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Daox 09-30-08 06:15 AM

Anyone using/used LEDs?
I'm just wondering if you guys have found any good LED bulbs. Having recently read up on them and shopped around it looks like ATM they are #1 very expensive and #2 can't put out as much light as a CFL.

I have found a few bulbs that I might try out just for kicks even though they are a little more dim.

So, have you used any LEDs for anything yet?

truckncycle 09-30-08 11:29 AM

I haven't tried any yet for the reasons that you cited. LEDs are also very directional so they are probably best for spot lights. I have been seeing more "normal" LED bulbs being advertised though.

groar 09-30-08 03:03 PM

I use them in 2 locations :
  • Over the washbasins in the bathroom : 3x1.4W to replace 2x40W+30W
  • Near the change table in baby's room : 1x1.4W (blue) to replace a 35W
In both cases it's to avoid to receive too much light before going to sleep.

The blue LED have been very effective to keep everybody asleep when the baby needed to be changed during the night. Now it's always used by evening before the baby is going to sleep.

The LED in the bathroom are useful by night. In the morning during winter we use the 12W CFL (equiv 60W), during summer we use nothing and in between we use the LED.

About efficiency I have the feeling that the CFL have a better coefficient between consumption and lightning than LED, but this is my feeling.

The directional light is useful in several situations
  • the ones in which I use them
  • a little room, such as the toilets
  • a lamp on a desk
  • over a worktop
  • ...


PS ooops I forgot to complete my lightning thread this week-end...

bennelson 10-05-08 06:58 PM

LEDs are very efficient, but they don't yet beat CFLs in terms of amount of light per watt.

Currently, I have two LED bulbs in my refridgerator. They work great. They are a little bluish, and not super-bright, but VERY energy efficient. The main reason I am using them there is that they create essentially no heat to warm the food I am using my energy to cool!

I also tried using CFLs in the fridge, and they will NOT perform well. CFLs do NOT like cold and damp!!!

I also have an LED spotlight above my kitchen sink. This is the one bulb in the whole house which is almost always on, so it's the one that makes the most sense to conserve on.

I originally had a C. Crane bulb in there.
( LED Light Bulbs )

Currently, I have a (made in China) LED spotlight I got at Wal-mart. It was $20 and suprisingly bright and a great color temperature as well.

Unfortunately, I am having some trouble with it. Right now, only HALF of the LEDs are actually lighting. It still puts out enough light to be useful. I don't know if I just got a really bad bulb, or if the quality control on this particular brand really is that bad.

The C.Crane bulb still works great. I put that one in the bathroom in a can fixture that originally had a heatlamp in it.

Most of the fixtures in my house are can lights built into the ceiling. LEDs are great for that application. CFLs work better for other styles of lights.

LEDs are also good for closer-up specialty applications, such as LED puck lights under a cabinet.

I plan on doing more work with LED lighting in the future. I will post more information here about it when I do.

Daox 10-06-08 06:24 AM

Ben, I used your idea for my fridge too! I actually had one of the door switches go bad on my fridge and the lights wouldn't turn off. So, I took the lights out and had no lights for a while. I had picked up a pack of two nightlight sized LED bulbs that I was going to use, but then I got one of those green panel nightlights and that thing runs on .08w! So, I replaced the incandescent with that and was left with two LED lights and nothing to do with them. Well, a pack of CFLs I got with candelabra bases came with converters to the standard E27 bulb base. So, I used the LED nightlight bulbs and the converter bases to put them in the fridge. They works great, and no heat generation just like you said. Now, I still gotta find a new switch for the fridge, but at least I can see inside it at night now.

The other application I'd like to use LEDs on are my recessed lights in my kitchen. They are all par20 bulbs and get used fairly frequently. As of now, they have 50w halogens in them. The only reason I don't have CFLs in is because they are on a dimmer, and I like the dimmer. Do you guys know if LEDs dim, or do you need dimmable LEDs?

dogbreath 12-07-08 08:29 AM

Check out these guys: Online Shopping for LED Lights, LED Lighting, LED Lamps & more
Bought some for our house in Gilbert, work great. Will be installing in an off grid solar/wind house we have in Snowflake, AZ.

hitmanhite 12-31-08 03:06 PM

I am stationed over here in Germany, and there are tons of cool and different LED's in use. Speaking with some of the Germans buying bulbs in the local Hela (same as Home Depot), a few told me they would not use CFL's becuase of the "mercury" factor. Then again, Germans tend to be more eco friendly than us, and will spend the extra money on the better product for the environment. Here is a website that I was thinking of ordering some lamps from. They are both 110 and 220 volt which is a awesome thing. I can use them here and back there in a couple of years. Product Listing - MR16

knowbodies 01-01-09 11:01 AM

I bought one LED puck light for testing purposes. As purchased, it uses 3 AA batteries in series. I wasn't happy with the idea of changing batteries so I made a small modification - I added a power supply. Three AA batteries is ~4.5 nominal volts so I figured an old 5 volt wall would suffice. It did.

The light is incredibly bright but very directional so it's excellent for task lighting. Currently I'm using it to light the desktop in front of my computer. I'm not happy with the inefficiency of the wallwart so the next project is to mod a USB cable and power the light from my computer (USB should provide 5V at 0.5A).

nibs 06-26-10 09:22 PM

This thread is a bit old, but well worth revisiting, there are many new great LED lamps available on the market. We live full time in a converted MCI bus and spend most of our time off grid. Several years ago we bought track lighting which uses MR16 lamps, I took out the transformer so that the 20 watt halogen bulbs could run directly off the 12 volt house batteries, last winter I swapped out the halogen lamps (8 of them) and installed 3 watt warm white LED lamps. The current draw went from 16 amps down to less than 2, and the light is about the same color and intensity. Most vendors of LED lamps are not aware of the color of the lamps and sell white white (5000 +/-Kelvin) lamps, Swmbo will not tolerate these as she says they are too harsh. We used warm white lamps (3,000K +/-) and they have worked out beautifully - I no longer have to be the electricity grinch, we also use 12 volt 9 emitter lamps in regular 12v rv fixtures for the bedroom.
LED's may not ever pay for themselves in saved electricity, but if you are off grid they give instant peace of mind.

Ryland 06-30-10 08:54 AM

I have a 3 watt LED that I used as a reading light, reflecting off my ceiling it's still bright enough to read by, I also just bought a 5.5 watt LED cluster that is supposed to replace a 60 watt light bulb I bought them from Sunny Day Earth Solutions when they were at the Mid West Renewable Energy Fair, every single LED they sell is bright, they have a display set up with their bulbs next to a incandescent flood light so you can compare brightness and color and the owner lives with LED's in his own house.

AC_Hacker 09-15-10 11:15 PM

How I use LED lighting...
I'm using LED lights as magnetic-base task lights for my milling machine and for my lathe. The light is a great color and so specific that I can easily see every little chip and scratch mark. As a bonus, they are very light weight so I don't need much of a magnet in the base.

They also make good lights when I am looking at or photographing something under a microscope.

So as tiny, specific task lights, they are great.


hotwire 11-08-10 11:12 AM

Has anyone tried these EcoSmart LED can trims from the Home Depot? Sorry I can't post links yet. Here are the part numbers and SKU.
Model #*ECO-575L**** Internet #*202240932**** Store SKU #*499485

It says that they are dimmable and that they put out 575 lumen only using 10.5W.

Daox 11-08-10 11:28 AM

575 lumens / 10.5W is only 54.7 lumens per watt. Most CFLs are around the same efficiency (800 lumen / 14W = 57.1), so its not more efficient than a CFL. Plus, a 60W equivalent bulb is supposed to put out 800 lumens, so this light falls a fair amount short of that output. I wouldn't recommend it.

Ryland 11-08-10 11:02 PM


Originally Posted by Daox (Post 9216)
575 lumens / 10.5W is only 54.7 lumens per watt. Most CFLs are around the same efficiency (800 lumen / 14W = 57.1), so its not more efficient than a CFL. Plus, a 60W equivalent bulb is supposed to put out 800 lumens, so this light falls a fair amount short of that output. I wouldn't recommend it.

Try hooking an LED up to a watt hour meter and hook a CFL up to a watt hour meter, the CFL will always use more then it's listed as using.

AC_Hacker 11-08-10 11:23 PM

Light Where You Want It...
1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by Daox (Post 9216)
575 lumens / 10.5W is only 54.7 lumens per watt. Most CFLs are around the same efficiency (800 lumen / 14W = 57.1), so its not more efficient than a CFL. Plus, a 60W equivalent bulb is supposed to put out 800 lumens, so this light falls a fair amount short of that output. I wouldn't recommend it.

I actually talked about this very issue with a lighting engineer (there really is such a thing), while waiting for a plane to Brazil...

He said he was designing lighting systems for large public spaces, some of which were parking lots. I told him that I was sure that LEDs were the upcoming technology. He said yes, but not for the reason you may think...

Turns out, according to him, CFL actually puts out more light per watt than LED. However, he was in fact, using LEDs to light parking lots. The reason being that CFL is diffuse by nature and it is not easy to direct all of the light where you want it.

LEDs on the other hand are highly directional and he was able to get 'areas of interest' lighted to a target lumen level using less watts, by using LEDs. The labor save by using LEDs since their MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) is much longer, was a bonus.



RobertSmalls 11-09-10 06:22 AM


Originally Posted by Ryland (Post 9226)
Try hooking an LED up to a watt hour meter and hook a CFL up to a watt hour meter, the CFL will always use more then it's listed as using.

Mine do not. Perhaps you've been buying counterfeit bulbs?

Hackney71 12-02-10 05:58 PM

We bought a string of white LED christmas lights a couple of years back (on sale after xmas) and put them on top of cabinets in Kitchen for night time lighting... I spent less than $10. They used very few Watts and lasted for years (24/7 three yrs) until i crushed a few...

Just a side note, If the xmas string used two prong 110v plug without transformer or circuit board, why not design same string coiled into standard bulb base, replacing screw side and center pin for each post of plug?

Hackney71 05-09-12 03:07 PM

LEDs have come along lately. I just bought a great set of landscaping walkway lights at our local Home Depot for about $10 ea (6 for $60). They are solar by day and LED by night!!!

Xringer 05-10-12 11:30 PM

Almost all the lighting in my house is with LED blubs from HD or Lowes.
I use mostly 40w with a few 60w and they work fine.
We have had a couple of failures (2 year store replacement covered them), but the rest are doing very well.

We still have a few CFLs around and about a 30 year supply of spares.. :(

My LEDs use less power than the CFLs we were using, because in all cases
where we replaced a CFL with an LED, we down graded the wattage.
We replaced 100w (23w used) with 60w LEDs..
Like this one: AmbientLED 12-Watt (60W) A19 Soft White (2700K) Light Bulb-423343 at The Home Depot

And these 40w LEDs: Shop Utilitech 40-Watt Equivalent Indoor Warm White LED Light Bulb at

In the bath (four 40w) and bed room (five 40w), we used 40w decorator type LED bulbs,
Shop Utilitech 40-Watt Equivalent Warm White Decorative LED Light Bulb at
To replace incandescent decorator (globe type) blubs.

If I had it to do over again, I would have tried lower out put LEDs.
4 or 5 40W LEDs in the light bars put out a LOT of light..

BrianAbington 05-15-12 06:31 PM

I've been looking at LED lights, They have dropped in price alot lately but still have a long drop left before I spend the money on the good ones.

The cheap ones from IIRC american lighting are cheap but only put ouy 5-30 lumens so for an ambient night light or accent light those may work but that range is way to low for my liking.

Exalta-STA 05-15-12 07:15 PM

I was considering to replace all the lights in the house with LEDs so I got one multi-LED bulb (the one thats wrapped around in LEDs facing multiple directions) and tried it all over the house. Apparently they are not that good for lighting up huge areas (like you guys previously mentioned) but they are good for focused ambient lighting as you said.

I use them for the spotlight aimed at the paintings and also for recessed hallway lights. Electrical consumption has improved since most of the lights which are left on all night for security and comfort purposes (going to the john in the middle of the night) have been switched to LEDs oh and I love the fact they dont give much heat so it's okay to focus them on paintings.

Exalta-STA 05-23-12 12:54 AM

Finally, I got some real good LED bulbs...not only have they lower wattage than the CFL bulbs they replaced but they are even brighter and the light is bright and spread out unlike the others I have tested

3 watt LED replaced a 15 watt CFL for the hallway =Php 374/$8.31
5.5 watt LED replaced a 21 watt yellow CFL for front gate/doorway=Php 514/$11.42

Xringer 05-23-12 07:40 AM

Led tv
Here's a video of the LEDs that I posted about above..

Green slot :: LEds video by Xringer - Photobucket

The three 60w LEDs we use in our main lamps, seem to be just as bright
as the 100w CFL they replaced. Not sure why..

The last 60w shown is only used as a reading lamp in that corner of the room.
The living room and main den 60w blubs are on a few hours every night.

We do have some other LED lighting. In the living room there is a motion activated night light and,
there are some small always-on LED light lights in the bath room and kitchen.
The LED reading lamp on the master bedroom headboad is solar powered.
It's used 2 to 3 hours each night by my wife.

Hey, I forgot.. This new 22" display has an LED back light.. :)

randen 05-23-12 03:39 PM

We have a lot of track lighting that was using MR 16 metal halide 12 v mostly 20w and some 50w. I had replaced them about a year ago with some Chinese LED 3 w super white. The lighting is amazing and about the same lumins as the 20 w they replaced. Of the 20 pcs I had purchased 2 had quit. Oh well I suspected they may not last. I still intend to buy a bunch more for some other fixtures. I like the super white lighting. Most of our lighting in the house is the 12v MR-16 powered by some large format batteries that are waiting for solar PV install. For now they are charged via a high end charger powered by the grid. Running the calculations it will take 20 years for the lights ROI. But that is at todays dollar. The next time we have an increase in the cost of energy that ROI time will shorten. Just hope they will stand the test of time.


randen 05-23-12 04:01 PM

LED photos
2 Attachment(s)
The best thing about them is my wife likes them. They work very well for the kitchen food prep. area.


epson 05-23-12 11:36 PM

I'd like to point something what I find out about LED's.There are two or three characteristics why LED's are important.very low consumption and very long life.In any data book about any LED tipe you will find a lot of technical characteristics like volts,watts,lumens,dimensions,etc...but you will not see from what material electrods are made ,how pure is or how much silicium is in there .Is important because this is what gives LED a longer or shorter life.Nichia Co., is a very serious LED producer,for ex..
Here is a method to solve the unidirectional characteristic of LED light,spreading the light with liquid,kerosene ,for ex. I can not post link,so search with Google liquid LED light bulbs.

davidbr13 05-29-12 08:00 PM

The utilitech pro brand available at lowes is great. I get the "40watt equivalent" that costs under $9 each. They are brighter than the "60W equivalent" CFL's. I have them side by side in the light fixtures over the bathroom vanities, and side by side with those CFL's in ceiling fan light fixtures, so it is a direct side by side comparison. The bathroom fixtures are the kind that is designed for 4 or 6 40W incandescents in a row. I currently have plenty of light with 3 of these LEDs and 1 CFL in the 6 light fixture, and 2 of these in the 4 light fixture. They have outlasted several CFL's already, over more than 2 years.

The light is exactly like a regular incandescent, and the bulbs with their integrated heatsink are actually rather decorative (certainly more so than the CFL's!).

Contrary to most of the posts on this topic, these are not highly directional. If you make your own or jury-rig something that is based on the typical tiny 3.5 mm LED, then yes those are directional, but these are every bit as diffuse as an incandescent. Light only comes out the front 180 degrees, though.

They do seem to make versions that are directional for spotlights, I've seen them there in the display at lowes next to these, but I don't have any experience with those.

Xringer 05-29-12 08:54 PM

I like how bright those are, but I'm not so sure about their lifespan..
Yesterday, I had another 40w failure. That's the 2nd one that's died.
One of the others that failed was a round designer type (from bathroom fixture).

Glad these have the 2 year store replacement deal.. :)

I've got two new ($15) 60w LEDs from Home Depot that are working good so far.
AmbientLED 12-Watt (60W) A19 Soft White (2700K) Light Bulb-423343 at The Home Depot

They look odd, but they work very nicely..

Brightness: 805 lumens
Light Appearance: 2700K (Soft White)

$5 cheaper than the Utilitech 60-Watt Equivalent Model #: LA19/OM800/LED

Exalta-STA 05-30-12 07:52 PM

Nice, at least we know now that there are a lot of LED bulbs available in the market now.

the LEDs i got are great too, they light up quite a big area for their size and wattage.

davidbr13 05-31-12 06:13 AM

The utilitechs I have have been going strong for over 2 years. For the price, that is better than most of the CFL's I have used. The other utilitech variations that are at the local lowes seem to be much higher priced for some reason (these are under $9, the "60W equivalent" ones next to it are like $18).

The obstacle I would like to see them overcome is the form factor. You always see the larger bulbs with a weird shape or extra length or girth. These are good, but I'd like to see a bigger (100W equivalent anyone?) offered that would fit into a porchlight fixture.

Xringer 05-31-12 07:17 AM

A while back, those Utilitech 60w were about $30.. That's why I went for the Phillips $15 60w.

They do just fine in lamps where we used to have 75w incandescent blubs.

Prior to trying the 60w LEDs and getting used to the amount of light they provide,
I was thinking of hacking an extra socket under the lamp shade of two of our table lamps.
Then, I could have used two cheaper 40w LEDs.. :) But, I find the 60w are doing the job.
The $15 isn't a problem, if they last. That's the question! Since we have such
an erratic grid here. (voltage jumps).

Exalta-STA 06-01-12 03:28 AM


Originally Posted by Mike23 (Post 22198)

Just now I'm installed 2 LED-s with 3 watts. I will to test these now since I've never used LED-s .In a few north-european country the led-s have own culture I saw at many places.
I think in efficiency maybe the LED-s in lost against other like CFL (Compact fluorescent lamp).

Hi there, in my experience, LEDs are way more efficient and brighter than CFLs
Since I'm assuming you're from Europe..Tu parles franšais? Sprechen sie Deutsche?

Oh by the way, how do you compute the cost of the LEDs vs the consumption? Im planning to make a project proposal to the woman of the house to have her relatives replace their incandescent/CFL bulbs with LEDs...and to be more convincing I must have a cost/consumption/benefit comparison...

gasstingy 06-07-12 07:52 AM

Joining the thread. I'm interested in how the LED's compare, also. Mostly as replacements for the little halogen spots on the range hood and for our ceiling fan. The fan wobbles on higher speeds and that has killed many a CFL. It's not so bad on low/med, so CFL's last 3 or 4 years since we figured that out.

Otherwise, the CFL vs LED comparison in the store shows LED's producing the same or slightly less lumens for about the same energy consumption as a CFL. Still, some folks {here} brag about them.

Daox 06-07-12 08:10 AM

Here is my compairison of the one LED light I'm using in the house. It was expensive, but we've been nothing but happy with its performance.

AC_Hacker 06-07-12 01:01 PM


Originally Posted by gasstingy (Post 22318)
...the CFL vs LED comparison in the store shows LED's producing the same or slightly less lumens for about the same energy consumption as a CFL. Still, some folks {here} brag about them.

At this point in the development of lighting technology, this is true, CLFs do produce more light (by a smallish margin) than LEDs. However, LEDs usually have small lenses build into the LED or used in conjunction with the LED, so that the light is directed to where you want it to be.

I had a conversation with a lighting engineer (I didn't even know there was such a thing) who pointed this out. He worked on things like lighting parking lots, and public spaces. He said that even though CFLs put out more light, LEDs were what he usually used for his projects, because of the directionality and the longevity (avoiding bulb-changing costs).

In a home, you may want to use indirect lighting and bounce small CFLs off of the ceiling for room fill light (because of their slightly better output and lower cost), and use a few LEDs strategically placed for task lighting (because of their directionality and longer life). LED lights have better contrast (because of their small source size) which is desirable for task lighting. There are LED lights that are composed of very many small LEDs all soldered together. They have a less contrasty, less directional light and have a light quality similar to CFLs, only with lower lumens per watt and higher cost.

Different types of light have their own advantages and disadvantages and should be used accordingly. This isn't a horse race, at least not yet.

At some point, LED costs will fall much further, and light output per watt may increase too... then CFLs will clearly go the way of incandescents.


Exalta-STA 06-07-12 08:15 PM


Originally Posted by gasstingy (Post 22318)
Otherwise, the CFL vs LED comparison in the store shows LED's producing the same or slightly less lumens for about the same energy consumption as a CFL. Still, some folks {here} brag about them.

Hmm I don't know what brand they're offering but sounds like they aren't good quality or so I think. My new 5 watt LED pumps out more light and spreads it out more than my 15 watt CFL it replaced.

JRMichler 06-07-12 08:42 PM

I used only CFL's for indoor lights in my new house and LED's outside. The CFL's don't like cold weather.

I think I'll change the utility room light to LED because the CFL takes so long to warm up and get bright.

nibs 06-13-12 10:18 AM

Don't know if this has already been mentioned, Cree has announced 245 lumens per watt, in the 4,000K range.
It will not be long before these efficiencies will be readily available.
We have been using the Phillips MR16 bulbs for about 3 years now and really like them, I paid around $30 each for them but for us they were worth every penny, since we spend quite a bit of time off grid.

Xringer 06-13-12 01:32 PM

$15 for 60w LED
I'm pretty well sold on the Phillips 60w LEDs.. They look odd, and they are yellow..
Makes you think the light would be yellowish.. Nope..

But if they are hidden under a lamp shade, you might think they are 60w incandescent.

AmbientLED 12-Watt (60W) A19 Soft White (2700K) Light Bulb (E)*-423343 at The Home Depot

Just waiting to see how long these will last.. ;)

MN Renovator 06-13-12 02:43 PM

My 3 Sylvania LED8A19/G2 50,000 hour rated 8 watt LEDs have been in use for a year now in the lighting fixture that I use the most in this house, my bedroom ceiling light. I'm not counting hours or anything but I do like them. The CFLs that were in the fixture before were getting dimmer because of the black internal deposits that CFLs get and the LEDs brighten up the room at a better color temperature than the CFLs did. I can't stand the 2700k when reading things as it seems dimmer and too yellow for my eyes and these 3000k LEDs are using 2 less watts than the CFLs and when reading a book or newspaper, they don't seem dim.

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