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LED lights

Discussion in 'Home Power and Microgeneration' started by David Williams, Jun 4, 2007.

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  1. Hereabouts, incandescent lightbulbs are being phased out and will be
    illegal in five years. We are all being encouraged to use
    energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs. In fact, they are being
    given away for free in some places, to encourage people to switch.

    We are also encouraged to use dimmer switches, so that we can save
    energy by dimming our lights when we don't need them bright.

    However... Dimmer switches and compact fluorescent bulbs won't work
    together. A friend of mine tried to dim one of these bulbs, and it
    promptly stopped working, permanently.

    There is another kind of efficient light that I know can be used with
    dimmers, namely Light Emitting Diodes. On TV, I have seen bulbs
    consisting of clusters of LEDs arranged so they can be screwed into a
    standard light socket. But I haven't seen any of these devices for sale

    Does anyone know where to get them?

  2. John

    John Guest

    Here's one. They are expensive.
  3. Karl

    Karl Guest

    They cost alot right now.

    And they aren't as energy efficient as compact flourescents.

    You could still use some sort of halogen lighting for dimmers and the prices
    will drop for LEDs and I sure they will increase their efficiencies over
  4. Vaughn Simon

    Vaughn Simon Guest

    However... Dimmer switches and compact fluorescent bulbs won't work
    Others have explained why LEDs are not yet a good option. Dimmable compact
    fluorescents are hard to find, particularly if you want a special shape or
    style, but they exist and they represent your best option right now if you must
    have dimmers.

    Actually, I find that I can get along pretty well without dimmers.
    Traditionally, one reason for dimmers is to save energy. Compact fluorescents
    are so efficient, there is less reason to bother dimming them. If you want mood
    lighting, install a separate fixture with a small bulb.

    One big frustration I run into is that it currently seems to be impossible
    to buy a remote controlled ceiling fan without a dimmer. You would think that
    they would include a dip switch setting to defeat the dimming feature so that
    you can use normal CF lamps.

  5. TKM

    TKM Guest

    None of the proposed state legislation that I've seen (some 16 states now)
    talk about phasing out bulbs other than the standard household types.
    Halogen and special-purpose bulbs are exempt. Compact fluorescent are the
    most efficient alternatives because LEDs are only about 30-40 lumens/watt
    (good quality white light) compared to CFLs at 80 lpw. The LEDs that are
    jammed into shapes that look like standard bulbs look like kluges. They're
    expensive and don't give much light.

  6. Vaughn Simon

    Vaughn Simon Guest

    Huh? The heat is not "lost", it was just never made in the first place.
    Only true if you are using electric resistance heating. If you are using a
    heat pump, it should be far more efficient than resistance heating. If you are
    using gas, they you are probably getting your BTUs far cheaper than if you were
    using resistance heating.
    As noted above, this is a wrong statement.
    Wrong again.

  7. Steve Spence

    Steve Spence Guest

    Electric heat? You have bigger problems that lighting to worry about. Get
    rid of the electric heating, then worry about getting efficient lighting.
  8. Vaughn Simon

    Vaughn Simon Guest

    CFLs are better for virtually everyone, they are certainly better for the
    planet. Heating with light bulbs (as you suggest) is very inefficient.

  9. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    Relatively few places get electricity as cheap as whatever they use for space

    There's usually a good cost based reason to use CFLs.

  10. Uh, maybe. Maybe not. CFLs are not a 100% sure thing.
    No, heating with a light bulb is essentially 100% efficient. Sure,
    you'll lose a little bit out the windows, but the escaping light costs
    you far less heat than the other losses thru the same windows.

  11. Vaughn Simon

    Vaughn Simon Guest

    No it is not, First, as Tony pointed out (and I pointed out earlier) it is
    far less efficient than a heat pump. Also, your light bulb "heater" must depend
    on natural convection, yet it will often be located in a very inefficient
    location for this, such as near a ceiling.

    Further, the light bulb acts as a heater whenever you turn it on, not just
    when you happen to need heat. The heat it generates is 100% wasted on a warm
    day when you don't happen to need heat. Worse yet, if you have AC, you have to
    expend energy to pump the waste heat from the bulb out of your home.
    I don't know what the above means, so I won't argue.

    If after reading all of this you still want your energy waster, be my
    guest. I am done with this idiocy.

  12. Yes, it is.
    Sometimes. The efficiency of a heat pump can be greater than 100%, or
    if the temperature of the source is near or below freezing, a heat pump
    will be much less than 100% efficient. None of which affects the
    efficiency of a light bulb as a heater.
    Heat distribution is not a factor in heat production efficiency ratings.
    None of which changes the heating efficiency of a light bulb.

    The simple fact is, a light bulb is essentially 100% efficient at
    turning electrical energy into heat.
    Thank you!

  13. At my house this moment, propane (70% Furnace) is 32.96US per mbtu
    and electricity is 24.94US.

    Either you guys get cheap heating fuel or pay a lot for electricity.
  14. That 293 KWH in the Tn Valley costs $24.90US, but it is still more
    than your NG cost. Maybe I need to move where there are gas lines...
    Last Propane I bought was 2.10US/Gal. At that price I could heat
    cheaper with resistance strips, but I'm opting for a heat pump.
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