The Cool House: LED
Showing posts with label LED. Show all posts
Showing posts with label LED. Show all posts

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Good for another 25

Another CFL downlight blew in the kitchen last week. They are supposed to last 5 years but we have averaged 18 months, not really good enough considering the price ranges from 5 to 9 bucks a pop. I was so mad I decided we were going to try the Cree LED lights I posted about here, which come as bulb and housing in one piece. They are reputed to last 25 years - far longer than I expect to be living in the US, let alone this house - and take no more than a few minutes to swap with the old cans. We set out to buy one as an experiment - if the unit was as easy to install as the video promised we'd replace them all. By sheer good fortune, we found out Home Depot is having an eco-friendly sale so those $50 lights were only $35 each. If the trial LED fit, I'd go back and buy the other thirteen.

We watched the video, read the enclosed instructions, turned off the power and went for it. The old housing had a plate we had to take out, and The Guy had to undo the wires to take it off but that was the only scary part of the process. He scewed the new housing on to the old socket, pushed the unit up until it clicked in place. Then we turned on the power and stood by. Unlike the other LED lights I bought for the mudroom the Cree Ecosmart are instant on and have a nice bright light. The best thing is that bulb is enclosed behind a diffuser so that lightbulb isn't noticeable. We were sold.

The most difficult part of the LED downlight changeover? Getting our hands on fourteen light bulbs. It took four trips to three different Home Depots in two counties to garner all thirteen.

I delivered the first nine home and by the time I got back with the final four The Guy had walked the dog and installed all the downlights. All. By. Himself. No drama, no emergency call for help. Who is this chap and what has he done with The Guy?

Twenty minutes later we had three piles of trash - plastic, cardboard and original plates and a kitchen with one-style eco-friendly lighting.

Thanks to Cree Lighting and The Guy we can enjoy a maintenance-free lighting system in the kitchen and see what we are doing without getting overheated... like painting the walls and ceiling!

Friday, October 08, 2010

Outlets (or Sockets) & LEDs

We decided to replace twenty-three electrical outlets along the baseboard - all the new baseboard, around the first floor - because nothing says tacky like forty year-old black 'n' greasy outlets on spanking new baseboard. We could do this ourselves but we decided to get the electrician in. I keep referring to them as sockets and he's all "What? Oh, you mean outlets". Every. Single. Time. I swear if he does it one more time I will refer to it as the "female electrical connector". My only revenge is that it's him lying on the hardwood floor sighing deeply and not me.

As a floodlight in the mud room had blown I decided to fork over the $50 to see what kind of light the LED would give me. I won't lie that there's a nano second delay but the light is so clear and bright it won me over immediately - the contrast with the first generation yellowish CFLs is astounding. So much so that I dove back to Home Depot to get two more. Unfortunately they only had one - so someone must be spending the fifty bucks for eco-friendliness. I'll have to increase my carbon footprint by driving to another store a few miles further or bite the bullet and order the fourteen bulbs online for the kitchen while I'm at it.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

LED Downlights

I was wandering through the eco-friendly section of the lighting department of Home Depot the other day in search of a replacement bulb for the recessed cans in the kitchen when I spotted something new - LED downlights from Philips. Normally I'd be the first one to jump on an eco-friendly upgrade (which is why I have 6 different bulbs in my kitchen - all different lumens and kelvins) but the price made me choke. The Philips Ambient LED was pennies short of $70. To do the job properly I should replace all 14 lights in the kitchen, plus the three in the mud room/corridor, which would cost ::GASP:: well over a thousand bucks.

When I got home I started to look around for other LED manufacturers and found one Cree Lighting that offers an Ecosmart bulb for an affordable $50. The company claims each bulb will save $300 over its lifetime and that lifetime should be a long 35,000 hours or approximately 30 years. They are basically telling me I'd never have to change a lightbulb again. And the video shows how simple it would be to install.

What do you think? Obviously no one can test the veracity of the claim to the longevity of these bulbs but has anyone out there tried these LED lights? Is the Easy White color as natural as they claim? Is there a reason they are twenty dollars cheaper than the other brands? I'd really like to have the lighting issue in the kitchen sorted once and for all but I can't justify spending such a huge amount of money on a promise.