I am switching over to the Cree LED bulbs after reading some great reviews and testing results on them.
One of the testing reviews I read on these, they took the bulb apart and show what it looks like inside, and explain what the different parts do, how they use clips instead of hand soldering, they also interviewed the mfr and asked hard questions about the circuit board etc in the bulb.
From all I read I decided to buy them, and wow, they are really nice!
I bought 4 last week, 60 watt equiv and use 9.5 watts each, shaped like an incandescent bulb they are for all intents and purposes indestinguishable from incandescents. They also come with a 10 year warrantee.
I had 2 of their PAR 20 spotlight bulbs in two lamps in my gallery that are left on all the time, and after being on 24/7 for about a month they were barely warm, they produce almost no heat at all.
It really looks like if they keep up the quality, these LED bulbs are going to replace those lousy easy to break, mercury CFL's. The ballast in the CFL's tend to burn out too, especially if the bulb is in with the base facing up, I've had 3 or 4 burn out.
I shopped around and found the ones I bought 60 watt equiv at Home Depot for only $12.97, so now the price of these is down to the level of the CFL's and will level the playing field.
I'm definitely going to get more, here's the specific kind I bought:
thanks for posting Wolf! I bought some (don't remember the name) for a chandelier a couple years back and they were pricey! I'll have to force my truck to head over to the big orange box and check them out. CFL work nice but sometimes they get to my eyes.
This model puts out most of the light to the sides and less out the top, so they are not idea for those recessed ceiling lights that need more of a down-floodlight, but they work greta in pendant lamps and table lamps with the lamp shade style.
I think I will buy the 6 pack of these bulbs now, they have a $74.82 price on them with the free shipping of course, and that's 50 cents a bulb less than I paid for the 4 I bought. The nearest HD to me is 2 hours away, so the free shipping is real nice!
From the HD web site:
Cree 9.5-Watt (60W) A19 Warm White (2700K) LED Light Bulb (6-Pack)
58 out of 60(97%)reviewers recommend this product
Overall rating http://homedepot.ugc.bazaarvoice.com...atingLarge.gif 4.7 / 5
One of the negative reviewers obviously didn't read that most of the light comes out the sides not the top, so it's not ideal for recessed ceiling lights.
Im sure HD has a light display that will show the bulbs in action, mine are the warm white 2700k which I like best, I don't find that model "yellowy" as some woman complained about, maybe she bought the "daylight" model or "cool white" who knows.
I think I'm gonna have to try out some of those. Thanks for posting about them.
Here is a page that has some good test results and information on this bulb, this is the one that physically took the bulb apart and includes pictures:
Some of my gallery clients are starting to switch over now that LEDs are brighter and cheaper. They use too many bulbs to have started the conversion sooner. First up will be a substantial number of recessed lights currently outfitted with expensive, full spectrum CFLs. The color rendering index on cheap ones was absolutely horrible hence the need for pricery ones.
The other issue used to be you could only get them in certain color temperatures too so they looked weird mixed in with halogens. And again, poor color rendering is fatal for an art gallery. We always sought to achieve something like 95 or higher CRI ratings. Studies show that people perform better with full spectrum lighting in the daylight temperature range. High temps above 6500K seem helpful in treating people with seasonal mood disorders. Daylight range starts at around 5000K.
6500K with a CRI of 98-100 is the industry standard for viewing and talking about color. Photographers, printers, paint manufacturers, color consultants, etc. use this setting.
Incandescents actually have great CRIs even though they have lower K temps (and look warmer when looking at the light source). Halogens are generally pretty good too. Cheap CFLs and tubes with low CRIs can give people that green look. Unfortunately, these type bulbs are mainly what box stores sell because they are cheaper. Some do care full spectrum bulbs so apples look like apples and oranges look like oranges under them.
The LED array bulbs are nice too. Some replace florescent tubes and eliminate the need for ballasts. Others are designed to work along side existing tubes and with ballasts so you don't have to switch out all the bulbs at once. None of my gallery clients have tubes though.
Anyhow, with the drop in price it now makes sense to think about converting for energy savings from the lights and also from reduced loads on the AC. Some gallery spaces get so hot without AC I think you could bake a turkey in them under the halogens.
In all cases, the gallery owners are getting bulbs from the local electrical supply company or online and not a box store because of the color temp and CRI options.
I have posted this before but perhaps this chart will come in handy?
The other nice thing about LEDs is that some are programmable for color mood settings and unlike CFLs, many LED lights are dimmable.
Oh I can imagine the heat produced!
The LEDs I tried first , the Cree PAR20 style barely got warm- just pleasantly warm even after being on for a month 24/7, but I took those two bulbs out of the pendant lamps and put the Cree 60 watt bulbs in that I posted about as those bulbs are better for that style lamp, the Cree PAR20 style spotlight bulbs are great, I have one over my computer desk in a single can track light and it's BRIGHT! These are best used in track light and recessed ceiling lamps as most of the light comes from the top of the bulb, which is what the PAR20 is.
The Cree 60 watt I posted about is best for pendants, and table lamps, and anywhere that style would work best- most of the light comes from the sides in 360 degrees which makes it perfect to replace the normal incandescents.
When you mention art galleries and the need for accurate color rendering, you are mainly considering the art galleries which display paintings and drawings as well as photographs, etchings etc., I can see the need there for accurate color as well as low UV, but there are galleries like mine which only have sculptural works, so the lighting CRI is not quite as critical in that case, still, you don't want a pure white marble carving to look pink, blue or geenish.
Yesterday at the store I saw this 150 watt spiral CFL, LOL my gawd it was just MASSIVE!! you would be hard pressed to even fit it in most lamps or fixtures, the base was softball sized, and the spiral itself was just a huge ugly clunk.
I really think the CFL's are going to rapidly fall off the market, just wait till Cree comes out with a 75 and 100 watt version which I think is bound to happen very soon. They have 40 and 60 now, so when they come out with 75 and 100 it will be really good. Hopefully the quality will be retained, their bulbs are assembled in the USA and I hope they don't the cheap route to fill demand later by going to China for production.
Some good infor RWolf...thanks....
Lighting is 'sort' of a hobby of mine....not so much for the type of lighting, but rather because I'm a cheap ba$tard and don't like wasting money for lighting....not to mention the fact that besides me, no one in my house knows what an off switch is for lights....
While I don't think LED's are the 'holly grail' of lighting, they are the next step. CFL has been a good bridge until the cost has come down for LED's. You are now starting to see the lower prices....HD is selling a 60w Cree for $12.95....a year ago the same bulb was over $20. At the $20 price, the payback was just not there.
My 1st floor of my garage has 16 23w CFL's. Works great. After 4 years....all bulbs still working.....and I suspect that I'm going to get a few more years of life out of them. Which is fine....the performance advantage of LED's is only about 10%...so there is no reason to swap out any bulbs.
But.....if planning new lighting....LED is now becoming a very viable option.
sdsester posted some very good information regarding color temp and CRI. Everyone should read up on it and understand what it really means. For my garage, I'm running 4500K bulbs which works out just fine. And at one of my other places of employment, I can tell when they are going to be doing some filming...they come in and swap out all the tubes with 6500K bulbs...it has the blue tint....but does not make everything look yellow on video.
Another option that make LED's ideal for in new construction is strip lighting. When planned for, it's an ideal lighting source. In the upstairs master bath we are building, I'm going to have about 6' of strip lighting as the primary light source in the bathroom. They are going to be mounted on a box above the vanities aimed up so the reflect off the ceiling. By my estimate, it will be equal to about a 200w bulb....at a fraction of the power....and dimmable.
I won't think we'll ever have perfect lights, and getting 60 watts of light for only 9-1/2 watts is excellent, even if they get that down to 2 watts now it won't make much difference, I think we'll see the 75 and 100 watt models soon, so we know the product line and choices will increase, maybe as a minor bonus they might tweek a slightly lower wattage consumption from them, but again, were talking miniscule amounts of power.
The thing is, with these only using 9-1/2 watts, they become even more viable for solar and wind powered systems- lighting has been one stumbling block as has the storage battery issue, with the lighting now mostly "solved' to where we have bulbs that look like 60 watt incandescents and only use 9-1/2 watts, if they can make a storage battery that is much better than what we have now, solar and wind power become even more attractive.
In Iowa Mid American energy announced plans to build several hundred more wind turbines, when those are in place the total wind generation in the state will amount to about 50% of the total power production!
Right now it's around 25%
End user products like the LED bulbs will really help things along, but unfortunately lighting is only one small part of the household's use- you have the kitchen appliances, washer, dryer, furnace, A/C.
I just ordered the 6 pack of the Cree 60 watt bulbs from HD just now, $74 and change with free shipping.
So did anyone try out these bulbs yet?
I need to get 5 more pretty soon for another fixture.
My old incandescents, low in color temp as they are, let an orange look like an orange. My halogen track lights render an apple to look red too. Most of my overall lighting is now above 5,000K but with a CRI of 95. My computer is set to 6,500K--the industry standard for color. I have a thingie attached that adjust color rendering depending on the light source.
Most CFL and certainly most LED bulb/arrays have absolutely horrible CRI ratings. They are getting better though. Meanwhile.
Color of the light as you look at it is only one clue and is measured in Kelvin units. Totally backward by the way. The higher the K temp the cooler the light looks.
Most important is how a lightbulb can render color across the spectrum. If it only emits light in its K temp? Grandma turns green.
They have other temperatures besides 2700k but I don't like "daylight" 5000k
My monitor is 6500k as well.
According to the Cree spec sheet, they are 80 cri
But compared to some CFL's
GE energy smart® spiral® CFL 26 watt T3 spiral 3-pack
Rated Life 8000 hrs
Color Temperature 2700 K
Color Rendering Index (CRI) 82
26 watt consumption
Cree LED 60 watt
9.5 watts consumption
25,000 hour life
A standard "cool white" fluorescent lamp will have a CRI near 62.
A color rendering index of 80 is just not acceptable to me or any of my gallery clients. I do not care the primary color temp in K when staring at it.
Lad you are missing the point. Staring at the temp a bulb and its primary temperature is one thing. If, when you are not staring at it, it can only deliver a color rendering index of 80?
Not allowed in my house. That light source is simply not acceptable. Whether it lasts into 34 centuries or not. Bad lighting.
I do know what you mean though. There are lots of light bulbs out there in the 5,000K (starting point of daylight) that really look awful. Because, guess what I am going to suggest? They only emit light at 5K or whatever. They have a color rendering index capability of 80 or lower. Switch to full spectrum, 6500 or above, with 95 CRI or above and it will change your life.
Color is judged as a standard at 6500K to start with a reliable CRI of 95 or above just to start. 80 CRI is not even close.
Haven gotten any yet.
I was all over those led light bulbs when I saw they went down to 10 bucks. After a few months they have mostly ended up in the fridge. For one, every time you turn on the light it seems that like the bulb blows out. It is like a flash. The light quality is ok I guess. I have led strip lights that I routered into my door jambs and stay on all the time to act as a night light of sorts. But you can not see them inside the room, only when the bedroom doors are open. Not to rain on anyone's party, but I may as just tell you now so you know. These led bulbs are all part of a global enslavement of humanity. The flicker rate is highly controllable. Basically people can be influenced on a larger and larger scale thanks to these bulbs. I would use caution with these bulbs.
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