I just dropped the price of
the permaculture playing cards
for a wee bit.

 

 

uses include:
- infecting brains with permaculture
- convincing folks that you are not crazy
- gift giving obligations
- stocking stuffer
- gambling distraction
- an hour or two of reading
- find the needle
- find the 26 hidden names

clickity-click-click

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It is 2017 and incandescent is still better than LED  RSS feed

 
Posts: 40
Location: North central Ontario
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Bees wax versus tallow. Candle versus oil lamps.  Whale oil versus petroleum oil.  Oil versus gas.  Gas versus arc lights.  Arc versus incandescent.  Incandescent versus halogen versus xenon versus fluorescent.  And now led.  The wheel goes on and on.  I bought my first cfl 20 years ago.  I retired the last of the oldest ones 2 years ago.  I'm awaiting the death of the rest so I can justify replacing them with the new leds. Some cfl were horrible but those from well known manufacturers performed well the crummy ones performed badly.  My first forray into leds involved wiring diodes with a resistor for 12 volt units.  Those early ones with the first flawed manufacturing processes really were horrible.  Too blue with bad quality control and cheap components. Fast forward a decade and off the shelf units from national retailers are cheap and longlived.  As to the light quality Nothing holds a candle to daylight if you will pardon the play on words.  As to complexity I would say leds allow you to lessen the complexity of your power generation so it should count as a plus for them.  One of the main sources of complexity and failure is the driver which has to regulate voltage and also fit in the tight package of the traditional Edison bulb design.  Think of the screw in leds as a stopgap measure at best.  More and more the new units are enclosed with a separate driver to control one or a string of fixtures.  These new gen ones are modular, replaceable and extremely longlived. Also since they generate very little heat their enclosures are much less complex.  No metal junction box and elaborate heat dissipating solutions incandescent lights require. Available in many spectrums based on taste and task. Stick to well known manufacturers do your research and you will love them.
Led lover David Baillie
 
Posts: 73
Location: Finland
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I find to very odd, that as LEDs operate with 2-3 voltage and you use 230 voltages from the wall socket, it is 100 times more they need, so we use energy to transform energy: also need resistors, which heat up usually more than the LED itself..

If you have right voltage, you dont need resistors or/and transformers with LEDs.
 
pollinator
Posts: 192
Location: Worcestershire, England
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I found this monster sized incandescent the other day and realised I would have to post it here!

This 1000W bulb was run on a dimmer switch (usually underpowered) in an outbuilding workshop at my parents old house. They built the workshop to help construct the house in the early 80's and it wasn't demolished until around 2004. So I reckon its has had at least 20 years of use of fairly consistent use and the filament looks as good as new. It wouldn't suprise me if my dad bought it second hand as didn't remember him having any spare giant lightbullbs of the same type.

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Posts: 45
Location: Haiti
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What an eye opening post. Wow.

I searched through all of the posts that mention battery back-ups (electrical inverter power), because that is what is most relevant to me in Haiti. I buy CFL's, not because they "save the earth" or are "cheaper in the long run." I buy them because they let my inverter power run for a longer amount of time. In fact, in Haiti, the corner-store boutiques refer to CFLs as "inverter lights," because they help inverter power to last longer.

I was wondering how these calculations hold up when taking this matter into account. What about the cost of a generator being run more frequently? What about the decrease in the life-span of an inverter battery due to increased cycling? What about the strain on the actual inverter itself?

Unfortunately, I could not find any direct references to research in this vein. Perhaps one of you could point me to some...

I'd be happy to provide numbers (cost of batteries, cost of fuel, generator servicing, etc.) if someone wants to try to calculate. Or, if someone has a suggested calculation, post it here and I'll plug in for the variables.
 
Posts: 139
Location: SF Bay Area
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To my mind, the discussion begins and ends with incandescents produce heat. I don't do heat. Most of my life, we had no heat, other than the occasional fire, solar in the late 70's, early 80's was terrible. Then as an adult, we couldn't afford it. I have heat now, but wouldn't use it, if I lived alone. As long as the house doesn't dip below 40 degrees, I'm good.
 
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Cool thread. Any idea where to find incandescent lighting experts? I'm looking for engineers who know about manufacturing parts - and have a good breadth of knowledge about the range of incandescent lights out there (in various frequency ranges). I'm working on a project and looking for consultants, engineering students, or whomever has the most experience in this "old fashioned" technology... Easy to find LED experts, of course
 
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I might posit that LED flashlights/worklights are greatly superior to  incandescent. Much brighter, and they give longer battery life.
The reason that they aren't as pleasing to use for interior illumination is because any given LED can only emit one wavelength of light, so to make "white" light, it is actually a composite of emitters. It kind of works, but your eye/mind seems to know better.
 
Posts: 27
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i use all 3 for different applications, here is why:

incandescent, for heat and light, for the chicken coop in the winter, when there are days they are completely snowed in and it might take some time to shovel a path to them to let them out. the light helps keep their water from freezing entirely.

fluorescent for indoor grow boxes, because they are fucking everywhere and last a long time, and dont make as much heat as incandescents(important for an almost fully enclosed grow box, i prefer to smoke and/or cook what im growing AFTER its been harvested), i stock piled CFLs as they are everywhere they were being given away for free, so have a bunch in storage. long flourescents are also available everywhere, folks get rid of them for free so much.

LEDs, for the general lighting in the house. these were also being given away for free in a lot of places. i don't have them as stocked up as the CFLs, but have enough for most of the rooms in my house. i like how efficient they are electicity wise. id like to learn to make LED arrays myself, so i can grow more indoors, year round microgreens, clones and seedlings to market and plant in spring.

i don't know if/how significant differences there are in the industrial processes for making them vs other bulbs, at a certain point i consider that splitting hairs, and greenwashing. i take no responsibility for the world capitalist industry has built for us. im doing what i can with what i have, and i have little to no power in these dynamics. my impact is insignificant compared to systems beyond my control, challenging those systems, like the military, and industry itself, are my priority, not peoples consumption habits, which are divisive, and unecissary, egoic and elitist, a distraction from organizing our power as people to challenge the destructive systems.

As for heating goes, we live in a newer mobile home, rather efficient design, lots of south oriented windows with central oil heat, i shut the vents to underused rooms in the winter, as well as my own bedroom. Its one of the most efficient homes ive lived in in Maine(not saying much, our housing stock is getting super old, poorly insulated, drafty). Its more efficient then electric heating, both cost wise and on the environment.

We'll be using more wood this year in a conventional fireplace. I'm trying to get permission from the landlord, and help with buying materials, to build a greenroom on the deck, to get some passive heating of the house, and a warm entry into a grow room. Plan to extend the greenhouse out from this 3 season deck, connecting the two, and use a rocket mass heater to keep it all warm. On sunny winter days i plan to just open the porch door to let in all the excess heat from the greenhouse/3 season room, into the house, which is already south oriented and toasty on sunny days.
 
Posts: 41
Location: Western North Carolina - Zone 7B stoney
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It's 2017, and I still use LEDs as my favorite illumination.
My favorite USB powered light bars are all Piranha LEDs, and
My favorite flashlights are all KREE
 
Posts: 119
Location: Denmark 57N
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paul wheaton wrote:

So I am going to say that both bulbs will last 10,000 hours and electricity is a dime per kilowatt.  100 watts for 10,000 hours is 1000 kwh.  $100.10 worth of electricity for the incandescent and $35 for the LED.  A strong win for the LED.




I have never found a incandescent to last more than 2 years or so without dropping so much light it becomes a glowworm. At present we have all LED lights and in the last three years have had to replace one bulb where the casing cracked. Now back to the price even assuming both last the same time our electricist costs 3x as much as that example 30c a KWH the largest LED bulb we have is 12W it is rated at 70W equivalent so 10000 hours on the fictional 70W bulb and the led comes in at (120KWH @.3) $36 for the LED but (700*,3) $210 for the Incandescent, now lets say that over the winter when we have heating on that bulb runs 12 hours a day and "winter" here lasts 5 months (153 days)  We have another bulb that also runs 12 hours it's not as powerful but lets say it's the same and would be replacing the same for convenience, and all the other bulbs in the house added together lets say they are another 12 hours so 36 bulb hours a day. that's 2.5kwh for (75c) incandescent and 432 (12.9c) for LED over the winter LEDs would cost $19 and $114 for incandescent. so $95 difference over 5 months

So for some of us LED's are hugely cheaper than any other choices. While we do not HAVE to heat our back room where we live at all deliberately because of two humans, two dogs and two large computers, we do still have to heat the rest of the house even if we do not mind the house being cold, a cold house gets damp and damp turns to mold which is terrible to health. And the fridge freezer stops working at 9C so it has to be higher than that! (Our total heating and hot water bill (wood) for the entire year is $350)

Now where I am not going to use LED's is on seed starting I do not understand why but the growing LED arrays take so much power we literally could not run enough in this house to start my seeds, so they will start under tubes 16 of them!
 
pollinator
Posts: 583
Location: Middle Tennessee
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Here in Nashville and the surrounding area, service electricity runs hot. There's 126-127 volts at an outlet in any given house, and that's known to shorten the expected or labeled life of lightbulbs. In my current (no pun intended) home, and this has happened in other houses I've lived in, I have incandescent eave flood lights on one corner of the house that I've never changed and still work, and they've been there at least the 8+ years I've been here. I also have another corner of the house with eave lights that burned out regularly until I screwed in an LED flood light, and it's been working for four years now. I used to be able to get 130v rated incandescent bulbs at a mom & pop hardware store but not anymore, and those bulbs would give me longevity with Nashvilles hot power. I have a good friend who is an electrical engineer and I asked him about such happenings one day and he didn't have an answer for me. He told me about a closet in his house that regularly blows light bulbs, while other sockets don't. One would think that service voltage is a finite amount, and it is, and I have yet to figure out why one socket location will blow bulbs regularly and others don't.

On another bulb lifespan note, it's my understanding that the amount of hours a bulbs life is rated for, is based on controlled laboratory environments, with the bulb being turned on once and left on, and it's the switching on & off of bulbs is what really shortens their life.
 
Posts: 1017
Location: Toronto, Ontario
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For me, the argument breaks down over two things, both mentioned over a year ago:

1) the fact that unless you're heating year-round, you're adding heat to your home during the time of year you're also trying to cool it

I live in Toronto, Canada. We have to heat around six to eight months of the year for comfort, and by that I mean so we aren't covered in water from the mains when our pipes freeze solid and crack. The rest of the year, we are more concerned with cooling, as we experience the hot, humid summers that a continental climate bring us.

One aspect this argument always glosses over is conversion loss. We heat preferentially with natural gas, because it is more cost-effective than trying to heat with electricity. One of the main downsides to my current apartment is that it has electric baseboard heat. It is too expensive to use except to keep the pipes from freezing, which necessitates extra blankets and sweaters for us, oftentimes. In this specific case, were I willing to swap out my incandescents for LEDs in the summer, it might make more sense than the baseboard heaters, but I doubt it. I like to think about the whole system involved: something is being combusted in most cases to power a heat engine to make enough electricity to make up for conversion and transmission losses, just so it can be made into heat again.

You know what gives better radiant heat than an incandescent bulb? One of those radiant electric heaters with the parabolic dish behind it to direct the heat. And heating with electricity is pretty wasteful. So apart from spectral benefits of incandescence, which the LED can beat in terms of versatility and energy efficiency, and amount of pollution incurred, in which, of course, the LED leads, but probably not for long as demand for cleaner efficient light increases, why is the incandescent better? Because it doubles as an inefficient heater, which is good sometimes half the year round?


2) the fact that the target that is being aimed at isn't stationary

LEDs are a developing technology. They are constantly being improved, and I wouldn't be surprised if demands of the market weren't a driving factor there. I would love to see more R & D being done on incandescents, but I have read only one article on the subject, about MIT developing an incandescent bulb with an insulated filament that was something like 40% efficient, which beat the LED numbers handily at the time, but that was like a decade ago. It would probably last longer, as the insulated filament would be less prone to thermal shock, but that efficiency was found by eliminating waste heat. The transparent insulative sheath around the filament would heat up the air inside the bulb, and some would transfer to the outside bulb, but that would remain cool.

But as there is no money in designing a bulb that lasts forever, the only way to get one is by accident, when they're actually trying for something else, like increased efficiency due to decreased waste heat generation. And as the efficiency to compete with LEDs comes from the heat that is the benefit of the incandescent-as-inefficient-heater, well, you'd still have the radiant aspect, as in, skin warmed by bouncing photons, but unless the more involved manufacturing process is cleaner than the one producing LEDs, a lot of the argument has shifted.

So it is almost 2018. I think the superiority of the incandescent overstated except in certain specific scenarios that don't include the reality that most places have a summer period that makes the generation of additional heat by light fixtures an inconvenience. I also think that the fact that LEDs can be tuned to different parts of the light spectrum can't be overstated as a game-changer with regards to the efficient augmentation of light levels in indoor or assisted outdoor situations.

Imagine being able to tune out all the colors of light that reflect off of the leaves, and all the parts of the spectrum that are harmful to plant growth, and then imagine filling in the missing parts with more of the helpful parts of the spectrum. That's what LEDs offer us.

I would like to see more efficiency in incandescents, but I want to see more work done on LEDs. The presupposition that unfiltered sunlight is probably more healthy for plant growth isn't a reason to reject LEDs, given the potential benefits. Incandescents are way better than CFLs, that is certain, but I think that LEDs are almost another animal entirely.

I can agree, though, that incandescent bulbs are much better space heaters than LEDs.

-CK
 
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