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Sep. 10th, 2011 @ 08:39 pm Switching to LED
Current Mood: happyhappy
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Three years ago, I did some calculations on swapping out the 50W halogen spots in the extension for LED equivalents. We did buy a few types to try them out, but none of them were to our liking: either the light was too cold, or it had a sickly greenish hue which gave people a ghoulish complexion. So while we had three various lamps hanging around, we didn't switch over completely.

But a few months back, we went to Het Groene Hert, an ecology store in the city centre that had recently been opened. There we saw a whole display of LED spots and we thought we could try one out and see what it was like -- the ad copy on the box said something about a 'natural colour'. And by coincidence, the person who runs the company that supplies these spots came by and we had a little chat about it. It ended with us taking one of the spots with us (with 3 2W Cree LEDs) to see how we'd like it.
We've had that one plugged in for a few months now, and we liked it. And since the halogen spots were failing one by one, I ordered 13 additional spots. Yes, it's a rather large investment, but it's worth it.
Yesterday the owner came by to drop the spots off. He also pointed out that he had replacements for the 12V halogen spots we have over the dining table -- so we got an additional five spots of those too. Today I did a complete replacement -- all halogen spots in the living have been replaced by LEDs.

The light is just a tad more 'bluish' and it seems like they're a tad less bright than the halogens -- but these are the best LED spots I've ever seen. Certainly good enough to get rid of the halogens and save EUR 20 per month in electricity!


The Hasui print under halogen light.

The Hasui print under LED light.

You can see some color difference (I didn't do any sort of colour correction on these photos, of course) but it's certainly within tolerances! I'm very pleased with the result, and especially with the savings.
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Glowing LED
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From:lilfluff
Date:September 10th, 2011 08:18 pm (UTC)
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I can understand halogen lights, although I have no idea why people use them here in Arizona (and yikes, someone started a fire in the apartment building with one). But LED lights are looking like a holy grail to me. Low heat, efficient, and it doesn't have the trace amounts of mercury that make some people avoid the CF lights.

I've already replaced one bulb with an LED bulb and I'm thinking seriously of switching the rest over. You can even get LED bulbs that work with dimmer switches now.

Looks to me like that LED spot in the sample picture has a softer/better blended edge to it than the halogen.
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From:merle_
Date:September 10th, 2011 10:53 pm (UTC)
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I agree about the softer edge. The halogen does seem to have a better scatter effect to mildly light the wall in a less directional manner, but is too bright right at the centre.

How do LEDs work with dimmers? I thought diodes were pretty much on/off things.
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From:vleeg
Date:September 11th, 2011 10:46 am (UTC)
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(at least in some models) the amount of diodes can vary, 1 diode is dimmed, all 7 diodes bright.
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From:fub
Date:September 12th, 2011 05:08 pm (UTC)
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If you run less current through the diode, the LED will emit less light. But if the LEDs are driven by a circuit, you can also use Pulse Width Modulation to make them appear dimmed.
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From:fub
Date:September 12th, 2011 05:04 pm (UTC)
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There is a huge spread in quality -- we've been experimenting with LED spots for years, and only now found a type with acceptable quality. It's worth it look around for a bit.

And yes, paradoxically enough the LEDs seem more diffused than the halogen.
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