LED Bulbs - Your experiences? Advice?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 21, 2011 11:13 PM GMT
    I own an art gallery and I want to start buying strictly LED bulbs from now on. And no, it's not because Obama is holding a gun to my head. I'm doing it because I want to, so please leave politics out of this. My main reason is I think it's the right thing to do, and of course I wouldn't mind saving on my energy bill (although I think that will take some time see, since they're so expensive.)

    My question about them are many. LED's are available in many different shades and brightness, so while I like having all these options, they make buying light bulbs more complicated than one might expect! I've "sampled" a few different kinds already but have yet to actually purchase any. Since I'm buying a large quantity, I want to make sure I get the right ones. And since lighting is extremely important to selling art, it makes me even more nervous. So far, I'm thinking a 75 watt equivalent (18 actual watts), and 810-910 lumens while keeping the spectrum somewhere between 2700-3000. At first I thought about going with a pure white spectrum, but after seeing some of those on my wall, I feel they create a cold feeling, and I certainly don't want my customers to feel "cold", hence the 2700-3000 spectrum. I'm also concerned with getting the best deal possible, as these is looking like a very expensive project. Help! icon_neutral.gif
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    Aug 21, 2011 11:35 PM GMT
    Another benefit of LED lighting, is that they generate very little or no heat. You'll probably be able to turn the a/c down and save some additional money.

    Sylvnia has a pretty good assortment of consumer LED light bulbs. Not cheap. But you may want to check with your local big box hardware store to see if you can get a contractor's price, which is essentially a bulk purchase discount.

    As for color temperature, you'll have to experiment. Pure white is basically close to daylight. And it usually brings out the colors more accurately. But I suppose it depends on the type of art you're showcasing.
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    Aug 21, 2011 11:44 PM GMT
    LEDs are the future of lighting for business and residential purposes. I'm actually fairly expert about energy efficient lighting. One thing is to find out if there are any energy efficiency program incentives available for incandescent (?) to LED retrofits in your area. This could significantly shorten the payback period. It is true that such a significant reduction in lighting load for a place like an art gallery will also generate HVAC savings. For a warmer climate, smaller facility, with high lighting load, this would be equal to about 20% of the lighting savings.

    The expected useful life is LEDs is actually quite long. If you know the quantity of lamps pre- and post-retrofit, the wattages, the lighting operating hours, and the $/kW, it should be a simple matter to calculate payback period...
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    Aug 21, 2011 11:52 PM GMT
    I bought one LED for the lamp beside my bed as a test run to see if I like them or not. The rest of the lights in my house are daylight balanced CFL's.

    There is no comparison. The CFL's win hands down...but only because at the time, I was unable to find daylight balanced LED's. Once I find them, I'll buy one and give it a shot.
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    Aug 21, 2011 11:55 PM GMT
    Sartre saidThe expected useful life is LEDs is actually quite long. If you know the quantity of lamps pre- and post-retrofit, the wattages, the lighting operating hours, and the $/kW, it should be a simple matter to calculate payback period...
    The expected useful life of CFL's used to be much longer than it is now. Since they banned incandescents, the life span of CFL's has shortened drastically (conspiracy? I think so). I now replace CFL's almost as often as I used to replace incandescents.

    And I'm afraid that's what's going to happen with LED's once they get more popular. "Planned obsolescence" is the worst thing that ever happened to household necessities.
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    Aug 22, 2011 12:02 AM GMT
    paulflexes saidThe expected useful life of CFL's used to be much longer than it is now. Since they banned incandescents, the life span of CFL's has shortened drastically (conspiracy? I think so). I now replace CFL's almost as often as I used to replace incandescents.

    And I'm afraid that's what's going to happen with LED's once they get more popular. "Planned obsolescence" is the worst thing that ever happened to household necessities.


    I don't think there's such a conspiracy. Since CFLs have become more prevalent in the market, various manufacturers have gotten into the market - some with subpar quality control. Make sure CFLs are Energy Star standard. Also do not use them in small enclosure fixtures or recessed lighting - that will greatly shorten the life. There are special CFLs for those applications.

    Also, incandescents aren't banned. There were standards from 2007 that mandated that all lamps meet certain efficiency requirements for various lumen outputs. There are actually some efficient incandescents that meet those standard even for higher output now - they've been developed.
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    Aug 22, 2011 12:03 AM GMT
    paulflexes said
    Sartre saidThe expected useful life is LEDs is actually quite long. If you know the quantity of lamps pre- and post-retrofit, the wattages, the lighting operating hours, and the $/kW, it should be a simple matter to calculate payback period...
    The expected useful life of CFL's used to be much longer than it is now. Since they banned incandescents, the life span of CFL's has shortened drastically (conspiracy? I think so). I now replace CFL's almost as often as I used to replace incandescents.

    And I'm afraid that's what's going to happen with LED's once they get more popular. "Planned obsolescence" is the worst thing that ever happened to household necessities.



    Well, I'm not sure I want to pay upwards of 60 bucks per light bulb only for them to go obsolete. Now I'm even more reluctant to buy them. icon_neutral.gif
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Aug 22, 2011 12:55 AM GMT
    See if you can find a lighting supplier that works with commercial accounts. We have one who has booths set up with switches so that you can try different bulbs and combinations. Well worth the time to take a couple of small pieces and see how the different lights work with them.


    Another thing would be to talk to someone on a museum lighting staff and ask for hints as to effect and cost.
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    Aug 22, 2011 1:04 AM GMT
    I have been using them in my architecture practice since the '80's when they were hella expensive. White LED 's don't really exist. What they call white LED's are actually ultra violet LED's with phosphor coatings so they are in fact fluorescent lights . Some spiral Fluorescents lights have very high CRI,s ( color rendering index) and they are just as efficient as LED's since the drivers for LEDs aren't that great yet. Don't do a mass buy since that is always a bad idea with fast changing technology. Buy as warm
    As possible 2700-3000 k . Same goes for fluorescents. LED aren't really great for art work right now; wait a bit longer but definitely switch to spiral fluorescent.
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    Aug 22, 2011 2:04 AM GMT
    Alpha13 saidI have been using them in my architecture practice since the '80's when they were hella expensive. White LED 's don't really exist. What they call white LED's are actually ultra violet LED's with phosphor coatings so they are in fact fluorescent lights . Some spiral Fluorescents lights have very high CRI,s ( color rendering index) and they are just as efficient as LED's since the drivers for LEDs aren't that great yet. Don't do a mass buy since that is always a bad idea with fast changing technology. Buy as warm
    As possible 2700-3000 k . Same goes for fluorescents. LED aren't really great for art work right now; wait a bit longer but definitely switch to spiral fluorescent.



    Is "spiral fluorescent" the same as "compact fluorescent?" Also, what is a "driver?"
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    Aug 22, 2011 2:10 AM GMT
    Scruffypup saidI own an art gallery
    What do you put in it, stained wife beaters in frames and photos of empty beer cans?
  • conquer

    Posts: 305

    Aug 22, 2011 2:40 AM GMT
    i work in a lighting store and i might be able to give some quick advice. a co-worker of mine recently sold his client $2000 worth of LED bulbs and they all got fried due to a power surge and they had to buy more. they are expensive replacements, take a look at a surge protector. i would also make sure to choose a dimmer that is compatible for LED's.

    most people who work in lighting don't use cfl's, they are a pain to deal with and need to be in proper places to utilize maximum energy savings. shouldn't be in bathrooms or high traffic areas as the ballast burns out quickly.

    the colour temp you're choosing should work fine as they are closer to incandescent lights and warmer. the higher the kelvin, the cooler the light. i would also go to a proper lighting store and talk to someone who can help you lay out a lighting plan if you don't already have one.

    you could also try halogen lights, they are fully dimmable and come in a variety of styles. depending on what kind of heads you are using. if they are on a track system i'd lean towards a low voltage MR16 with a wide beam spray. its what i normally recommend if you don't want to invest in a $40 light bulb. the MR16 runs about $6 here and you can dim them.

    LED's also tend to be very spotty due to the diodes, so i'd make sure i'd lean towards a "PAR" style bulb

    hope this helps a bit

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    Aug 22, 2011 2:46 AM GMT
    conquer saidi work in a lighting store and i might be able to give some quick advice. a co-worker of mine recently sold his client $2000 worth of LED bulbs and they all got fried due to a power surge and they had to buy more. they are expensive replacements, take a look at a surge protector. i would also make sure to choose a dimmer that is compatible for LED's.

    most people who work in lighting don't use cfl's, they are a pain to deal with and need to be in proper places to utilize maximum energy savings. shouldn't be in bathrooms or high traffic areas as the ballast burns out quickly.

    the colour temp you're choosing should work fine as they are closer to incandescent lights and warmer. the higher the kelvin, the cooler the light. i would also go to a proper lighting store and talk to someone who can help you lay out a lighting plan if you don't already have one.

    you could also try halogen lights, they are fully dimmable and come in a variety of styles. depending on what kind of heads you are using. if they are on a track system i'd lean towards a low voltage MR16 with a wide beam spray. its what i normally recommend if you don't want to invest in a $40 light bulb. the MR16 runs about $6 here and you can dim them.

    LED's also tend to be very spotty due to the diodes, so i'd make sure i'd lean towards a "PAR" style bulb

    hope this helps a bit




    Yeah, 2000. is pretty much exactly what I estimated this will cost me, but now I'm having second thoughts. I would be putting them into existing track lighting. I just had dimmer switches installed but I had no idea I needed special dimmers for LED. Yikes! I have the typical screw in type sockets so I think that's the PAR type.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 22, 2011 4:59 AM GMT
    I think I've seen dimmable LED bulbs for PAR lighting. They've got a little microprocessor that turns on individual LEDs in proportion to the voltage. Outrageously expensive though.

    I'm refitting an old sailboat. The lights are a few steps down the list, but I calculate that replacing all the nav and house lights with LED's will make the difference between plugging in to shore power every night and just running off a solar battery charger.
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    Aug 22, 2011 2:03 PM GMT
    Alpha13 saidI have been using them in my architecture practice since the '80's when they were hella expensive. White LED 's don't really exist. What they call white LED's are actually ultra violet LED's with phosphor coatings so they are in fact fluorescent lights . Some spiral Fluorescents lights have very high CRI,s ( color rendering index) and they are just as efficient as LED's since the drivers for LEDs aren't that great yet. Don't do a mass buy since that is always a bad idea with fast changing technology. Buy as warm
    As possible 2700-3000 k . Same goes for fluorescents. LED aren't really great for art work right now; wait a bit longer but definitely switch to spiral fluorescent.



    So you're suggesting I buy compact fluorescents instead of LED?
  • cyclone

    Posts: 46

    Aug 23, 2011 12:33 AM GMT
    Personally, I buy GE's Reveal cfl bulbs and I LOVE them. First, I started buying their regular incandescent Reveal bulbs years ago. They were awesome. Then I wondered GE they made cfl versions of their Reveal bulbs... and they do! The Reveal bulbs are suppose to bring out the true color of your home which I believe they do very well. They don't give off that usual yellow color that other light bulbs do. Also, the cfl Reveals don't give off that blue color like other fluorescent bulbs. They also save you money but I haven't noticed since I've been using my air-conditioner all summer. One thing I will point out about the cfl Reveal bulbs is that when I first tried them, they are kind of dark and you have to wait a few minutes for them to become brighter. Don't let the initial darkness deter you. After that first time, they will stay bright each time you turn on your lights. Just try ONE in your own home near artwork to see if you like it. If you don't, then try something else. This is the only type of bulb I use in my home. I know art galleries are different, but maybe Reveal cfl bulbs can help you. Oh, and I hear that Philips makes a good LED bulb but I've never tried it.

    http://www.gelighting.com/na/home_lighting/products/energy_smart.htm

    http://www.lighting.philips.com/main/lightcommunity/trends/led/

    126936_front500.jpg

    philips-led-osram.jpg
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    Aug 23, 2011 1:18 AM GMT
    I personally like a daylight range of 5500-6500K. The problem with some of the fluorescent bulbs is that there are gaps in the spectrum. It isn't merely a color shift.

    LED's can address that in a way that fluorescent bulbs can't.

    I also don't like low Kelvin temps for artwork since they cast an excessively warm tone to artwork that doesn't display it accurately. Granted, that's a "my art, my lighting choice" approach. Your taste may vary.

    My partner loves the sun, but doesn't like daylight spectrum lights at all. Every time he walks into the kitchen (where I've put a GE Reveal in the ceiling light) he acts like someone who stepped out of a movie matinee into bright sun. (I still find it funny.)

    As for purchasing LEDs, I still think that they haven't saturated the market sufficiently to be reasonable in cost, although they are starting to come down in price. I think the prices will level out in about two years. Right now they've got the 'new technology premium mark up' that will evaporate soon.

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    Aug 23, 2011 1:22 AM GMT
    When you say, "It's the right thing to do," you've brought politics into it, as well as morality.

    If you hadn't said that, I would offer a thought or two. But alas, now I don't give a fuck.

  • JP85257

    Posts: 3284

    Aug 23, 2011 1:43 AM GMT
    LED's produce a sharper light. Better for the environment or not theyre better bulbs.

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    Aug 23, 2011 4:18 AM GMT
    JackNWNJ saidWhen you say, "It's the right thing to do," you've brought politics into it, as well as morality.

    If you hadn't said that, I would offer a thought or two. But alas, now I don't give a fuck.





    It's a public forum. I'll bring "morality" into it if I damn well please. You've demonstrated repeatedly you have no morals so I really don't care to hear your opinion about anything.
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    Aug 23, 2011 4:28 AM GMT

    Just sit me in your gallery and I'll light up the whole room. icon_biggrin.gif

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 23, 2011 1:52 PM GMT
    I'm using three LED bulbs, hung from the ceiling, shining down just behind my back while I'm at my desk.

    http://www.feit.com/feit_nondim_led.html

    75 Watt PAR38 Equivalent
    • 728 Lumens
    • 16 Watts
    • 30000 Hours
    • 3000K Color Temp
    • 38º Beam Spread

    I really like the bright cold light, and I love that there's none of the intense heat that my mind is conditioned to expect from such a bright light source. But, in an art gallery? I don't think so. I'd go halogen with dimmers.
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    Aug 23, 2011 2:05 PM GMT
    I've read that CFL bulbs contain mercury and that, if one breaks, technically you are supposed to call the county's Hazardous Spill Waste Team because of the poisonous mercury. icon_eek.gif True? icon_question.gif
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    Aug 23, 2011 2:07 PM GMT


    Firstly, one of the hiden benifits of LED is that they emmit no UV. Something very important in high end art galleries.

    LEDs are like anything else, they come in a vast array of quality levels, the cheapest and nasty end such as those little bedside lights they have in some hotels, right up to high end purpose built LED fittings.

    Unfortunately all but some of the most expensive retrofit bulbs are complete rubbish (at the moment). The biggest killer of these is heat build up, if you ever look at a purpose built LED fitting, it always has big heat sinks on the back to get rid of excess heat, they almost always have a standalone driver (or trnasformer) where as look at the GU10 retrofit, it has none of these things and consequently they fail after a relatively short space of time.

    The other thing that LEDs havn't really cracked, and I'm surprised no one has picked up on is colour rendering. Someone who deals in art should be acutely away of this, colour rendering refers to how the light makes colour look under it.

    The reason your test lamp made the art look dead was not the colour temperature it was its limited ability to render the colours in the painting (or whatever the piece was)

    Energy saving in an art gallery should come second to colour rendeiring.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 23, 2011 2:14 PM GMT
    I have bought White day bright LEDs for the outdoor lights and a handful of accent lamps, but they don't last for more than 3-months some even less. It's a great idea because the blinding Luminance LEDs provide is almost at the same level if not more than Daylight CFLs offer and their electricity cost is barely nothing but the technology for household applications is still to new and needs to be perfect it in order to make them last the full estimated service hours.