Best Source for LED Bulbs?

18 Replies

Hey Guys - 

I've done the math and it is time to switch the bulbs in my home to LED.  Does anyone have a recommendation for good pricing on these?  I like the Philips bulbs best.

Any and all feedback would be great!

I'm about to try some, too.   Monoprice seems to have pretty good prices:

http://www.monoprice.com/Category?c_id=122&cp_id=1...

They have a lot of sales, and have had these on sale lately.  Sign up for their e-mails.  Best source I've found for cables and such, too.

Home Depot offers the Philips 8.5-watt (60-watt Equivalent) Soft White LED Light Bulb 2-Pack for $4.97

In your own home, the bulbs, particularly the replacements for halogen (GU-10, PHAR-20, etc) are a must - massive reduction in energy consumption and waste heat.

In our rentals, we've moved towards using LED fixtures w/o bulbs {students will finger the LED bulbs just as readily as any other}.  I find they are frequently designed to throw-off a better sphere of light than bulb replacements - which too often have a narrower zone of illumination.

LED's are great unless you want to dim them. They don't like to have less than minimum voltage and oftentimes will flicker, so you might want to test a couple before you go all in..

-Tom 

Sorry, meant maximum voltage not minimum...

TC

Originally posted by @Tom Camarda :

LED's are great unless you want to dim them. They don't like to have less than minimum voltage and oftentimes will flicker, so you might want to test a couple before you go all in..

-Tom 

 Tom,

There are several LEDs out on the market these days that have a variable driver and can be used with a common simmer switch.  We installed many over the past 4-years.

LEDs don't run directly on 110 volt AC in any case.  There's always some circuitry that converts to the proper voltage, typically 5 volt DC.  The actual LEDs are not dimmable.  They're either on or off.  

We deal with LEDs on boards we design for my day job.  The corporate human factors folks specify both the color (wavelength) and intensity for the plethora of indicators we have to put on these boards.  If you've ever had some device that had a bright indicator you ended up covering with tape you'll understand why this does really matter.  Unfortunately, off the shelf LEDs with the correct color are much brighter than the standard.   To control the brightness, we use PWM (pulse width modulation).  That is, we simply turn it on and off very quickly so the perceived brightness is reduced.  You vary the intensity by adjusting the on time vs. the off time.   The same technique is used to control fan speed in many devices.  I do see many bulbs that state they are dimmable.  I assume they're doing something similar.

Costco reasonable price and they carry multiple sizes, phillips, and are dimmable. 

@Tom Camarda - They make dimmable ones now that work great.  I've been testing a few out.

Thanks for the feedback, all.

@Jon Holdman

Here I was trying not to geek out on everyone and stay out of the weeds ... so to speak.  

The better dimming LED lights use PWM {IMHO}.  Another frequently used approach is analogue dimming.  In this scenario the drive current to the LED is altered based of the variance of the analogue input current to the driver unit.  This approach is easier (read cheaper) to implement it can have the side effect of a change in the light colour as the current is reduced.  The amount of shift has to do with the LEDs used to produce the white light. eg. the more red of yellow present, the more noticeable the shift in colour. 

I tried to explain how our LED pot lights are not actually dimming to one of the electricians a couple of months ago and, by the look on his face, I'm sure he thought I was smoking pot.

Updated about 3 years ago

There's a 'but' missing in my post above: "...is easier (read cheaper) to implement, but it can have the side effect of a change in the light colour as the current is reduced."

Updated about 3 years ago

Jon: By drive current in my post above, I am referring to the forward current (IF).

We've been switching all of our bulbs over to LED's over the course of the last year and a half.

Been using these Cree dimmable LED's for enclosed fixtures (A19 60w eq.):

sku #1000003071 @ Home Depot

It's important to note that GE will start offering rebates on LED's as of June 1 so at that point we'll switch back to our local distributor (Evergreen Supply in Chicago).

Forgot to include price of the bulb ... $7.97 is current retail

Hello everyone!

I actually work for GE Lighting here in Chicago and manage utility rebate programs. If anyone has any specific questions on LEDs or otherwise, feel free to message me/connect, I'd be glad to help.

Marvin

Originally posted by @Marvin Anaya :

Hello everyone!

I actually work for GE Lighting here in Chicago and manage utility rebate programs. If anyone has any specific questions on LEDs or otherwise, feel free to message me/connect, I'd be glad to help.

Marvin

 Is that just in Chicago?

Originally posted by @Therese V. :
Originally posted by @Marvin Anaya:

Hello everyone!

I actually work for GE Lighting here in Chicago and manage utility rebate programs. If anyone has any specific questions on LEDs or otherwise, feel free to message me/connect, I'd be glad to help.

Marvin

 Is that just in Chicago?

 I manage programs across the US, not just Chicago. If you're interested in finding out if there is a rebate program in your area you can send me a quick message. Also, if anyone has questions about LEDs or any other lamps in general I've got a lot of information at my disposal.

Marvin

I have been getting them off Amazon.  If you have Prime, they are hard to beat on the prices.

@Roy N. @Jon Holdman

 Would you gentleman have any suggestions of where i can purchase LED light fixtures at good prices? I can purchase in bulk if necessary.

Thanks

Originally posted by @Eddie T. :

@Roy N. @Jon Holdman

 Would you gentleman have any suggestions of where i can purchase LED light fixtures at good prices? I can purchase in bulk if necessary.

Thanks

 Eddie:

Home Depot carries a fair, and growing, collection of LED lights (at least here in Canada).  Commercial Electric out of Cleveland is manufacturing a good selection of LED fixtures (no bulbs).  There are several other manufacturers as well ... if you drop by your local electrical wholesaler/supplier (the guy your electrician orders through) you should be able to find what you need.

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