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POLL: Lightbulbs

For discussions about technology and people in technology.

What lightbulbs do you use for general house lighting?

Incandescents 'Rough Service'
7
26%
Halogen
1
4%
CFL
6
22%
LED
12
44%
Something else, Candles? :aaj
1
4%
 
Total votes : 27

 
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POLL: Lightbulbs

Post by Jamie » Wed Nov 25, 2015 4:57 pm

Just interested as to what light bulbs people use for their home or workshop?
I don't know about you but I still surive on Incandescents bulbs now sold as "rough service" as I refuse to move over to LED's and CFLs. LED's have their uses, but I feel NOT in home lighting unless you want it coloured! Plus they last longer and give off heat in a cold room! The light is also so much softer, and they don't cost about £8 PER BULB!

There's something about the light my eyes cannot stand, It just seems so "cold" no matter what "colour" you buy and still gives me a headache. Steet lights I think are worse, the yellow sodium bulbs are nice to drive in at night because of how soft and continous the light is, whereas LEDs just throw loads of bright white light down underneath them and don't cast it anywhere else...

I'm also not a fan of CFLs because they fail in cold applications, and the light is too "white" and surgical.
Maybe i'm too old fashioned who knows! Never thought i'd say that on this forum...

This'll make you laugh though if nothing else, a quote from a news paper article about the "lightbulb ban"
“Consumers should ensure that they do not use special purpose/rough service lamps for household room illumination as they are declared by the manufacturer as unsuitable for this purpose. Consideration should be given to the terms and conditions of any household insurance policy if such lamps are used for illuminating your house.” :aak :aak

 
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Re: POLL: Lightbulbs

Post by Lloyd » Wed Nov 25, 2015 7:18 pm

This is a difficult one to answer in just one vote, our house is littered with different types, 2 CFL's in the kitchen, along with some low voltage halogen under the cabinets and a little fluorescent tube. The lounge is lit with incandescent bulbs, 40/60W in the lamps, and 100W on the ceiling, under the stairs has a 2ft 18W fluorescent that kicks out 'pure white' light, the stairs is lit by 40W candle bulb incandescents, more incandescents in the bathroom, and my parent's room, my room is lit with 4 low voltage halogen bulbs (rarely need replacing), and my brother's room is lit by mains halogens, or should I say, was... they seem to blow every week!

The shed and the garage are also lit by a mixture, the shed is lit with mains halogen's (mostly blown...) and some low voltage LED's and halogens powered from the solar panels. The garage, which houses my workshop, is lit by 3 5ft flourescents powered from the mains, and 1 4ft fluorescent powered by solar along with 1 4 way halogen fitting with LED's in it, and another 3 way halogen fitting with more LED's in it. I use warm white LED's, cheap ones off ebay.

So as you see, quite a mixture! In the workshop, the 4ft fluorescent powered by solar wins hands down over all the LED's, I find I get more light output for the amount of power used from the fluorescent than I did for the LED's, plus it was just easier to install! The LED's are good, but still not that good.

Regards,
Lloyd.

 
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Re: POLL: Lightbulbs

Post by marc » Wed Nov 25, 2015 7:51 pm

Hi Jamie,

Not an easy one to answer in one vote :aaq
CFL are definitely a strict "No Go" for me as they trigger migraines within minutes of me accidentally catching direct sight of one and we all know the warm up time problem.

I don't like harsh lighting and have found that the "warm white" versions of LED bulbs to be fantastic, they light instantly and give a good light spread that is relaxing on the eye and they use almost no power, further more if you order via the likes of eBay they can be bought for just a couple of pounds each. We've now been using LED's as our main source of household lighting for around 18 months with no reliability issues as yet.

Now back to the workshop, fluorescent tube as main overhead with white LED in angle poise lamps seems to be the best for me.

One last point your 5th answer which included " :aaj "
I'll have you know that we use paraffin lamps on a regular basis which give a lovely atmospheric light.....and they keep the room warm too, so there ! :aa :bba

Marc.

 
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Re: POLL: Lightbulbs

Post by Jamie » Wed Nov 25, 2015 8:04 pm

marc wrote:One last point your 5th answer which included " :aaj "
I'll have you know that we use paraffin lamps on a regular basis which give a lovely atmospheric light.....and they keep the room warm too, so there ! :aa :bba
.


I was joking haha, I guess I use fire as light in my workshop! Currently there's NO light as I have no electric as of yet, But I do have some 1960s Thorn Strip Lights to go up (One of which I rescued from a skip! It had been bent into a right angle but I straightened it out and it works fine). Fluroescents in my workshop, and a spot lamp with an incandscent

 
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Re: POLL: Lightbulbs

Post by Wolfie » Wed Nov 25, 2015 9:42 pm

I was going to say it's difficult because I reckon many will have differing types either for different areas/uses or maybe as an ongoing comparison, but less tardy posters have already said that, perhaps you should amend the Poll to include multiple options?

I could tick all those boxes.. but the most lived in areas are now CFL and Halogen.

 
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Re: POLL: Lightbulbs

Post by Cathovisor » Wed Nov 25, 2015 10:01 pm

In my case, the lounge is entirely incandescent due to the types of light fittings and the dimmers - an 'architectural' bulb is a must.

Everywhere else it is LED, with one 32W 'ring' CFL in the radio display room (I may change that fitting to something more suitable). The hall/landing is a mix of halogen and CFL but as soon as they fail they too will become LED. I only use 3200K LEDs - the colour temperature is perfect. After all, television is lit at 3000K - it's what I'm used to! I'm looking forward to trying LEDs in my workshop Anglepoise lamps - it'll be nice not to have my ear singed, or the top of my two grand LeCroy oscilloscope melted (again) by an errant, wasteful incandescent!

My brother's kitchen/diner is lit with no less than eighteen 'daylight' GU10s; not my cup of tea.

I also use something called 'f.lux' on my laptop which changes the colour temperature of the display after dark.

 
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Re: POLL: Lightbulbs

Post by Mark Hennessy » Wed Nov 25, 2015 10:53 pm

From previous conversations about LED lamps, I wonder if your objection to them is actually caused by flicker?

Most flicker at 100Hz. Certainly, the ones that run from raw mains usually do...

Now, few people would look at such a light, and say "wow, look at it flickering!". That's because our brains compensate, and above a certain frequency, we can't actually perceive the flicker as flicker. But, it's really tiring for our brains to cope with this, and it can lead to headaches and similar problems after a while.

How we perceive flicker is highly subjective and varies enormously from person to person.

When I first started work, I used to go into offices and wonder how on earth they managed to sit in front of strobe lights all day! This was in the mid 1990s, when most were using 14" CRT monitors with Windows 3.11. By default, the refresh rate was 60Hz. These people genuinely could not see a problem, but I could see nothing but strobing.

I would adjust the refresh rate to 72, 75 or 85Hz - the highest that worked. For me, the move to 72Hz made a big difference, but even at 85Hz, I can still see flicker - especially when it's a large screen monitor because your peripheral vision becomes more significant; of course, our peripheral vision is much more sensitive to motion.

Anyway, these people would claim to not be able to tell a difference. But a few days later, several of them told me that suddenly, they weren't going home with eye-strain and headaches (and migraines in one case). Which is what taught me about the importance of flicker to the well-being to us as humans.

Standard fluorescent lamps also flicker at 100Hz. It's annoying. There's every chance that CFLs might - that depends on the PSU inside, and I've never really investigated them (I use them for hallways and similar places where the light quality doesn't really matter, but the cost saving is worth considering).

So for my main source of light in my workshop, I use a pair of fluorescent tubes positioned above the bench, driven by a HF ballast. The ballast cost about £20 from eBay, and is dimable. That's good, because each tube is 80W!

I went for T5 types, and chose 4000K for the colour temperature. Higher than that is too blue. Lower is too yellow. Pay attention to CRI - colour rendering index - if you want to be able to read the coloured codes on smaller resistors. Old fluorescent tubes were pretty poor in that regard, and it's that that gave them a bad name. Modern tubes are "triphosphor". There is a modern code for lamps; mine are "840". That means the CRI is ~80%, and the colour temperature is 4000K. A "940" would be even better, but expensive. You might prefer "830", which is warmer. Try it and see - the tubes are cheap enough...

I have said more about colour rendering in a previous post. In short, an incandescent lamp is a "black body radiator" that emits light energy at all wavelengths. Whereas anything else does not; if you rely on phosphors or gasses to produce light, you get a number of distinct "spikes" at certain wavelengths. But providing you get a decent quality lamp, this is not a problem. After all, if you were bothered by spiky light, you wouldn't be able to watch TV ;) Also, try looking up the spectrum of sodium lighting...

Having earlier recommended trying a fluorescent fitting with a HF ballast (which would be very cheap to buy these days, and could easily be redeployed elsewhere if it didn't work out for you), do bear in mind that they can interfere with radio reception. For that reason, I also have some conventional "magnetic" ballasts - these provide general light around the area. When lining up a radio, I turn off the HF lamp. But when soldering - when I need the best light - the interference problem is a non-problem. It works well...

Another problem with a lot of LEDs is the fact they are a point-source. Fluorescent lamps are much more diffuse, and fill the room well. The workshop I had at your age was lit with a 500W halogen floodlamp, which was absolutely hopeless. The next workshop I built had 6 100W spotlights on a track above the bench. Utterly useless. I replaced those with four 600mm recessed lighting modules, which took a less than half the power and lit the place up amazingly.

White walls help - you need light to bounce around to eliminate shadows (that's a difficulty in my cellar workshop).

I have recently been very impressed by some modern LED light modules - basically a 600mm square of perspex that is edge-lit by LEDs. These are designed to replace the older fluorescent modules used in modular ceilings, and are available in quite a wide range of sizes. These are driven by HF power supplies, so no flicker. Brightness and colour temperature seems very good indeed. The prices are stiff, but falling all the time. I've noticed that they do them in 300mm wide versions, which would fit perfectly between the joists in my cellar, so in a couple of years time, I might buy some of those to provide some general lighting instead of the 100Hz fluorescents - if the price has fallen enough!

When you hit your 40s, your eyesight starts to change, and this stuff will matter more. That's why I've done so much research recently!

 
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Re: POLL: Lightbulbs

Post by sideband » Wed Nov 25, 2015 11:06 pm

I also use a mixture. The living room and dining room each have a three-way light fitting originally designed for 60W candle bulbs. I never used 60W candles in them and fitted three 7W CFL's (the little spiral types) from the start. These were fine for about three years and then they started to fail and I found it increasingly difficult to find 7W replacements. Then B & Q started selling boxes of four 3W LED types for £10 a box which seemed pretty good. So I bought two boxes and changed all the three CFL's in each fitting for the LED types. They are the same warm white of the old CFL's and have been totally reliable so far. The bonus is that each fitting has now changed from 21W each to just 9W each for the same light output.

Elsewhere around the house we are still using CFL's but these are likely to be replaced with LED's as they fail. My workshop has a huge LED array designed actually for shop illumination. It's about the equivalent of 1000W but is only 120W.

 
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Re: POLL: Lightbulbs

Post by Jamie » Wed Nov 25, 2015 11:08 pm

I don't know what it is about LEDs but I just cannot stand them the light they give of is bloody awful I feel. Maybe it's just me and the fact I'm used to incandescents.


I don't notice how much my TV flickers being a nackered old CRT from 1981 but when I went to a charity shop and saw about 10 newer CRT TVs it's amazing to see how much they do flicker and refresh unless you're looking at just one. So it can't be the flicker on LEDS that causes it either I don't know.

I suppose another thing which concerns me is LEDs are unproven. We do not know the effects they have on our brains, I spend so long on the computer and on my phone I really do feel it does affect my alertness and sleep patterns, at least with incandescents much like coal we know where we stand.

As for CFLs don't forget they're full of mercury...

As for those finding the poll difficult it was just a bit of fun to see what people mainly use in their home and wether they object to the EU phasing out incandescents (or rather STILL phasing out) at least I'm not the only one..

 
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Re: POLL: Lightbulbs

Post by Hartley118 » Wed Nov 25, 2015 11:22 pm

Too complicated for a simple response. Haven't regulations turned the purchase of light bulbs into a nightmare for non-techies! So often see bemused customers puzzling over the huge range of lamps in Homebase etc. It's too easy to buy wrong voltage or something that won't fit. I guess we can lay some blame at the. EU's bureaucratic door.

The only places we use CFL are for outdoor lighting and for time-switched indoor security lamps. Not good for general lighting.

Workshop and garage have a mix of fluorescent tubes and halogen spots.

Main indoor lighting is tungsten GLS and halogen. Don't find it necessary to buy rough service lamps - stocked up with conventional GLS - and shops still sell them. We have lots of GU10 (240V) and GU5 (12V) spotlights - gradually replacing with warm white LED types which I find very good, especially Philips and Osram - much more reliable than the early Chinese LEDs which lasted 3 months if you were lucky.

We also have quite a lot of the little halogen G9 lamps in a couple of fittings and I'm currently trying out various LED equivalents, with varying degrees of success - they're usually far too big for the fitting. Difficult to beat a simple filament for compactness.

I suspect that our winter heating in fact comes mainly from incandescent lamps. When they're all eventually replaced by LEDs, I guess we'll be burning more gas in the central heating!

Martin

 
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Re: POLL: Lightbulbs

Post by Cathovisor » Wed Nov 25, 2015 11:37 pm

Jamie wrote: I spend so long on the computer and on my phone I really do feel it does affect my alertness and sleep patterns.

That's the point of f.lux.

See also http://www.nhs.uk/news/2013/05May/Pages ... sleep.aspx and http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=1563029

 
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Re: POLL: Lightbulbs

Post by marc » Thu Nov 26, 2015 1:06 am

Cathovisor wrote:I also use something called 'f.lux' on my laptop which changes the colour temperature of the display after dark.

Hi Catho,

I've just downloaded it. Impressed ! :aad

Marc.

 
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Re: POLL: Lightbulbs

Post by Cathovisor » Thu Nov 26, 2015 2:03 am


 
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Re: POLL: Lightbulbs

Post by Refugee » Thu Nov 26, 2015 3:34 am

I went LED for my downstairs back in 2012 and found the lamps difficult to get hold of and made up my own.
There have been no failures and also one test sample was obtained from Wilco to run along side my home made offering.
The Wilco lamp just produces a circle of light on the floor and has lasted from 2012 as have my home made ones.
Mine are 240V raw mains and the dies under a magnifier appear to have 4 sub dies in series parallel on the die inside the lens. I have cut up a lens from a modular ceiling strip for the lens and the light distributed well from a pendant fitting to a level of about 6 feed up the walls.
There is no HF ballast but also no RF noise at the price of 100hz flicker that is far less visible than on a magnetic strip.
I have completed trials on some HF ballast LED strips from Aldi and these will replace a tired old magnetic strip in the kitchen within a month or so.
The RF test was successful as the electronics are enclosed on an aluminum extrusion.
I did a thread when I tested one.
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=11944

 
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Re: POLL: Lightbulbs

Post by Jamie » Thu Nov 26, 2015 9:21 am

Hartley118 wrote:I suspect that our winter heating in fact comes mainly from incandescent lamps. When they're all eventually replaced by LEDs, I guess we'll be burning more gas in the central heating!

Martin

My thoughts exactly, so isn't this much like electric cars just moving the energy consumption to another source? It's daft really

 
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Re: POLL: Lightbulbs

Post by Mark Hennessy » Thu Nov 26, 2015 9:41 am

Only that heat rises, so most of the heat stays up at the ceiling level. Only a very small proportion comes down in the form of radiation, sadly.

 
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Re: POLL: Lightbulbs

Post by Cathovisor » Thu Nov 26, 2015 11:49 am

Regarding RFI: I have an LED candle in the lamp next to my bed, and I can happily place my Bush TR130 next to it with it switched on and tuned to Radio 4 and there is no interference whatsoever.

Mark also raises a valid point: warm air is less dense than cold, so unless you live on the ceiling the whole "low energy bulbs cause you to turn your heating up" is a load of pony, frankly.

Price-wise, I'm looking at some in the latest CPC flyer and they're priced from £2.35 upwards (inc. VAT), with colour temperatures from 2700K. Two of the studios I work in are lit entirely with LED luminaires and I'd challenge anyone to tell the difference - moving a camera from a LED stage to a tungsten stage needs just a little tweak of the blue gain on the camera and that's it.

 
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Re: POLL: Lightbulbs

Post by turretslug » Thu Nov 26, 2015 12:47 pm

I've been rather impressed with LED lighting; I think that it's genuinely true to talk about "maturing technology" this time. Whilst I have a few (legacy- I don't like to chuck things out before they're genuinely broken!) CFLs around, I never really liked them- whilst they got better over the years in terms of colour rendition and warm-up characteristics, I feel that they'll be seen in historical perspective as something of a short-term aberration in lighting technology. When the argument about filament lamps producing background heat first surfaced a few years back, I was immediately sceptical- it struck me as somewhat rear-guard straw-clutching by those who had lost the remaining arguments against change. As has been mentioned, anything dangling from the ceiling will only produce a tiny bit of radiant heat, the convective stuff is wasted unless you're 7 feet tall.... The argument might be slightly tenable for a near-by table lamp on a short table- one thing that fascinates me is what is presumably a lingering reptile legacy, just passing by a surface that is fractionally warmer than the surroundings is immediately attention-getting and comforting. An excuse for DAC90 owners!

Oh, and thanks for the f.lux link- as someone with a professional background interest in colour temperature variation and its effects, that's another interesting avenue of thought.

I don't claim to have any more than a very sketchy and skin-deep understanding of HF switching PSU technology for lamps or generally, but I get the distinct impression that a bit of care and attention to detail in design and component selection can make the difference between one that is very innocuous and one that flattens reception for a huge and distinctly anti-social radius. It really shouldn't be any more acceptable to litter the RF spectrum than it is to litter the street.

 
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Re: POLL: Lightbulbs

Post by Paul_RK » Thu Nov 26, 2015 1:26 pm

Whilst warm air tends to rise, I can't but think there's enough circulation within a room that the contribution of lamps to heating isn't as negligible as all that. Heating here that isn't the effect of the Rayburn cooker is mostly by Belling Champions, and if I happened to have a nice big hook in my ceiling I'd gladly see how long it took one to raise the room temperature from say 45 to 50 one morning when hung on high as opposed to in its standard position on the floor. Rightly or wrongly I'd expect quite a modest difference. Come to think of it, in a room like this one heated primarily by convection, would the temperature near the ceiling be significantly higher than that, say, two or three feet off the ground? That's a still easier experiment which I may try using a matched pair of Rototherms one night when it's cold outside and I'm luxuriating in a nice toasty 55 F.

Lighting here is all by tungsten filament bulbs, excepting a couple of heavily shaded CFLs sprouting from the hands of my standard lamp and an Aladdin paraffin lamp which used to burn nightly but hasn't seen much action lately.

Paul

 
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Re: POLL: Lightbulbs

Post by Kalee20 » Thu Nov 26, 2015 2:18 pm

Incandescents ... no rough service types as i stashed a lot before thye ban!
One linear fluorescent in the kitchen.
Tilley paraffin pressure lamp in the garage.
Candles in the bedroom at night.

 
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Re: POLL: Lightbulbs

Post by mark pirate » Fri Nov 27, 2015 2:49 pm

I have been slowly going over to LED bulbs in the house, they give a better light than CFL, and use less power.
My local poundland store is now doing LED bulbs, so I bought 5 candle bulbs for my lounge light. They are much better than the CFL bulbs they replaced, no more 'warm up' time and are physically smaller :aad

I use 2 40w 4 foot florescent strip lights in my workshop, but use two LED spotlights above the bench.
Personally I hate CFL bulbs and will replace all the remaining ones with LED.

 
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Re: POLL: Lightbulbs

Post by Hartley118 » Fri Nov 27, 2015 6:44 pm

Mark Hennessy wrote:Only that heat rises, so most of the heat stays up at the ceiling level. Only a very small proportion comes down in the form of radiation, sadly.


Well, maybe it's the bedrooms that get most heat benefit from incandescent lighting downstairs........but experience suggests that the combination of natural circulation/draughts and radiation from a warm ceiling does get the heat around the room.

Martin

 
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Re: POLL: Lightbulbs

Post by Mark Hennessy » Fri Nov 27, 2015 7:39 pm

Hartley118 wrote:
Mark Hennessy wrote:Only that heat rises, so most of the heat stays up at the ceiling level. Only a very small proportion comes down in the form of radiation, sadly.


Well, maybe it's the bedrooms that get most heat benefit from incandescent lighting downstairs........but experience suggests that the combination of natural circulation/draughts and radiation from a warm ceiling does get the heat around the room.

Martin


It's one of those "it depends" things, which is why I was deliberately non-specific in my choice of words.

So much depends on the building. The heat-loss from even small draughts could easily be much greater than any gain from a lamp. Open fireplaces, leaky windows and doors, gaps between floorboards on ground floors - the list goes on. Ceiling height is another factor.

Another factor that is often conveniently overlooked is that replacing any lost heat with gas central heating is cheaper.

Infra-red radiation is the only real source of usable heat from incandescent lamps. You get a fair bit from 500W halogen flood-lamps (I mentioned that earlier), but 60W or 100W lamps with no reflectors to aim that down into the room? And what is the heat output of the radiator in your lounge? A couple of kW might be typical - that's what I have here...

LEDs are coming of age, and good LEDs are really very good indeed. Unfortunately, there are a lot of very poor ones out there. Telling them apart at the point of purchase is the thing that needs improvement.

Ultimately, people who form their views based on seeing a couple of bad ones are wrong to do so. I was guilty of that some 8 or so years back when we trialled some at work, but the trials continued, and the improvements are very real, and there for all to see.

(Anyone who spent time at Wood Norton might recall that Vale Wing has a series of very long corridors. These are lit with 12V downlighters - a pair every metre. I've never counted them, but there must be hundreds of them! They need to be on all day, sadly, and I dread to think how much it costs to run. As we gradually move over to LEDs, the situation is improving. Earlier today I was admiring the latest batch, and made a mental note to ask our electricians for more details - they really are excellent, and make the adjacent halogens look like an early prototype from Edison's lab!).

Cheers,

Mark

 
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Re: POLL: Lightbulbs

Post by Jamie » Fri Nov 27, 2015 7:45 pm

Not all "improvements" are better though Mark. If we were all racing to be at the cutting edge of technology we'd not be collecting and restoring all the vintage radios and TVs we do... We'd have the latest Smart TV and replace it every few years (Or every YEAR if black friday is anything to go by) :zx:

 
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Re: POLL: Lightbulbs

Post by Rebel Rafter » Fri Nov 27, 2015 9:00 pm

Hi, folks from RR. I use daylight CFL's in all of my lights at home, and have done for 20-odd years, even in my 5 lamp chandelier in my lounge. I have to go to specialist dealers to get them, as I can't find them in supermarkets and why not? I haven't tried LED bulbs yet, I've just bought an angle poise lamp from machine mart so I might try an LED lamp in that. I can't stand so-called "warm white" lamps of any kind, it's got to be full spectrum for me. I like to be able to recognise colours in the darker hours. And flicker is no longer a problem as CFL's have had HF ballasts for decades now. I think it's only the old ones with choke ballasts that flicker badly. And I have white walls and ceilings all over the house as it's my favourite colour, but not very practical if you have little ones running about though with chocolate all over their fingers... RR.

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