Conserving Energy with LED lights?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by minnikin1, Sep 1, 2006.

  1. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

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    We've been trying to eliminate electrically operated appliances and reduce our energy consumption for many years.
    But now that we are surrounded by Amish neighbors, I am inspired to reduce our electrical dependence even further.

    I'm considering installing LED nightlights on all the room switches, so as you move through the house at night, you turn on only enough light to safely navigate. If you want to stay in the room and need more light, you can turn on brighter task lighting as needed.

    I especially like the fact that many of these lights are motion sensing and will turn off automatically. We have a couple of fixtures that, if forgotten, might burn for days before someone notices the light was left on. (example, the basement)

    I'm trying to calculate ahead of time how much this might save, before I go out a purchase the nightlights. (I know they're cheap, but I still don't want to buy them if this won't work.)
    Do you use these and what's your favorite brand? Anyone using the directional ones?
    Has anyone found LED's that don't cast that gory blue/green light?
    Are there any that are bright enough to use as the sole source of light in the closets?
     
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  2. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    LEDs are expensive for the amount of light that they put out, but if you need the superdirectional lighting that they produce, and can afford them, they will work okay. They are improving the output and the color of them--some of the better looking light from LEDs is the kind with multiple LEDs of different colors, selected so the mixed light from the fixture is a more pleasant shade, usually due to a bit of red and yellow. We have a couple of the white LEDs for 120 AC fixtures, but they really light only a small concentrated area, but they do okay for a night light kind of usage. Still quite expensive for the amount of light, compared to compact flourescents.
     

  3. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

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    You have nailed down the most important issue, I believe.
    We are trying to address the practice of buying more light than we need. Is a 40w necessary to light a hallway when 7w will do?

    Rather than comparing to compact fluorescent, (which are wonderful, and we use, but we'd like to cut down even on these.) I'm comparing to oil lamp or candle light.
    (As far as I've seen, fluorescent nightlights aren't available. )

    I figure the Total cost would be 13.59 a year for 11 years.

    Here are my figures:

    I'm finding these LED lights a low as $3.00 ea, including the fixture and photo sensor. They cost .25 per year to operate if you use them for 10 hours a day, which I won't. They last approximately 11 years.

    If I put 2 in every room and closet I have, plugged into an outlet that works with a switch, I'd need 26 of them, so thats $78 for the bulbs and the fixtures..
    At 25 cents a year each, if I left these little lights on through out the night, it would cost $6.50 for electric for one year.


    I know this would require a willingness to adapt to some change in lifestyle. Getting used to moving around in a generally darker space would be a bit odd at first.
    As long as brighter, task lighting is strategically located and used judiciously, I don't think it would alter our way of life all that much.
    And it would be so easy to set up an alternate energy source as a back up because the power requirements would be so low.
     
  4. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    As an alternative, you could just buy a bunch of cheap 3.00 led flashlights and leave them around everywhere. I also use a string of LED christmas lights for my outdoor lighting. Comes on with a motion sensor and lights the way to the barn.
     
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  5. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

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    Where did you find LED Xmas lights?
     
  6. Chuck

    Chuck Well-Known Member Supporter

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  7. SouthWesteader

    SouthWesteader Gardener

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    They are not only expensive, but are less energy efficient than flourescent light bulbs.
     
  8. kitaye

    kitaye Well-Known Member

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    You can usually find solar chargable bright white LED lanterns at home and garden stores. We bought some for our front walk between the house and garage. They light the path enough for us to see where we are going easily. Perhaps something along those lines where you set them out to charge during the day and bring them in at night.
     
  9. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    I agree with the flashlight suggestion as that is what I use.

    I also have some "Indiglo" night lights that are plugged in for constant use. They are rated at .03 of a watt. At that rate it would take a VERY LONG time to use a kilowatt hour.
     
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  10. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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  11. d37fan

    d37fan Well-Known Member

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    I have used this place for LED's before,
    http://www.oznium.com/
    I ordered a bag of 40 white LED's with resistors and it came to with shipping around 24 bucks. You don't want to be buying these things at radio shack.
    Also check out the alternative power forum, those guys can help a lot.
     
  12. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    Hmm, they weren't expensive here. Our electric co-op was selling them for $5 a 20' string last year.
     
  13. nomanni

    nomanni New Member

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    I've bodged some SLED lights and have been using them one form of another for over a year. The latest version is just a little smaller.A few more details here: http://www.pbcheap.com/led-light-flashlights The range is pretty good too. I'll try and get some new photos of real world" use this week
     
  14. Belfrybat

    Belfrybat Well-Known Member

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    How did you find a thread that is over 8 years old? Whenever I do a search, I can never find anything over a year old. What settings do I need to change to find really old thread? Thanks.
     
  15. arabian knight

    arabian knight Miniature Horse lover Supporter

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    I know my next HD TV will be a LED one. They are better at energy conservation, better then LCD's LOL
     
  16. mnn2501

    mnn2501 Dallas

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    Never mind, its a really old thread.
     
  17. calliemoonbeam

    calliemoonbeam Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think it just depends on what you search for, lol. The other day, I got some hits from 2003 and 2004! Talk about a blast from the past. :) I didn't even realize this site went back to 2003, thought it started in 2004.
     
  18. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    > I especially like the fact that many of these lights are motion sensing and will turn off automatically. We have a couple of fixtures that, if forgotten, might burn for days before someone notices the light was left on. (example, the basement)


    Doesn't matter if its an old thread, good topic.

    I really question the above thought tho?

    I got a 20 watt equivalent led bulb, screwed it into a 2prong bulb adaptor, and plugged it into an unused outlet in the basement.

    Forget about it for the past 2 years, our house cat (sigh....) now has some light in the basement at night to find his box.

    The bulb used 2.7 watts. That is peanuts.

    How much materials and electricity does a motion sensor use? Is that ever listed? It would seem foolish to use a 5watt motion sensor to turn on and off a 2.7 watt led bulb........

    We need to be careful that our savings are actually savings!

    Paul
     
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  19. Harry Chickpea

    Harry Chickpea Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Recognizing that it is an old thread - LEDs have changed for the better in the intervening years. I solved the whole night-light issue here with a combo emergency/nite-light light in the master bath - if anything it is too bright, and a 7 watt light above the kitchen sink that stays on 24/7. We have only two places where CFLs have ever been cost effective - one bedroom ceiling light that is rarely used, and the slow warm-up to full brilliance is appreciated, and two drop fixtures where there is ample airflow for cooling. In EVERY other place I have tried them, the heat destroys the lamp within a few months. The quality of CFLs just continues to drop to the point that I've completely stopped buying them.
     
  20. Xperthunter

    Xperthunter Well-Known Member

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    Again acknowledging its an old thread:

    The cost of LED bulbs is dropping, as is their efficiency and power usage. LED bulbs come in 2 main types, standard Diode and Surface Mount; Surface mount types are then rated by the surface area in which they produce light. With the exception of 2 bulbs, my entire house is LED based lighting.

    One big mistake people make is measuring their lighting in Watts, it should be measured in lumens. I use a great mismatch of types and wavelengths of light (my wife likes the warmer yellow color light, i prefer the clinical pure white nearing blue); But my basement and garrage have strip lights run across them, powered off of a switch and have a dimmer. My office is setup the same, and contains 2 strips at 12 ft, of 5050 cool white light surface mount led strips. They produce as much light in every 2 foot of strip as a 40 watt cheep incandescent light. The entire setup cost $25 dollars, takes approx 15 minutes to install, and the power converter is more likely to burn out than the bulbs with an expected lifespan of 4 and 8 yrs respectively.

    Anyway, there are options...but its not cheep if you plan to go to a big box store and pick up your bulbs...i buy my LED bulbs online in bulk (10 at a time minimum) for about 25% of the price i find at the big box stores.
     
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