DIY Doctor

Installing LED bulbs

Postby nishton » Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:23 am

Hi. Has anyone here installed LED lighting in their homes to replace normal low-energy bulbs? Our house needs completely new kitchen/bathroom/living-dining room and would like to go for low-energy lighting. The "normal" stuff on the market gives appalling light, and seeing as how far LED bulbs have come on these days thought about giving it a go.

Also would it be best to just use an LED "replacement" lamp or go for proper LED specific wiring?
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Simply Build It

Postby ericmark » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:01 am

LED lighting has improved. However for a kitchen the light required is rather high and although in living room and bathroom LED may be an option other than counter lighting the LED output is still really too low for a kitchen. The traditional 4 foot florescent units do give enough light but to my mind don't look very good. So I would look at the 2D lights. Either round of square units at 16W, 28W, or 38W I would consider 2 x 28W lamps which should give a good general light. Because the area where the light is coming from is larger than with a CFU it tends to light areas better than the CFU.

The units come in two types induction start and high frequency both can use same tubes. The HF units use less power and fire up better plus the tubes last longer.

Except for safety for example some area of bathroom I would always used low voltage (230v) not extra low voltage (12v) as it allows using florescent as well as LED and tungsten. Florescent is really the same as Cold Cathode where the silly 50mm spot lights are used at 230v there is no problem changing between types but with 12v the inverters used often will not run both tungsten and LED and when a LED lamp fails one may not find a replacement quickly. Also cold cathode just will not work on 12v.

In hotter climates cold lamps have been used for a lot longer than with us. Where we want the heat from the lamp clearly discharge and LED lamps don't save energy only where we don't want the heat do they help. So they have worked out a system for lighting where the lights are split into two circuits for each room with a 1/3 to 2/3 split in how they are switched. This means without using a dimmer switch they have three levels of lighting. Also unlike the dimmer the colour is still correct.

Do remember we call spot lights spot light because that's what they do. Having a spot light to light a picture or shine into a dark area is great but useless for general lighting. There is a big difference between recessed lighting and spot lighting to use spot lights to look nice in same way as Christmas lights is fine but no good for general lighting.
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