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Old 12-08-2008, 01:05 PM   #15
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Location: Auburn, CA, Havasu, AZ & Mulege, BCS
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LED bulb replacements are definitely the wave of the future. Way low energy usage per lumen of light output, great expected life span.
Right now there is a rush to adapt actual LED bulbs, which are tiny, into arrays that approximate good to great replacements for incandescent and fluorescent real life lamps. Where CFL's use 1/4 to 1/6th the watts per comparable incandescent lumens, the most recent LED designs use only 1/10th the watts per lumen and that number continues to shrink. IF you get high quality electronics, the usable life is also pretty fantastic.
There are a number of start-ups making a dash to commercialize LED's and I'd expect the usual innovation curve where quality goes up & price comes down. Right now I have the ceiling halogens as well as under-cabinet units. As they fizzle out, I'll be replacing w/LED's.

Right now I'm working with some venture capitalists in Silicon Valley on a massive energy conversion project that, if successful, will obviate even LED's. We're building a test refining facility to catalytically reverse the cycle, turning politicians back into the endless supply of gas and sludge from which they are made. We should be able to power everything on earth long after the sun goes dark.

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Old 12-08-2008, 03:08 PM   #16
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Good job Mike!!!!!!!

Frank Rouse

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Old 12-08-2008, 05:30 PM   #17
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To all,

I apologize if my post seemed commercial to any of you -- I was only offering my credentials. I will keep focused on the topic of LEDs and power sources in the future.

Speaking of power, I am afraid that the caloric content of today's politicians approaches that of copralite (fossilized dinosaur turds), and therefore, they will not make a decent power source for those of us who survive the loss of other fossilized fuels.

EngineerMike says, "There are a number of start-ups making a dash to commercialize LED's and I'd expect the usual innovation curve where quality goes up & price comes down." I question the "usual" curve idea. My observation is that there is a growing interest in LEDs, and the innovations and quality are coming along, but I do not expect the prices to come down quite so rapidly, especially with the global trade situation in such a mess.

One of the first innovations important to RVers is the incorporation of voltage protection for the LEDs used in lamps. Not all products offer this feature, especially the older products using the last generation plastic hat type of LED. Without protection, LEDs may be subjected to the vagaries of generators, solar controllers, voltage equalization, etc., and their lifetimes will suffer. They will die within a year or so.

Another innovation RVers should follow are the continued development of white-phosphor LEDs using multiple layers of phosphor to provide light with a better CRI (color rendering index). My experience has been that RVer wives get very upset with what the blue light coming from older LEDs does to their complexion when applying makeup. It can make them look green! Far better to use natural light and make them look natural (and young).

At this point, with these and other innovations coming along, I have not seen the wholesale price of the LEDs really start to drop, especially when we have to get on top of the Chinese manufacturers to maintain proper quality (it does not happen automatically). Maybe in three or four years, but the volumes really have to climb for the price factor to really click in.

At this time, you get what you pay for. Living in an LED environment has a high initial cost, but it is now possible to get the right kind of light from LEDs to replace incandescent, halogen, and fluorescent bulbs. The power consumption is down by 50% to 85%, that excess power is not used to produce excess heat, and the light is really so much better. And with good voltage protection, LEDs can be expected to last more than 11 years under continuous usage. That's more than 100 times what you can expect from an incandescent bulb like an 1141 or a halogen bulb like a 12V10W. That's more than 30 times what you can expect from a fluorescent tube like a F15T8.

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