This is an unplanned blog post, but I just had to add this immediately — in part to let off some steam, in part to give a more “balanced” view on LED lighting.
In February 4th and February 8th postings, I practically waxed poetic the wonders of LED lighting, based on “reliable” research I found. Well, the long-awaited light bulbs arrived and we’ve just installed them. The good news, is that LEDs, unlike compact fluorescent lights do not take several seconds or minutes to reach their maximum brightness.
As for the rest of the news: Our previously bright and workable kitchen is now … well, it has “ambiance.”
The side of the kitchen where we do most of our chopping, mincing and cooking, had previously been drawing a huge 150 Watts. We purchased LED light bulbs that all together would put out an equivalent of 180 Watts, while drawing only approx. 8 Watts. Cool, huh? The actual lighting results? Disappointing at best. The light quality seems similar to that which one can expect with CFLs (compact florescent lighting) — which I’m not crazy about — and my estimate is that the light appears equivalent to more along the lines of 80 Watts. 80 Watts isn’t insignificant, but remember that this is ceiling lighting and we have 3 meter, 60 centimeter high ceilings. Believe me when I say that 80 Watts to work by is “romantic.”
The real problem is the other side of the kitchen. There, we have a chandelier which was drawing a gargantuan 240 Watts. We knew we had to do something. What we purchased were enough LED bulbs that would put out an equivalent light of 170 Watts, but only draw approx. 10 Watts. What used to be the cheerful side of the kitchen now has the mood of what I imagine the depression era had.
So, I hope my previous enthusiasm for what I had read about LEDs didn’t have too many folks to go out and buy a lot of LED light bulbs. If so, my apologies. If it’s any consolation, we’re poorer for this project too.
Now, keep in mind, I’m referring only to overhead lighting. In fact, LED for ambiance lighting, i.e., table lamp lighting in the living room or lighting over decorative pieces, could work very nicely. But, if you need bright light for work, or generally have failing eyesight, I’m afraid I’d recommend you wait a bit longer for further technological developments before you invest in LED lighting.
We’ll be reporting in on this week’s Impact event in a couple of days. In the meantime, we’re heading to the kitchen to go chop a finger or two.