LED Lights, Marketing vs reality. Mk II

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Re: LED Lights, Marketing vs reality. Mk II

Postby offgridQLD » Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:29 am

That's it spot on. Mains electricity is for all we are concerned a unlimited supply. Its only the cost that usually limits how much people want to consume. The average punter and the well to do are two different worlds.

While we squabble over a few watts saving there are homes out there burning through a crazy amount of energy . Hey its only $.

last year I was at my old mans house in SA. When my Dads partner mentioned she dryers all a in 100% of there washing in the dryer because a few birds crapped on the it one time when she hung it outside. :shock: . It's summer and 40C out side . It would dry in 20 min for free on the line and she is burning 3000w for hrs on end running the dryer after each load. Heating up the house while the AC unit is fighting the heat at the same time and they do that all year. Hey its only $ :lol: .

I have been helping some friends of ours finish off a renovation project in a well to do are of inner Brisbane. To make the money. They are forced to build What the buyers in the area demand from a home. It's disgusting from a energy consumption point of view. While they demand things like LED lighting for the feel good effect and its all the rage. They have 20KW ducted AC units running all the time along with heated pools, double shower outlets you could wash a truck under, built in ice making refrigerators the size of a pantry.

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Last edited by offgridQLD on Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: LED Lights, Marketing vs reality. Mk II

Postby bpratt » Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:03 am

FWIW, I heard in passing on the TV that the Federal seat of Brisbane which is currently held by the LNP, is looking likely to go to the Greens.

Sort of makes sense when you mention how enviromentally unfriendly the buildings that the constituents of that seat live in, and how impression is far more important than doing the right thing in reality is in the first place.

Greens, green on the outside, red on the inside. :lol:
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Re: LED Lights, Marketing vs reality. Mk II

Postby offgridQLD » Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:17 am

Though our city house is in that same Division its not that kind of house.

The one I was talking about is in Ashgrove and the trend there is to take a old reasonably well designed from a energy point of view Queenslander. Then they build it in underneath, throw in lots and lots of glass facing the sun. Then take up 90% of the block with extensions out in every direction and top it off with a shaded swimming pool that needs heating. So from the front it looks like nothing has change but after entering the building you see its a energy hogging yuppy shrine.

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Re: LED Lights, Marketing vs reality. Mk II

Postby LEDMAD » Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:03 am

zzsstt wrote:On the other hand, there are vast numbers of MR16 track systems and MR16 systems already installed, and replacement LED "globes" available at every supermarket. It is also worth noting that many of the "dedicated" LED lights being produced are based on non-replaceable light fittings


MR16s are still a poor choice for LED lighting. You have double the electronics to go wrong. Some electronics in the driver (or transformer) and then more again in the light itself. In addition, the electronics in the light are sitting right next to the hot LED chip, raising the temperature significantly of the electrolytic capacitors and leading to higher failure rates. Further having two sets of electronics, from different vendors, can often lead to incompatibilities. So you can get unwanted effects, like flicker. So when you replace a MR16 LED, you are also replacing the electronics in it as well. Often throwing out a good LED chip and good aluminium heat sink because the overheated electronics failed.

Also, the LED lights currently sold in supermarkets are pretty poor (short warranty, low efficiency, etc..).
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Re: LED Lights, Marketing vs reality. Mk II

Postby zzsstt » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:50 am

LEDMAD wrote:MR16s are still a poor choice for LED lighting.

Also, the LED lights currently sold in supermarkets are pretty poor (short warranty, low efficiency, etc..).


Again, in theory I agree entirely. But... I must say I'm not at all convinced with the life expectancy claims for any LEDs, so any light with non-replaceable "globe" (and here I include the electronics) is questionable. When you factor in a 5% per year failure rate, and whilst that is admittedly for an MR16 it is a Philips and therefore hopefully a quality MR16, you must have replaceable "globes".

So now we are looking for an efficient, high quality but not too expensive, good looking LED light fixture that is a DIY proposition (so basically 12V, either AC or DC). That's when it start to get tricky!! It also involves a refit or renovation to achieve.

On the other hand, in the flat I was discussing a simple replacement of all the 50W halogens with 7W Philips (BrightGreen, whatever) LEDs would save an absolute minimum of about 1kWh each and every day. Probably nearer twice that on most days. With almost no effort. Yes its a poor choice, but the 80:20 rule, KISS etc. suggest that we should worry about the low hanging fruit first. The option to drive them directly from solar is simply an attempt to use the existing fittings with as little effort as possible. If I said to the lady in question that for $500 she could run all those lights through most days with no mains usage, she (just) might agree. If I told her that she needs to rip out all her lights, patch the holes, repaint the ceiling and fit some "ugly" (or even simply "visible") lights, at a cost of thousands and with tradesmen stomping around for several days, the chances are far lower that she'd agree.

And whilst the non-MR16 lights might be technically a better choice, in a full analysis of cost (financial, energy and "pollution"), I'm not so sure it would actually win out! Sometimes the best technical solution is not the best real world solution! Did somebody say NBN? ;)
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Re: LED Lights, Marketing vs reality. Mk II

Postby zzsstt » Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:11 pm

offgridQLD wrote: To make the money. They are forced to build What the buyers in the area demand from a home. It's disgusting from a energy consumption point of view. While they demand things like LED lighting for the feel good effect and its all the rage. They have 20KW ducted AC units running all the time along with heated pools, double shower outlets you could wash a truck under, built in ice making refrigerators the size of a pantry.


When I built my house I had to do an energy audit process called BASIX. As we change the rules every 5 minutes I don't know if it is still in place, or even if it was nationwide or just NSW. Some of it was stupid (water saving shower heads etc., when I'm on tank water - hey, that's my decision!) but a lot of it made sense. We also had a local council requirement to use "light coloured roofing materials.

Yet the new McMansions that are being built in town all have BLACK colourbond (sometimes tiled) roofs, because that's what's fashionable. And huge aircon units. There are only four explanations I can see:

1/The energy audit process has been dumped.
2/ These people are simply lying because they know they will never be inspected for compliance.
3/ They are exploiting some loophole in the calculations that allows the selection of a few "green" products like LED lights and water saving toothbrushes to offset the 200m^2 black roof.
or
4/ The idiots designing the audit have also been sucked in to the money-go-round of the green industry, to the extent that they ignore basic good design in favour of "green candy".
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Re: LED Lights, Marketing vs reality. Mk II

Postby Bthree » Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:48 pm

zzsstt wrote:And whilst the non-MR16 lights might be technically a better choice, in a full analysis of cost (financial, energy and "pollution"), I'm not so sure it would actually win out! Sometimes the best technical solution is not the best real world solution! Did somebody say NBN? ;)


I agree with you entirely zzsstt and I have adopted this as my policy for our home which had A few 50watt MR16 downlights from new. Remember you may want to sell your home some time in the future and the new owner may be totally non technical ... the y will just want to replace a light globe when it stops.

Over the last two or so years I have trialled may different types of MR16s but they all failed my visual test of comparison to a 50watt MR16 60degree globe, firstly for actual light output and secondly for general light dispersion around the room finding an LED MR16 60deg could nearly illuminate the area directly under the fitting but there was no splash-over of the light around the rest of the room as a standard halagon globe does.

Even downgraded the Halagons from 50 to 35 watts which was OK but not good enough on the kitchen.

Along came the Philips master series in 9.5watts saying equal to a 50 watt halagon, so I flashed out and bought a couple (LEDMAD's site designates them as 2012 model, very handy site BTW).
Yes they were just a fraction brighter than the 35watt halagon and produced the same splash over effect due to a Perspex disc just below the four emitters. Hang on whats that noise, reading on they have a small fan in them.. bugger cause they are good, work off a standard transformer, plug directly into an MR16 fitting, and present a complete seal (they are a fraction larger than a standard MR16) so no air movement between ceiling space and the room (I used the small non swivel 70mm standard MR16 fitting).

Along came the Philips Master MR16 replacement 2013 model now only 7watts but the fan has gone replaced with fins that allow air flow from ceiling space to the room but they have essentially the same light output qualities.

They come in lower wattage and 24, 35, and 60 degree beam widths the 24s ideal for hallways and spots.
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Re: LED Lights, Marketing vs reality. Mk II

Postby davidg » Wed Sep 04, 2013 7:02 pm

zzsstt wrote:When I built my house I had to do an energy audit process called BASIX. As we change the rules every 5 minutes I don't know if it is still in place, or even if it was nationwide or just NSW.

Thats NSW only to my knowledge , Vic has a different system. The other big issue is that once a residence is built the requirement to continue to meet it goes out the window, in all states. So it might be "energy efficient" at least to a standard at the beginning, means nothing 5 minutes after it's built and signed off on. :(
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