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  Reply # 517048 5-Sep-2011 18:28 Send private message

IMHO LEDs aren't ready for general consumer or even enthusiast use yet, they're still improving by leaps and bounds. Give it two years, then check the market, otherwise you'll probably want to replace them in the next few years anyway.

Given how much they cost the payback period is probably something crazy like 50 years.




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  Reply # 517095 5-Sep-2011 19:35 Send private message

They are great in landscape lighting where you can save on wire size and transfromer size, and all you are trying to do is a large flashlight size beam, where the lack of spill compared to a halogen is a really good thing to have.




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  Reply # 517341 6-Sep-2011 10:09 Send private message

I've just been shown some quite good LED downlights by Versalux. They are 800 lumen, 15W, which is 53l/W (compared to 12l/W for incandescent, or 15-20l/W for halogen, or 50-80 for fluorescent).
They were available in 2700K (warm white), 3000K and 4000 (white), with an 80mm cutout, and are 230V ac. They can be insulated right up to, but not over. They are $100 each.
The active part is a Philips 'disc LED' which is the UV/phosphor type as opposed to the tri-colour LED type.
I'll be recommending my parents buy some to replace their halogen downlights, not on the basis of saving money, but because they won't fail every 2nd week and won't burn down their house (as the halogens nearly did recently). And because LEDs are cool.
I saw some on Dealextreme that were (supposedly) 1000 lumen, US$25 each, but they were bulb replacement lamps and would have looked ugly in the (non-downlight) fittings we have.

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  Reply # 517385 6-Sep-2011 11:10 Send private message

If your halogens are almost setting the house on fire, they are incorrectly installed.

The problem with the MR16 replacements I have found is that while the middle of the beam can compete with a 35w normal halogen, there is virtually no spill into the rest of the room. Fine to light up a display case or artwork, not for room lighting.

The CFL replacements have the opposite problem - no beam at all, and while the total light output is probably close to a halogen, they are all spill with no beam so the place looks poorly lit.




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  Reply # 517397 6-Sep-2011 11:24 Send private message

I agree, if CFLs almost burn down a house installation is the issue. LEDs now can give a lower quality of light, and worse spread (ie beams not room lighting).

Not being able to insulate over them is a huge deal. I recently changed my unsealed CFL downlights for a dome light on the ceiling, so I could close the roof and insulate over them, it definitely made my house retain heat better. NZ houses are so poorly insulted, and this is one problem. We live in a cold country, not the tropics, good insulation is essential.




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  Reply # 517421 6-Sep-2011 12:02 Send private message

As mentioned Led prices are dropping rapidly. Bunnings have recently been selling 5 watt Led Bayonet and Edisons for about $12. These seem to be a well made light but I'd be wary of quality issues with some of the no-brand early Leds especially in regard to cooling and therefore longevity.

I have been using only half the wattage on Leds compared to CFLs so I normally use a 5w Led to replace a 11 or so watt CFL. The Leds seem a bit better directionally so you are getting more of the light where you need it.

As far as replacing transformer driven Halogens I believe you generally have to replace the transformer and the issue is that Halogen transformers can't cope with the low current draw of Leds which leads to flickering.



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  Reply # 517426 6-Sep-2011 12:07 Send private message

In my opinion downlights should only be used for beam lighting of a desk, not for room lighting, so I think no spill is a good thing.
Also they were halogen downlights that alsmost caused a fire, not CFL downlights. Birds had put straw and the old 'insulfluf' paper insulation over the light.
The ones that are constantly failing are the GU5.3 base (bi-pin) because the contacts are so useless, but the GU10 lamps fail fairly often too.
The LED lamps I saw have a fairly wide and even beam, and are sealed with a glass pane so provide *some* reistance to heat flow.
At $100 I don't think I will buy any myself though, I'll just persevere with the little Ecobulb CFL downlights I have.

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  Reply # 517430 6-Sep-2011 12:12 Send private message

stuzzo: Bunnings have recently been selling 5 watt Led Bayonet and Edisons for about $12.


How many lumens?

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  Reply # 517434 6-Sep-2011 12:14 Send private message

Skolink: In my opinion downlights should only be used for beam lighting of a desk, not for room lighting, so I think no spill is a good thing.
Also they were halogen downlights that alsmost caused a fire, not CFL downlights. Birds had put straw and the old 'insulfluf' paper insulation over the light.
The ones that are constantly failing are the GU5.3 base (bi-pin) because the contacts are so useless, but the GU10 lamps fail fairly often too.
The LED lamps I saw have a fairly wide and even beam, and are sealed with a glass pane so provide *some* reistance to heat flow.
At $100 I don't think I will buy any myself though, I'll just persevere with the little Ecobulb CFL downlights I have.


According to consumer testing even totally sealed downlights don't keep much (if any) heat in if there's no insulation over them.




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  Reply # 517442 6-Sep-2011 12:31 Send private message

Skolink:
stuzzo: Bunnings have recently been selling 5 watt Led Bayonet and Edisons for about $12.


How many lumens?


270 Lumens, that's for the warm white Edison.



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  Reply # 517447 6-Sep-2011 12:35 Send private message

richms: If your halogens are almost setting the house on fire, they are incorrectly installed.

The problem with the MR16 replacements I have found is that while the middle of the beam can compete with a 35w normal halogen, there is virtually no spill into the rest of the room. Fine to light up a display case or artwork, not for room lighting.

The CFL replacements have the opposite problem - no beam at all, and while the total light output is probably close to a halogen, they are all spill with no beam so the place looks poorly lit.


That's interesting to know. So we can't replace our CFL's for room lighting. What a shame!

I'll wait 12 months and have a look at it.

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  Reply # 517483 6-Sep-2011 13:24 Send private message

I was thinking about putting some LED lights in my kitchen, as downlights, focused across the bench etc.  i.e. direct light onto working surfaces.  I did consider the option of running this off a solar panel and battery.

However, I am a bit concerned reading this thread that LED isn't mature enough - or is this only when it is used for 'room' lighting?

If I brought 'warm' white LED's (12v) and used compatible fittings, would my plan work?  There are no lights currently over the bench (we are at the end of major kitchen rennovation so a few more holes wont matter!) so can add as many/few as required.

Is any/all of this feasible?

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  Reply # 517486 6-Sep-2011 13:26 Send private message

LEDs might be suitable for that. I don't see any great gain using LEDs, unless you like the look of them. They probably won't be turned on that much will they?




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  Reply # 517499 6-Sep-2011 13:35 Send private message

timmmay: LEDs might be suitable for that. I don't see any great gain using LEDs, unless you like the look of them. They probably won't be turned on that much will they?


Time wise, probably 1-2 hours in the morning (decreasing though as we go towards summer) and about 3-4 at night, maybe more on a weekend.

The main reason for looking at LED is they are 12v and can be used from a 12v solar source (panel and battery) without worrying about inverters/transformers, which will just suck power and make heat for no gain.

Ultimate aim would be do extend this beyond the kitchen, however that depends more on the bulb/voltage requirements as it may involve altering existing sockets/wiring.  12v has the advantage of being physically seperate from the mains wiring - and is good in a power cut!

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  Reply # 517502 6-Sep-2011 13:42 Send private message

The thing about lights is they tend to be used when it's dark, so solar power isn't really the best plan. Of course you can put a battery in, but then there needs to be a charging infrastructure.




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