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Leds for home lighting

estratos

Member
Has anyone experience using leds for home lighting? Any improvements in efficiency heat emission, light quality or price?

I've read somewhere that fluorescent bulbs still have the best lumens/watt ration.

I think leds have a lot of possibilities in terms of dimming control.

I'm interested in knowing your opinions.

Daniel.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
LEDs have a lot of potential because it is easy to tweak the color temperature to a pleasing tone and you don't need a lot of driver circuitry like with fluorescents. (mainly just a full wave rectifier circuit) Problem is light output is still low for the price you pay and most products use discrete encapsulated LED lamps which makes the final assembly too bulky. I think LED is the wave of the future but the future ain't here yet for those of us of modest means.
 

Digger

Senior Member
I just got a R40 size flood light LED Bulb the other day. I am trying to find an alternative to CFL's since they are to noisey for Insteon to handle when you have dozens in the house.

The bulb is rated 6.7 watts and it gives out a decent amount of light but it is to focused. its more like a spot then a flood so the advertising was a bit off. At a cost of $30 with shipping its not worth it to replace all of my high hat florescents with these.

As Mike said they are the wave of the future because of their lifespan, dimming capabilities, and effeciency in my opinion but they arent quite there yet.

You might find some high end units that would meet your need but they may not be cost effective yet.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
I'm surprised CFL gives you so musch trouble with Insteon. I have a lot of CFL bulbs and a lot of Insteon devices and so far no problem with the CFLs at all. Of course I have very few dimmer switches in the house and mostly use relay switches and ApplianceLincs. I only use a dimmer if I really need the fade up effect or if I am using the light with a motion sensor where a dimmer and tungsten bulb is still the best way to go.
 

estratos

Member
Indeed commercial led bulbs seem to be really expensive. I was thinking in making some experiments with high bright leds mounted in a custom board. Anyway, prices for these leds are still very high.

On the other hand, I've found this link:
http://www2.whidbey.net/opto/LEDFAQ/The%20...20Pages.html#Q7

Here, the author says that, despite of the qualities of leds, they are not the best solution when white light is needed. White light leds work in an indirect way so that its efficiency decreases considerably. For white light, the author still recommends fluorescent bulbs.

Decorative light is another story. Here multichip leds are maybe the best solution.

All right, I'll wait for future improvements in this subject...

Daniel.
 

Digger

Senior Member
I have problems with the Insteon signals getting through to the switches. If I remove the CFL's it helps. Still not perfect but helps.

The reliability of the INsteon is a subject I can no longer comment on as I have received several emails regarding the subject where I was asked to refrain from saying anything negative about Insteon. One came right from Smarthome themselves. The others were Hotmail accounts or Yahoo accounts etc. No way to know who sent it.
 

rocco

Active Member
Digger said:
The reliability of the INsteon is a subject I can no longer comment on as I have received several emails regarding the subject where I was asked to refrain from saying anything negative about Insteon.
I think you should start a thread about that.

Maybe post the emails?

This used to be a free country . . .
 

rocco

Active Member
Back on topic, my experience trying to build LED lighting:

White and blue LEDs are still expensive. Red, green and yellow/amber are very cheap. The price off blue needs to drop to get a 'tunable-color' system to be cost effective. The price of white has to drop to get a fixed color system to be affordable. It will happen.

You really need more than simple electronics to make them efficient, however. Their brightness is directly related to current, so you need to regulate current. A current-limiting resistor doesn't work well when there are a lot of LEDs, because the voltage across each LED varies with temperature, thereby varying the voltage across the resistor, thereby varying the current. So the light is not consistent, and the resistor dissipates heat and wastes energy.

So I suspect that LED lighting will use some form of ballast, that the ballast will use some form of switching, and that switching will produce some form of noise, which will adversely affect some form of home-automation.
 

Digger

Senior Member
I think in a few years the LED lighting will take off. When it does it might change the industry forever. Imagine not changing a bulb for 10 or more years? They might eventually use half the power of a CFL.
 

estratos

Member
Rocco, I think switching is indeed the correct way of regulating light intensity for leds, but regulating low power devices as leds shouldn't introduce as much noise as for other devices. I don't think a simple switching regulator could never produces more noise than the fact of switching on/off fluorescent bulbs or tubes. Anyway, most electronic devices use switching power supplies.

Digger, from what I've read, leds, at least white ones, have currently a worse lumen/watt ration than CFLs. Maybe this will change in the future...

Daniel.
 

Digger

Senior Member
Estratos,

I agree they have a worse Lumen rating per what. What I stated was eventually they might use half the power of a CFL.

Give it 5 or 10 more years or so and you might see these bulbs showing up in a Home Depot or Lowes.
 
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