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414 posts

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Topic # 138789 16-Jan-2014 17:06 Send private message

Hi

Has anyone embarked on replacing halogen down lights with Ecobulbs. I was approached by a company wanting to assess my home to replace all of the halogen down lights with these Ecobulbs (which look like twisted fluorescent lamps) but I am not sure about these lights. They seem to take quite a while to raise themselves to full brightness and that just became a pain when using regular fluorescent lamps i.e. to replace regular light bulbs. Plus I am not sure they last as long as the company claims (i.e. www.energymad.com)

I wondered if anyone else has gone down this path and what your experiences where.

Cheers Mike

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866 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 968387 16-Jan-2014 17:35 Send private message

They'll probably save you money if they're reasonable quality...
There is the major downside that you cant just replace the lamps when they fail, in fact they appear to be permanently wired, so you may need an electrician to replace them.

You'd be better off going for LED replacement lamps

Personally, I NEVER buy anything from someone who knocks on my door or cold calls me.

Edit: it appears the halogen replacements plug into the transformer tail.



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  Reply # 968401 16-Jan-2014 18:02 Send private message

Thanks Andrew - that is helpful. I had not thoughts about LED replacements...

Cheers Mike

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  Reply # 968415 16-Jan-2014 18:50 2 people support this post Send private message

We have them throughout our house. Good quality ones don't take long to brighten up and they do last significantly longer than normal bulbs. That said if I were spending significant $$$ on lighting I would definitely be looking at LEDs instead.




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  Reply # 968438 16-Jan-2014 19:48 Send private message

Try the philips LED replacement ones. Buy one first though to test out. There are some companies trying sell new entire light and fittings, and they are terribly expensive, and are probably making huge margins. However for many fittings, you can just buy LED replacement bulbs. Forget about flourecents, as they cause yellowing of white surfaces, take a while to reach full brightness. LEDs are far better, although more expenesive at the moment.

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  Reply # 968650 17-Jan-2014 08:56 Send private message

Just to follow up. As far as CFL's go (That's the curly fluorescent lamps), they are a LOT cheaper to run than a standard lamp, but in my experience, the cheep ones either take forever to warm up or crap out quicker than an incandescent lamp.

I've got all Phillips CFL's in my house, they really don't take long to warm up, and they start out pretty bright. As with all fluorescent's though, they've got fairly poor color rendition.
I've had some that I swear made the room darker when you turned them on, and took 5 minutes or more to warm up.

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  Reply # 968658 17-Jan-2014 09:13 Send private message

andrewNZ: ... I've got all Phillips CFL's in my house, they really don't take long to warm up, and they start out pretty bright. As with all fluorescent's though, they've got fairly poor color rendition.
I've had some that I swear made the room darker when you turned them on, and took 5 minutes or more to warm up.

There is an important difference in "colour temperature" between "warm white" (read "yellow") and "cool daylight" (read "white"). I strongly prefer "cool daylight".




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  Reply # 968664 17-Jan-2014 09:28 Send private message

If you go to LED bulbs you can potentially insulate over the top of them as well. That could reduce your winter heating requirements by 50%. Downlights are terrible for insulation, even ones they call sealed - "sealed" means "no more than 5% open", from memory.




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  Reply # 968675 17-Jan-2014 09:39 Send private message

Had one of those doorknockers at my place the other night. Can't remember the name of the company, madpower or crazy something. Something to do with electricity and insanity anyway.

Told him I was considering LEDs, he was fairly insistant that they are too expensive and his outfit's CFLs are efficient, and can be insulated over. He was trying to push for a consultant to come round for a 'free, no obligation 30 minute information session'.

Sent him on his way as he pushed too many of my 'pushy-commission-salesdroid' buttons.

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  Reply # 968694 17-Jan-2014 09:48 Send private message

I did have a lot of CFL's but slowly got rid of them after reading about the mercury in them and if they blow. Also getting rid of them isn't easy but i'm guessing people just throw into the rubbish bin.




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  Reply # 968702 17-Jan-2014 09:55 Send private message

Just replaced a halogen downlight bulb with an LED one (type GU10). The halogen's never seemed to last long, so I thought I'd try a warm white LED replacement (just the buld itself).

Slotted in easily, producing just as much light and cool to touch unlike (ow) the halogen.

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  Reply # 968704 17-Jan-2014 09:56

If you are referring to the 'ecobulb' brand and the ones specifically to fit the halogen cut outs in your ceiling - then I have some installed.
Had about 7 12v halogens in the hallway.
Several years ago Pak N Save had those ecobuld CFLs on special - something crazy like 5 for $20.
Popped them in.
They are ok when they are up to full brightness - but they come on like glow worms - and take around 5 full minutes to come fully up to brightness - they are the slowest CFL startup I have seen.

I would hope that perhaps they have improved the warmup time in the last few years though - so maybe this isnt so much of an issue.

I have 6 12v Halogens still in the kitchen - tried (just as a test) replacing one of them with a 5w LED. Works ok - is a bit too white - is supposed to be 'warn white' - but doesnt look as warm as a halogen bulb. The light is also a little too focused. Was just a brand that Mitre10 had on sale.

I would look at LEDs I think.

You can get 12v or 230v LED versions - The only thing that I am aware of is that some of the 12v transformers apparently require a minimum load for the transformer to work. An LED doesnt create enough load wheras a 50w Halogen would - so if yo have 12v and want to try a test bulb - and it doesnt work - that may be why.




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  Reply # 968706 17-Jan-2014 09:57 Send private message

The LED's are looking more attractive apart from the cost. It will be worthwhile trying one out.

Thanks all for you feedback - it was very helpful.

Cheers Mike

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  Reply # 968708 17-Jan-2014 09:59

Ecobulb seems to be a brand of Energy Mad - its a kiwi company.
They mention LED lights - 'coming soon' - but I seem to recall seeing that on their site for a while now.




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  Reply # 968711 17-Jan-2014 10:05 Send private message

robjg63: Ecobulb seems to be a brand of Energy Mad - its a kiwi company.
They mention LED lights - 'coming soon' - but I seem to recall seeing that on their site for a while now.


Energy Mad, that's the doorknockers! I knew there was insanity and electricity in the name :-) Their doorknocker specificly denigrated LED bulbs, so maybe not coming all that soon...

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  Reply # 968712 17-Jan-2014 10:05 Send private message

What are each of the CFL downlights costing you, 

From their website they are a 15W install to replace a 50W one, so you will save some money , they estimate $150 over the life of the bulb ( 3 hours per day), but that turns out to be over 20 years, 

So you will save about $7/year on each swap out, but the kicker is what is the cost to install each  is?

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