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View Diary: The rise of LED light bulbs (218 comments)

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  •  Another thing about CFLs (31+ / 0-)

    is that, at least in my experience, they don't last nearly as long as the claims on the label.  This has been especially true in "high traffic" areas of my home, like bathrooms, where the light is getting flipped on an off many times a day.  In those cases, I don't find them to last all that much longer than incandescents.  And, since they spend a lot of their time turned off anyway, the actual energy savings is probably minimal.  So, for those kinds of applications, it's probably a net loss when you compare energy savings over the lifetime of the bulb vs. toxicity and increased energy use to manufacture and dispose of them safely.

    I suspect LEDs should be MUCH better in this regard, as power cycling should be less stressful on the control electronics than trying to start up a CFL.

    •  Another great point (15+ / 0-)

      and something I didn't note.  Turning LEDs on and off have no impact on their lifetime, to my knowledge, whereas CFLs are impacted, and as most of us know, the incandescent bulbs usually go out when we turn them on and get the POP sound of it going off.  So that's another strong benefit of LEDs.  CFLs also sometimes have the drawback of having to warm up, so they will be dim when you turn them on, and slowly brighten, whereas at least the LEDs I purchased come on instantly at full brightness.

      •  I had a florescent fixture (7+ / 0-)

        in my laundry room that was on an occupancy sensor and given that I pass by numerous times each day it's forever going on/off. The fixture took Circline bulbs which aren't cheap and they only lasted about a month before burning out.

        Anyway, I replaced it with an LED bulb that's designed to replace a Circline and I'm very happy with it because it's instant on/off plus it uses somewhat less power than the florescent.

        The only problem I had was that it would rapidly flash on and off because I had the wrong type of occupancy sensor. But, after replacing the sensor it's worked great and it's already paid for itself.

        Sadly, the company that made the special LED bulbs has stopped making them.

        The only trouble with retirement is...I never get a day off!

        by Mr Robert on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 02:00:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  That tends to be a brand issue (11+ / 0-)

      Some brands really stink, some are really good. We still have one that we bought 25 years ago. Others we've given to friends as we've swapped them out for LEDs, and still others we left in whatever house we moved out of (like the track lights on the cathedral ceiling in our last house's living room). We also leave behind low-flow showerheads in our nefarious plot to save water by proxy.

      •  That beats my record: I have a CFL that's 20 years (6+ / 0-)

        old.

        •  I have several close to that. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nowhere Man, nomandates, lazybum

          I left the Energy Management Office at Kennedy Space Center in 1997.  I was the resident lighting guy.  Back then they were pretty expensive and early in their development.  I have a few that I use as night lights that were made to use in exit signs.  I also have a little flashlight slightly larger than the 9-volt battery that runs it. It is easily 20 years old, and has a hi, low, and blinking setting.  Also, when it is "off" it has a low glow so that you can find it in the dark.  I have relegated it to my motorcycle underseat storage bin.

          There are some new high-powered ones out nowadays.

          I am a BIG fan of LEDs.

          I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

          by beemerr90s on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:04:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  The Centennial Lightbulb (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nomandates, lazybum, ozsea1, BYw

          in Livermore, CA has been lit almost continuously since 1901. They sure knew how to make 'em back then.

          The light is maintained by a non-profit that has amassed a collection of very, very old, still functioning incandescent bulbs.

          •  That's really unusual (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            6ZONite, BYw

            Because I've noticed that since I've switched to CFLs, I buy light bulbs about once a year, if that. And I'm bad about turning lights off. I used to buy bulbs all the time.

            However, I have noticed the LEDs are getting cheaper and brighter. I just replace an under cabinet light with 3 led buttons that link together. Way brighter, doesn't get hot. Really important in under cabinet lighting.

            •  The oldest bulbs were handcrafted (0+ / 0-)

              And not quite the same as the more recent mass-produced incandescents. That might explain why some of them have lasted a really, really long time.

              I actually have no idea how energy-efficient those very old bulbs are but since there's so few of them I don't suppose it matters a great deal.

          •  Special conditions (0+ / 0-)

            That lightbulb  is a bit unusual in that it's running at a really low power.  You can see the same effect with regular lightbulbs if you take a 100 watt bulb and run it at 10 watts.  The centennial light bulb is rated at 60watts but runs at just 4 which is probably just enough to give a glow and not much else.

            There's also a bit of a survivor effect in that the bulb is probably quite a bit out of spec and just happens to have the right combinations of things to give it more longevity than normal.  You don't see the bulbs made back then that died early or lasted a regular amount of time since they've been thrown out a long time ago.

        •  Heh, I have CFLs in the basement (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ozsea1

          that are going on 30 years old. And, the utility company at that time was giving them away.

          I bought a (quite expensive) LED for my dining room. It is on a dimmable switch, but does not seem to respond except to ON/OFF. When I can get an electrician in here I will check if there is a compatible dimmer.

          Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry. F. Scott Fitzgerald, the Great Gatsby

          by riverlover on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 01:34:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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