Are LED Fluorescent Tubes Ready for Prime Time?

Software Advice, a website that reviews software for electricians, is hosting a survey on LED vs fluorescent tubes. Specifically, they want to know if LEDs will become a standard replacement for fluorescent tubes.
So many LED tubes...but not all are the same...

So many LED tubes…but not all are the same…

There has been much debate over this recently, especially among electrical contractors. Rightfully so. LEDs promise to be more energy efficient, less harmful to the earth and more economical in the longrun than traditional fluorescent tubes. Yet there are many experts who think the technology isn’t ready for “prime time.” LED tubes are more expensive up front and improvements still need to be made in the strength of the lighting.
What do you think? Have you used LED tubes as a replacement for fluorescents? Do you think they will take the spot of fluorescents in the future? Voice your opinion by taking the survey at: Are LED Fluorescent Tubes Ready for Prime Time?

The New Light @ The New LightPost written by: The New Light

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The New Light @ The New LightHere is the original post: The New Light

Where $60 MILLION dollars in LED Research is going…

Blue LED + Yellow + Orange = ?

Blue LED + Yellow + Orange = ?

So where does $60 million in LED research going? It seems a large chunk of grants from the department of Energy is going towards improving the 3 things that we’ve been talking about for a while: Price, light output and color.

  1. Price – Bringing down manufacturing costs and ultimate end costs to the consumer by improving the materials used and finding cheaper alternatives to creating LEDs.
  2. Light Output – Focusing on creating LED dies that are brighter, lenses that don’t cut light output and cover the LED “dots” that people see in bulbs and fixture, as well as creating fixtures that can be used by consumers that are bright enough to replace a 100W incandescent bulb.
  3. Improving the color output – Researching new phosphor materials (which are currently being used in fluorescent lighting as well) that make LED light “warmer”

Looks like CREE, Philips and GE are receiving the bulk of grant money. It will be interesting to see what they can come up with as well as what the future brings for LED lighting… My question is how long until all this great research is APPLICABLE to us? 2,3,4 years? Let’s hope not…

Source: Popular Mechanics

The New Light @ The New LightOriginal post here: The New Light

So now LEDs don’t get HOT enough?

There’s always something to complain about isn’t there? Apparently, one of the main benefits of using LEDs in the millions of streetlights around the U.S. is turning out to be it’s unforseen downfall. Or at least an oversight, now that the weather has gotten chillier.

Never mind that the LEDs will last years without replacing, not to mention the work it takes to get a guy in a cherry picker to replace it, and the inconvenience of having to stop at every broken light. The fact that it uses 1/10th of the energy of regular light bulbs, saving the city thousands of dollars a month in electricity (Wisconsin saves $750,000 a year) also means that not a lot of heat is being produced by the lights. Heat that would generally melt the snow and ice that would accumulate during the snowy season. This has resulted in accidents, even a death, at the hands of “malfunctioning” traffic lights. And ergo you could say that LED lights KILL PEOPLE.

Ok maybe that’s a stretch. But who would have thought that excess waste heat from inefficient bulbs would be a good thing? I guess it depends on the environment, but I can totally relate. My PC tower definitely keeps my room a degree or two warmer than normal, which is a benefit now that the weather is finally dropping below freezing. And I remember back in college when I’d turn up the Wal-mart halogen floor lamps all the way up to heat up our apartment. I guess in this case, they might need to add a heating element to the lights. I have a great solution though. Two actually.

  1. Assuming the average light stays mostly on green and red for at least a minute or two, but only on the yellow for a few seconds each cycle, then the heat generated from an incandescent bulb in the yellow slot could be just enough to keep the light free of ice and snow without wasting too much energy. This would be the “cheapest” solution and they enough stock from the lights they removed before to last many years into the future.
  2. Retrofit a heating element in the housing so that it warms the lights/lens and keeps snow/ice from accumulating. They could have this set on a switch that turns them all on when the weather gets too cold, rather than having it on 24/7. This would be pricier, but would probably save more energy and you’re not going back to incandescents.
  3. Do nothing. The likelihood of the right conditions for the wet snow and wind to be the right consistency to stick to the the lights is very low. Have crews go around and airblast the snow off of lights that are blocked. And have everyone be smart enough to know that a non-working light means you should treat it as a stop sign. The latter is probably the hardest part to implement.

Your welcome Transportation Authority. Please send checks to my P.O. box.

via Yahoo

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