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Electronics & Test

LED Lamp Electronics: Past, Present & Future

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Cabe Atwell
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Re: Dim view
Cabe Atwell   3/26/2014 4:42:00 PM
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Great write-up for sure, it will be interesting to see how LEDs and CFLs will evolve.

I have yet to buy a LED bulb... though, I look at them all the time..

C

cadcoke5
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Re: Dim view
cadcoke5   2/16/2014 11:47:00 PM
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I think a major part of making LEDs and CFL's dimmable, is that consumers are not necessarily aware of the problem with putting regular LEDs or CFLs on a dimmer switch. The electronics have to survive being in a constantly dimmed circuit, even if they don't truely dim.


On another note, as I get a little older, I ffind I want more light to see. I am frustrated by the government's effort to make us use poor, and expensive substitutes for the incandescent bulb.

bobjengr
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LED LAMP ELECTRONICS
bobjengr   2/5/2014 4:59:45 PM
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Very informative post.  It's a good place to start when needing additional information.  I have only one light fixture in my home that's driven by a dimmer.  To me this is not really a needed option.  Again--good post.

Dimmer
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Iron
Re: Dim view
Dimmer   2/3/2014 12:59:23 PM
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JohnDoe, I believe your wish came true with Luxera SmartSwitch. Take a look: http://www.designingwithleds.com/luxera-jumps-led-lighting-smart-switches/

William K.
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Platinum
Dim them? Or NOT, some CFLs last, some don't
William K.   2/3/2014 12:57:03 PM
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QUite an interesting and informative post, and an interesting part about the TI product. The big deal about dimming is an interesting part of the marketing thing, I do agree on that. IT must be that there is a whole class of people, probably those who have time to participate in marketing focus groups, who, unlike a lot of us, are totally fixated on both the exact color of their lighting and have dimmers for every light in their house.  I do have a few dimmers and a lot of lights that don't have dimmers. So I would be happy to pay a bit more for those bulbs that I need to dim. The worst part is that dimming should be a lot cheaper, since all it would really need is a series resistor to limit the current and a string of LEDs to add up to an 80 volt forward drop. Then the dimmer would simply PWM the LEDs and that would solve the problem. NO, it would not be as efficient as the most optimized driver package, but is that the only consideration? It would probably last almost forever, and it should be cheap to build as well. 

As for the colors, it is just like the old lourescent lamps, some folks only like that dim yellow glow, which is probably fine for bars and fancy restaurants, and night lights. BUT if I have work to do, or if I want to be able to see what I am doing, I like that frosty white light. But it is a free country and if others wish to have that dim yellow glow from the gas-light era they are certainly welcome to it. But don't force it on me, OK?

I have some CFLs in a postight that typiaclly last three years or more,  burning about 8 hours a night. Of course they are base down, which does help. And I have had others fail within hours of thier initial installation. So results vary.

bwmetz
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Tired of Marketing Hype
bwmetz   2/3/2014 12:22:26 PM
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Two things...first, this article, while having some useful background info, seems focused on selling us on a new chip from TI.  Second, I'm sick of seeing articles like this that still claim 10K hours of operation from a CFL.  I don't know about everyone else, but having made the slow transition to CFLs as bulb costs became increasingly economical to replace those lesser used light fixtures, I have come to the conclusion that such claims belong only in children's fairy tales.  

I have yet to own a CFL that lasted anywhere close to that length of time, no matter what manner of treatment it receives.  In fact, anecdotal evidence suggests that I've changed out more CFLs in the four years I've been using them, when compared to the prior eight years with extended life incandescents in the same house/fixtures (no dimmers).  I also don't believe that CFLs can continue to decrease in price, at least not to incandescent levels; they are more complicated afterall.  I further doubt that we'll actually see a net savings as a society in the long run, since more affordable bulbs will mean cheaper components which will result in more early failures and more costly disposal thanks to the mercury and components within.

I also agree with the comment on LED color.  Until CFLs came along, when did the avg consumer ever shop the local hardware or grocery store for incandescents by color temp?  You had very simple choices like soft/clear or soft/bright.  More options such as "daylight" didn't really appear until after CFLs hit the market.  The in-store color temp displays for CFL and LED try to help, but can't tell you what it'll look like in your house after dark.  It's a pricey learning curve to buy them all, only to find that they're much less forgiving than an incandescent, i.e. what may look good in the living room may not mesh with the kitchen.

SherpaDoug
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Gold
Re: Dim view
SherpaDoug   2/3/2014 11:23:08 AM
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About a third of the bulbs in my house are in closets and crawl spaces where they probably run less than an hour per year.  They have the original bulbs from when the house was built and the bulbs will probably outlast the house.

With such low level use the purchase cost far exceeds the energy cost.  Why are we being forced to use expensive high efficientcy bulbs where they make no sense?

btwolfe
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Gold
Re: Dim view
btwolfe   2/3/2014 11:02:09 AM
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bob,


Sounds like you just bought the wrong product. I picked up a couple LED flood lights this weekend and the selection of colors and brighnesses was far broader than either the incandescent or CFL selection. Yes, you can buy a 6500K bulb (daylight) that is too blue and extremely harsh, but, as with the 3000K bulbs I got, an LED bulb can emit light that is indestiguishable from incandescent.

I am in agreement with everybody else on this topic that I'd rather have a cheap LED bulb instead of a dimmable one. Paying $35 for a LED flood light is rediculous, and that was the cheapest one.

EricMJones
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Gold
Re: Dim view
EricMJones   2/3/2014 10:58:48 AM
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Bob in Maine: So what did you buy? LEDs that meet your criteria are easily available. Shop around and get what you want. If you bought shoes that were too small or hurt your feet, you wouldn't quit wearing shoes!

bob from maine
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Platinum
Re: Dim view
bob from maine   2/3/2014 10:29:03 AM
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I don't know if we can do without dimming. A recently purchased LED lamp has an output that is harsh and in a color range I am not accustomed to. Dimming does not change the color, only the brightness, but does make it more tolerable (barely). If I lived in a white house with black curtains and no wood furniture I am certain LED's would be perfect but so far LED lighting is not part of my future. Perhaps I can go back to candles and only use LED's for reading.

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