LED lights questions and answers

LED lights questions and answers

PostBy: Freddy On: Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:02 pm

OK.... LED's.....everybody wants 'em, but they are way too expensive and the light spectrum sucks....until now.

I have purchased a couple off eBay & they are either dim as a politician, or a very odd color, usually bluish. I some back, but am using a couple on the cellar stairs and the laundry room, but they suck when it comes to living with them, like reading.

Fast forward... on my birthday I was at Lowes. I see they sell some LED's and the color is very white. I splurged and bought one....I'm embarrassed to say how much it was... It had seven LED's on a silver strip about 16" long. Even though the price was very high, I wanted to give it a try. The salesman said it would replace a single bulb four foot fluorescent. WRONG. I got it home and was so disappointed. I returned it & got my money back.

Fast forward again... I've been making signs for 6 or 7 years now. In my sign magazines are LEDs that are replacing neon. They are 12 volt & made for exterior use. Here's photo of a few. They come in different colors, two of which are white & warm white. The white is very white, the warm white is much like an incandescent bulb. I sent away for some free samples I'm in love with them! I used a battery for a week or two, but just today I got a 12 V 12 watt power supply & it works well. The only catch is...they are still costly, but not when compared to Lowes or eBay. They are costly because I can only buy them in a 50 foot roll. Six bulbs per module, three modules per foot. 1.08 watts and 90 lumens per foot. Cost: white is less then $3 per module. ($375 a 50 foot roll). Warm white is more, at $450 a roll) I am very close to splitting a roll with my electrician buddy. The thing is, playing with the free samples, I have found I like about half & half, half white, half warm white makes a perfect light for reading, typing, anything. I strung 5 feet together and it is plenty of light for my computer area. For years I have used a single four foot fluorescent for this area. 5 1/2 watts vrs 40 watts! Turning LEDs off & on does not shorten the life as CFL's. They are good for over 50,000 hours. They actually don't "burn out", but they do get dimmer with age. At 50,000 hours they will be about 70 to 80% of new.

So.... five feet is 15 modules....$45 for the bulbs, $4 for the power supply. For $50 you get twelve time the light that Lowes crap gives. Yaaa, it seems expensive, but... over 50,000 hours the florescent will cost $350 for electricity, the LED will cost $49.50. Hello!!! We just saved $300 by spending the money for this.

Uh ohh.... I'm rambling..... So.... who wants to chip in & buy a roll of white and also a roll of warm white? I wouldn't mind spending a couple hundred bucks, but I'm not going to spend a grand.....

One last thing.... do I need a fuse between the power supply & the lights?

Oh ya, one other thing, you do not want to look at them! They are intensely bright. You have to build some sort of box, fixture, channel, something, so that you get indirect light. I temporarily have them on top of a white sheet of metal so they shine up to the ceiling.
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Freddy
 
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Re: LED lights questions and answers

PostBy: 009to090 On: Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:09 pm

Looks good Freddy, but I too would sure would like to test some of those free samples. If you can mail them to me, I can send them back after we are done testing.
009to090
 
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Re: LED lights questions and answers

PostBy: SMITTY On: Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:08 pm

I paid $50 a while back for a 10 LED strip in an enclosure that I mounted to a shelf over my workbench. Very happy with it so far. Very bright & right where I need them.

But yeah ... the price is stratospheric. :shock: I certainly won't be buying any more at this price.
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SMITTY
 
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Re: LED lights questions and answers

PostBy: rberq On: Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:43 pm

Not quite the same thing, but I bought a Stanley 95-154 Rechargeable Aluminum Flashlight from Amazon, with a 3 watt LED, and it is excellent. The light color seems very natural, totally unlike the LED wind-up rechargeable I got from Wal Mart a couple years ago. It easily throws a strong focused beam 75 - 100 feet, and if I set it on end so it shines at the ceiling I can easily read by it. Batteries last a long time before recharging. So, yes, great progress has apparently been made, just need to get the price down now. The whole question of compact fluorescents could become moot if people could afford to switch to LEDs.
rberq
 
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Re: LED lights questions and answers

PostBy: samhill On: Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:00 pm

Last year at the elec.co. meeting they gave out CFLs now this year it was halogens, don't know if they are trying to tell us something or not. Maybe next year it will be LEDs.
samhill
 
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Re: LED lights questions and answers

PostBy: Freddy On: Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:32 am

Smitty, that looks a lot like the 7 LED one I got from Lowes for twice that price. In my home made setup it ends up being about $50 for a 90 LED string. ( 15 modules of 6 bulbs ea.) I just wish I didn't have to buy 50 feet at once! By the way.... GE makes a similar product for the sign industry, at twice the price!! I do think at some point CFL's will go the way of the dinosaurs.

<edit> I see on this page an ad for LED's! Some look reasonably priced:

http://www.maxximastyle.com/led-light-b ... QAodQ0Ac6A
Freddy
 
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Re: LED lights questions and answers

PostBy: rberq On: Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:57 am

Freddy wrote:I see on this page an ad for LED's! Some look reasonably priced

It looks like the LED enclosures are finned. Is that for heat dissipation? A Google search for "Do LEDs get hot?" turned up a bunch of links saying yes they do, no they don't, yes they do, no they don't....
rberq
 
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Re: LED lights questions and answers

PostBy: SMITTY On: Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:44 am

They get hot. :yes:
SMITTY
 
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Re: LED lights questions and answers

PostBy: Rob R. On: Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:02 am

Sorry Freddy, but I don't think I'm ready for the LED craze just yet. I'm converting my 4' shop lights to cold-start electronic ballasts and T8 bulbs, but otherwise it is business as usual. The bulk of my electricity consumption is air conditioning, pool pump, and the clothes dryer.
Rob R.
 
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Re: LED lights questions and answers

PostBy: Yanche On: Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:12 pm

Unless you have an urgent pressing need to go to LED lights I would wait. Right now the technology is new and lots of improvements are in the works. The biggest problems are caused by trying to shoe horn a LED bulb into the "Edison" socket, what we know as a standard light bulb. What's coming will have good balanced light spectrum and lower dissipated heat. It will likely require new fixtures, fixtures optimized to LED characteristics. One of my trade magazines disassembled several and identified the individual components. There are a lot of parts, 25-30. The long term reliability claims are questionable. Especially questionable is the life time of the electrolytic capacitors. They normally aren't used at such a high temperature, at least not for decades at a time. For now stick with the compact florescent.
Yanche
 
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Re: LED lights questions and answers

PostBy: jpete On: Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:12 pm

rberq wrote:
Freddy wrote:I see on this page an ad for LED's! Some look reasonably priced

It looks like the LED enclosures are finned. Is that for heat dissipation? A Google search for "Do LEDs get hot?" turned up a bunch of links saying yes they do, no they don't, yes they do, no they don't....


My buddy's machine shop has been making prototype aluminum heat sinks for a lighting manufacturer. I'm not sure the LED itself gets hot, but I believe there is a circuit board that they are attached to that might.
jpete
 
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Re: LED lights questions and answers

PostBy: Freddy On: Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:37 pm

While I agree that as time goes on this type of light will become better and cheaper, I do think that the ones I have access to might be closer to "good" than the socket replacements. Of course the strings I can get do require a bit of McGivering as they are 12V DC and are loose. Each one does have self sticking tape on the back so it's easy to stick & go.

Lot's of parts? Got me curious. I took one of the samples & ripped into it. Here's pics. I looks like the wires, LED and one tiny chip. Ohhhh, ya know what it is... all LED's are DC, so if you build a socket replacement, it takes 28 pieces to convert to DC. For sure, my DC power supply has more than 28 pieces inside. I looked! It's a complicated little bugger.
As for life, these are guaranteed for 4 and 5 years, depending on the color. That's 24 hours a day. 12 hours a day would be twice as long as on-off does't effect them.

The 120V AC ones I got do get hot, but these 12V ones seem to stay fairly cool. They show 88* on my laser thermometer. I was thinking they stay cooler because they are in the open, so (see pic) I stuffed 15 modules into a jar & after an hour they only got to 92*.... that's cooler than the 12V power supply! That gets up to 110! Hmmm... again, if you were building a socket bulb.... maybe it's not the LED that makes the heat, maybe it's converting AC to DC that makes all the heat.
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Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
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Re: LED lights questions and answers

PostBy: Rob R. On: Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:24 pm

It is interesting how some things come full circle. Thomas Edison paved the way with direct current, and despite his best efforts...alternating current became the standard for power distribution. Now we have people trying to live "off the grid" with DC systems, and we are converting back to DC (at point of use) to run more efficient lighting.
Rob R.
 
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Re: LED lights questions and answers

PostBy: jrn8265 On: Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:44 am

I modify these $6 flashlights......


http://www.goodluckbuy.com/mxdl-3w-flas ... lack-.html



with this $12 LED....


http://www.cutter.com.au/proddetail.php?prod=cut1222


and WOW .......LEDS are amazing!!!
jrn8265
 
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Re: LED lights questions and answers

PostBy: Freddy On: Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:38 am

jrn8265 wrote:I modify these $6 flashlights......

http://www.goodluckbuy.com/mxdl-3w-flas
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
... lack-.html
with this $12 LED....
http://www.cutter.com.au/proddetail.php?prod=cut1222


Very cool! I sent them an email to see about perhaps buying a few.
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined