LED Lighting is Really Here!

just me

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By the way Arrow, thanks for these sites! I have been looking for LED lights for quite awhile... I am planning on turning my laundry room into a kitchen for my garage apartment, so that I dont have to share a kitchen with my son and his family (althought it has worked well so far) I was hoping to make it as green as possible... I want to put in the sun tunnels, and was hoping to be able to put in LED lighting, now I can! Yeah!!!! Last year I found the LED christmas lights, and bought two rows, planned on putting them around edge of my room, in place of the regular light, but havent quite figured out how to do it, and make it look nice... I love the idea of the LED lights, and refuse to buy the florescent bulbs... I just dont want mercury in my house, no matter how small of an amount it is!!!

Now all I have to do is figure out how to afford solar power or wind power!!!
 

D Bergy

Member
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Apr 16, 2006
I have some I bought from Sam's Club. They are not bright enough to be practical for most applications. These were quite cheap compared to others I have seen, and that may be why they are weak. I think they were $15.00 each. The first couple I bought had a nasty Greenish Tinge. I bought some more in Arkansas when traveling and these ones were white.

They should get better and cheaper as the manufacturing process gets better. It is currently difficult and expensive to make white LED's.

Dan
 

Mad Scientest

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Last year I found the LED christmas lights, and bought two rows, planned on putting them around edge of my room, in place of the regular light, but havent quite figured out how to do it, and make it look nice...

Now all I have to do is figure out how to afford solar power or wind power!!!
How about getting a sky chart that shows the position of the stars and placing the LED's to represent the night sky?:D

As for solar panels check out this place.
- Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices

I bought this set a couple months ago to add to my current system when it was on sale for $179 .

D Bergy:

A bit of LED trivia. White LED's are similar to florescence in that they both produce white light in the same way. They both start out making UV light which in turn strikes a florescent material that produces the white light. The recipe of this material determines the finial color.

The price of LED's is dropping rapidly, I've have been working with a guy developing a new product and he just bought 100 brand new ones for $8.:shock:
 

just me

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Thank you mad sci for the great site.... I figured I could go slow with the solar panels, and you just proved me right... My thoughts were to put my well on a panel, and get my pool on a panel or maybe two... Im not real good at this electric/how much power stuff you need, so Im stuck there... How do I find out how much power do I need to run my water well and then the equipment I need for my pool? The son did agree, that we need to start saving money for a tankless water heater... well actually two, one for their side of the house and one for mine. According to the homedepot site, you can even get part of your money back for installing these. That will save alot of electric there too.

The idea of of a night sky on my ceiling???? Sounds like something I need to look into.. Thanks madsci!
 

D Bergy

Member
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Apr 16, 2006
Solar panels are not powerful enough to run a hard hitting AC pump, or any kind of heating element. You can get DC pumps that will start without the high power demand. Solar panels are really only good for supplementing grid power in a normal house. You can set them up this way, and it is the way to go for most people.

There is a Wind Turbine set-up for about $10,000 complete with inverter. Puts out more power than an array of Solar Panels.

I put a vertical loop ground source heat pump in our new house. It was expensive, but it heats our house and garage, hot water, and uses very little power. Next Winter I will have my wood supply ready so I will use even less electricity.

Dan
 

Mad Scientest

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Dan is right about the about the solar panels. Unless you spend huge amounts of money you will not have enough power to run motors or anything that require huge amounts of current.

For example those panels that I linked to are rate at 45watts, think about the amount of light you can get from a standard 40watt incandescent light bulb. Well that is all the power that they can deliver in bright sunlight.

However if you take that power and charge a battery all day, then at night can have a few hours of light if you use it sparingly, as with a bunch of LED’s. When use in this manner you will also have nice emergency lighting system in the event of a power outage.

My current system has “in effect” three of these systems charging two deep cycle batteries. During the day once the batteries are recharged any extra power is then used to run some small 12volt fans. At night after the sun is turned off this automatically turns on my LED’s. I currently have over 200 hundred of then scattered all around the house. :D And the number keeps growing.:roll:

If you what to heat the water in the swimming pool, when it is not in use cover it with a sheet of black plastic. The black color will trap the suns heat and transfer it to the water rather then be reflected off it. There are also solar hot water heaters that work in a similar manner.
 

just me

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Im not too worried about heating the water in the pool, I live in texas, everything is hot down here in the summer!!!

But I wanted to get the filter pump and the ozone generator off the electric bill. I live out in the country, so I dont have city water. I have a well, that has an electric pump I was hoping to get that on solar too....Besides the a/c and the hot water heater, those are my two biggest spenders of electricity..The hot water heater, we will turn into tankless hot water heaters within the next year(I hope) ... (OOOPS my fault there, in previous post I meant hot water for the house...my tendency to change in mid subject! sorry) So are you saying that these panels that were suggested cant be used for the filters on the pool or for my well? Hmmmm Wind power would be great, but I dont have that kind of money... Thats why I was hoping to start small and with the savings from the first set of panels, would be able to keep getting more!
 

D Bergy

Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2006
There really is no savings from solar panels or generating your own power by any means.

Even with government rebates, you simply cannot ever recover your investment at today's rates for power. Most people do this as a hobby or just because they like the idea of clean power.

One thing that can pay off, is a solar water heater that mounts on the roof of the house. It is one of the few cost effective energy saving improvement you can make.

Conserving energy pays off far better than producing it.

Dan
 

Mad Scientest

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It would be nice to be total energy independent. It can be done. But as Dan mentioned it is hard to make it cost effective. Realistically the best you can do is run your LED’s a small fan or perhaps a small radio.

If no one in the family is in the habit of taking half hour long showers a solar hot water heater would be worth considering in place of the tankless heaters.

Conserving energy pays off far better than producing it.
Here are some thoughts on reducing energy usage.
Anything that has a large motor in it is going to use is going to use relatively large amounts of electricity.
So does the filter on the pool need to run continually? Could you get by with turning it off at night?

Avoid running a washing machine or dish washer if it does not have a full load.
A central air conditioner will have the largest motor to be found in the average home and naturally uses the largest amount of power. The best way to save energy here is don’t use it, save it for those unbearably hot days. The rest of time open windows and use fans to bring in and circulate air. Running 3 or 4 small fans is cheaper then running the AC.

If the night air is typically cooler definitely turn off the AC and open windows. Use window fans to force the cool air in. Then in the morning before it starts to really get warm close all the windows to trap this cool air inside. Wait to till the inside air warms up before turning on the AC.

With good insulation and drawing the curtains on windows that face the sun you should be able to maintain a comfortable temperature for quite a while.

Add awnings to the south and east facing windows.

Is the house painted? If so what color? White is the best color to reflect the suns heat. This can make a substantial difference.

Need new curtains for the windows? Make you own insulated ones.
Use a white material for the back, it will reflect the heat, or better yet use the shiny metalized Mylar (space blanket material) For the front use any kind of decorative material you want and then between these two have a layer or two of bubble wrap material.

Do you need to reshingle the roof? If so get a white shingles your house will be noticeable cooler.

Have a barbecue grill? Cook outside to avoid undue heating of the kitchen.
You might want to experiment with solar ovens for no fuel bills. :shock:

I know you don’t like the mercury in florescence but for any area that you need a lot of light and you turn that light on and leave it on for long periods of time this is the way to go. And as long as you do not break the lamp the mercury will not be able to attack you.:cool:

If you want a night light in some rooms find the one’s that use a neon lamp (orange glow) they are not real bright but they use an incredible small amount of power. Or you could be creative and make you own.

These have been burning for three years and they haven’t gotten any shorter.:D

Water:

Using less water means the pump runs less and you use less electricity.

First repair or replace any leaky faucet or toilet. Even a small drip but one that’s going 24 hours a day adds up. Most new facets and toilets are designed to limit the amount of water used.
Take a shower rather then a bath. It takes many gallons to fill a bathtub.

When it rains collect the rain water from your roofs downspouts into large barrels use this to water the garden and flowers or wash car.
 

just me

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thanks guys for all the great info!!! I really do appreciate it! I am a gritch when it comes to wasting energy... But, since my son and his family live in the main part of the house, and pay half the electric bill, I cant complain too much... have to remember, those grandkids werent raised with conserving... so Im trying to teach them as we go.. One of the sites I went to has some science fair projects that Im going to look into. But according to a grandson our schools dont do science fair projects anymore (??) but they still need to learn... I would love to find or learn how to build one of those clocks that can run off a sweet potatoe.

I love all your suggestions madsci... can you paint a brick house white??? Love the curtain idea!!! My son thinks Im crazy for trying to conserve water, since we dont have a water bill... being on a well does have that advantage! But I still think we need to be smart about conserving water. So I do collect rain water, but dont have the rain gutters or downspouts yet, that will hopefully be an easy project! Again, thanks for all the info. I truly do appreciate the help!

Almost forgot to put this link here.... When I get my goat shed and my chicken coop up, this is the type of lighting we will be using! Will probably also add it to the carport when we start making repairs on that!

http://www.wisebrea d.com/how- to-turn-a- 2-liter-bottle- of-water- into-a-50- watt-lightbulb
 
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kind2creatures

...elusive dreamer
Joined
Apr 5, 2009
Location
USA
200-LED Flashlight

We just got an 200-LED flashlight that we ordered online for use while camping. We also ordered a 2pk. of 72-LED work lights to use inside/outside the camper in the dark woods (on backorder).

This light is blinding! :shock: We're VERY impressed how much light it really gives off! It runs on 8 AA batteries. We haven't really used it yet, just playing with it around the house. If it's pointed at you face across the room, you HAVE to look away!

Going by how this light is, we're thinking that the other smaller ones might even be too bright for the camper. We might just have to use one, and maybe turn it towards the wall! :thumbsup:

PS: Just took it outside in the dark, nice and bright closeby, with wide range of light, but doesn't go very far ahead in the distance.
 

Mad Scientest

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Apr 11, 2006
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Illinois
My son got me a LED flashlight for Christmas, it uses a single LED it is one of the new generation of super bright ones. It easily throws a beam of light across the basement, just like a conventional flashlight, allowing you to actually see what is over there.

Dan:
You may find this interesting. It runs on two "D" size batteries and draws a little over 1/2 an amp!

Also circuits are now becoming available to allow LED's to be run on house current and with a standard dimmer control.
I recently made a housing for just such a circuit that's running a bunch of these super bright LED's for STMicroelectronics. It is going to be shown a trade show this week.
 

Arrowwind09

Standing at the Portal
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Oct 16, 2007
Original Poster
Has anyone found affordable LED lights yet?

Dan, do you have a link to a good solar hot water system?
 

Mad Scientest

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Illinois
This is not hot water but hot air.
Here is something else you might want to consider. A solar panel to heat air. Thus no water to leak or freeze. I built this panel a year ago to experiment with heating air.
It starts out with a 4 x 8 foot piece of 1/8” thick masonite panel for the back then there is 1 ½” of Styrofoam insulation covered with thin sheet metal painted black. Next is a 1 ½” space for the air and then a clear plastic cover. Air would enter through a 5” hole at the lower right had corner and then with baffles was forced to zigzag it way to the top to the exhaust hole.

With the outside temperature in the 60’s and just normal air flow through it, the output temperature was consistently around 140 -150 degrees. Adding a small fan to force air through dropped the temperature to around 95 degrees but produced nice warm breeze.

Unfortunately with it leaning against a post I was not able to warm up the backyard :( but if it were mounted on the south side of a house and the hot air allowed into the room it would certainly help warm that room. This is something that is relatively easy to build and once built is virtually maintenance free.

 

Donee

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Apr 8, 2006
Location
California
I like it also, but I would try a bit of simplification:
I would leave out the styropfoam based on the
thought that the transit time of the heated air
is too short to need it very much.
 
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Mad Scientest

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Apr 11, 2006
Location
Illinois
Without the styrofoam the I'm pretty sure the heat lost from the backside of the metal would cause its temperature to drop too much. But you got thinking I wonder in place of the insulation what if the air was allowed to flow on both sides of the metal heat absorber? This should effectively double the heating surface! :D


Arrow, and anyone else, here is a site selling LED's. They have all sorts of sizes and shapes. Prices appear somewhat reasonable.
http://www.dealextreme.com/products.dx/category.907
 

Cookie

Lovin' life~
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Mar 2, 2009
Location
JerSea
This is not hot water but hot air.
Here is something else you might want to consider. A solar panel to heat air. Thus no water to leak or freeze. I built this panel a year ago to experiment with heating air.
It starts out with a 4 x 8 foot piece of 1/8” thick masonite panel for the back then there is 1 ½” of Styrofoam insulation covered with thin sheet metal painted black. Next is a 1 ½” space for the air and then a clear plastic cover. Air would enter through a 5” hole at the lower right had corner and then with baffles was forced to zigzag it way to the top to the exhaust hole.

With the outside temperature in the 60’s and just normal air flow through it, the output temperature was consistently around 140 -150 degrees. Adding a small fan to force air through dropped the temperature to around 95 degrees but produced nice warm breeze.

Unfortunately with it leaning against a post I was not able to warm up the backyard :( but if it were mounted on the south side of a house and the hot air allowed into the room it would certainly help warm that room. This is something that is relatively easy to build and once built is virtually maintenance free.



:D This is awesome! I love your brain!!
 

just me

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I saw something on your line of thinking on the green channel last year.... they had a large window at the base of the house with black cement somehow behind it.... according to the report, it was able to sufficiently heat that room without any other heat source... i keep wondering how you would build something like that... I like your idea! Now just wish I had the resources and the building knowhow to accomplish that!
 

Donee

New member
Joined
Apr 8, 2006
Location
California
Hey Bergy, can you describe your heat pump configuration a bit
more? Here in the mexifornia foot hills they just exchange outside
air which is very inefficient. If I was starting with a vacant lot I'd
have a perimeter trench as deep as I could arrange for my exchange
piping. If you can't do that a heat pump is not worth much, it seems
to me.

Thanks
 


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