CFLs obsolete already?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by strantor, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. strantor

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
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    A year or two ago there was a big hullabaloo about CFLs. Everyone was up in arms about the .gov and mercury and whatnot. Big brawl about it here and on ETO IIRC.

    Well, I think they may be already obsolete (or quickly becoming so), thanks to LEDs. I crunched the numbers because I have these 150W halogen security flood lights outside my house and the switch is in the back of my detached garage. The motion sensors that control them are stuck ON and I have to go inside the garage every morning and turn the switch off, which I never remember to do, so they stay on almost 24/7.

    I know, I should just fix the damned things, but I only think of it at times like now, when I don't have the opportunity. Since I'm away from the house now and can't fix it, I decided instead to do some math for a 24/7 ON light, comparing incandescent to LED to CFL, and here are the results:
    lightbulbs.png
    As you can see, what I'm paying for my current security lights ($199 X 4) is outrageous! LED and CFL come in neck and neck on price, but the LED is twice as bright.

    I'm considering upgrading all my lights (even my car headlights) to LED, despite the momentary sting of upfront high cost.
     
  2. StayatHomeElectronics

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    Sep 25, 2008
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    I have changed a bunch of lights throughout my house to LED bulbs, especially the ones that my wife and kids leave on all day. While it has made an impact on the electric bill, the largest side benefit is that I am not always going around the house changing light bulbs. I have only changed two or three light bulbs in the last year. One was a CFL in a fan that lasted at least 4 years, can't really complain about that. The other was an incandescent bulb in a bathroom fixture where the bulb is exposed. I have yet to find a really nice looking LED to put in there.

    I have had luck with the LED bulbs I have installed so far. None have died, yet.
     
  3. joeyd999

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    Only 39,967 hours life for the LED bulb? I refuse -- until they make one with 40,000 hours life.
     
  4. GopherT

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    There is a bit of foolishness about the LED lifetime. Since high brightness LEDs have not been around so long, the lifetime is determined by accelerated aging tests (of the LED). There is no accelerated aging test of the components in the power supply, the contacts or the heat sink coatings/interface. High wattage LED bulbs run relatively hot for electronics, especially if in recessed can lights. I used to praise the benefits of LEDs as 30 years, then my friends and family started to complain. 2 years, 3 years, 4 years of life and they are dead in some cases. I've opened them up to see discoloration on the PCB, and popped capacitors. Designs are getting better all the time. Even those produced 3 and 4 years ago were not so efficient. As the lumens/watt goes up, the heat left over goes down (for equivalent light output). All I'm saying is, be careful with your assumptions. Also, check how much brightness is left in a 30-year-0ld LED. I think they say 50% for the test.

    Also, you have to balance the environmental issues of mercury in the CFL vs. the mining and refining and purification effort that goes on in producing the gallium chloride and, finally, trimethylgallium needed for the GaN LED. It is a long process for 99.99999% purity gallium. Worse for the small amount of indium component but that is much smaller volume and rarely mentioned.
     
  5. sirch2

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    Jan 21, 2013
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    I have incandescent bulbs in the house that have outlasted both CFLs and LEDs. The CFLs generally don't fail but take so long to warm up that they have to be replaced, the LEDs just fail, I guess it may be the drive circuit rather than the actual LEDs that fails but they still have to be replaced, some after only a year or so. The whole life cost of incandescents looks pretty good to me.
     
  6. strantor

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    Yes, I did consider this. I think the numbers I posted are likely close to valid, considering I assumed a 24/7 ON time, and a life span measured in hours, not years. For the LED (and the other two), I took the manufacturer's provided garbage:
    lightingfacts.png
    ...and turned it into hours : ((3/24)hrs*36.5yrs) = 4.5625yrs = 39,967hrs

    4.5 years of continuous ON time does not seem entirely unreasonable to me; 36.5 years of intermittent usage, does.

    Even if 4.5 years is unobtainable, or even if you don't keep the light on enough hours per day to get all the benefit of the longer ON lifespan, they still beat incandescent hands down based on power consumption. CFL is a closer call. But I have experience with CFL and my experience says CFLs will pop early and sometimes with quite a brilliant show (of flames and sparks). If LED has similar performance, maybe CFL is still the winner. I don't know, not enough data for me to call it. ... well, unless you consider the LED is 2X as bright, maybe that tips the scales in its favor.
     
  7. ronv

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    Nov 12, 2008
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    I put LEDs in all the places where I have lots of lights and/or they stay on a lot. For example in the kitchen there are 6 65 watt floods and a 65 watt hanging lamp. I buy Cree's so they have a 50,000 hour guarantee so no worries about how long they might or might not last. In the lower wattage's they are even more competitive and I don't have to climb the 8 foot ladder any more. I actually could see the difference in the bill - didn't think I would.
    CFL's didn't do it for me. Lots of failures. Maybe I bought the wrong ones.
     
  8. OBW0549

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    Mar 2, 2015
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    I replaced all my tungsten lighting with CFLs about 5 years ago, and am now about halfway through replacing those with LEDs. Out of about 20 CFLs I had two that were DOA or within the first hour or so, and one which went titzup after about a year. Out of the dozen LED bulbs (all Cree) I installed last year, none have failed.
     
  9. Nykolas

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    Aug 27, 2013
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    Nothing to do with CFLs (never liked them!). In our condo unit we replaced over 300 40W fluorescent tubes in parkade with 18W LED tubes. The savings will cover the cost of the tubes in less than a year. Than the yearly savings will be Can$6,000! E
     
  10. strantor

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    Oh, fluorescent tubes! I forgot to share my experience with the LED replacements for those:
    I recently outfitted an offshore control container (insulated shipping container with windows and A/C, full of nerd gear) and for the interior lighting I picked up a bunch of these LED shop lights from Home Depot. When I unboxed them, I thought there were parts missing. I expected to see tubes inside full of LEDs. There were no tubes inside. I nearly sent a guy back to HD to pick up the tubes before I noticed the thin strip of tiny LEDs down the center. I thought "oh great, we're going to need a lot more of these lights." So I installed one every 3ft inside the container. Turned them on and it everything looked like this cat:
    [​IMG]

    I took down every other light, and then it just looked like scene from a sci-fi movie where someone is in the operating room/laboratory of a research facility, about to have non-consensual brain surgery or anal probing performed.
     
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  11. #12

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    Something seems wrong with the specs at Home Depot. They say your LED fixture uses 40 watts to produce 2400 lumens, an excellent replacement for a dual F40T12 fluorescent fixture. I have a box of F40T12 bulbs that says 3000 lumens per 40 watt tube at the same color temperature.

    What? LEDS are 80% as effective as the old fluorescent tubes, and you only get one tube worth of light from a LED fixture? Then you show up and say the 2400 lumen LEDs are bright beyond your expectation of a 6000 lumen dual 40 fluorescent fixture?

    I think you are suffering from a bad set of specifications.
     
  12. strantor

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    I've gone down the rabbit hole of lumens vs candelas vs candlepower vs lux vs your mother, and come to the conclusion that, for me and the measurement tools at my disposal, none of these numbers mean a damned thing. Bright light is bright light, and you'll know it when you see it.
     
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  13. #12

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    I've done quite the opposite. I used the exposure meter in a camera to measure light and concluded that a 35 watt HPS bulb would be twice as bright as the full moon from a 20 foot pole. I was perfectly satisfied with the result. I have also done the, "standard" 100 foot candles or whatever the label was, and achieved a proper light level for reading.

    Of course, it took me a week to look up and learn all the conversions,:D
    and now, I've forgotten them. :(
     
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  14. strantor

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    LOL
    And, had you used yer newfangled fancy "camera" gadget and all yer smartypants "math" to calculate how many LED shoplights to put inside a shipping container, you probably wouldn't have had a bunch of surplus lights to take home and put in your garage... ;). Or, maybe you would have, given an apparently "bad" spec from Home Depot.
     
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  15. bertus

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  16. wayneh

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    I do think CFLs will die in the market soon. But for me, LEDs just are not quite there yet. Maybe one more year. The prices keep dropping but I want them still cheaper. If I could really believe the claims, I could stomach the high price, but I don't believe them. And ironically there are too many designs to choose from. I want a cheap, commodity replacement for every type of bulb in my house, and I haven't seen that yet.
     
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  17. bertus

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    Apr 5, 2008
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    Hello,

    In my home I have changed almost all the lightning with leds.
    There are only 2 CFL's (wich will be replaced soon) and 4 halogen lamps in my home now.
    I can not find suitable replacements for the G4 (20 Watt bulb) and G5.3 (50 Watt bulb) halogen lamps.

    Bertus
     
  18. GopherT

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    Nov 23, 2012
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    The hidden benefit of LEDs, especially in retail lighting, is the savings on air conditioning. There are some really nice bulbs from Soraa, designed as spotlight replacement in display lighting. They cut air conditioning costs dramatically for jewelry stores and other highly lit retail spaces. They were the first to get halogen-spotlight color out of an LED and match the lumens of a 100W halogen in the same size package.

    My point, it is not just the cost of the light - especially in the US if you are paying for air conditioning. Heat, on the other hand... That is another story.
     
  19. Nykolas

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    Aug 27, 2013
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    It seems to me that wayneh wants them to give him money to use LEDs.....
    And again, nothing to do with CFLs: We have a motion sensing light switch in a utility room. After installing LEDs, the light would come on, go off, come on, etc..., I installed a 5W appliance bulb along with the LEDs and all works fine, but the incandescent is always on just a little when the lights are supposed to be off. Obviously, the circuit always draw power, very "ecofriendly" and lousy engineering! E
     
  20. wayneh

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    Sep 9, 2010
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    You're not far off. Incandescents are essentially free. I pay ~3¢ per kWh for electricity. A $20 LED bulb just doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
     
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