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685 comments

omg! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26273861)

second frist post today!

Not just cost, but optics (4, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 5 years ago | (#26273873)

LEDs are not traditionally used for illumination not only because of the costs of LEDs, but because of the complex optics required to distribute the light. it's rare to see LEDs used for illumination, though it is making an entrance for some applications, like flashlights [maglite.com] and even headlamps [motorauthority.com] . As LED prices continue to come down and LED optics technology improves and cost stabilize, conventional LED lamp retrofits will become commonplace. Take a look at LEDtronics [ledtronics.com] for some examples.

Mod parent up! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26273925)

I have access to all kinds of LEDs, straight from a fairly large distributor, lots of high-end stuff and what not.

I work in electronics, so I'm more than able to design and build whatever circuit to power them in any way I please.

The only problem here is LEDs emit directional light. And there are no easy ways to "diffuse" the light...

Re:Mod parent up! (4, Informative)

Goaway (82658) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274297)

I've got a nice, tungesten-coloured LED right here that emits nearly omnidirectional light if I just remove the lens that comes with it. I don't think directionality is really any kind of inherent problem, just a manufacturing issue.

Re:Mod parent up! (5, Interesting)

scoot80 (1017822) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274431)

That is why they are great in torches, head lamps, and backlights - because you don't need complex optics to focus the light. White LEDs are still quite expensive though, so bulb made out of it would be a lot more expensive than a standard one.

Re:Not just cost, but optics (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26273941)

Did you notice all the LED xmas lights this year?

Re:Not just cost, but optics (5, Insightful)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 5 years ago | (#26273973)

Sorry but I don't buy the optics issue. It really can't be THAT hard to put a lens or reflector in the armature and point multiple LEDs in different directions. If anything LEDs should be preferable to incandescents because it is easier to take something very directional and spread the light than it is focus the light from a divergent source. I think the main reason LEDs are not popular yet is cost and "it's not what I'm used to". Seeing the type of crap people will buy even when there are better alternatives I simply don't believe that something as sophisticated as the beam profile of an LED will be a huge issue.

Re:Not just cost, but optics (2, Insightful)

kaizokuace (1082079) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274045)

yea it's all marketing. People buy what they hear about. It's the truth and I haven't seen any LED light fixture ads anywhere!

Re:Not just cost, but optics (3, Interesting)

GeorgeS (11440) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274373)

Just call them "Gucci designer LED's" or some such and stupid rich people will buy them by the thousands and the price will drop.

Re:Not just cost, but optics (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26274465)

It's actually harder than it seems. Just imagine trying to light up a room using a laser. How hard can it be, right? LEDs are *very* directional too.

It takes far more than a simple lens, or a simple reflector to manage to illuminate a workspace evenly using them. Reflectors work fine for incandescent/fluorescent and such non-directional light sources.

That's why we see LEDs thrive in many applications like flashlights and traffic lights and not others: those require directional light.

And even if you found a great way to do it, it would still add [likely significant] cost, and likely a fair amount of weight, if using optics. It would probably look like a huge catadioptric lens of a lighthouse (well, the inverse job, but a huge chunk of glass is what I meant). The best I've seen so far, is using a large number of lesser power LEDs...

Re:Not just cost, but optics (2, Interesting)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274127)

Better than MagLite:
http://www.surefire.com/ [surefire.com]

One of the big things I love about Surefire is the amount of engineering that goes into their products to make them as good, and as tough, as possible.

They even point out that while other flashlights have a higher candlepower rating, that candlepower is a flawed system of measurement and they're higher on the lumen scale (looking at intensity vs frequency, candlepower is proportional to the max value, and the lumen rating is related to the area under the curve). I love any company that's that committed to actual engineering of their products.

Re:Not just cost, but optics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26274485)

heh... you really suck at viral marketing. I hope you didn't get paid for that advertisement. Though given their outrageous cost I suppose they can afford to hire good and bad advertisers...bleh

Re:Not just cost, but optics (5, Informative)

tuxgeek (872962) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274129)

Although I agree with some points of your post, most of your belief is not quite accurate. LEDs now make the best flash light illumination, and the power drain on batteries is minimal. I've been using LED headlamps for years, so this is nothing new, as your post implies.

The problem with them being used in homes is that they direct their illumination to a specific spot. This is not a bad thing though. I've recently seen them configured as spot lamps. Perfect for recessed lighting.

The optics in LED technology can easily be modified to diffuse light to make a great replacement for CFL & incandescent. Give it time.

Re:Not just cost, but optics (2, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274135)

I've heard that a room lit by LED doesn't look as natural, but then again, I haven't seen LED light fixtures to test for myself.

Re:Not just cost, but optics (5, Interesting)

icebrain (944107) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274261)

Disclaimer: I have no experience with LED "lightbulbs" like those in TFA, only LED flashlights

To me, the biggest hangup on going to LED lighting from CFLs would be the spectral issue. In my experience, "white" LEDs don't actually put out true white light, but rather several distinct wavelengths that look approximately white to human eyes. IIRC they lose some definition with red/green. Not as big an issue for a flashlight, but in room lighting I'd kind of want all the colors showing up. This may very well be solved by now, however. I don't know.

LEDs == Frustration (1)

gilgongo (57446) | more than 5 years ago | (#26273889)

I've had nothing but frustrating trying to find an LED bulb that my partner won't moan about being all cold, dim, too bright, or all three. Me, I don't give a sh*t as long as I can see my toes.

The sooner these "new discoveries" filter down, the better if you ask me.

wat (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26273953)

wat the f are you doing with the lightbulbs?

Re:wat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26274027)

Cold refers to the color not temperature.

Re:wat (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26274163)

It refers to the color temperature.

Re:LEDs == Frustration (4, Informative)

Abreu (173023) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274221)

Actually, I have never found a LED bulb nor any CFLs that with a confortable color spectrum.

Also, most inexpensive CFLs lose their brightness very quickly and need to be replaced far sooner than what the manufacturer would have you believe.

Re:LEDs == Frustration (2, Informative)

Goaway (82658) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274315)

There are LEDs with very tungsten-like spectra. They're just not very common yet.

Re:LEDs == Frustration (0)

Dahan (130247) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274391)

Personally, I don't want a tungsten-like spectrum--I want a Sun-like one (the visible portions, at least... I could do without the UV and IR).

Riiight (4, Insightful)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 5 years ago | (#26273899)

CFLs made in China that are shipped to the US [use] a lot more fossil fuels than they save.

'Cause incandescents are all made in the US and don't share nearly the same shipping costs.

Re:Riiight (1)

obarel (670863) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274011)

That sentence had a first part as well, something about thinking that you're helping the environment. I'm not aware of any company making such claims about incandescent light bulbs.

Re:Riiight (2, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274123)

That sentence had a first part as well, something about thinking that you're helping the environment.

Unless the incandescents are made closer, the fact that the flourescents are made in China has little to nothing to do with whether or not the perception that they are helping the environment is true.

Re:Riiight (4, Insightful)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274131)

They don't have to make such claims. If the incandescent bulbs involve the same shipping overhead as the CFLs (as the grandparent is sarcastically suggesting), then the claims that CFLs are more environmentally friendly stand up. That's the point, period. The shipping costs mentioned (without any sort of supporting data, I might add) in the summary is only a valid issue if incandescents are made locally.

Re:Riiight (1)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274329)

That sentence had a first part as well, something about thinking that you're helping the environment. I'm not aware of any company making such claims about incandescent light bulbs.

*facepalm*

Okay. Think about this. Think real hard for a second. Why would we be talking about shipping costs "eating up" CFL savings unless shipping costs were unique to CFLs and not possessed by incandescents?

Because 'we' are disingenous BSers. (0)

FatSean (18753) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274469)

The shipping costs are NOT unique to CFLs.

Re:Riiight (5, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274047)

But what if you had to ship 6 lights for every one due to lifespan differences?

Re:Riiight (1, Interesting)

Firehed (942385) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274173)

Sounds about right. We seem to have to replace 6 CFLs for every one incandescent bulb. Any of the non-standard ones seem to be far worse (a dimmable CFL died after less than a day while not even dimmed, a couple of flood-style CFLs are on their way out after only a few months) but the marketing on 5-10x the lifetime of a standard incandescent bulb couldn't be more wrong.

I don't buy the mercury arguments and prefer CFLs for other reasons (I can actually get cool white and daylight bulbs, for one), but my experiences so far definitely give incandescents the win for lifespan. The fact that our electricity bill seems to be RISING as we switch bulbs over to CFLs is probably a separate issue, but we're sure as hell not seeing any energy savings either.

As for shipping, CFLs are quite a bit heavier than a twisted tungsten wire, so shipping a container of CFLs the same distance as a container of incandescent bulbs could well cost more too.

Re:Riiight (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26274285)

You are either buying CFLs from a completely incompetent manufacturer, or simply have a bizarre situation where reality is bending around you.

I replaced all bulbs in my home with CFLs three years ago. None have burned out to date, and I saw a small but measureable decrease in home energy use, as my home energy costs are very stable. Everyone I know who has replaced all or some of their bulbs have had the same experience.

There's demonstrable energy savings to be had, and a measureable lifespan increase simply due to the physics of CFL versus incandescent.

15 years. (4, Informative)

Tatarize (682683) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274363)

I have had the CFL in my hallway for 15 years.

I haven't changed a lightbulb in at least five, and even that was because somebody hit it with a broom handle. I don't remember much from when I was a kid but those other types of lights would die every now and then.

You're doing it wrong.

Re:15 years. (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274453)

I had four GU10 bulbs in the hallway of the last flat I was in. Unfortunately the CFL GU10 replacements stick out too far and look ugly, and LED GU10s were too focused, and expensive, so I was replacing one halogen bulb about every couple of months - often the power spike when it blew would take out a second one with it so it was more like 2 bulbs every 4 months. I've never had to replace a CFL in the 5 or so years I've been using them, and back when they were more expensive, I'd take them with me when I moved, swapping the landlord's incandescents back in. It's so long since I used tungsten bulbs that I don't remember how often I had to replace those, but one every 3 months (out of 10 or so bulbs) sounds about right.

Re:Riiight (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26274375)

Sounds about right. We seem to have to replace 6 CFLs for every one incandescent bulb.

I've got several CFLs in the house, some of them must be 4 or 5 years old by now, and not one has burned out. Are there brownouts in your neighbourhood or something?

Re:Riiight (4, Interesting)

samkass (174571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274387)

I've seen similar issues with specific outlets in my house. CFLs last about 2 months and incancesdents a year or two. The problem appears to be fluctuating power supplies. Our house's power isn't very stable... the vacuum cleaner, dryer, and other devices cause lights to slightly dim or flicker. I've solved most of it by separating the circuits, but the CFLs seem to be VERY sensitive to fluctuating electricity.

A CFL on its own circuit seems to last a long time.

Re:Riiight (1)

dmomo (256005) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274395)

I have had similar experiences. This year, I put 3 CFL bulbs in various rooms in the house. Two of them burnt out already. It could be that these bulbs simply don't stand up to the old wiring in this place. Not sure.

Commercial shipping (4, Informative)

dj245 (732906) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274409)

As for shipping, CFLs are quite a bit heavier than a twisted tungsten wire, so shipping a container of CFLs the same distance as a container of incandescent bulbs could well cost more too.

Except that commercial shipping is usually done by volume not weight. Only if the weight is extremely excessive does it matter for pricing. Shipping containers are usually charged by the container, not by the weight. They have a weight *limit*, but that is not the same thing. I can't imagine hitting the weight limit of a container with any kind of light bulb.

Trucks are the same way for large quantities.

Re:Riiight (4, Informative)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274435)

Then there is something seriously wrong with your wiring or the bulbs you buy. The claims are sometimes overdone on the packaging, but it was much worse back in 2001 than now. Also, some manufacturers are more reliable than others (feit electric at Costco and Sylvania at lowes, other places, seem to be good for certain models). The Walmart brand Great Value seems to be horrible, at least in my experience.

I've had enclosed Par 38 CFLs (23w) die on me with some regularity although it has gotten a little better the last year. OTOH the enclosed Par 20 (13w CFL) have been absolutely solid since 2004, after a bad first run.

My longest lasting lights about 10 regular 13 watters --60w equivalent-- enclosed exterior ones. They started in all temps from (-5F to 100F). They used to be dusk to dawn for the first 3 years, so I guess 12 hours a day on average through the year, then the solar cell went bad on several 2 3-lamp posts and so 6 lights were running continuously for about a year (busy year). When I fixed that, put a timer in to start at dusk and turn off rougly midnight.

Through those 6 years, about 5 lights went bad. Keep in mind, they were running around probably 4,380 hrs a year. One year it was the max 8,760 with no breaks. And now, it's down to 2,190. This is probably due to them being on for extended periods and not constantly switched on and off which wears on a ballast and kills the shoddy ballasts fast.

CFLs are a type of fluorescents, and if the ballast is shoddy, you can forget it. Also had to replace every fluorescent ballast in a section of newly constructed office space once as one in an entire row (same manufacturer) went bad one at a time in a short period. Doesn't meant fluorescent tech is bad, means it was either a bad manufacturer or bad run. BTW, there can be bad fluorescent tubes as well, Philips seems to be good while the much cheaper Sylvania contractor packs are shit.

Just how it goes. Go to some CFL forums and learn. Have no experience with dimmers though. Don't have a one.

Re:Riiight (1)

karmatic (776420) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274439)

I had heard horror stories before about CFLs, and had no clue what the problem was. I've always used the GE Daylight bulbs.

I picked up a bunch at IKEA - now I know. They take forever to warm up, the light is awful, and they died very quickly.

I've been using them for years, and the light level is quite comfortable. I had one of them die this whole time - the bulb got smashed (they aren't as strong as most incandescent. Oh well.

And no, I'm not a paid shill for GE :)

Re:Riiight (3, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274099)

Until earlier this year (when they stopped production in favor of CFLs), GE was still manufacturing their incandescent bubls in the US.

Follow the Money (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274137)

i bet they have a vested interest in selling those CFL lights, i bet they own stock in them or something along those lines...

"using a lot more fossil fuels than they save"??? (4, Insightful)

PontifexPrimus (576159) | more than 5 years ago | (#26273939)

Errr... could we have some actual numbers for that? Are we seriously asked to believe that the energy saved by a metric ton of CFLs over their lifetime is less than the cost of a one-trip transport on a freighter? Or is that just another bitter remark aimed at those silly little hippies who want to save their pwecious planet and their breathable atmosphere and their clean water?

Re:"using a lot more fossil fuels than they save"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26274031)

Also consider the fact that stuff made in China does significantly more damage. They have little or no pollution control and are quickly poisoning the Earth, the workers are basically slave labor in poor conditions, etc.

Re:"using a lot more fossil fuels than they save"? (1)

Ironchew (1069966) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274145)

China is the Western world's factory exactly because they have no pollution control and slave labor. If they set more rigorous standards for worker's rights and the environment, we would manufacture things in the cheapest country somewhere else.

Re:"using a lot more fossil fuels than they save"? (1)

dmomo (256005) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274331)

And who is to say that when/if the demand for these LEDs goes up it won't simply be these that are being imported from China.

Re:"using a lot more fossil fuels than they save"? (1)

soundguy (415780) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274303)

They have little or no pollution control and are quickly poisoning the Earth

Yeah, but I don't have to LIVE in China, so it's not MY earth, therefore I don't have to care.

Now bring me the remote and something edible wrapped in bacon!

Re:"using a lot more fossil fuels than they save"? (1)

elgol (1257936) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274231)

Not to mention that they would cost a lot more if this were actually true. A little research reveals that shipping costs for a 4-pack of CFLs is much less than $1USD, and more like $0.05 to $0.25. That's pennies per bulb, and fuel costs are a fraction of that amount.

Since I expect to save $20-40 per bulb in electricity, I think that it is unlikely that more fuel is consumed in shipping over the life of the bulb.

John

Re:"using a lot more fossil fuels than they save"? (1)

mrphoton (1349555) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274471)

A CFLs use 80% less energy than an incandescent bulb whilst produce the same amount of light. Incandescent bulbs are horribly inefficient and produce a huge amount of heat per Watt of light output. I recently calculated that a single 100W light bulb in our house (which is on most of the day), cost us 30Euros to run a year. Just that one light bulb. By replacing it with a (brighter) CFL we saved 24Euro per year! If you are not worried about the environment you should be worried about you wallet. This blatantly factual incorrect article should not be allowed on the front page of slashdot.

All the LEDs come from China too (1)

PlugPlover (963236) | more than 5 years ago | (#26273951)

Just like every other thing.

Seriously? (5, Insightful)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 5 years ago | (#26273959)

You're seriously trying to claim that the savings of CFLs are offset by shipment? Really?

I would go into the obvious math or the economics, but honestly this is just simply too stupid to even deserve further comment, except that it is a completely asinine, baseless statement that I'm sure will be picked up and repeated by a lot of ignorant contrarians.

Re:Seriously? (0, Flamebait)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274323)

So, let me get this straight - you disagree with his assertion, but instead of using data do disprove it, you are going to call him names, and use a "guilt by association" attack via the "repeated by a lot of ignorant contrarians". Is that correct?

I believe your use of "asinine" is correct, but directed in the wrong direction.

Re:Seriously? (5, Insightful)

Goaway (82658) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274333)

It's the hip new anti-environmentalist meme. Anything that is supposed to lessen emissions actually increases them because you have to build it!

CFLs still suck (1, Informative)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 5 years ago | (#26273983)

They come in two color temps. "Cool White" is about the same as a white LED. Sterile and way too much blue/green. "Warm" is another name for sickly yellow and makes me think of those yellow incandescent bulbs used to keep moths away. Until they make a CFL that matches a normal incandescent I'm not switching.

Re:CFLs still suck (1)

mac123 (25118) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274063)

>>Until they make a CFL that matches a normal incandescent I'm not switching.

Or until government regulates incandescent out of existence.

Re:CFLs still suck (3, Interesting)

markdavis (642305) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274251)

>Or until government regulates incandescent out of existence.

Which many of us hope will not happen. There is no suitable replacement for incandescent in MANY applications. My house has many such.

Flor is generally not dimable. Even those that claim to be really are barely and cost a fortune.
Flor saves NO MONEY when dimmed, even if you can find expensive dimable ones.
Flor bulbs do not fit in all fixtures, especially decorative ones and small ones.
Flor bulbs are UGLY in many types of fixtures, period.
Flor FIXTURES are UGLY in many types of applications.
Flor light is not pleasing to many people- it is too white/blue or harsh.
Flor fixtures often emit lots of RFI.
Flor fixtures often emit noise.
Flor lamps are not instantly on.
Flor lamps are also not instantly 100% bright, many taking MINUTES to reach full brightness.

Until you can address all or most of those issues, there are very valid reasons to prefer incandescent lighting in many situations. I, for one, have replaced about 1/3 of all my lights with flor, but the remaining can't be because of many or all of the above reasons. If anything, tax incandescent lamps to make them cost parity with alternatives, but do not attempt to eliminate MY CHOICE until there is a truly suitable replacement.

Re:CFLs still suck (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274349)

Geez, with problems that severe, it's a wonder anybody would use them!

Re:CFLs still suck (1)

theheadlessrabbit (1022587) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274119)

cool white CFL is no where near the same as a white LED light. a white LED is usually blue light passed through a yellow filter to look 'white'. put the 2 side by side, and you will notice a huge difference. LEDs make colours look flat, CFLs make them look much better.

what is so special about the colour of an incandescent bulb? i find the yellow cast of an incandescent to be quite unpleasant.

have you tried using one of each? In my studio, i have one of those fans with 3 sockets. I find that 2 cool whites and one warm white is a pretty nice combination.

Re:CFLs still suck (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274299)

Maybe you've got old bulbs. Cool white CFLs match daylight pretty well (it looks nasty if it's the only bulb you've switched, but a room full of them always looks like it's being lit with natural sunlight - somewhere around 5500-5700k), and ALL of the warm ones that I've ever seen are a perfect match for the gross yellow of any tungsten bulb out there (around 3800k).

I have several issues with CFLs, but the color temperature has never been one of them.

Re:CFLs still suck (1)

soundguy (415780) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274355)

They come in two color temps. "Cool White" is about the same as a white LED. Sterile and way too much blue/green. "Warm" is another name for sickly yellow and makes me think of those yellow incandescent bulbs used to keep moths away. Until they make a CFL that matches a normal incandescent I'm not switching.

They make a lot of different color temps depending on the manufacturer - 3200, 3500, 4400, 5000, 5100, 5500, and I've even seen some big ones at 6000

Re:CFLs still suck (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274463)

They come in two color temps.

No, they come in at least three at the stores I shop at (e.g., Home Depot). As they are typically labelled: "Soft White", "Bright White", and "Daylight". Looking at Wikipedia, there's also a "Cool White" between "Bright White" and "Daylight", but I've never seen any in that category.

(I've yet to see any light, no matter the technology, that looks better than Daylight CFLs do.)

i didnt buy CFL/LED bulbs to save the world (4, Interesting)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 5 years ago | (#26273991)

just my wallet. I got a set of LED GU10 bulbs for the flat because when we got in there were two fittings of 4x50W bulbs each, and with the energy saving from some LED replacements (~£10 for 4 at ~2W ea, normally ~£5ea but i found a deal) easily paid the difference, especially since i was having trouble finding CFL replacemetns. However they definately give off significantly less light than the 50W halogens, which is fine most of the time as i prefer a dimmer light usually, but can be a little frustrating if i find myself needing a little extra to look for something, The light is alot 'whiter' which took a couple of days to get used to but is fine now. They are also very directional, they light up one area very well, but are quite poor outside that area, so fine if you are after light in a particular area (they are often advertised as for lighting up some piece of art you want attention drawn to) but not so good if you want to illuminate a room.

Re:i didnt buy CFL/LED bulbs to save the world (-1, Offtopic)

Threni (635302) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274041)

They're no good for growing 'crops' indoors. This is a shame - the low power consumption and wasted heat, both of which are something of a signal to unwanted guests, of traditional bulbs are something we could live without!

Re:i didnt buy CFL/LED bulbs to save the world (1)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274073)

you can buy them in different colours too, esp blue, if you got them in red and blue would that suffice?

Re:i didnt buy CFL/LED bulbs to save the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26274255)

And that is what motivates most people. As soon as saving the world equals saving your wallet will environmental issues be solved

I saw LEDs used as colored stage lights (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 5 years ago | (#26273997)

They were being used a diffuse eight-color lights composed of about 50 LEDs of the three primary colors. Probably saves a bundle on electricity and air conditioning. not as spotlight yet.

Re:I saw LEDs used as colored stage lights (1)

darkjedi521 (744526) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274239)

Last time I looked at LED stagelights about a year ago, the LED PAR64 can seemed to be a drop in replacement for 300W PAR56 lamps. Unfortunately, until intensity catches up to their higher wattage cousins, most of the stages I've worked on are going to keep dropping in 750W HPL, 1KW BVT, and 1K PAR64 lamps. The biggest advantage is its easier to get a blue of out an LED than a halogen, for obvious reasons, but losing the light among the other fixtures isn't really desired all the time.

What I'd really like to know is... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26274007)

if you jack off to a tranny having sex with a woman, is that gay?

As the tag says, lumen per watt (4, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274015)

an directionality. It's hard to beat CFLs and moreso some good quality fluorescent tubes get slightly more lumens per watt (although I saved 100 watts per hour in the kitchen - 200 instead of 300- by going with directed CFLs that shine line exactly where needed vs previous central flourescent tubes that were lighting from the center trying to sloppily spill light everywhere).

Since every Home Depot now takes any CFLs, the disposal is actually better than fluorescent tubes. Considering most electricity comes from coal, you prevent mercury release in the air vs incandescents. And no, you don't need a specialized clean up crew if a CFL breaks: http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/cfl.asp [snopes.com]

Except for the oven, fridge, and flashing lights - CFLs are appropriate for most applications.

I would love to have LEDs. But they need to raise their efficiency. They don't generate heat as such, but AC->DC conversion does, index of refraction of the casing material presents a problem, as well that leds don't generate white light by themselves (they use phosphor?) and all that reduces the light given off.

It would be cool if those were solved one day, where they got near 90% theoretical max lumens/wax (683 lm/wt), where a 3 watt LED would give off the same light as a ~100 watt incandescent or ~23 watt CFL. Even 150 or 200 lm/wt would be a revolution. But it will take 5-10 years I suppose.

Re:As the tag says, lumen per watt (3, Informative)

evanbd (210358) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274183)

Note that you can't get white light at 683 lm/W. The lumen has an efficacy curve approximating the human eye response. 683 lm/W implies a perfectly efficient monochromatic 555nm (green) light. An ideal black body is limited to about 95 lm/W; however that's not the ideal output either (the UV and IR components aren't helpful). Actual efficiency for white light is probably limited to 100-200 lm/W, and will depend on how green you allow your white light to be.

Re:As the tag says, lumen per watt (1)

green1 (322787) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274279)

Except for the oven, fridge, and flashing lights - CFLs are appropriate for most applications.

There's only one application that I still can't find a CFL for, and that's dimmers

I have a fair number of bulbs in my house that are on dimmers, and I like being able to dim them.

I tried what home depot was selling as "dimmable" CFL and they had 2 major problems
1) they were WAY too big to fit in any light fixture I've ever seen
2) they dimmed from 100% all the way down to about 80%, hardly worth bothering with the dimmer knob on the wall.

Buh-Bye CFLs (2, Interesting)

PNutts (199112) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274023)

Because TFA is unavailable, I'll simply say that I replaced all CFLs in my house with regular light bulbs. The CFLs that didn't overheat and scorch the fixture dimmed dramatically in the first year (first and second generation). Even if they performed as advertised and didn't spew mercury, the cost to get in is not recovered by the power savings. I'm no longer an early adopter and the wifey loves her 200 watt light in the laundry room. Also, without the startup delay of CFLs the first step down to the basement no longer is an Indiana Jones leap of faith. I'm waiting for LEDs and by the time TFA is available they will be a generation better.

Re:Buh-Bye CFLs (2, Informative)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274175)

start up time? i have CFL's in all my fixtures, white for the kitchen and utility area's and yellow in the bedrooms and living room. they come on instantly and provide plenty of lighting. i paid $20aud for a pack of 6 and they have something like a 50,000 hour life span.

led's would be great if they weren't so direct and cold, and they didn't cost $30 a pop.

Re:Buh-Bye CFLs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26274269)

What brand did you get? All the recent CFLs I have gotten from supermarkets (Woolies/Coles) come on at 50% brightness and take around three minutes to reach 100%.

These CFLs are of limited use in households, such as mine, where the practise is to turn unused lights off. I used to be able to turn the light on, do something briefly in a room then turn the light out again 10 seconds later. Now I either have to wait a couple of minutes to see, or leave the lights on all the time in mostly unused rooms. For typical usage in an already efficient household, CFLs that take time to warm up are a step backwards.

Re:Buh-Bye CFLs (2, Informative)

theheadlessrabbit (1022587) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274211)

what start up delay?

I have currently have 6 CFLs running in my studio. all but 1 start up instantly, the other one, being 5 years old, takes a second or so. the larger ones (2 40-watt bulbs) may take a few seconds to reach full brightness, but enough light is there the second I hit the switch. the 25 watt bulbs all start up instantly.

i have never had a CFL overheat or burn out. if you are running into all of these problems, i would suggest trying out higher quality bulbs. Sometimes, there is a reason for the difference in price between to brands.
I pay about $3.50 for each 25 watt bulb, and $10 for the 40 watt bulbs, and they work much better than the cheaper ones you find in dollar stores.

Wrong run-on repeat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26274049)

The assertion that the cost of the emitter (LED) is the limiting factor, is just as laughable now as it was the first time this article was posted.

The run-on sentence in the blurb certainly doesn't help matters.

Re:Wrong run-on repeat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26274139)

I mean seriously, how embarrassing is it to be scooped by Roland Piquepaille?

http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/07/20/1757239 [slashdot.org]

that Environment Protection have gone too far (0, Flamebait)

kentsin (225902) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274103)

I did not against the idea that we need to protect our environment.

I against that people did not use their brain on this. People take the idea as if and retold the story without thinking.

Now that Environment Protection or GREEN have been GREENISM which were eating intelligent as food and turn out to be our biggest nightmare.

Why there are no legislation that people only can drink water instead of sodia is just time. Why we allow such laws pass is signal of a very ill society.

Using more money to go GREEN is against my common sense. STOP that, use our brain, do things correctly, not just follow others.

When the whole world think the same, terrible things happen.

Use your brian, please.

Re:that Environment Protection have gone too far (1)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274141)

yes, please use your brain

Re:that Environment Protection have gone too far (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26274161)

Don't drink and post.

Re:that Environment Protection have gone too far (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26274271)

Drink and post.

Re:that Environment Protection have gone too far (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26274185)

I am against people that cannot spell.

Re:that Environment Protection have gone too far (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26274259)

That message turns my brain inside out. Thanks, I love my freaking new gray hat.

Re:that Environment Protection have gone too far (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26274327)

>Use your brian, please. My name is Brian, you insensitive clod! Also, are you related to the Time Cube guy by any chance?

Uh (5, Insightful)

nightfire-unique (253895) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274167)

Wow. Way to sneak in that lie under the radar. Politically motivated, or just simple ignorance?

In any case, no, the manufacturing and transport of CFL bulbs absolutely does not generate more CO2 than that saved by using them (assuming coal/natural gas powered, the only logical comparison in this case). Let's run some simple numbers.

Assuming an average 60-watt equivalent (12 watt nominal) CFL bulb with a lifespan of 10,000 hours, it will draw 120kWh over the course of its life. The 60-watt incandescent, if it lasted as long, would draw 600kWh. Of course, it doesn't last as long, but rather an average of 1/5 as long.

So the savings are roughly 480kWh for an 800lm fixture. That's the equivalent of over 400 liters of gasoline burned in an internal combustion engine, and that doesn't include the fuel used building, shipping and shopping for replacement incandencents, which as mentioned burn out far more frequently.

Now for some logic. How is it that a bulb which apparently requires >480kWh of energy to build/ship ($48 at $0.10/kWh) sells for a few dollars? Hint: it doesn't require >480kWh of energy to build/ship, or anywhere near that.

CFLs offer a massive net efficiency gain, and by extension, a net reduction in CO2 emissions. Even factoring in disposal costs at 5 times the manufacturing cost (silly), CFLs are a net win. So please don't spread that tripe!

Re:Uh (1)

ianare (1132971) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274445)

No disagreement here, but there is also another issue to consider : jobs and the economy.
Most of the incandescent used in the US are also made in the US. Most if not all CF bulbs are made in China. The result is the loss of hundreds of jobs in the US, in rather uncertain times. GE claims that it is not economical for them to manufacture them here, so rather than retool existing factories is now simply buying the bulbs from Chinese suppliers and selling them in the US.

Shipping Costs (5, Informative)

bxwatso (1059160) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274169)

If a 25W CFL replaces a 100W incandescent bulb, and the CFL lasts 8000 hours, it will save 600 KWHrs of energy.
If a shipping vessel can hold 35,000 tons of cargo and the shipping weight of a CFL is 1/2 pound, the vessel can hold 140 million bulbs. Of course there is not enough space for them all, but they can ship with heavier items, and I am assuming costs are allocated by weight.
If a 7,000 mile journey burns 875 tons of fuel, or 15.75 million gallons, then each bulb is allocated .11 gallons of diesel for the journey. That is about 6 KWHrs of energy.
Therefore, the shipping costs don't even come close to negating the energy savings.

Re:Shipping Costs (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274195)

Also missing in that analysis is the lifespan of the incandescent bulb and the assumption that it is not, also, coming from China.

Re:Shipping Costs (2, Interesting)

bxwatso (1059160) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274275)

The assumption was that the incandescent bulb was made in the US and the CFL was made in China. Therefore the extra fuel is incurred once in the life of the CFL.
Your point is good that, if a CFL lasts 8 times longer, you must make 8 incandescent bulbs, which consumes some amount of energy.

Re:Shipping Costs (1)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274309)

Thanks for the math. Really puts things into perspective.

Once again these things come down to a reasonable and moderate attitude instead of the typical knee-jerk reaction of these green freaks.

Most incandescent bulbs are made in China (5, Interesting)

John3 (85454) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274191)

The vast majority of light bulbs are imported from China. Incandescent, halogen, fluorescent, CFL, you name it, it's likely made in China. I own a hardware store and have watched over the years as production of GE bulbs has shifted from the US to Mexico to China. It was interesting to note that some of the specialty bulbs (for example, a bulb called Lumiline [servicelighting.com] ) had very high defective return rates when produced in Mexico, so GE moved manufacturing back to the US for a while until the bugs were worked out.

Anyway, this transportation cost objection is bogus IMHO. Incandescents weigh slightly less than CFL's, but they take as much "cube" space in container loads so the cost to transport is probably similar to CFL's.

CFL are harmfull to artwork (1, Informative)

TechwoIf (1004763) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274237)

Don't forget that compact CFL put out a ton of UV light that will fade anything in the house that isn't automotive rated. Just look around the room and visualize the room was outdoors in the sun for a year and that fade you will get using CFL. Artwork hanging on the wall will get the most damaged.

Re:CFL are harmfull to artwork (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274399)

bullshit.

Are they now? (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274359)

PG&E is getting rich making people feel like they are helping the environment buying CFLs made in China that are shipped to the US using a lot more fossil fuels than they save.

Hmmm...

Container ships now carry up to 15,000 TEU (approximately equivalent to 35 100-car double-stack intermodal freight trains) on a voyage. [wikipedia.org]

Since the distance from China to the US West Coast is roughly 6000 miles, a cargo ship fill-up would have set you back at least $8.5 million bucks in April 2008. How much fuel does a container ship burn? [answers.com]

It strikes me that shipping a light bulb will cost the about same whether it is incandescent, florescent or LED.

Little practical difference in weight or bulk or fragility.

But you won't making as many runs if the florescent or LED lasts five to ten years.

It also strikes me that 15,000 TEU translates into a hell of a lot of bulbs.

Enough with the FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26274389)

Oy, where to start?

The current crop of high-flux LEDs are coming in at around 60+ lumens/watt for the LED itself. Once you factor in fixture losses (electrical and optical), you are down to somewhere between 20 and 40 lumens/watt out of the fixture. This is the same efficacy range that CFL fixtures are in currently. And CFLs are a mature technology, while solid-state lighting is not. Metal-halide and linear fluorescent lamps still have higher efficacies, but I would expect LED to approach these technologies over the next 2-3 years.

As far as the color you get out of "white" LEDs, it's not the angry blue-white you used to get and still get in the little 5mm LEDs. The current white high-flux LEDs put out a white light that looks as good or better than a CFL. Remember that white light is a broad, even spectrum of emissions, and you can't get that out of an LED without a phosphor. They've come a long way in the last 7 years (anybody else remember the green-white of the early Luxeons?).

From an optical perspective, LEDs are different from any other light source that is readily available. They approximate a point source very well, but, due to the substrate they are mounted on, are inherently directional. Every other source is omnidirectional, and this makes retrofitting LEDs into traditional fixture designs difficult. So expect LED fixtures to be designed from scratch, and don't expect good LED retrofits for the traditional lightbulbs in the near future.

Cost remains an issue, but it is coming down. You can get undercabinet LED fixtures that compete very well with fluorescent and halogen for as little as $40 at your local home center. And LED light fixtures have been available for niche applications (primarily colored light) for over a decade.

(I work for a manufacturer of LED fixtures)

Yellow Sodium highway lights need to go (2, Interesting)

zymano (581466) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274397)

sick of them.

They also need to make Led's smaller so we can have LED TV's.

They do not cut it... (1)

dindi (78034) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274417)

I am (would be) all for LEDs, but my honest experience is that they just do not cut it at many places.

One area is dive lights and other flash lights. While batteries last forever with them and they are a good thing as a backup/emergency light, they come nowhere close to a Xenon bulb or a HID light. Nowhere. Whatever the watts, lumen and other specs say, they are just not there.

I also have to agree with the dim/cold comment. Most of them are just emitting this hideous blue light which I do not want to sit in at my home. I use a combination of low-voltage halogen lights and fluorescent lights at the home, and when buying the fluorescent ones I aim for the "sun light/natural light" ones that emit a warm light inside. For the garage and other work areas I prefer the cold fluorescent lights as they are sometimes better to see things in (e.g bike repair in the garage or shirt ironing in the washing room).

For reading/computing environments nothing beats halogen lights: they can be dimmed as needed and they do not flicker. This is an application I imagine led light in actually.

Where else ? Additional lights (supporting a main source) or indicators : directional lights on vehicles, break lights and safety lights, inside lighting. For bikes as "blinkers" front and rear, for motorwikes they could be great for near surface illumination (e.g. a couple mounted on a fork on a dirt bike would give great treal visibility on slow technical sessions where you see NOTHING with a traditional light.

LEDs should last forever but apparently don't (4, Interesting)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274419)

I really want to switch to LEDs. I've become disillusioned with CFLs in recent years. The very first two CFLs we ever purchased, in the mid-nineties, -- my wife's reading lamp and the hard-to-reach light in the stairwell -- are still working. But in recent years (since maybe 2002) I've had a remarkable number of failures, often in the first month of use, and I rarely see more than a couple years of service. Oddly enough, I get longer service from the outside lights, which should be the harshest environment. The indoor CFL overhead lights (except for that stairwell light) last about a year. The worst service is from the CFL globe lights over the mirrors in the two bathrooms. I lose about one a month, and recently I've started replacing them with incandescents as they burn out.

I think part of this is due to putting CFLs in environments where they do not thrive -- anywhere you have heavy on/off duty cycles like a bathroom or occasionally used overhead. But I wonder also if CFLs in general haven't become (at least in part) victim to "value engineering", IE, making them as cheap as possible.

But anyway, what worries me about LEDs is that although they *should* give longer life, (50K hours vs 15K for CFL and 1K for incandescents) they apparently don't, judging by the LED array stoplights that have been put in all around the city. It's difficult to find one that doesn't have large parts of the array completely out or blinking madly. Around Christmas I noticed that some of them had been replaced with conventional bulbs. Looking at the technology, LEDs should do better, but it's all about implementation.

Strange... (4, Interesting)

knarf (34928) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274429)

I've been using CFL's since at least 1995, probably a lot earlier. Starting with the big Philips 'jam jar' types which lasted more or less forever - I still have some of the first lamps I bought, now more than 15 years old, they still work - and gradually moving to the more recent folded tube and even more recent incandescent form factor ones I have yet to see any trouble with them. They *just work*, save a *lot* of power and hardly ever burn out.

In other words, I completely fail to grasp the reluctance to change over, leading even to conspiracy theories and pseudo-science arguments against these dependable light sources. They may not be the best choice for all applications but they are a good match for most.

Remember, LEDs last a LONG time (3, Interesting)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274433)

The little snippet at the end of the post if off-base, but it is good to keep in mind that LEDs are significantly more environmentally friendly nonetheless. They last a long time, years and years, and they are very durable. They don't require toxic chemicals, and they are more energy efficient than CFLs.

to anyone who cracks this nut... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26274449)

I would love to see LEDs make that final leap. But, for the love of god, if someone makes a critical breakthrough please don't sell the intellectual property rights to an existing lightbulb company. Innovations have disappeared before [blogspot.com] .
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