• Please review our updated Terms and Rules here

Fluorescent Phaseout

NeXT

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2008
Messages
8,064
Location
Kamloops, BC, Canada
The economizing is what kills the benefits of LED for me.
The whole schtick is that an LED will last tens of thousands of hours, but the supporting hardware is so poorly designed that on average the life of the entire light can be measured in 2-3 years at best, 8 hours a day. The result is large amounts of E-waste consisting mostly of components that cannot be serviced due to how cheaply assembled the unit is, in part because it encourages one to just replace it when it fails, rather than longevity over sales.
It's the example with the streetlights suffering from LED pigmentation failure and turning purple/violet. You can't replace just the LED assembly. You have to replace the ENTIRE lamp.
CFL got the same treatment I guess. Those Circline and (T4?) style desk lamp bulbs you used to get the bulbs and the ballasted lamp base separate. Nice magnetic ballasts with the starter hiding in the base of the bulb or the ballast. By the end the spiral lights were fully integrated units, often disposed of because the electronic ballasts would overheat and fail.
 

Bob-O-Rama

Experienced Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2022
Messages
95
Location
Allentown, PA, USA, Earth, ...
I have pictures of it somewhere they are hilarious, but one batch I did an autopsy on had diodes to rectify the AC, so typical full wave bridge circuit. Each of the 4 legs of the bridge had two locations for diodes in parallel. So you could use the same part in the pick-N-place and install the 2nd one for a higher current version of the board, which is very clever. Except one of the legs, one of the two diodes was backwards and had incinerated itself, the other one doing double duty died, killing the bulb. The other one was missing two of the 8 diodes.

As for planned obsolescence? Its like The Man in the White Suit ( a must watch ). "You invented a lightbulb that never burns out? We need to fix that!"
 

rmay635703

Veteran Member
Joined
May 29, 2003
Messages
617
Location
Wisconsin
The danger with a lot of the LED replacements now is the tendency to cheapen out by over-driving the things. I took apart one of the T8 4' failed lamps. The ballast (if that's the right word for it) was fine, outputting 100VDC, but several of the LEDs on the aluminum-backed strip had failed. Problem is that since they're series-connected in several strings, when one goes shorted, the others get run even harder. The other laughable thing is that the output of the ballast is 100V, filtered by a 100µF/100VDC capacitor. Nothing like designing close to the margins...

Big Clive on YT has lots of examples of the Chinese "economizing" on LEDs. Opening one of these beasts is non-trivial.
The Saudi Arabian LED bulbs are both the most efficient and longest lasting because they discovered LEDS are most efficient underdriven.

Low pressure sodium is still far more efficient than “Merican” LEDs, they also last longer than our built by the lowest bidder UV conversion lights used in lamp posts.
They also reduce the damage to wildlife and even to human eyes.
 

Bentendo64

Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2014
Messages
48
Location
Minnesota
I did manage to come across some LEDs made by Sylvania labelled as "double life". They are standard 800lm/60W equivalent, but use only 6.5W as compared to most LEDs in that class that use 8-9W. I expect them to last quite some time. I've had some installed since 2020.

The way LED street lights are implemented around here is a scourge on society. Why do people think it's ok to put these things up without a diffuser? Not to mention the light pollution compared to even 5 years ago...

From what I recall, the phased light bulb ban was supposed to come to a close in 2020, but our president decided to push it back to 2023. I think even 150-300W incandescents are banned with this final wave. The incandescent 300W bulb will run you like $3 and put out over 5000lm. The LED "equivalent" is close to $20 (at the store here) and rated closer to 4000lm, plus you risk some color rendering issues. You could use the incandescent as cheap space heater, too ;)
Running the 300W bulb its entire life (~1000 hours) will cost you the amount of the LED replacement. The cost of electricity over that 1000 hours for the LED is about the cost of the incandescent bulb. Interesting.
 

Eudimorphodon

Veteran Member
Joined
May 9, 2011
Messages
6,751
Location
Upper Triassic
The way LED street lights are implemented around here is a scourge on society. Why do people think it's ok to put these things up without a diffuser? Not to mention the light pollution compared to even 5 years ago...

Last year they replaced the sodium lamps in the local park with LED lights that look amazingly cheap, like something they got off AliExpress. (And yeah, they have no diffusers, so they create very strange shadows that almost have this "pixellated" quality to them.) This spring we had a massive windstorm that knocked over a bunch of trees and caused some "interesting" havoc with the power grid; for a few days after power was restored half the lights in the park were strobing like a haunted house. (And I'm not talking about the normal "corner of the eye" 60hz flicker you get from cheap bulbs with bad capacitors. Obviously I didn't measure it precisely, but it was only a few hz, with the lights going to full brightness quickly and going out to complete blackness for a few fractions of a second; it made everything look like it was happening in slow motion. It's not a joke to say that for those few days the park would have been a very dangerous place for anyone with photosensitive epilepsy.*)

I'm guessing the transformer they were running from was damaged and lost a phase or something, but man, they sure didn't react gracefully to it.

(*Huh. Reading up on photosensitive epilepsy, it says sometimes it can be triggered by stripe/grid patterns. Now I'm wondering about those weird digital shadows from the undiffused LEDs...)
 
Last edited:

Chuck(G)

25k Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
44,021
Location
Pacific Northwest, USA
Sometimes you can be surprised by quality. About 4-5 years ago, I puchased a solar luminaire to provide some light on the back section of my driveway. It uses not PIR, but a small microwave module to detect movement. It has a generous PV panel and LiFePO₄ batteries. It's been through heat and cold and still works fine. The only mounting for it is a 2" pipe clamp, so it was probably intended for commercial application. The housing is metal.
 

vwestlife

Veteran Member
Joined
May 2, 2008
Messages
5,373
Location
central NJ
From what I recall, the phased light bulb ban was supposed to come to a close in 2020, but our president decided to push it back to 2023.
Again, what we're talking about here has nothing to do with the federal "incandescent bulb ban" that was signed into law by George W. Bush in 2007. Fluorescent tube bans are on a state-by-state basis in the U.S., mostly in the Northeast and West Coast.

In 2019, the former president did block some aspects of the incandescent bulb ban from going into effect, because he complained "I always look orange" under LED lighting. The current administration undid that block, which is why most incandescent and halogen bulbs finally disappeared from stores by the end of July 2023, and CFLs will also be banned by the end of 2024.

None of these regulations specifically require LED lighting to be used. If something better comes along, it certainly can be manufactured and used.
 

rmay635703

Veteran Member
Joined
May 29, 2003
Messages
617
Location
Wisconsin
Honestly, I am rarely replacing LED bulbs any more. The ones that survive just keep on surviving. Flicker from some CFL and from LED in my peripheral vision is super annoying for me at least.

I have noticed the same, my father bought a bunch of 1st generation LEDs when they claimed they would last 20 years.

Most did not which was very irritating during the hard to collect on 1 year warranty + extremely high priced bulbs.
I recently had one of those 1st Gen bulbs burn making a very stinky carcinogenic circuit board fire smell. Decapped and several bad components in the power supply. I’m sort of wondering how many of the 2008 era bulbs were bought and are left? Maybe 5% of them have survived? Definitely not 20 years.

These oldies had massive heat sync bases. Now days I decap LEDs and run them in a milky white glass dome fixtures so they stay cooler when recessed (capped LEDs die fast in these fixtures)

Ah well


One of my friends is very photosensitive netting seizures and led shop lighting really affects him (large flat arrays)

I can only imagine what the grainy ultraviolet street lights do to him.


The space heating aspect is another big use that will get lost, my grandfather’s pump area has a 100 watt bulb to light the area mounted right by the water inlets , he left the light on all winter so he wouldn’t freeze up.
No more easy bake ovens either.
I’ve even been guilt of using an incandescent bulb under my desk in the cold basement during the winter.


Back on the original topic I still have rather bright donut shaped fluorescents in the basement, they might be equivalent to 200-300 watt bulbs but don’t burn your eyes out because they spread out the light much more effectively. I plan on continuing to use them until all the bulbs and ballests die.
 
Last edited:

Bentendo64

Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2014
Messages
48
Location
Minnesota
Again, what we're talking about here has nothing to do with the federal "incandescent bulb ban" that was signed into law by George W. Bush in 2007. Fluorescent tube bans are on a state-by-state basis in the U.S., mostly in the Northeast and West Coast.
Ah, I missed that.

They installed LEDs in our office about 4 years ago, and high bay LEDs on the shop floor starting a few years before that. No issues or complaints about the office lights (other than they are a little too bright for my taste), but the ones on the shop floor are routinely failing within warranty. They had HO fluorescent out there before that.
My main issue with some of this switchover and forced obsolescence is the waste it creates. Is it really worth the energy savings?
 

Unknown_K

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2003
Messages
8,932
Location
Ohio/USA
They took a normal 100W bulb and made it slightly better at 67W for same equivalent output. The new LCD bulbs for 100W Equivalent are what 15W now? How many light bulbs does a normal house have going at any one time? The energy savings from using LED must be pretty decent. The problem is how much energy is taken to make the LED bulbs and what happens to the failed ones.

When we switched from CRT TV's to LCD the power usage went down quite a bit, until TV's started getting much larger and now a 50" LCD TV using more electricity than our old 27" CRT ones did.

Renewable energy is great if you can transport it, store it, or use it as it is made. The problem is we need all those lights when it gets dark and there is no solar energy in the dark and no way to transport energy in areas still in daylight to other regions in the dark because of transition losses.
 

Chuck(G)

25k Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
44,021
Location
Pacific Northwest, USA
Back on the original topic I still have rather bright donut shaped fluorescents in the basement, they might be equivalent to 200-300 watt bulbs but don’t burn your eyes out because they spread out the light much more effectively. I plan on continuing to use them until all the bulbs and ballests die.
I believe those are called "Circline" (originally a GE trademark). I've got the small version (15W) in my magnifier lamps. Since the things last for over 20 years and are still available, I'm not inclined to change to LEDs on those.
 

NeXT

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2008
Messages
8,064
Location
Kamloops, BC, Canada
TV's though have a fairly substantial phantom draw. On a CRT it was at most 15w to provide standby power to the IR receiver and the power-start relay circuit. Today unless you pay extra for a commercial grade panel there's a whole smart system running in the background, which itself might not be needed anymore because its own software was rendered obsolete by the vendor years earlier.
 

rmay635703

Veteran Member
Joined
May 29, 2003
Messages
617
Location
Wisconsin
TV's though have a fairly substantial phantom draw. On a CRT it was at most 15w to provide standby power to the IR receiver and the power-start relay circuit. Today unless you pay extra for a commercial grade panel there's a whole smart system running in the background, which itself might not be needed anymore because its own software was rendered obsolete by the vendor years earlier.
Although my CRTs are much smaller than typical lcds when I’ve used a killawatt meter I’ve found my “newish” 27” crt TV uses the same or lower amount of power as as my friends 42” lcd .

The narrative that lcds save power is a bit of a myth when everyone uses 85” panels
 

Agent Orange

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2008
Messages
6,569
Location
SE MI
I was at Lowes this afternoon looking for a 12" florescent lamp for over the wife's desk, and lo and behold, they had some. One whole row is now dedicated to LED lighting and the aisle with the florescent stuff is now what you see is what you get. There was a whole shopping cart at the end of aisle that was full of "I Tech" LED replacement stick-up lamp assemblies, which were obviously a no or hard sell. I Tech is Lowes house brand and they are very poor compared to GE and others. I once returned a bag full of I Tech incandescent fixtures that would not even light up.
 

NeXT

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2008
Messages
8,064
Location
Kamloops, BC, Canada
I had to replace some of the warehouse lighting at the hackery last year because a ballast had failed. I considered an LED replacement but it was $90 for an 8' light at The Home Depot. Ballasts for those 8' fixtures are no longer available, so I ended up paying $50 for a complete replacement 8' lamp just to steal the ballast out of it.
I have a very small assortment of exterior HO fluorescent lighting. Been tying to get more for years but it's hard since nobody has sold that stuff for decades and anything that remains you gotta twist the arms of landlords and developers to be "that weird guy" who wants to take weird abandoned things off their properties in exchange for money. Those ballasts have been unavailable new for at least three years.
 

Agent Orange

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2008
Messages
6,569
Location
SE MI
I had to replace some of the warehouse lighting at the hackery last year because a ballast had failed. I considered an LED replacement but it was $90 for an 8' light at The Home Depot. Ballasts for those 8' fixtures are no longer available, so I ended up paying $50 for a complete replacement 8' lamp just to steal the ballast out of it.
I have a very small assortment of exterior HO fluorescent lighting. Been tying to get more for years but it's hard since nobody has sold that stuff for decades and anything that remains you gotta twist the arms of landlords and developers to be "that weird guy" who wants to take weird abandoned things off their properties in exchange for money. Those ballasts have been unavailable new for at least three years.
The Chinese will see to it that the average life of a LED will be about 2 to 3 years.
 

Moondog

Experienced Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2015
Messages
279
Location
Michigan
Years ago I switched over to CFL's from incandescents, and still have quite a few as replacements. At first, the cheaper brands had shorter lifespans, however the ones I currently use have been fairly reliable. I have purchased some LED bulbs and set them up in places I have trouble accessing. I get the impression I'll run into the same problem with cheaper LED bulbs regarding life cycle.
 

Agent Orange

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2008
Messages
6,569
Location
SE MI
Years ago I switched over to CFL's from incandescents, and still have quite a few as replacements. At first, the cheaper brands had shorter lifespans, however the ones I currently use have been fairly reliable. I have purchased some LED bulbs and set them up in places I have trouble accessing. I get the impression I'll run into the same problem with cheaper LED bulbs regarding life cycle.
I have one CFL in a sconce lighting a hallway to my bar area, and it's been up and running since 2008.
 
Top