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LED bulbs get better



February 19, 2013 – Comments (5)

So, I keep looking for better LED lights, because I hate the mercury in CFLs. Yesterday I bought two different ones and the state of the art is definitely improving.

I have 6 fixtures in the house that need the 40 watt candalbra style bulbs with the narrow base. I've tried some other LED brands, but they either died quickly, or have a harsh unpleasant light that just isn't suitable. But the one I got yesterday Philips B11 Candle, model #9290002227, seems pretty good. It has a clear envelope, but a clever difuser in it. So it isn't glarey. And the drive electronics are small enough that it doesn't look funny like the first set did.

How good is it? I snuck it into the ten bulb chandalier over the dining room table. When I turned the light on, my wife, sitting 20 feet away, couldn't tell which bulb it was. I will use this one for a while, and if it holds up, will start to replace the rest of the bulbs. It says that it lasts 22 years, so if I replace one every few months, eventually they will all be LED. At $15 a pop, I won't be replacing them all in one go. And the price will come down over time.

The other bulb is a Philips 60 watt standard bulb replacement and uses the yellow filter to warm up the light and I'm not sold on it yet. I put it in the bedroom and will see if it bugs me or not.  

5 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On February 19, 2013 at 10:57 PM, amassafortune (29.23) wrote:

My LED changeover is in progress, too.

We've used a meter and confirmed across all models, the 90% savings claimed is what we measured. The 60 watt equivalent draws 5.8 watts, 40 watt replacement = 4, etc. 

For anyone just beginning the switch, beware that "directional" lights are, in fact, directional. They work well when casting light down on counters or where more concentrated light is needed. 

The "warm" light is probably what most people will be happy with as their light is closer to what we all grew up with. 

I'm sure most of the people I've heard say, "I hate LED." have mainly experienced the bright, industrial version misapplied to a home setting. 

LED bulbs can also have a noticeable lag time between lightswitch being engaged and seeing the light come on, but this is not universal with all LED bulbs. For 90% savings, the fraction of a second does not bother me.

One third of the energy use of conventional bulbs can go to producing heat, not light. So, if you have many halogens and live in a warm climate, LED bulbs will cut your A/C bill as well as your lighting bill.

If you can, switch to an LED TV rather than saving a few bucks with the LCD. The energy savings will be made up over time.

The average house uses over 40 bulbs but if you just change the most-used 15-20 bulbs to LED you'll capture most of the savings. 

Don't forget uses like rope lights. The meter indicated our 68 ft. of porch rope lights draws 240 watts - not worth a soldier being away from their family in my opinion. Those will become LED soon.   

For those who have not begun the switch, or had a reaction like the Abominable Snowman when the Christmas tree lighted up in Rudolph the first time they tried an LED bulb, give it a/another shot.

Take it slow and try a variety of bulbs. The ones you don't like can go in the closets. We waste tankers of oil and decapitate nice Appalacian mountains every year for energy we can pretty easily avoid using. 

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#2) On February 20, 2013 at 11:26 AM, chk999 (99.96) wrote:

Watt meters are really handy. I have a Kill A Watt and check stuff with it to see how much things really draw.


The yellow filter LED seems to be ok. I don't notice that it isn't an incandescent, so it passes the "does not annoy" me test. I will buy another one in a few months and try it another location. 

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#3) On February 21, 2013 at 12:19 PM, FalconBoston (98.96) wrote:



Not trying to be a jerk, but I am confused...4 watts consumption vs. 5.8 watts is only a 31% savings. Can you clarify? 

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#4) On February 21, 2013 at 12:39 PM, amassafortune (29.23) wrote:

60 watt LED equivalent uses about 6 watts.

40 watt LED equivalent uses about 4 watts. 

75 watt draws 7.5 watts as an LED.

The $20 kill-a-watt meter chk999 mentions will help you target your biggest potential savings. 

Broken CFL mercury contamination can be an issue, too. That is some nasty stuff, yet my electricity supplier, AEP, regularly promotes CFLs rather than LEDs - not sure why, but I can guess $ is involved.  

There will be some variation on savings if you are switching from Incandescents, halogens, or compact fluorescents, but LED bulbs do pay for themselves in energy savings over time. That's the core point I was trying to make.

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#5) On February 21, 2013 at 1:16 PM, FalconBoston (98.96) wrote:

I immediately posted a follow-up that never made it up. I feel stupid because I misread your original post!

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