Vakkotaur (vakkotaur) wrote,

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LED: Finally, I hope.

I started trying LED lighting in 2009 with disappointing results. In 2010, things were better though the "40 Watt equivalent" was not really a true equivalent, but dimmer. Since then the price has been dropping some, the choice of color temperatures improving, and the brightness increasing. Today I bought two LED bulbs of different make. Both claim to be 60 W equivalent and put out 800 lumens. That might be a bit under a true 60 W incandescent (wikipedia has a chart claiming 850 lm for 60 W) but not by much. They are bright enough.

One is still heavy and has a color temperature still in the soft/warm white range of 3000 Kelvin. The other is a more cool white at 4000 Kelvins (roughly, reading the fine print it says 3880 K) which I prefer.

I will be using the light(er) bulb in a desk lamp and the heavier one, for now, in the office to replace the not really 40 W equivalent that went out. I plan to eventually change out all the office fixture with the new, brighter, whiter bulbs like the desk lamp will have.

The downside, such as it is, is that the new LED bulbs use almost as power as equivalently bright CFLs. But they are instant-on, which is a bonus.

The "burnt out" LED that is being replaced is frustrating. It didn't last even half a year (though all the others are still going, so far), but it's not completely dead. If I push this way or that, it will light or flicker a bit. This screams "cold solder joint" to me. It would be simple to fix - if I could get at the solder joints. The bulb is not made to be be repaired, so there's no nice obvious way to get it open. I haven't studied it in great detail to see if there's a way that isn't so nice, which won't ruin the bulb in some other way.

Still, it's been more (Moore?) than 18 months since I started looking at LED lighting and I'm finally seeing things about like I want: Roughly 60 W equivalence, a good white (not 2700 Kelvin yellow - eww), and getting lighter in weight. If the efficiency of the drivers can be increased (thus decreasing heat issues) so that they can be used in enclosed fixtures things would be about ideal. Granted, the price is still higher than CFL, but that is also coming down.

I can't see re-lamping the house entirely in LED yet, and perhaps not even at the slow attrition rate of replacing the CFLs as they fail. But as things seem to be going, in a few years I might well end swapping out a few more.

Notice I haven't said a thing about mercury? I consider that to be something that ought to be all but a non-issue. There's mercury in regular fluorescent tubes, in many thermostats, in older thermometers and some other instruments and devices. Those are probably much more significant and yet generally seem to be ignored. While mercury isn't harmless, it's not worth nearly as much worry as some "OMG CFL EVILBAD!" articles try make of it.

Tags: cfl, led, lighting
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