Energy I keep hearing that LEDs are more efficient

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by oil pan 4, Jan 25, 2018.

  1. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    I keep hearing that LED are more efficient than florescent.
    So I went around my house and pulled one of every kind of LED in use.
    Most were 60 to 70 lumens per volt-amp.
    With the most efficient one being 74 lumen per volt-amp.
    That's funny because my free, but not so efficient water proof high output T5 high bay lights do about 90 lumens per volt-amp.
    And standard output 4' T5 lamps do over 100 lumens per volt-amp and the most efficient T5, a 2' GE T5 lamp and ballast setup will do 111 lumens per watt.
    I haven't actually measured the 2 foot lamps power consumption my self, so their numbers, not mine.

    Now if you are running LEDs directly off 12v power they are probably more efficient than anything. Around half of the LED efficiency losses come from the power supply, stepping 120vac power down to 20vdc or less volts to power a series of LED chips.

    Now why do people go around claiming LEDs are more efficient that florescent?
    I mean sure, LED are more efficient than T12 and at least as efficient as T8. And assume T5 are inefficient obsolete junk when they are far more efficient than most of the LEDs sold today?
  2. sec_monkey

    sec_monkey SM Security Administrator

    most quality LEDs last 50,000 to 100,000 hours plus they contain no mercury

    CFLs contain mercury n usually only last about 3,000 to 5,000 hours

    LEDs do not need to warm up n can handle extreme duty cycles while all other types of lights cannot, CFLs included

    the numbers the manufacturers provide usually aint right
  3. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Oil Pan 4, you may well be right for 115 v lighting, but the LED's ballasts don't hum, in real life don't often fail, they don't flicker, nor take a time to warm up if in a cold environment, you have a better choice of output color, they emit less heat, and they scale very well. I think for some applications, lighting road intersections or aircraft runways, some of the metallic lighting, sodium, etc, are still the most efficient lights made. They are expensive, hot, require rigidly controlled warm up times, very high voltages, and their output is a very intense point source.
    LED's are most effective if operated near their native voltage, in flashlights, 12 v solar power, 12 v automotive power, etc, and in locally sourced power. If you have to change the ac voltage, using a higher voltage in order to effectively transfer it over a distance, with the modern ballast less voltage conversion systems for many uses the new florescent lights may be just as efficient as LED's and much of the LED's supposedly superior performance is a very good advertising campaign. But the reality is that you can buy an inexpensive flash light with several hundred lumens of output, that will run for several hours on a small rechargeable battery, is rugged, cool,operates well at all temps, will have a bulb life of many thousands of hours and is compact.
  4. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    They will last ages longer than a CFL bulb. I have multiple LED lamps, similar to this 50 watts model:
    I run them at the farm, along with a number of these flood lamps, in 50 watts and 30 watts sizes:
    They are all wired to a single dawn to dusk switch, rated for up to 2,000 watts. I have them wired to a manual bypass cut off switch, as well. I find that they draw significantly less power than when we ran only CFLs. We changed out all CFLs for LEDs about a year or more ago, in our apartment. Power usage dropped like a rock, and more brilliant light.

    I will NEVER go back to CFLs.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
  5. snake6264

    snake6264 Combat flip flop douchebag

    I changed to all LED's and save about 50 bucks a month power wise and never change a bulb
  6. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    All my put side flood lamps are 250w replacement LED.
    A lot more efficient than incandescent and halogen.
    But at 67 lumens per volt-amp their efficiency sucks compared to T5.

    If it takes mercury to get 25% more efficient then so be it.

    CFL are so bad because of the cheap tiny ballasts. For example one of my CFLs which I believe is a 100w replacement uses 23 watts. Which is misleading, it uses 0.33 amps, which means it uses almost 40 Volt-amps. CFLs run a really horrible power factor, their main inefficiency is their ballast.
    My 100w replacement LED uses 9w and 0.09 amps, or almost 11 volt-amps. The LED power supply is nearly double the efficiency of the CFL.

    T5 and CFL are both florescent but the similarly stops there. T5 ballasts run a really high power factor and are very efficient compared to CFL.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
    Wild Trapper likes this.
  7. Wild Trapper

    Wild Trapper Pirate Biker

    We've been switching over many light bulbs to LED from whatever was in the light fixtures, some were CFL and even incandescent. I doubt it will make much difference as other things seem to take most of the electric we use.

    Every little bit... And I do like the look and light of the LED bulbs.
    Asia-Off-Grid, oldawg and sec_monkey like this.
  8. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    I run both 6 and 12 volt DC through out my house as well as regular AC power , the lights are all LED.
    Before LED was available I used standard 12 volt automotive lights that were only better than AC lighting in that they lived longer than AC ,and I live on solar and battery .Safer than depending on city power. I knew the CLVs were a con game much like many other government mandated issues. Had a few and none lasted, a wasted investment.
    I still have some incandescent AC and DC bulbs I use as heaters for young birds , so they still have value.
    Another aspect of the LED is it's ability to withstand shock like no other electronic device made. So much so that they are even installed on a grinder and saws that generate more shock than the vibration of a lawn mower engine .
    Your old incandescent flash light bulb cant take being dropped, LEDs can .
    On the other hand , and this is important . the LED will not survive an EMP. So put some away in reserve .and don't be too quick to dispose of the incandescent .
    damoc, Wild Trapper and sec_monkey like this.
  9. snake6264

    snake6264 Combat flip flop douchebag

    I installed for my father a security light 1000 Lumens with rechargeable Bats with solar panel for $35.00
    Wild Trapper and sec_monkey like this.
  10. sec_monkey

    sec_monkey SM Security Administrator

    EMP protected LEDs can survive EMPs

    unprotected LEDs might also survive**
    Zimmy and Wild Trapper like this.
  11. Wild Trapper

    Wild Trapper Pirate Biker

    EMP! E-gads, I'd be worried about a lot more than my light bulbs if we get a major EMP. Now you're gonna tell me about nukes? Scary stuff!
    sec_monkey likes this.
  12. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    I have to assume then that technology has changed since what I had been told 10 years ago by EMP professionals .
    Good to know .
    sec_monkey likes this.
  13. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Not only has the technology changed, nut there is a lot better Modeling of an EMP Strike available with the Newer SuperComputers... EMP will still be a Inverse Square deal, so distance is a BIG Factor, as well as the length of the Wires, (Antennas) connected to the Devices in question, and Ground Terrain... I live in a Fjord .75 Miles Wide, with 3000' Mountain Ranges to the east, West, and North.... So I an fairly protected from EMP unless it is directly to my South, and fairly close Line of Sight wise... Think Low on the Horizon, at more than 600 Miles away...

    LED Ballasts are NOT really Ballasts at all.... What they really are, is A Switching Power-supplie, that are designed for a specific set of LED Lighting String... These are very Power efficent, usually in the neighbohood of 90+ efficent... Where Phloresent Tube Ballasts run in the neighborhood of <60% efficent, usually...
    sec_monkey likes this.
  14. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    My T5 lamps use about 216 watts, they use less than 220 volt-amps.
    That's well over 95% efficient from the power supply.
    The modern DC inverter power supplies are really efficient and allow the ballast to be plugged into anything from 120 to 277v power using the same wires and with out flipping any switches.
    60% efficient ballasts are only found on CFLs today and florescent tube lighting from the like the 1960s.
    Anything that can make a LED power supply more efficient could make a florescent ballast more efficient.
    I can't hear anything from my lights, they are perfectly quite from out side the fixture.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
  15. Tempstar

    Tempstar Monkey+++

    Be good if the power company charged for volt-amps instead of watts, but they don't. The billable wattage savings coupled with the whiter color and (perceived by the human eye) brightness makes them the better value. Throw in longevity and harsh environment survivability and we have a winner in the LED.
    Case study: The hospital I work for completed LED retrofit for the first floor in February of 2017 at a cost of $216,000. That expenditure was recouped in December 2017, less than a year. T-12, T-8, and incandescent bulbs were replaced. The average per distribution panel load reduction was 61 amps, further saving money on generated heat load that wasn't being removed by the HVAC. Further savings are realized in man hour reduction for bulb replacement, recycling of hazardous materials (mercury contained in the bulbs: We had to pay to have them recycled), and burned out fixtures (from heat). I would normally replace 2 dozen "tombstones" (Florescent tube sockets) in an average year, but none in the past year. Sorry, you just can't massage the math enough to present a viable argument for florescent tubes. I fully expect them to go the way of incandescents in a few years.
    DKR, 3cyl, Wild Trapper and 1 other person like this.
  16. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    I already tested it.
    The power meters do charge for Volt-amps.
    I looked all over the Internet to find where some one actually connected a low power factor load to a meter and tested it against a pure resistance load. Just a unch of people repeating the line "the power company only charges for watts" like a drunk parrot.
    I couldn't find any one that actually tested it so I tested it and found that the low watt, high volt amp load ran the meter faster than the pure resistance load.
    I was expecting the power meter to only count the watts and ignore the higher volt-amps. I was completely surprised by the result, because I believed the old wives tail too, but unlike everyone else I actually tested it.
    So I was wrong like just like you're wrong.
    Plus generators and power inverters are loaded down just as bad by volt-amps as they are watts.
    That's why volt amps per lumen is a more realistic comparison, because it includes power supply inefficiency into the results.
    I already said that LEDs are more efficient than T12 and T8. LED and T5 can and should replace old T12 and T8.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
    Wild Trapper likes this.
  17. Tempstar

    Tempstar Monkey+++

  18. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    That is precisely why we should be looking at volt-amps instead of watts.
    I know what the difference is. I minor power factor corrected all my welders and motors.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
    sec_monkey likes this.
  19. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    I use a Kill-a-watt , & a DVM
    But I don't see what the thread is about .
    Know the type of LED !!
    I redid the shops & hangers (12K spent )
    LED tubes were pull ballast (heat wasters ) and frosted with duel side or not & 65K freq

    Know your tubes .
    sec_monkey likes this.
  20. DarkLight

    DarkLight Live Long and Prosper - On Hiatus

    I replaced most of my bulbs with LEDs. The usage has remained constant, the "brightness" (lumens) are the same or higher, and my electric bill has gone down measurably from a year on year standpoint and then stayed at the lower number since the replacement.

    The same cannot be said for the same "experiment" performed with CFLs over a similar time period.

    Add to this the fact that my power cost per KWh has gone up twice over the last two years and my power bill has still gone down...

    These are facts. Coupled with the fact that I have had to replace exactly one LED bulb (Which I had a receipt for and cost me nothing to replace), the long term cost of LEDs compared to CFLs is lower. CFLs lasted, for me, less than or equal to the life of an incandescent bulb and cost 4-6 times as much to purchase with zero power bill savings and special disposal requirements.

    My power company bills me for KWh used, not VA used, and that bill dropped when I switched to LEDs wherever I could. As such I measure watts, not VA. You don't have to believe me, but it is an indisputable fact.

    LEDs are more efficient from a power draw to lumens produced standpoint.

    It should be noted that I loathe fluorescent tubes and do in fact still have two in my house. One had bulbs that lasted 11 years, the other needed a fixture replacement at 6 years and combined over 14 years has eaten 9 bulbs. CFLs are garbage, end of story. T-anything may very well be a different story and I'm not comparing to those, I'm comparing to CFL and incandescent, and LED is more efficient and cheaper to own over the life of the bulb, especially when you buy a good brand on sale.
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