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A little OT - LED Lighting


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Here is Ohio, we've enjoyed some of the cheapest electric rates of anyone in the country - until recently. I got the electric bill last week, 11.2 cents/KWHr. :eek: A few short years ago we were at 6.7 cents/KWHr. Over the past 4 years or so, it's been steadily climbing.

 

A few months ago one of the 50 watt, 12 Volt, MR16 bulbs in the kitchen track lighting went out. I replaced it with an LED bulb. The light was "whiter" (3000K) than the Halogen bulb and was basically just as bright. It also worked well with the dimmer. The LED bulb is rated at only 10 watts.

 

After getting the electric bill and now having a limited experience with LED lighting, I made the switch. I replaced all 11 MR16 fixtures with LED bulbs. The kitchen has plenty of light at a fraction of the power. I also replaced 15 of the PAR20 bulbs (50 watt) in other track lighting fixtures in the house. Those bulbs only draw 8 watts each. They are not quite as bright as their halogen equivalent, but work just fine for me. These bulbs worked well with the dimmer too.

 

Definately some advantages to LED's!

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Hmmmmm. $0.112? is that with the utility or a 3rd party? That seems stupid high. What utility are you. I work at an energy consultant for large industrial and commercial accounts and know Ohio power.

 

 

That is AEP Ohio Power (not AEP Energy).

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There was a rate change in Jan, but that still seems really high. I'm primarily a natural gas guy and we don't do residential business, but I asked the electricity guy that does AEP and he said that seems really high. I just checked AEP's deregulated marketing affiliate and they are selling $0.0699 long term contracts through May of 2014. You must have some other circumstance in play.

 

I'm not endorsing using AEP Retail Energy, but you could try your luck.

 

Actually, the PUCO requires all 3rd party providers post their pricing on their site so you can GO HERE to shop. Again though, you must have some oddball rate class or extenuating circumstance to have a price as high as you do so these may not be valid.

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Our res. 2nd tier rates here are close to $0.22/kWh... I don't want to hear any whining
;)

Well yea Andy, but then electricity rates in The Golden State have historically been high... or have been high enough long enough that electric power conservation has been engrained in some significant portion of the population. And you folks don't have to contend with 14+ hours of darkness at the same time that the "thing in the basement that eats money (the furnace)" is doing it's thing on turbo-boost.

 

Locally: We've been conditioned to wallow in cheap power for the past 50+ years. 20 - 30 years ago incentives were handed out for "all electric" homes and such. There was a time (not too long ago), that the more you used, the cheaper the rate was. A lot of electrical stuff was installed in this area when electric rates were somewhere on the order of 2 cents/KWH. The coal furnaces, windmills, etc... were wholesale ripped out and replaced by much cheaper to operate electric powered devices.

 

Now that they seemingly have us hooked:

 

Over the past year, our power bill has basically doubled... and nothing's changed here as far as KWH usage as far as I can tell. What has changed is the threshold of the tiers. Ya, sure, power is still only 6 cents a KWH... for the first few KWH... and then it's "watch out Eve, I don't know how big this thing gets".

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I just checked the bill again. It is actually $0.1132 not $0.112. It says tarrif class 22 residential. The rate was $0.0901 in January of 2010. May be time for a call to AEP.

 

 

I just checked my bill (also AEP Ohio) and I'm a tarrif 013 with a price to compare of $0.081, meaning a 3rd party would have to offer me that price or lower to switch. I probably should, but haven't really worried about it in the past.

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A few months ago one of the 50 watt, 12 Volt, MR16 bulbs in the kitchen track lighting went out. I replaced it with an LED bulb. The light was "whiter" (3000K) than the Halogen bulb and was basically just as bright. It also worked well with the dimmer. The LED bulb is rated at only 10 watts.

 

I'm thick into the process of changing over to LED lighting at my facilities. I operate approx. 200ea. dual bulb 8ft. HO T-12 fixtures, and approx. 100ea. Edison screw socket 100W incadescent fixtures. I've changed all of the Edison fixtures to corn-cob 9W LED bulbs. I'm currently working on changing out the 8ft. T-12's. I'm keenly interested in any/all experience/suggestions folks may have in this matter.

 

I'm keen on breaking that dog from sucking eggs, and looking for suggestions.

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Locally: We've been conditioned to wallow in cheap power for the past 50+ years. 20 - 30 years ago incentives were handed out for "all electric" homes and such.

 

I have a friend in Philadelphia that's been bitten by this. He recently purchased an "all electric" house that has been heavily subsidized since the 60's. With deregulation the utilities are removing the subsidies in tiers. When it's all said and done I think his rate will triple. In the majority of the state it's caused prices to go down significantly, but you can't have a free market and subsidies at the same time. California tried that back in the old Enron days. Market manipulation not withstanding, the rules required utilities to sell power at a capped price to their customers, but made them buy it at market based pricing :facepalm:

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I have a friend in Philadelphia that's been bitten by this. He recently purchased an "all electric" house that has been heavily subsidized since the 60's. With deregulation the utilities are removing the subsidies in tiers. When it's all said and done I think his rate will triple. In the majority of the state it's caused prices to go down significantly, but you can't have a free market and subsidies at the same time. California tried that back in the old Enron days. Market manipulation not withstanding, the rules required utilities to sell power at a capped price to their customers, but made them buy it at market based pricing
:facepalm:

 

Locally, it's an interesting story: BPA produces virtually all of the electrical power here. BPA is the "Bonniville Power Adminstration"... which is a whole bunch of dams on our rivers, build by the Corp of Engineers, bought and paid for by the US

taxpayers. That's "our" water* powering "our" dams that produce the power that we use... the middle men are the local power companies that by-in-large (if I understand it correctly) "took over" the power distribution systems that were in-part, largely, or almost entirely put-in by co-ops (installed by the local customers). If I understand the situation correctly, the rates charged by the middle men and thus their profit margins are regulated by our government... and judging by our power bill increases over the past year, it's seemingly apparent that there's been some successful lobbying going on.

 

What's going on sure seems like price gouging... either that or it's a competition thing for transmission of power down south.

 

Something sure seems rotten in our local Denmark, and it isn't the cheese. (who can afford cheese at these power rates?)

 

*"Our water": In this state, it's illegal to capture the water that falls on your property to water your garden or such because that water is "the citizen's water"... not "your water"... so if you want to water your garden, you gotta buy it, from a spicket or otherwise metered supply. So therefore, it stands to reason that the water flowing down the river, powering the generators that produce the power is "our water". Where's my dividend check for the power they're selling out of the area? Oh that's right... I probably need to be a stock holder for that.

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Locally, it's an interesting story: BPA produces virtually all of the electrical power here. BPA is the "Bonniville Power Adminstration"... which is a whole bunch of dams on our rivers, build by the Corp of Engineers, bought and paid for by the US

taxpayers. That's "our" water* powering "our" dams that produce the power that we use... the middle men are the local power companies that by-in-large (if I understand it correctly) "took over" the power distribution systems that were in-part, largely, or almost entirely put-in by co-ops (installed by the local customers). If I understand the situation correctly, the rates charged by the middle men and thus their profit margins are regulated by our government... and judging by our power bill increases over the past year, it's seemingly apparent that there's been some successful lobbying going on.


What's going on sure seems like price gouging... either that or it's a competition thing for transmission of power down south.


Something sure seems rotten in our local Denmark, and it isn't the cheese. (who can afford cheese at these power rates?)


*"Our water": In this state, it's illegal to capture the water that falls on your property to water your garden or such because that water is "the citizen's water"... not "your water"... so if you want to water your garden, you gotta buy it, from a spicket or otherwise metered supply. So therefore, it stands to reason that the water flowing down the river, powering the generators that produce the power is "our water". Where's my dividend check for the power they're selling out of the area? Oh that's right... I probably need to be a stock holder for that.

 

 

The State of Montana is awaiting a decision from the US Supreme Court regarding the State charging a hydro facility rent for the river bed where the dam is located. Most of the dam owners in the state have paid, but one appealed. Maybe if Montana wins the case (the decision is not reversed), Washington state will do something similar and you will see a dividend too. Mark C.

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The State of Montana is awaiting a decision from the US Supreme Court regarding the State charging a hydro facility rent for the river bed where the dam is located. Most of the dam owners in the state have paid, but one appealed. Maybe if Montana wins the case (the decision is not reversed), Washington state will do something similar and you will see a dividend too. Mark C.

 

Did you live here in Montana when we had cheap rates? Montana use to be supplied by the Montana Power company and we had some of the cheapest rates in the nation. The assholes in charge decided to make the company more profitable and diversify. Instead they went bankrupt and now we pay higher rates. IIRC Northwestern energy who now supplies the state is owned by an Austrailian company. They actually did a story on "60 minutes" about what a screwed up mess was made by the idiots in charge of Montana Power company several years ago.

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Did you live here in Montana when we had cheap rates? Montana use to be supplied by the Montana Power company and we had some of the cheapest rates in the nation. The assholes in charge decided to make the company more profitable and diversify. Instead they went bankrupt and now we pay higher rates. IIRC Northwestern energy who now supplies the state is owned by an Austrailian company. They actually did a story on "60 minutes" about what a screwed up mess was made by the idiots in charge of Montana Power company several years ago.

 

 

Yes, I was living here and recall the legislation that "deregulated" the electrical utility companies. I have dealt with various aspects of the Montana Power Company bankruptcy as well in my day job. The "idiots" engaged in rational economic behavior; they made a killing for themselves and screwed the rest of us. I'll stop now, before the blood presure goes too high. Mark C.

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Rather than T12HO's, I would convert to T8 standards. That will give you roughly the same light for about 30% less power.

 

LED's are still about 3 - 4 years off of being competitive for large area lighting at high levels. I see where it's going but not there yet.

 

I follow the LED lighting side pretty closely, specifically the tech side as I designed one of the first LED lighting installations in N. CA that qualified for EnergyStar but it was pre Energy Star days. 500 watts over about 800 sq ft. SMPS power supply with PFC, PWM dimming all the way down to zero. Pretty trick, still running today (5 or 6 years later) with zero failures or maintainance.

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I just checked my bill (also AEP Ohio) and I'm a tarrif 013 with a price to compare of $0.081, meaning a 3rd party would have to offer me that price or lower to switch. I probably should, but haven't really worried about it in the past.

 

 

Until about 2 1/2 years ago, I never worried about my electric bill. I never had a bill over $190.00. My heat, hot water, and cooking are all with gas. I've gone as far as putting a switchable outlet strip on the entertainment center in the basement to cut out the few watts that each power supply uses when the system is off.

 

I know the tarrif code are different for all electric houses, houses that have the AEP hot water tanks, etc.

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I'm thick into the process of changing over to LED lighting at my facilities. I operate approx. 200ea. dual bulb 8ft. HO T-12 fixtures, and approx. 100ea. Edison screw socket 100W incadescent fixtures. I've changed all of the Edison fixtures to corn-cob 9W LED bulbs. I'm currently working on changing out the 8ft. T-12's. I'm keenly interested in any/all experience/suggestions folks may have in this matter.


I'm keen on breaking that dog from sucking eggs, and looking for suggestions.

 

 

Mainly the reason why I started the thread...

 

One of my friends installed the LED tube lights that replace fluorescent bulbs. There were about 100 fixtures in the room (manufacturing and assembly area). The balast is removed from the circuit and 120 VAC is applied directly to the bi-pins at one end of the bulb. I stopped up two weeks ago to work on a project with him and saw them for the first time. They really work well!

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Rather than T12HO's, I would convert to T8 standards. That will give you roughly the same light for about 30% less power.


LED's are still about 3 - 4 years off of being competitive for large area lighting at high levels. I see where it's going but not there yet.

 

 

I've penciled it out (with an arguably dull pencil)... my rough calculations suggest my break-even point for changing over to LED tube lighting to replace my T12's is slightly less than a year... this includes buying the bulbs and the new fixtures that will be required. The pay-off point could be considerably less as there's seemingly currently a strong local market for good quality used T12 fixtures & ballasts.

 

I've been running some test T8 4ft. 16w LED tube lamps for approx. 8 months... approx. 3,200 hrs. on those bulbs... and so-far, so-good. One of these 4ft. T8 16w LED tube lamps unquestionably (to our perspective) seems to light up a work area as well or better than double T8 4ft. 40w florescent bulbs. I'm of the impression the power draw for a double 40w florescent fixture is approx. 100watts (including the loss by the ballast)... where-as the 16w LED tube lamp draws a straight 16 watts (?).

 

So-far we're completely satisfied with the test results of the 16w LED tube bulbs... and if indeed 16w of LED tube bulbs effectively replaces 80 - 100 watts of T12 florescent bulbs... that 80%+ reduction in power consumption is very attractive... especially since the bulk (80%) of my power consumption is at the new high tier rates. If I can drop my power consumption by 80%... that gets the bulk of my power consumption down to the lowest tier rate, which will result in more than an 80% savings.

 

One problem with the tube lamps is 4ft. long seems to be the longest commonly available bulbs... so I'm changing out my double 8ft. T12 fixtures... replacing one double 8ft. T12 fixture with 3ea. single 4ft. T8 LED loaded fixture.

 

Another thing we've noticed with the test bulbs is that with direct undiffused lighting... it's a big plus to go with heavily frosted LED bulbs... the "phase issue" with the unfrosted LED bulbs will do a number on your eyes.

 

This summer I constructed an enclosed stairwell, which needed lighting. A single 60w incadescent bulb would have been suitable... but there were some challenges involved to put in 3-way switches at the top and bottom of the stairwell... nothing money and time wouldn't have solved... about $250 - $300 in materials and labor. So... for less than $50 I dropped in a single screw-base ceramic fixture and screwed in a 6w LED bulb which lights up the stairwell ducky-fine... no switches. I figured roughly that it was cheaper (at least for the first 20+ years) to just leave the 6w LED bulb burn 24-7 rather than include switches (which may or may not get used religously enough for the switches and associated wiring to pay for themselves in less than 40 years).

 

Another thing we've noticed with the test bulbs is the difference in warm-up time. Commonly, this time of year, my warehouse areas are sub freezing... the florescents oftentimes struggle pretty hard for the first 10 minutes (for approx. 4 - 5 months of the year)... and a lot of times we're in and out of various warehouse areas for only 5 - 10 minutes... to return in an hour or two... but the florescents struggle so-much to fire up and start throwing light well about the time we're exiting that warehouse area... so we leave them burn basically all of the working day, rather than flipping them on & off every time we're in the area. The LED's seem to produce full light almost instantly... so I think we'll use the light switches more with the LED's.

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I resisted the CFL fad just because I couldn't stand the light they gave off. I'm only talking residential here, so I know I'm not in the same league as some of you guys. I'm tempted to jump in on LEDs, but just looking at the myriad of choices I'm not sure what brand to go with. Is there a brand/type you guys would recommend for residential?

 

thanks,

John

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I resisted the CFL fad just because I couldn't stand the light they gave off. I'm only talking residential here, so I know I'm not in the same league as some of you guys. I'm tempted to jump in on LEDs, but just looking at the myriad of choices I'm not sure what brand to go with. Is there a brand/type you guys would recommend for residential?


thanks,

John

 

 

I went with the Phillips and EcoLights that were available at Home Depot. I made the associate put the PAR 20 units in a fixture so I could see the color, brightness, and beam angle before I bought them.

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I'd be interested if anyone has found any LED bulb that satisfactorily replaces an outdoor incandescent 150 watt floodlight with screw base.

 

 

Home Depot had some from Phillips. I didn't ask to see one, but they probably would have.

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This is exactly what my emperical testing showed:

 

A few tests were performed to further investigate the performance of SSL replacements for linear fluorescent lamps when installed in troffers. The Round 12 results reconfirm results found in previous testing, demonstrating that SSL lamps are not yet viable one-for-one replacements for linear fluorescent lamps in troffers or in cove applications. SSL linear replacement lamps installed in high-performance troffers produce similar beam patterns to T8 fluorescent lamps in the same troffers, but the SSL lamps result in significantly lower CBCP and lower overall luminaire light output than the fluorescent lamps in the same troffers. In addition, the first SSL asymmetric cove light tested by CALiPER achieved a somewhat asymmetric light distribution, similar to but narrower than T5HO asymmetric cove fixtures, but with significantly lower intensity and less overall light output compared to asymmetric coves that use T5HO lamps.

 

There are 2 parts to LED lighting... generating the lumens and delivering them to the desired area. LED is on par with lumen generation of flourescent but the gains of delivery are not as great compared with compact fl, or incan. It will get there however.

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