Discussion:
LED Bulbs 2 for $5 at Home Depot
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Keith
2015-04-22 00:22:13 UTC
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Three month promo. These bulbs will be 2 for $5 starting next month at
Home Depot:

http://www.wired.com/2015/04/philips-cheap-led-bulbs/
aruzinsky
2015-05-06 21:36:06 UTC
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"For the lighting spec-trackers, it puts out 800 lumens, and will be available in both 2700k and 5000k color temperatures."

That is a lie. The 5000k versions are not on sale at Home Depot. Thus, more people will buy 2700k bulbs, get SAD, and commit suicide.

Strange thing. I rarely used an incandescent bulb for home lighting that was below 100 watts and I think that I am not alone in that regard, but, now, manufacturers and stores expect everyone to buy 60 watt equivalents or pay an exorbitant price.
m***@att.net
2015-05-09 07:10:47 UTC
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Post by Keith
Three month promo. These bulbs will be 2 for $5 starting next month at
http://www.wired.com/2015/04/philips-cheap-led-bulbs/
Thanks for the tip! I bought a 2-pack last week, on 1 May.

A few weeks before that, I bought a Philips "A-shape but squished in the
middle" LED lamp at Home Depot for $5.97 + tax. This price was
subsidized by the local power company. I didn't have to fill out a
rebate or anything; the subsidy was already included in the shelf price.

Most of my house has CFLs, mostly Great Value (Walmart brand) 60 W or
100 W equivalent. I also have a few packages of GEnuine General
Electric 60 W Soft-White lamps; they are the real deal 60 W, before all
of the "52 W = 60 W" and "43 W = 60 W" stuff started.

I tested four lamps against each other on 8 May 2015. The GE 60 W and
the Philips A-shape LED were brand new; I did let them both run 5 minutes
to warm up. The Philips squished LED has been run for probably a few
dozen hours. The Great Value 60 W equivalent CFL has been run for
probably a few thousand hours; I didn't have a new one to test with.


The contestants, and what they claimed on their packaging:

Brand Type Shape lm W Hours K Temp Dim? TE? damp?
GE incand A19 840 60 1,000 ns ns ns ns ns
GV CFL spiral 825* 13 8,000 2700 +5F/-15C N ns +
Philips LED squish 800 10.5 25,000 2700 -4F/-20C Y N Y
Philips LED A-shape 800 8.5 10,958 2700 -4F/-20C N N Y

ns = not specified
* base-up, base-down "may be more than 5% different"
TE = suitable for use in totally enclosed fixture
+ "do not use where directly exposed to water"

The Philips A-shape LED didn't claim hours; it says it lasts 10 years
at 3 hours per day, 7 days per week. I calculated 10 * 365.25 * 3 to
get 10,957.5 hours.


How they looked to my watt-hour meter:

V A W VA Hz Power factor
GE incandescent 124.0 0.51 62 62 59.9 0.99
Great Value CFL 124.0 0.15 10 18 59.9 0.59
Philips squish LED 124.0 0.09 9 11 59.9 0.83
Philips A LED 124.0 0.10 7 12 59.9 0.61

Meter is a P3 International KILL-A-WATT P4400, S/N SH120xx. It always
reads 59.9 Hz; I am on regular utility power, not a generator,
inverter, etc. I have a normal residential tariff, so I only pay for
watts; they don't care about the power factor.

The line voltage usually runs 123-125 V in my area. I call it the
"CFL encouragement program".

It's interesting that both the CFL and the LEDs draw rather less than
what they claim on the box, at least in watts.


How they looked to my eyeballs:

I don't have any equipment to measure brightness. I ran all four lamps,
one at a time, in a vertical outlet with an adapter similar to this one
http://www.leviton.com/OA_HTML/ProductDetail.jsp?partnumber=61-I&section=48515
. In other words, they were running base-horizontal, with no shade,
diffuser, etc. The room, about 12' x 12', was otherwise dark.

The incandescent and the two LED lamps appeared about equal to me. The
CFL appeared to be slightly less.

I also tried all four lamps on a switched outlet strip. I turned it on,
closed my eyes, turned it off, and opened my eyes. The spiral CFL and
Philips A LED seem to get dark more or less instantly. The Philips
squished-A LED and the incandescent lamp "ramp down" over about the same
amount of time.


How they behaved on a dimmer:

I installed all four lamps in a ceiling fan fixture that was controlled
by a Hunter fan controller and light dimmer from before 2009. The fan
was not running. I don't know if the fan and light have their own
circuits back to the dimmer, or if it's the type with a module at the
fan.

GE incandescent Normal. Did not turn off at 0% dimmer setting.
Great Value CFL Normal brightness from about 33-100% dimmer setting.
Reduced brightness from 0%-33% dimmer setting.
Philips squish LED Tracks the dimmer setting, but doesn't get as dim
at 0% dimmer as the incandescent.
Philips A LED Normal brightness from about 33-100% dimmer setting.
Reduced brightness from 0%-33% dimmer setting.


Money and guarantee stuff:

Warranty
Cost ea Pkg stated calc How to get warranty
GE incandescent 0.50? 4 ns
Great Value CFL 1.22 6 2yrs*4hrs 2922 return to store
Philips squish LED 5.97 1 3yrs*3hrs 3288 mail bulb+receipt+PP
Philips A LED 2.485 2 3yrs*3hrs 3288 mail bulb+receipt+PP

ns = not specified
PP = proof of purchase

The price on the GE is from memory. The price on the Great Value CFLs
is the current price, which is for a slightly different part number
(14 W, 900 lm). I think I may have paid closer to $1.50 for this CFL.

The warranties are given in terms of years and hours per day. I
calculated how many hours that works out to.

The warranty is nearly worthless on the Philips A LEDs. The cheapest I
can send an 8-ounce package from the Kansas City area to the New Jersey
zip code on the lamp packaging is First Class Parcel at $3.22, which is
more than the lamp costs. If I can get the lamp and packaging to 3
ounces, it would be $2.32 to ship... just barely worth it.


Some figures:

Lumens per...
claimed measured dollar for
watt watt a single lamp
GE incandescent 14.0 13.5 1,680
Great Value CFL 63.5 82.5 676
Philips squish LED 76.2 88.9 134
Philips A LED 94.1 114 322

I know "lumens/$ for a single lamp" isn't a great metric, but I think
it's one a lot of people unconsciously apply when shopping for lamps.


Enough lamps to last 2,922 hours (the shortest guarantee)
$0.14/kWh, which is about what I pay
Each lamp consumes its measured wattage

Lamp Energy Total Lumens/$,
count cost kWh cost Cost total cost
GE incandescent 3 $1.50 181.2 $25.36 $26.86 31.3
Great Value CFL 1 $1.22 29.2 $4.09 $5.31 155
Philips squish LED 1 $5.97 26.3 $3.68 $9.65 82.9
Philips A LED 1 $2.49 18.4 $2.57 $5.06 158

The A LED wins, mostly because of its low purchase price.


Enough lamps to last 25,000 hours (the longest claimed life)
$0.14/kWh, which is about what I pay
Each lamp consumes its measured wattage

Lamp Energy Total Lumens/$,
count cost kWh cost Cost total cost
GE incandescent 25 $12.50 1,550 $217.00 $229.50 3.66
Great Value CFL 4 $4.88 325 $45.50 $50.38 16.4
Philips squish LED 1 $5.97 225 $31.50 $37.47 21.4
Philips A LED 3 $7.46 175 $24.50 $31.96 25.0

The A LED wins again, because of its low price. However, the need to
replace it twice puts it closer to the squished LED lamp.


Stuff marked on the packaging:

brand UPC Where made
GE incandescent 0-43168-90005-8 USA
Great Value CFL 0-78742-09210-2 China
Philips squish LED 0-46677-43314-7 Mexico
Philips A LED 0-46677-45555-2 China or Mexico

The GE also had: Res 4855063, PC 41028, Desc 60A/W.

The CFL also had: Res 4768141, CPT36GV13WES.

The Philips squish LED also had: Model 9290002707, order code
BC10.5A19/SLIM/2700 DIM 120V, and another number of 4435 285 06561.
It also says "Ensemblado in Mexico" in two places, but nowhere does it
say "Made in Mexico".

The Philips A LED also had: Model 9290011350, order code
8.5A19/LED/827 ND 120V 2PK, and another number of 3235 826555 02.


Stuff marked on the lamps themselves:

GENERAL ELECTRIC SOFT WHITE 60 W 120 V

Great Value 13 W 120VAC 60Hz 180mA FLE 13HT3/2/SW FCC
UL Listed 6G49 HG RE295 E170197

PHILIPS 800Lumens Dimmable 10.5W 2700K 98mA 120v ~ 60Hz 14KK
9290002707 cULus LISTED LED Lamp 3PM5 5-pointed-star

The 5 pointed star resembles the one in the US EPA "Energy Star" logo,
but it's just the star - no text.

PHILIPS 800Lumens 8.5W 2700K 138mA 120V 60Hz P*5A 9290011350
cULus LISTED LED Lamp 3PM5

* is a strange symbol that looks sort of like a close/right parenthesis
rotated 90 degrees clockwise, with a small vertical line coming out of
it - a bit like the classic shape of a boat anchor.

This lamp also has "Made in China" in both English and French on it.


Links:

GE incandescent:
http://genet.gelighting.com/LightProducts/Dispatcher?REQUEST=CONSUMERSPECPAGE&PRODUCTCODE=41028

Great Value CFL: Similar lamps at
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Great-Value-GVS144B-Great-Value-14W-Soft-White-Cfl-Bulb/37482310

Philips squished LED:
http://www.usa.philips.com/c-p/046677433147/slimstyle-a19

Philips A-shape LED:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Philips-60W-Equivalent-Soft-White-2700K-A19-LED-Light-Bulb-2-Pack-455576/205815532


Closing thoughts:

114 lumens per watt for $2.50 at a store within a few miles of a whole
bunch of the US. We live in the FUTURE.

Yes, this is what I do for fun on Friday nights. :)

Matt Roberds
Fred McKenzie
2015-05-09 17:34:43 UTC
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Post by m***@att.net
Post by Keith
Three month promo. These bulbs will be 2 for $5 starting next month at
http://www.wired.com/2015/04/philips-cheap-led-bulbs/
Thanks for the tip! I bought a 2-pack last week, on 1 May.
My problem with LED bulbs is that some cause serious interference to Ham
Radio reception. I just bought a couple of these Phillips bulbs on sale
and find that they do NOT have the problem!

I also bought a couple of Lowe's "Utilitech" LED bulbs at the same
price. These DO interfere. I plan to return them.

Walmart's Great Value 60 Watt-Equivalent Non-Dimmable LED bulbs do NOT
have the problem, but cost more. I expect their price will come down to
meet the competition.

I used a handheld radio tuned to 121 MHz AM, to detect the interference.
I have found that some other models of Phillips and Great Value LED
bulbs have the problem.

Fred
m***@att.net
2015-05-10 20:02:23 UTC
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Post by Fred McKenzie
My problem with LED bulbs is that some cause serious interference to
Ham Radio reception.
I was playing with the AM antenna for the receiver in my living room
last week, trying to identify a whine in the audio. If I put the
antenna within a few inches of a Great Value 100 W equivalent CFL, I
could hear switching hash in the radio, but other than that, it was OK.
(The culprit turned out to be a switching power supply for a video game
console.)

I have a shortwave receiver that covers 0.15 - 30 MHz and a scanner that
covers the AM air band. If you want me to test the lamps I have at
different frequencies, let me know what frequencies you are interested
in.
Post by Fred McKenzie
I used a handheld radio tuned to 121 MHz AM, to detect the
interference.
121 MHz AM isn't a ham band. :)

Matt Roberds
Fred McKenzie
2015-05-11 17:37:56 UTC
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Post by m***@att.net
Post by Fred McKenzie
My problem with LED bulbs is that some cause serious interference to
Ham Radio reception.
I was playing with the AM antenna for the receiver in my living room
last week, trying to identify a whine in the audio. If I put the
antenna within a few inches of a Great Value 100 W equivalent CFL, I
could hear switching hash in the radio, but other than that, it was OK.
(The culprit turned out to be a switching power supply for a video game
console.)
I have a shortwave receiver that covers 0.15 - 30 MHz and a scanner that
covers the AM air band. If you want me to test the lamps I have at
different frequencies, let me know what frequencies you are interested
in.
Post by Fred McKenzie
I used a handheld radio tuned to 121 MHz AM, to detect the
interference.
121 MHz AM isn't a ham band. :)
Matt-

It is part of the AM air band. That particular radio would not let me
switch to AM on the 144 MHz Ham Band. It seems that FM disguises noise.
You can only hear it when trying to receive a station that is being
interfered with. Noise may cause an FM receiver's S meter to read
upscale, but not open the squelch.

Using LED bulbs that interfere, house wiring acts like an antenna. I
have noticed switching noise from CFL bulbs, but the noise does not seem
to couple into the house wiring.

Fred
Keith
2015-05-12 03:02:36 UTC
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Here's the tear down:
http://www.designingwithleds.com/teardown-philips-everyday-8-5w-bulb/
aruzinsky
2015-05-13 17:00:01 UTC
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The Spectral Power Density (SPD) peaks at 610 nm which is more red, less orange than the colored background indicates. In fact, 611 nm is at the peak of the narrow band SPD of the phosphor, Yttrium Oxide, which is the sole source of red light in triphosphor fluorescent bulbs. But, the SPD of this LED bulb shows a substantial amount of red and far red light to the right of 610 nm which does not contribute much to luminous efficiency but contributes greatly to photosynthetic efficiency. Thus, the SPD strongly suggests that these bulbs are good for growing plants.

Looks like I will buy more, if still on sale. Thanks.
aruzinsky
2015-05-25 15:18:51 UTC
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Post by m***@att.net
...
114 lumens per watt for $2.50 at a store within a few miles of a whole
bunch of the US. We live in the FUTURE.
Matt Roberds
Huh? 800 lumens/8.5 watts = 94.12 lumens/watt .
m***@att.net
2015-05-25 18:32:42 UTC
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Post by aruzinsky
Post by m***@att.net
114 lumens per watt for $2.50 at a store within a few miles of a
whole bunch of the US. We live in the FUTURE.
Huh? 800 lumens/8.5 watts = 94.12 lumens/watt .
The box claims 8.5 W. I measured it at 7 W. 800 / 7 = 114.

Matt Roberds
aruzinsky
2015-06-07 00:24:05 UTC
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Today, I bought a P3 International Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor, Model P4400.01, for $20 at Menards. Using this device, I measured the power consumption of 10 of these bulbs. Eight were 8.5 watts and two were 8.6 watts.

The good news is that a "27 watt" LED grow light that I bought on Amazon for $17.27 is actually 4.5 watts. It looks amazingly bright for 4.5 watts of red and blue. Too bad the price went up. See http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MN79L94/ref=pe_385040_128020140_TE_3p_dp_1 . For entertainment, you can read reviewer complaints about measured wattages being lower than advertised.

Now, I wish someone would explain to me why my 4.5 watt grow light has a large aluminum heat sink and my 8.5 watt Philips bulb doesn't.
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