My Observations About LED Lighting

While on the road to Omaha yesterday, I noticed several new vehicles with defective daytime driving or running lights. These are the long or stylized arrays of LEDs (light emitting diodes) found on later model vehicles near the headlights that are designed to shine when the headlights are not in use.

The numbers of defective units I saw during the 150 mile drive surprised me. These reminded me of LED “third light” brake lights that have one or more LEDs that don’t work. It was the frequency of malfunctioning LED “third lights” and tail lights that made me rethink my desire to convert the exterior lighting of the ol’ Camry.

Earlier this year, I wanted to convert all the external lighting of the car to the new technology in order to bring it up to current standards. Not only did this include the red and amber rear lights, I wanted to replace the headlights and front signal bulbs with LEDs. I was turned off when some of the DIY videos showed that the front LEDs required cooling fans and electrical system modifications. So the car is still equipped with the factory original incandescent lighting.

It has been a different and more successful story regarding the lighting around the house. All the fixtures and lamps inside and outside the house have LED “bulbs” installed. The only exceptions are the fixtures in the oven and the microwave.

I’ve been mostly pleased with the results. This year’s electric bills have been lower than previous years. Night lights and exterior lights can remain on with very little electricity consumption. So security and safety around the property has increased markedly.

Some of the table lamps and the desk lamp have been equipped with LED bulbs for several years. The lamp at my desk has been powered by a Toshiba LED bulb since 2010. It is used about seven hours each day and has no problems at all. Because LED lighting used to be somewhat expensive, the household conversion was gradual. Now that prices have drastically come down, I was able to finish converting to all LED in a short while.

The only holdouts had been a few enclosed ceiling and wall fixtures and the exterior lights. That’s because manufacturers cautioned against using LEDs in those situations due to likely premature unit failure. Now there are LED bulbs that have been designed specifically for use in enclosed fixtures. The prices are also quite low, too.

The other type of LED application that has happened regards flashlights. In fact, it’s hard to find brand new incandescent flashlights for sale anywhere, anymore. That’s OK, because the new flashlights are much brighter and the batteries last much longer. I’ve used LED flashlights for several years, and am mostly pleased with them. I’ve had problems with a couple of Chinese built flashlights that have shoddy switches, but the LEDs themselves have proven to be quite good.

One amusing development has been the “lumens war” among elite, tactical flashlight manufacturers. The brightest one at the time of this writing puts out a blinding 7300 lumens. You can buy the “Thrunite TN36 UT” for a tidy $229.95 MSRP. There are much more expensive flashlights, too. No, I don’t have any flashlights rated more than 500 lumens nor any that cost more than $20.

These are my observations and experiences. Your results may very well vary.

The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes Nobel laureate Shuji Nakamura. “The LED light bulb is more than ten times the efficiency of regular incandescent lighting, so it can save the world hundreds of billions of dollars in electricity costs.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Environment, Gadgets, Hometown, Science and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to My Observations About LED Lighting

  1. Doug says:

    I, too, have all LED lights in my apartment. It just makes good sense to switch. My car is a different matter. I checked into putting in LED headlights. Not worth the hassle with having to re-wire and add new circuitry. In my apartment, I had to be careful which brand of LED’s I purchase. Some cheaply made devises cause a lot of interference on the VHF Public Service band. Kind of a pain for us scanner hobbyist. I pay a few more dollars, but it’s worth it.

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