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Old 12-26-12, 08:28 PM   #21
Geo NR Gee
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FYI,
Costco has a new shipment of LED bulbs that are bright, inexpensive (with instant mfg. rebate), instant on, and most are dimmable. They feel solid and well made. They have 4 different kinds here. The instant rebate (taken at register) is like $10. off per bulb with a limit of 4 good until the 14th of January. The brand is Feit Electric.

I replaced some of the can lights @ $5.99 per bulb with the soft white and can't believe how much light they put out. Estimated yearly cost is $1.57 based on 3 hours a day and life span of 22.8 years.

It uses 13 watts, and is a 65 watt replacement.

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Old 01-02-13, 09:50 PM   #22
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Default Don't forget the estimated lamp life

A generous donor supplied the homeless shelter where I work with a rather large gift of lighting products, mostly lamps but also a few 4-to-2 troffer converter kits (we have some overlit hallways, I'm paring back our usage where I can), and part of the donation was some brand-new LED flood and spot bulbs.

The chapel in our mission is 35' high at the peak. The pendant fixtures I can juuussst reach with the longest extension pole I have, but I had to carefully knock out the little louvered dealie at the bottom of the fixture. I committed to never putting those back, some years ago. But way up in the peak, far beyond my reach even with the extension pole, is where the floods are that hit the stage and podium.

Well. The longest life bulb I ever put there lasted about 6 months. So while I had a boom lift in the chapel (it was there for a contractor, and while they were breaking for lunch I asked to borrow it. Have you ever gotten a 5'10"-wide boom lift through a 6'0" doorway? It's tricky) resetting some acoustic panels, I also replaced all those spots in the peak with the LED spots.

That was two years ago. So far, they've beaten my previous recordholders by over a year. And I used to have to rent that boom lift on the Ministry's dime, which was at least $200 including delivery. So looked at just by avoided equipment costs, the LED floods are a huge improvement over the old lamps. I know LEDs aren't up to the level of CFL yet, but I tried CFL in that peak a few years ago, and they didn't quite make it a full year. For extremely difficult fixtures, the LED wins my vote.
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Old 01-03-13, 07:47 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elhigh View Post
For extremely difficult fixtures, the LED wins my vote.
Good story. Good results. Congratulations.
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Old 01-03-13, 12:24 PM   #24
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I've actually had issues with CFLs burning out fairly quickly in my house, not quite sure why. I decided to try LEDs instead. At first I wasn't happy with the low level of light from LEDs. I bought a couple 20 w dimables for the living room though, and like others state here, they were almost too bright and I keep them dimmed down. I prefer the whiter light they put out. So far none have burnt out, other than one that never worked to begin with. I like that they don't emit any heat. There's no warm up time waiting for full brightness. Another interesting thing to note is I've noticed a couple are staying very dimly lit even with the switch off. Looks like I have some faulty switches that need replaced. I wouldn't have realized this without LEDs in the fixtures.
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Old 01-03-13, 12:46 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chadb View Post
Another interesting thing to note is I've noticed a couple are staying very dimly lit even with the switch off. Looks like I have some faulty switches that need replaced. I wouldn't have realized this without LEDs in the fixtures.
I've noticed the same effect. I don't think its caused by faulty switches though. Leds need very little current to turn on at very low voltage. Usually there is a very small leakage current in any house between the white return wire and the green ground wire. That completed circuit does not go through the light switch. It's usually just not enough current or voltage to cause an effect but leds are sensitive enough to expose it.

If you are interested in finding if that's the cause, and you are comfortable with electrical work, then temporarily pull the green ground wire from that circuit. If that is the cause then the leakage current should stop but the leds should still work normally with the wall switch on. I wouldn't leave the ground disconnected though. It's there for your safety.
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Old 01-03-13, 12:54 PM   #26
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Exeric, thanks. I'll do the test before spending money on switches. I have 3 LEDs in track lighting, 2 in dimmer switches, and 2 in regular light fixtures with a standard on off switch. Only the 2 in the regular fixtures with on/off stay lit. Seems like its wasted energy no matter what the cause, albeit a small amount.
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Old 01-03-13, 02:35 PM   #27
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Years ago, I noticed some dimmers left a small amount of power running to the blubs.
But, that was when the brightness was turned all the way down.
When I pushed the OFF/ON button, the dim lighting was gone.

Last year, (or maybe 2011) I installed some X10 switches and found they leaked
a pretty good amount of AC to the lamps. IIRC, it had to do with that model X10
had load-sensing, to turn on the lamp using it's off-on switch!

If you are using low voltage LED lamps and are shutting off their DC power-supply,
using a standard AC off-on switch, running dim when off is not possible.
Since standard 120vac 15A wall switches don't leak power (unless underwater).
Maybe an expensive switch has a capacitor to inhibit arcs..?.

If you do see dimly lit low-voltage LED running on 'free' power from outer space,
you might be living too close to a large radio transmitter..
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Old 01-03-13, 03:09 PM   #28
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Guess I'll "phone home" and tell them thanks for the free electricity!

These are regular on/off switches, guaranteed not to be expensive in my house. I think the LEDs are 2 -4w. If it isn't (can't?) be the switch then I suspect a wiring issue. My house was wired poorly. Outlets upstairs/lights down stairs on the same circuit, lights upstairs/outlets down, etc. Even got a couple switches I haven't figured out what they're for.
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Old 01-03-13, 06:48 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chadb View Post
Guess I'll "phone home" and tell them thanks for the free electricity!

These are regular on/off switches, guaranteed not to be expensive in my house. I think the LEDs are 2 -4w. If it isn't (can't?) be the switch then I suspect a wiring issue. My house was wired poorly. Outlets upstairs/lights down stairs on the same circuit, lights upstairs/outlets down, etc. Even got a couple switches I haven't figured out what they're for.
You should check all your outlets with a tester..
Get one at Lowes or Home Depot.

If you know how to change a broken (or install a new) outlet (safely) then you can likely repair most problems.
But, if you aren't sure, find a good electrician. Be aware, not all of them are 'good'..
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Old 01-05-13, 03:29 PM   #30
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There is a way (I think) to eliminate any leakage current from lighting up high sensitivity LEDs. You can get a double pole wall switch. They aren't very common but they can be found on the internet, and not super expensive either. Don't confuse them with 3 and 4 way switches. Just hook up the hot wires to one pole and the ground wires to the other pole. That should do it. If you are using multiple wall switches for controling one light it wouldn't work very well, though.

Really, the only reason I could ever see for worrying about leakage current turning LEDs on is if the lights are in your bedroom and you want it totally dark at night. The other reason would be is if the house is miswired, but you'd likely have the LEDs burning pretty brightly then.

Edit:
Actually, if one was determined to eliminate the problem with a double pole switch then it would be better to connect the 2 poles to the hot and neutral wires, (black or red, and white respectively.) That way you would still having a working ground protecting you while still eliminating any possible closed circuit between hot/neutral to ground turning the LED on.


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