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Thread: LED Bulb questions

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    Moosing about! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    LED Bulb questions

    Mostly using CCFLs and have a few multi-bulb installations(which rarely get used) which still have some old incadescent bulbs in them(!).

    Want to replace a number of them with LEDs,but I am a bit wary of getting cheaper brands in case they break quicker especially as they are still about £2~£3 a pop,and also whether they will take longer to warm up. So what are some good and reliable brands of bulbs?

    Thinking Phillips,Osram and Sylvania?

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    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: LED Bulb questions

    I switched out all my CCFL bulbs and incandescent spots for LEDs not that long ago. Philips, Osram and GE are pretty solid (at least, will usually give you a replacement no questions asked), but to be honest I mostly went with Wilko and Wickes own brands and haven't had a problem. Warm up is much quicker than CCFL.

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    Moosing about! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: LED Bulb questions

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    I switched out all my CCFL bulbs and incandescent spots for LEDs not that long ago. Philips, Osram and GE are pretty solid (at least, will usually give you a replacement no questions asked), but to be honest I mostly went with Wilko and Wickes own brands and haven't had a problem. Warm up is much quicker than CCFL.
    Some of the installations don't get use that much - I wonder if it would be better to get some of the more expensive ones for the frequently used installations,and the rest an have cheapo ones?

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    Re: LED Bulb questions

    Just beware if you are using Dimmers. Even dimmer compatible LED's on an LED compatible dimmer don't necessarily work without annoying flickering. There are load ratings to consider as well.
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    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: LED Bulb questions

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Some of the installations don't get use that much - I wonder if it would be better to get some of the more expensive ones for the frequently used installations,and the rest an have cheapo ones?
    Could do, but then you've got to weigh up if cheapo ones would suffer from not being used in terms of corrosion etc.

    We're well protected with consumer rights, so I'd just go cheap and keep your receipt.

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    Re: LED Bulb questions

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    Could do, but then you've got to weigh up if cheapo ones would suffer from not being used in terms of corrosion etc.

    We're well protected with consumer rights, so I'd just go cheap and keep your receipt.
    TBF I always went with decentish brands of CCFLs,etc but shopping for LED bulbs around its only a £1 or a £1.50 difference anyway!

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    Re: LED Bulb questions

    I tend to just get the supermarket ones. I've tried all sorts of brands, and not found expensive ones any better. For the kitchen, the cheap Tesco 12V spots work fine whereas everyone else's needs special transformers that would be horribly expensive to replace, so cheap Tesco ones it is.

    I think both Tesco and Sainsburys have a choice now of warm or cold colour temperatures btw, but you have to dig around the shelves if you don't want the standard yellowish light ones.

    CCFL bulbs you needed to buy good ones, else they take minutes to start up and the light quality is horrible. LEDs all seem to just work instantly,

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    Re: LED Bulb questions

    I've got cheap screwfix ones I picked up 4 for £5 about 6 years ago still going strong. The only LEDs I've had pack up are little ones on our 3 light levels bedside lamp (You have to turn it on by touch - it then gets brighter for every touch then turns off on 4th touch - The lights just buzz and flicker on settings 1 to 2, work fine on setting 3 but always fail after about 2 years - The way they chop the mains seems to kill the capacitors used to regulate the voltage in the bulbs. I'd replace the lamp but its a wedding present - £2 a bulb that does ~2 years is no big issue!).

    Personally I really like the IKEA bulbs - cheapish but decent quality although you do need the bayonet to ES adaptors though.
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    Re: LED Bulb questions

    I got a load from Screwfix, some were dimmable and they worked on the dimmer without flickering. The only place I have ever had problems with is The Range, 3 out of 4 LED bulbs went within 6 months
    Jon

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    Re: LED Bulb questions

    Wish we could get these:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klaJqofCsu4&



    Seems the ones we get here actually use less LED filaments than what is ideal,so they need to run at the edge of the effiency range which gets them hot. So the backend electronics will fail especially if you go too high in wattage. But the "Dubai" lamps quadrupling the filaments,so they last longer,run cooler and are more efficient.

    If they are all going to be like that,maybe going OTT on expensive ones is probably not worth it then!
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 25-01-2022 at 05:42 PM.

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    Re: LED Bulb questions

    I replaced all mine at the last place I lived at. I went with a mixture of Ikea & Homebases TCP

    Ikea have a really good range and you can see the exact type of light in terms of brightness and colour that you will get if you go into store. Which I found invaluable, preferring a softer light to harsh whiter lights.

    Another reason for Ikea was they had some 0.9w bulbs, my housemate worked night shifts and with the huge gap at the bottom of my bedroom door the hallway light used to shine in and wake me up. Once I got these bulbs it was perfect. We could also leave them on without feeling guilty, being 3 lights was still less than 3W.

    I was about to recommend Clas Ohlson as well, but looks like they went bust at some point, they had a brilliant light display like Ikea, think I got a couple from there once.

    The way I see LED is, they are a bit more expensive, but they do last a hell of a lot longer. They have the potential of a better second hand value as well, so if you want to try alternate bulbs in the future you would still get some money back. I've yet to have an LED bulb go on me.
    I've yet to see any difference between cheap & premium brands and would recommend going on the type of brightness and colour you want vs what brand it is.

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    Re: LED Bulb questions

    I DON'T recommend these bulbs as they didn't seem to last.

    I'd definitely recommend avoiding the Energizer ones you can buy in supermarkets (2-packs if I recall correctly) too, they didn't last long for me either.

    I believe I had the same problem with a supermarket-branded set of bulbs before that too.

    I haven't had my current set of bulbs for a full year yet, but so far they seem to be going strong and I'm optimistic they'll last due to being Philips ones.

    I don't use any type of dimming though, so I can't comment on that if it's part of your use case.

    Only the first one I mentioned was a multi-bulb installation though, so the rest may not be useful information for your particular case.
    Last edited by Output; 25-01-2022 at 11:09 PM. Reason: Corrections and additions.

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    Re: LED Bulb questions

    I have switched almost all incandescents and Cfl for LED. The exceptions are the rarely used bulbs like cupboard under stairs and boiler room, which get about an hour a month, if that.

    Initially I had cheap bulbs from Screwfix. Yet to have one fail. Lounge lights went to wifi-controlled dimmable about 10 years ago. Mostly still work, though one or two I suspect have individual blown LEDs as they aren't as bright as they were. But those, while pretty good, are hard or mpossible to get now (cheap versions might be available but those were about £20/bulb, but saved buying a new expensive dimmer switch).

    The latest 8 or 10 have been Phillips Hue 'smart' bulbs. Opinion? Good but pricey. But I wanted voice control in certain areas. About 2 years in, no issues and no failures.

    Oh, one of those £20 wifi (with a little remote, not 'smart) was DOA so if you buy pricey bulbs .... check 'em all on arrival. Guess who didn't? Grrr.
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    Re: LED Bulb questions

    I've got a couple of rooms with dimmers in, I've found that all LED bulbs sold as dimmable work But you have to invest in a decent brand "trailing edge" dimmer switch.

    Varilights V-Pro programmable ones are about £16 each from screwfix but do the job very well. Cheaper ones flickered too much or didn't work at all.

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    Re: LED Bulb questions

    Quote Originally Posted by AGTDenton View Post
    I was about to recommend Clas Ohlson as well, but looks like they went bust at some point, they had a brilliant light display like Ikea, think I got a couple from there once.
    I'm sure the Reading branch was still open last time I passed it. Either that or it's longer ago than I thought walking down Broad Street!

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    Re: LED Bulb questions

    You have to have a general understanding of how LED's work, compared to incadescent / halogen. LED bulbs have a "trip" voltage, whereby they don't turn on until a specific voltage value, after which they're very voltage sensitive - so a stable voltage is essential to the lifespan of the bulb. Dimmable LED are just strobing (turning on/off at high frequency), due to the properties I outlined above - they cannot be "turned down" in a linear fashion like traditional incandescent / halogen bulbs.

    LED are also very temperature sensitvie, so you'll see bigger bulbs with metal heatsinks on the back to dissipate the heat. Running hotter than recommended temperatures actually reduces the resistence in the circuit and makes the LED brighter at a given voltage - but this is due to the higher current running through the diode and will reduce the lifespan of the bulb. Ergo - the inbuilt power circuitary needs to keep the voltage steady, and the temperatures in check.

    Long periods without both of these will lead to premature failure or colour degradation.

    LED are also instant on, and have a larger CRI value than CCFL (high CRI value - full colour range across then entire visible range of the electro-magnetic spectrum, ergo, closer to natural daylight effect and more pleasing to be in). You know when you go into a room with CCFL bulbs, and it's bright, but somehow not pleasant - that's a low CRI value.

    As a general rule I tend to buy Philips bulbs, they have a good build quality, and it's something you tend to buy once and don't need to replace for years - my main lights in various rooms in the house are 20W Philips LED - equivalent to 120W incandescent if I remember correctly - the colour is pleasing, bright, and it's still working exactly as it was at the point of install 6 years ago.

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