Vakkotaur (vakkotaur) wrote,

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Yesterday I shattered two light bulbs. I am still using one of them.

They were both LED. One was one of the oddly bluish and dim things I bought a bit over a year ago[1] and the other was a new one bought from Wal-mart of all places. The new one uses slightly less power (1.1 Watts rather than 1.5 Watts) but at least seems brighter (70 lumens) and looks rather like, I am guessing, a 10 Watt incandescent. The glass envelope doesn't keep mercury contained as in a fluorescent nor does it keep oxygen out as in an incandescent, the "bulb" still works. It does seem a bit odd to use glass for low-consumption LED lights. It seems like a good place for a transparent or translucent plastic. Last night I carefully removed the remaining shards of glass and put it into the dining room fixture in the place with its own glass globe.

I've now replaced both of the odd bluish and dim[2] LED bulbs with these newer, better ones. Or if not newer, at least better - and less expensive. The difference is impressive. The light by the back door (inside) is bright enough I have to remind myself that it's not the kitchen light having been left on when I see it from outside. I've also replaced the two CFLs in the downstairs restroom. The result isn't super-bright, but I think it's still probably better than the two incandescents, that had been there for years, which had blackened rather badly.

What brought this on was another CFL failing in the office. I got annoyed that the fluorescent recycling event had just passed and I really was irked about waiting another six months. So I went looking into alternatives and decided to give LED a try and went to Home Depot[3] in Mankato.I didn't get the bulb I expected to, but another that was supposedly better able to deal with the heat in the ceiling fan fixture. It's bright. It's probably an honest 40 Watt incandescent equivalent. It's yellowish, so likely "warm white" (I'd rather have "cool white") but it's something of a spotlight. Fortunately it's aimed in the one area that that isn't too big a deal. I tried one over my desk it's just too harsh.

I've gone looking for what I really want: Ideally something equivalent to about 60 W incandescent (or around 800 lumens) though I'll settle for 40 W equivalent (about 500 lumens), with a diffuse "cool white" or "natural white" light, using little power and thus generating little heat, at a semi-sane price. Things are getting closer, but aren't quite there yet as far as I know. I've seen 40 W equivalents that are close, but have lousy color temperatures (way too yellow or way too blue) or stuff that is still rather expensive. Still, from what I have seen, CFLs might have some real competition in a few years.

[1] I had put those into service on 7 October 2009 as nightlights as they weren't good for much else. There have have been many complaints about the maker/importer, Lights of America and the FTC is going after them. Their response? Remove, but not update, the claims on the packaging. I don't see any reason to give Lights of America any (more) money.

[2] The FTC suit claims that those bulbs put out 74 lumens, which is a bit more than the 70 of the replacement bulbs, so it might just be that the yellowish color is where the eye is more sensitive. However, considering just how great the difference appears, it would not surprise me that 74 is at the high end and much less is typical. For comparison, a 15 Watt incandescent emits about 110 lumens.

[3] Which would have taken the dead CFL off my hands for no charge. Had I known that, I would have brought it.

Tags: led, lighting
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