LED Floodlights

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LED Floodlights

Postby jimbo » Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:56 pm

Hi people,

I was wondering if anyone has had much success with LED floodlights (or any other low wattage globe) for driveways and just around the outside. It would be good to have a few lights we can leave on while waiting for guests and maybe a couple we can shine into the surrounding paddocks without having to worry too much about consumption.

Cheers

james
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Re: LED Floodlights

Postby Tracker » Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:18 am

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Check out Oatley Electronics... They have what looks like some good ones, and you could easily integrate them with the Solar Skylight project , to make it all 240v independent.
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Re: LED Floodlights

Postby zzsstt » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:25 am

I have several LED floodlights in sizes from 10W to 50W. They produce a large amount of light for a small amount of power used, I'm quite impressed!

However.....

1/ There is a large variance in quality from the cheap rubbish through to Meanwell drivers and quality LED's etc. Heatsinking is quite variable, as is waterproofing. To a large extent you get what you pay for. The Chinese drivers are much cheaper, but have a shorter life expectancy than the MeanWells, and the same applies to the LED's themselves.

2/ Beam angle - almost all are upwards of 120degree beam angle, some are pushing towards 180degrees. If you mount them on a post pointing straight down, 120degrees is fine. If you mount them on a wall, about 60degrees of light goes in useful directions, the rest either illuminates the wall or the sky..... Some companies make 90degree beams, these are far more sensible.

3/ Colour. A mix of colours can look awful, so make sure you pick all the same colour temperature and match that to any existing lighting you have. "Daylight" or the other high K "blue-white" lights can look great, but are quite stark. Warmer whites (3000K or below) often look more natural.

I have purchased several lights from "WattSaver" in the past, and have been quite impressed. However my last order was delayed (without notice) due to parts unavailability, then the colour was changed due to parts unavailability, then it was finally sent out with the wrong beam angle. Not sure what is going on there, because they used to be very good. I hope it was just a one-off glitch!
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Re: LED Floodlights

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:28 am

jimbo wrote:... maybe a couple we can shine into the surrounding paddocks without having to worry too much about consumption.


<astronomer hat on>
If you really need to do it, I'd encourage you to have them shielded so that all the light is directed downwards onto the ground. Lights shining around without a good reason, particularly when it is partly up into the sky, is wasted and known as light pollution.
</astronomer hat>
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Re: LED Floodlights

Postby jimbo » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:48 am

I have no problem in using Chinese LED's as i currently use a chinese led torch that performs as good, if not better than $100 torches and only cost $25 delivered.

No need to worry about light pollution as it would only affect us :)
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Re: LED Floodlights

Postby zzsstt » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:42 am

jimbo wrote:I have no problem in using Chinese LED's as i currently use a chinese led torch that performs as good, if not better than $100 torches and only cost $25 delivered.


That's fine, but remember a torch is harmless, disposable and cheap. A 240V light mounted on your wall can kill you, burn your house down, and should be installed by an electrician (unless it is a plug-in unit), all of which makes a failure a more significant event!

I had one cheap 240V LED floodlight which had been assembled with the 240V live wire trapped between the two halves of the case - not only was the case unsealed (due to the wire sized gap between the halves) but there was the potential for the case to become "live". Also, for long term (i.e. all night) usage, heatsinking becomes an issue and the cheap ones are often poor in this regard, with undersized heatsink or poor thermal bonding, which means that saving a few dollars can result in a very poor life expectancy. Most, in theory, use the case as the heatsink but some cheap light have no physical contact between the case and the hot parts, and few have any thermal compound.

If you are able, the cheap Chinese lights can be stripped and reassembled with "correct" wiring, waterproofing and thermal bonding, which will probably improve them!
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Re: LED Floodlights

Postby AC-DC » Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:25 pm

Hi All,

Well my family and I have used all sorts of LED Flood lights on our properties over the years from the cheap and nasty to the high quality ones.

In essence it is not weather the product is manufactured in china but more to the point which company in China. The basis for a good LED light comes down to the chip set that is used to create the light, and yes every LED of any standing will have a chip built into it.

The higher designed chips like the CREE are actually made in the USA with a very high standard of quality control. Their are a few manufactures in China that use the CREE chip for the basis of their LED lighting systems and these are the quality factories.

Also if you are looking into LED lights in any way now is the best time to start Why Choose CFL's Over LED's when the future for CFLs is fast coming to an end....

Don't invest in old technology when the newer types are just as effective and even better on the wallet when chosen correctly.
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Re: LED Floodlights

Postby Tracker » Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:53 pm

AC-DC wrote:Don't invest in old technology when the newer types are just as effective

I too am convinced that we are at the cross-roads.. I am considering a complete "Battery System" for lighting..
It probably now depends on the practicality of changing the fittings.

Our newer top floor would be OK, but the old (and harder to get to) bottom floor will be more fun.. We made a big deal over changing most of the Lower-Floor to PLC downers, which have served us very well for 20 years.
I suppose we could look at some kind of oyster fittings to cover the holes and fit CREE's..

PS- My main concern is for the heat-sinking needs of the high-intensity LED's..
eg.. I have seen devices with built in fans, and wonder how they will last.. ie. Will the lamp life be determined by the FAN life.
No-Fan = Magic Smoke.. = No LED
..
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Re: LED Floodlights

Postby zzsstt » Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:37 pm

AC-DC wrote:In essence it is not weather the product is manufactured in china but more to the point which company in China.


Unfortunately it is impossible for the consumer to know which lights are made by which companies, and in any case those companies will happily make any quality of light that the retailer requires. Price is no indicator, I have seen very expensive rubbish and good quality products at very low prices. Every retailer will tell the consumer that their product is great and better than the opposition's, and they'll frequently do that even when the opposition is in fact selling the same thing! There are still companies selling MR 16's for high prices, when others are almost giving them away - 3x3W "Cree" MR16 on eBay at $5 each with free postage from China, or under $11 (including postage) from an Australian eBay seller....

The problem for the consumer is that the capital expense has been very high and the financial return is based on a very long life. Unfortunately we all heard the claims of long life for CFLs, and most of us, if we are honest, know that very few CFL's last anywhere near as long as the claims, and in most cases have a massively reduced light output after a few months.

Then, of course, the claims of massive power savings are also questionable. When a 9W LED is compared to a 50W halogen, there is a power saving of 41W. However there is also (still) a large reduction of light. When the 9W LED is compared to a 20W energy saving halogen, the power saving is only 11W and the light is still reduced (according to my meter!). The LED costs between $5 (China via eBay, free postage) and >$50 ("specialist" energy saving stores), whilst the halogens were about $8 the last time I bought them. At an 11W saving, thats about 0.4c an hour saving, or to put it another way that light has to be switched on for 240hours for every $1 more than the $8 halogen. At 4 hours a day, thats two months per dollar - so a $50 light needs to run for 7 years to break even. And in the real world, regardless of claims of 50,000 hours life, will they last 7 years? Most people's experience of modern technology would suggest otherwise!

When MR16's are $5 each from China, it doesn't matter if they only last a year or two. But at the higher prices?
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Re: LED Floodlights

Postby jimbo » Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:03 pm

Not having much luck with our CFL downlights. I will wait for a few to blow and then replace them out with LED.

I'm not after LED lights for cost saving but rather battery storage savings.
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