
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Irene Kightley wrote:We lived without electric lighting for a while and candles and petrol lamps are lovely but really dangerous (we have cats) and you have to buy candles and petrol.


We had something similar, propane lighting, for about 15 years in our old farm house. It was awful. The light quality was poor, the elements kept having to be replaced, more often than bulbs and worst of all was the fumes. Even in that drafty old house it gave me headaches. The gas company could never get the lines fixed right so they didn't leak. I worried about the house exploding. This happens and every year I read about houses blowing up due to propane leaks. Nasty. I finally shut off the gas. Not worth the risk. The old farm house was very dark and gloomy. Gave me incentive to plan better for our new cottage. We've been in the cottage now for over three years and it is sooo much better.
 
T. Joy
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Wow, exploding lights. Well that's bright at least.
I am going to order soy wax and make my own candles, it's super inexpensive and we do not have cats  .
 
Walter Jeffries
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craftylittlemonkey wrote:Wow, exploding lights. Well that's bright at least.


Aye, seemed like, well, over kill to use a fire ball when an LED would do.

See this search pattern:

http://news.google.com/nwshp?hl=en&tab=wn&q=propane%20OR%20LPG%20OR%20gas%20explosion%20house%20OR%20home

All sorts of exciting ways to light and heat the home.
 
marty reed
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i was thinking about making my own light fixture out of christmas lights and i could use resine to hold the leds in place for a cheap led fixture.

im sure their are many diffrant types of leds but does this sound do able or a wast of time im not sure how long thay will last
 
Walter Jeffries
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thecheapguy wrote:i was thinking about making my own light fixture out of christmas lights and i could use resine to hold the leds in place for a cheap led fixture.


I think it is the right way to go but make the LEDs replaceable. There are plug in sockets we use in electronics you can use for them. Contrary to the claims of longevity LEDs do burn out. An alternative is simply to have redundancy.
 
marty reed
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well i was looking for some chritmas lights to make my cheap led light fixuter and found that thay make solar power chritmas lights how cool it that might find a easy was to have light at a cheap cost and thay are solar powered that is just great

thecheapguy
 
Kane Jamison
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Seems like a good place to drop this link:

http://www.jetsongreen.com/2011/03/60w-replacement-prize-led-bulb.html

Today Lighting Science Group unveiled a new 60-watt replacement LED bulb that “meets or exceeds all of the criteria for the L Prize,” according to CTO Fred Maxik.  If you’re not familiar with the competition, in order to win, the lamp must run better than 90 watts per lumen, produce more than 900 lumens, use less than 10 watts, last more than 25,000 hours, have more than a 90 color rendering index, and have a color between 2700-3000 K.

In addition, the winning bulb must have a target consumer price of $22 for year one, $15 for year two, and $8 for year three.

The government-sponsored L Prize competition has other requirements, such as domestic manufacturing minimums and the submission of 2,000 qualifying bulbs, but you get the general idea.  It’s not an easy competition.

The new bulb unveiled today is currently being produced in quantities to be tested by the Department of Energy.  No retail channel has been established, but the company expects to sell the bulb for $22.  LSG told Jetson Green in an email the bulb has no mercury, lead, or other toxins.

LSG already has one of the best, low-cost LED bulbs on the market.  The 60-watt replacement Definity LED — 850 lumens, 13 watts, 50,000 hours, price below $30 — is available to commercial/industrial customers and set for Home Depot shelves in May 2011.  Another bulb worth watching is the Cree TrueWhite LED, which is not bright enough for the L Prize, but it’s very efficient and features good color.


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T. Joy
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That is AWESOME! Thanks!
 
Brenda Groth
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although a bit pricey I like LED lights OVER CFL's and use a lot of them..

I have LED floods in my front porch lights and in my china and entertainment center cabinets..and use the china cabinet for nightlights as they light up 3 rooms at night (hubby has head injury and is accident prone, got to have night lights)...also we have found several LED nightlights that we use in bedrooms and bathrooms..they work nice.

plan to try to eventually replace as many of our bulbs as possible with LED's..the floods have the regular screw bottoms like normal lightbulbs and are avail at Walmart about $5 each
 
Kane Jamison
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Brenda Groth wrote:
although a bit pricey I like LED lights OVER CFL's and use a lot of them..

I have LED floods in my front porch lights and in my china and entertainment center cabinets..and use the china cabinet for nightlights as they light up 3 rooms at night (hubby has head injury and is accident prone, got to have night lights)...also we have found several LED nightlights that we use in bedrooms and bathrooms..they work nice.

plan to try to eventually replace as many of our bulbs as possible with LED's..the floods have the regular screw bottoms like normal lightbulbs and are avail at Walmart about $5 each


Hi Brenda,

Am I reading correctly that you're buying floodlight LED bulbs for $5 at Walmart?
 
                                
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hi
i am new to this forum and just want to say that led lights
are amazing and cheap
i have bought a 5 meter long roll of 5050 led light stip for less than $50
and i believe that a piece approx 500mm long is as bright as a similar sized flouro tube 
it is 12volt and draws less than one amp and stay bright running the battery all the way down to 9 volt
 
Jake Van
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There's not much to them so you could make your own....
http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-your-own-LED-lightbulbs/

Neat LED circuit calculator:
http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz
 
Fred Winsol
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Location: Sierras
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Lighting is a complex subject.  Reflectances, contrast ratios, age, task criticalness... and above all a personal preference issue along with whatever you've been exposed to and are familiar with.  I've used LEDs for over 10 years.. Europe is the only place that has good LEDs unless you go the luxury car route or Ikea over here.

Energy wise and usage wise there's no better light currently than LEDs... they are limitless in how they can be used and applied... until we get plasma lights.
 
                                            
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That story about toxic LEDs at http://old.news.yahoo.com/s/ac/20110211/sc_ac/7837372_leds_filled_with_toxic_substances_study_says is a total load of rubbish....

They must have been desperate for funding.

The wafer (active component in a LED) is minute - several milligrams at most - the elements of concern are dopants - and are there in very small amounts. besides - the whole thing is encapsulated in a clear epoxy bead. I'd be more worried about the silver plated copper wires! (;-O)

This is a total beat-up.
 
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame
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My conclusion is that the most efficient thing, both cost and energy-wise is to have one big portable bank of LED's that can be moved from room to room.  LED headlamp works pretty well, too. 
 
                                            
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The only problem I have with these LED headlights (and I own a couple myself) is that they need batteries which all contain toxic substances that almost inevitably end up in landfill.  Also, long term post TSHTF.... you won't be able to get batteries.  I also once read in a david Suzuki book that the cost of energy you get from small batteries is 750 times as dear as grid energy.
 
Fred Winsol
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Damnthematrix wrote:
The only problem I have with these LED headlights (and I own a couple myself) is that they need batteries which all contain toxic substances that almost inevitably end up in landfill.  Also, long term post TSHTF.... you won't be able to get batteries.  I also once read in a david Suzuki book that the cost of energy you get from small batteries is 750 times as dear as grid energy.

So in the wintertime do we hibernate like bears or stay inside with kerosene (!) lamps and candles? 

Reusable batteries are just that... give them to a place where u know they are being sent to a good reprocessor.
I also suppose you haven't driven in a car lately? there's some BIG toxic batteries in there... OMG! 

Is there any GOOD news here? do you have a solution?  something better?  we should all carry around waterfountains with microhydro generators? 
 
                                            
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All I'm saying is that as we head into collapse (it's started already you know...) all those niceties you take for granted will simply disappear.

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.  My country, Australia, will be 100% out of oil before 2020 - unless economic collapse is so severe we simply stop (or almost stop) using the stuff.  Either way.... we are screwed.

I hope your permaculture system is really humming, because soon you will need everything that comes out of it.

EDITED by staff to delete dead link {Polk}
 
                                
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I think people have gotten used to having more light than is really necessary.  What does one need to do at night?  Generally reading, knitting, what have you... all things people used to do just fine by candlelight.  I can't think of anything I ever do that needs more than a little LED task lighting, with the exception perhaps of my shop where I find myself at night on some occasions needing to finish a project... tho I suspect that's more due to my lack of time management.  The old folks with bad eyes go to bed at sundown anyway. 
 
Fred Winsol
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TheDirtSurgeon wrote:
I think people have gotten used to having more light than is really necessary.  What does one need to do at night?  Generally reading, knitting, what have you... all things people used to do just fine by candlelight.  I can't think of anything I ever do that needs more than a little LED task lighting, with the exception perhaps of my shop where I find myself at night on some occasions needing to finish a project... tho I suspect that's more due to my lack of time management.  The old folks with bad eyes go to bed at sundown anyway.   

I agree totally... hibernate like bears in the winter... not just for ole folks 

I've even installed a lo-level, night-time lighting system with red LEDs in the bathroom and bedroom... I think light sensitivity and TOO much light at nighttime can cause havoc with some people's pysche ++.  Kinda like the glare of a cars bright headlights comin' at you.
 
Casey Halone
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You know how some phones are powered off the phone line? I wonder how much amps one could draw from that before problems arose?
 
Len Ovens
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Casey Halone wrote:
You know how some phones are powered off the phone line? I wonder how much amps one could draw from that before problems arose?


+ and - 24 volts... 48 volts total. 1kohm in series, if I remember right, once the voltage at the phone gets to about 6v... maybe more, the phone is detected as "off hook". 42 divided by 1000 is .042 amps... not much... and at that your phone is always busy.
 
peter dublin
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Interesting magazine, well illustrated, about Low Tech usage and advantages
(Chinese wheelbarrows etc! as well as solar power, pedal power with unusual takes...)
done by someone in Barcelona, Spain
http://www.lowtechmagazine.com

re LEDs
Notice the article
http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2008/10/lled-light-cfl-b.html
..it says LEDs leading to greater energy use
(for example as used on lots of buldings for effect, and instead of neon lights, with lots of photo examples)

 
peter dublin
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peter dublin wrote:Interesting magazine, well illustrated, about Low Tech usage and advantages
(Chinese wheelbarrows etc! as well as solar power, pedal power with unusual takes...)
done by someone in Barcelona, Spain
http://www.lowtechmagazine.com

re LEDs
Notice the article
http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2008/10/lled-light-cfl-b.html
..it says LEDs leading to greater energy use
(for example as used on lots of buldings for effect, and instead of neon lights, with lots of photo examples)



correction link... http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2008/10/led-light-cfl-b.html
 
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https://permies.com/wiki/48625/digital-market/digital-market/Mike-Oehler-Cost-Underground-House
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