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It is 2020 and incandescent is still better than LED

 
pollinator
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Cris Bessette wrote:Christmas LED strings generally do not use any rectification, they simply put the LEDs in series to drop the current and run them on AC

(The LEDs are only on during the positive going cycle, thats why you can see a 30hz flicker)


How would current drop by adding bulbs?, I think what you meant was what I said about adding enough leds in series to match the 120 volts of the ac supply. generally multiples of 30.

I never cut them open to check, but most(all?) of the strings I've played with seem to have a solid molded plastic bit attached just after the plug and I assumed it was a cheap mini rectifier circuit. Since leds are all diodes anyway, adding 4 more in a rectifier circuit would seem to be a minor thing and give twice the light.

I admit that i've never checked the voltage past that suspicious plastic to see if it was ac or dc, sounds like a good project sometime, would pulsing dc show up as dc on a cheap multi meter, cause I don't have an oscilloscope.
 
gardener
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Each LED uses about 10-15 ma.  Red LEDs use about 2 volts and blue/green/white LEDs use about 3 volts.  

The only LED Christmas lights I've seen that run on DC are small battery powered sets and ones that have controllers integrated for different flash patterns.
Yes, Christmas light sets would look better without the 30hz flicker, but they are cheaper to produce without the extra diodes / capacitors necessary to make smooth DC to run them.  
 
pollinator
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It's cool to see this thread still alive.  I'm doing the debate after completing the construction on my small "office"

Going to go incandescent for the final recessed lighting when I get around to it...one of these days!  
 
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Very interesting discussion! Some points I had never heard or considered.
Pretty happy with the LED bulbs we have here, and doubt incadescent would work well with our DC Microgrid. Being able to have light in the evenings year-round, even through weeks-long cloudy spells, with just one 100 amp-hour battery set providing light (and electronic charging) for the twelve of us, is pretty awesome. The LEDs might not be quite as "cozy," but they are making some with warmer yellow light, and the passive solar and straw bale insulation help keep us warm in the winter.
Don't know how the complexity and toxicity of DC LED bulbs compares to AC, but are LEDs really a lot more toxic than an incadescent? Pardon my ignorance, but I never heard mention of this before.
In any case, since using DC LED bulbs allows us to provide lighting with a small, affordable set of durable, non-toxic nickle-iron batteries (http://livingenergylights.com), which (together with "daylight drive" DC energy right off the solar panel to power larger motors - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5Wk7inoIxI) allows us to break our dependence on the grid and more destructive approaches to off-grid living, I still stand by them as the best option, at least for our systems.
 
pollinator
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They are certainly use-appropriate, depending on the use. I was reminded of this when my much-better-half plugged in a string of ornamental incandescent bulbs strung in our kitchen on an overcast and chilly, but otherwise perfectly bright, day. When I asked why, she told me that her dough was proving, and that the bulbs made an excellent heater, better than the electric baseboard we have as an alternative.

We might not have that option in the future, as heating with lightbulbs might be prohibitively expensive on an off-grid solar setup.

-CK
 
master gardener
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The word "better" is so interesting.  At the moment I am very narrowly thinking of my outdoor flood lights.  I dont like mercury  vapor lights that turn on at night.  But, there are times I do need to throw a good deal of light onto my back yard to check my livestock. Using led frees me from having to climb a ladder to replace those bulbs.  
 
Chris Kott
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I think this conversation is interesting because incandescents can improve so very much, and that improvement will remove a lot of what is being touted as being of benefit.

If, for instance, you have a glass-coated, insulated filament inside a bulb, the life of that filament, and therefore the bulb, barring mechanical disruption, is greatly increased because it isn't subject to the rapid temperature swings of a conventional incandescent filament. But in so doing, even though the efficiency of the bulb might improve by 40%, it would cease to be such a great heater.

Personally, I disagree with the use of the word "better" in this context. Not that I hate on incandescents, obviously. But I have known since I was a little child that the electric baseboard heaters weren't good because they used electricity, which was expensive, and that even the pot-bellied iron stove was better, though you couldn't touch it when it was on, because it ran on wood, which you could get right outside, for a little forethought and elbowgrease.

A stray thought that occurs to me is that if it were a possibility to get a red-light LED spot to check your cattle, you could do so without ruining your nightvision, and the way most of these things are constructed, it basically wouldn't make sense to build one that doesn't also have a white light switch, for purposes of startlement (the predators, not the cattle, although I don't see it working much differently). Adding to this, I honestly wonder what the comparative output potentials are, considering comparative cost outlay. Perhaps not for the units, but those bulbs and setups can be freaky expensive, too, but honestly, if you had an LED system pumping the same power as your HIDs or mercury vapour bulbs, what kind of output could we be talking? Because the way I understand it to work, that's a lot of fucking lumens. That's "careful not to blind the cattle" bright. That's "put a lens on it and fry the coyotes" bright.

Well maybe that's just a bit of hyperbole, but honestly, what other -bole is any fun at all?

But they do advertise those (probably illegal, probably not a bright move, considering how often I momentarily blind myself with normal flashlights) "self-defense flashlights," which for the footprint I would bet are extreme-high-output LEDs (they fit in what appears to be a conventionally-sized to large flashlight casing). So perhaps a cattle-defense model with a red-light mode might exist.

Either way, in most every application except as heating, incandescents still far outpace what came before them for most applications, and retain niches into modern day in which they excel. The technology has room for theoretical improvement that would lend it even more versatility through gains in efficiency, at the cost of their efficacy as space heaters.

I would, without a doubt, agree that incandescents are better inside my oven than anything else I can imagine. Mercury, circuitry, nonsense. Don't mix that with my much-better-half's baked deliciousness.

-CK
 
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is there such a thing as a led heat lamp that can keep chicks alive?
back in the day when a friend and I did lots of dumpster diving in industrial areas we would find fluorescent tubes by the case full with a couple broken ones in the box the whole case would go to the dumpster I'm still using these, probably have at least one case full left.
free light bulbs are better than ones that cost $$$$. and why not use what would otherwise go to landfill unused. just keeping a bit out of landfill for now. just my $0.02 on subject.
 
steward & bricolagier
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bruce Fine wrote:is there such a thing as a led heat lamp that can keep chicks alive?


No. LED's run cool. So they can't warm up chicks.
 
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