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Discussion in 'Green Energy and Sustenance Living' started by inspectorD, Aug 12, 2006.
They also produce very poor light for close-up work.
As mentioned earlier, LED light bulbs or LED lighting in general is manufactured in varying light colors (warm to cool; natural light or day white). If you like the day white (nice bright white) you would want a higher kelvin rating (kelvin rating is on the box and/or bulb) such as 5000K. As a comparison, a 2700K bulb would produce a lower light level, warm effect and the bulb would have a slightly white or even yellow/orange glow to it. You might see something like this in a nice restaurant at your table or possibly in the ceiling. Its all about ambience. If you want a room or exterior lighting to produce bright light so that it is easier to see things, 5000K or higher is the way to go. My garage and work area uses 5000K. My exterior flood lights are 5000K. My bathroom lights are 4000K and some 3000K. A good LED product is one with a heat sink built into the case or shell. That helps to keep the heat away from the LED (light emitting diode that produces the light). If you ever touched a LED bulb on the glass or plastic surface, it might be slightly warm to the touch or maybe not warm at all. However, if you unscrew the light bulb and touch the threaded base, it is very hot. The heat sink within that bulb is dissipating the heat so that the LED will last longer. Make sure your LED product has a heat sink. Some LED products require an external driver, such as an LED tube that would replace a fluorescent lamp; 4' for example. A good LED tube is one that utilizes an external driver (NOT an internal driver which will get hot over time and reduce the life of the LED diode). An external driver acts just like a ballast but rather is a low voltage device with constant current. If you have LED tubes connected to a typical ballast used for fluorescent lamps, you are asking for trouble at some point in time. Also, someone mentioned an LED with a 30 year warranty. I am guessing that it isn't a 3o year warranty but rather a 30 year rated life. For example, most LED bulbs have a 25,000 rated hour life. Well, if you use that light bulb for 3 hours a day, 7 days a week as an example, the life expectancy would be 23 years. The warranty on that bulb is most likely 1 to 3 years and maybe 5 depending on the company. An LED tube that was manufactured in China (98% are made in China), usually is rated for 50,000 hours. Most LED and especially LED bulbs are made either in China or other countries. The diodes (LED's) used in these products vary in quality and are all over the map. In my experiences with LED, some last a short time and some last longer. Depending on the brand and also how they are connected to electricity makes a big difference. Those that continue to work vary in color even though they are the same model/brand. Any more I have had the best luck with the Titan LED brand. Titan makes their LED lights (excluding bulbs) out of Arizona. They are completely USA made. You might pay a little more upfront but they do last longer so really you are saving money in the long run. For example, a 4' LED tube comes with a 12 year warranty and is rated for 155,000 hours. Shatterproof, water resistant and can easily be installed in an existing fluorescent tube fixture. I replaced all my 4' fluorescent lamps with these in my garage, work room, laundry room and some closets. I was able to de-lamp which means I removed 4 fluorescent tubes in each fixture and installed only two of the LED tubes. More lighting, no more ballast noise and lower electric bill. The 12 year warranty sold me over. The bulbs that Titan carries are made by one company and these come with a 5 year warranty. Not a bad deal. The other thing to look at when switching to LED is the Lumen value. So the kelvin is the color of the light. The higher the kelvin rating the cooler or whiter the light color. The lumen value on the other hand is the brightness factor. The higher the Lumen value the brighter the light. For example, I have an exterior security light on my shed. The Kelvin is 5000K (nice white color to make visibility easier when looking out the window). The lumen is 700 which is nice but I am looking to get something brighter which will require a higher lumen value. My LED tubes in the basement are 3200 Lumen (very bright) which is why I only needed two in each fixture plus my fixtures have the acrylic lens which the lights shines through. Simple remove the ballast and install the new LED driver. Then just plug in the LED tube with the 3' wire whip that comes with the tube. One end plugs into the driver and the other end plugs into the LED tube.
If you have any questions on LED lighting or converting you can contact me.
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