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Our experiences with LED light bulb replacements

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Fascinating post on electrician forum:

"...Incandescent lamps reject heat through invisible infrared radiation. LEDs dissipate heat almost solely through conduction, therefore it gets hotter at the fixture... "

So this stuff actually gets back to my question:
I have (ceiling) light fixtures that state very clearly "MAX 60W [incandescent] BULB".  So one of the motivations for me moving to LEDs is the ability to run brighter LED bulbs that give off lumens equivalent to a 100w incandescent. But to be honest, I don't really know what that limit on the fixture is all about.
--- End quote ---

It seems from what I'm reading now that this 60W limit is not so much about electricity limit, but about how much heat the fixture bases can take.  And if that's true, and LED bulbs generate huge heat at the fixture base, I may be in trouble.


I just picked up a few of those lollipop-shaped Phillips LED "bulbs" from Home Depot. On sale for $3 and change.

Our experiences with LED light bulb replacements

I have one in the ceiling light over the kitchen sink. It looks nice and doesn't seem to throw any heat.

Our experiences with LED light bulb replacements

Don't know what the base is doing temp-wise. If I ever get my IR thermometer back I'll have to check it. The CFL lamp that was in there has a discolored base from the heat its ballast generated.

Also found this shot of the inside of one of these bulbs.

Our experiences with LED light bulb replacements

Which is great because I was very tempted to crack one open just to see what was inside. $3 saved! :Thmbsup:

I can't help thinking a time will come when we'll need to liberate these lamps from AC because the inefficiencies of converting 110v down to what the LEDs need is a waste. I have seen some vacation-type homes wired for regular AC (required by building code) and low-voltage DC for things powered by the solar panels on the roof. I think as time goes on we'll see more of this. Possibly with the electrical mains remaining the way they are - but with only a small number of outlets to provide 110v or 220v AC to less efficient devices like clothes dryers, convection and microwave ovens, air conditioners, etc. The rest of the outlets, that power everything else, will be low-voltage DC driven by a single transformer/regulator located in the basement.


Update: it's been in for a few hours now and it's warm. If I put my fingers on the ring around the 4 o'clock mark, I can keep them there about 3 seconds before I have to move them. It's definitely hot enough to burn.

Oh well! So much for the heat reduction. The CFLs are definitely running cooler. The lamp base is equally hot - but at least the CFL tube was touchable. Not so the LED ring.  :( 

On the other side of the LED issue...

I do a fair amount of work in the semi-conductor industry, and LED lighting is a good part of that.

Going forward, what you need to be aware of is that LEDs ARE SEMI-CONDUCTORS. This is important.

The capabilities of lighting devices will expand well beyond "lighting" in the future. Any number of different sensors can be included with them.

Expect LED lighting to include more sensors, and to have the capability to spy on you. It will happen. Just keep your eye on the added "benefits" that they tout in their marketing.

I'm well aware that a good number of people here think that I'm a paranoid conspiracy theorist. You wouldn't if you saw what I saw. I get to look at internal documents that aren't public. As an example, I recently had a document come across my desk from a large semi-conductor manufacturer talking about how they were near ready to distribute tracking chips designed to be embedded in people. This is almost not-news at all. It has been reported for many years, and the technology is near ready for large scale deployments.

LED lighting has huge potential. It can recreate what looks like sunlight. The range of light that it can replicate is astounding. The development kits for lighting device manufacturers are becoming more and more robust with lighting being able to be upgraded through simple engine replacements rather than through complete redesigns.

But... it's a Trojan horse. Make sure your horse is empty before you let it through the gates.

I don't know if it will be of any consolation, but:  all three of my installations are base-down.  (I use the desk lamp on my nightstand, but rarely read in bed, so it's almost always pointed upward for indirect lighting.)  In this position, the socket fixtures themselves remain at or near room temperature, so the fins clearly do a pretty good job, and I personally would not hesitate to strech 60 to 100 in this configuration.  Base-up?  Perhaps in a ceiling fan that you run all the time when the light is on, forced convection would cool to a reasonable level.  But my fingers tell me that in any shaded base-up installation, it would just have to get damned near as hot as an incandescent, even with otherwise unrestriced airflow.


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