There are occasions to point out a good cache of knowledge - or information - this relates to the task of buying LED lights for your home or office -This is the right time for a multiple product capsule review, after all hundreds(thousands) of folks will be switching to SSL soon.


So if ya want the information LEDsmagazine has a look at a group of lights with a short description- and evaluation of these A-19 LED products -its the recent Febuary 2013 issue -the article is" Varying approaches to LED retrofit lamps show no limits"


These are not overly technical - which helps - they are in a bona fide "good source" for credible LED news, ( I found the reviews helpful) and these are a nice "new" cross section of shelve ready products.  The newsworthy part is the  different approaches, topologies and which iteration of components are used in 'em. These might put pre purchase considerations on to peoples radar screens-


The last thing we in the SSL industry want is consumer dissatisfaction because they did not know what they wanted or needed- or because they fell for some unqualified- BS performance claims. An increase in objective fact based performance evaluations of products helps LED lighting producers get their products in to all those sockets - eagerly awaiting "modern lighting". Educating people about LED lighting is my main objective these days. Thanks to LEDs magazine for aggregating & providing the content, I hope some of you benefit from it !


[Editor's Note: thanks to Ben Stallings reply below for locating the link: ]

Views: 1503

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Vo ist die linken? (where's the link), Dennis? thx, t

The article appears to be here:

IMHO the industry needs to be more focused on bringing LED fixtures to market than making A19 retrofit lamps. LED fixtures are basically not existent at the big box and electrical supply stores. The design possibilities for new fixtures are what is going to get consumers excited, not paying $20 for an A19 lamp that has about the same lumen per watt as a $2 CFL. A19 LED retrofit lamps will never be successful until they can get price competitive with CFL.

Bob - what is going to get 'people excited, read motivated to buy, is a $10 A19 replacement bulb. There is a reason why the big box guys are carrying LED bulbs - because they can sell millions of them. There are 100s of millions Edison screw base fixtures in the market. These are a no brainer consumer retrofit. Replacing the entire fixture for $40, $60, or even a $30 LED fixture retrofit is NOT a value proposition that the Early-Majority/Late-Majority market will easily gravitate to. Yes, over time in new construction and Early-Adopter markets there is/will be new fixture replacement. But, for the next 10-15 years there are billions of dollars to be made and saved in the A19 replacement market.

Hi Bob, having worked in mfg. it is always a cart and horse problem, which comes first. If they make thousands of custom LED fixtures it will be 20 years before those need new lamps and those lamps will fit nothing else. Being able to make a bulb that can be used in millions of existing fixtures gives them a reason to build a production line and volume is what will bring the cost down.

The real world challenge for LEDs is a combination of their longevity and new technology. Before they have reached their full life, maximum return on investment, other newer, better, products will come to market and steal their thunder. The old rotary dial phones lasted over 40 years, but a cell phone of today is obsolete in 2 or 3 years. Today, new products need to repay R&D and mfg costs in a much shorter time. Although we hear that we are living in the age of technology, we are just standing at the door. Dennis has mentioned OLEDs and other technology already coming to market while we discuss A19 lamps.

I personally have a house full of CFLs and a hand full of LEDs, and I must say, I prefer the performance of the latter.


LED's shine in directional applications such as PAR lamps, it's what's "native" to LED. The A19 shape is "native" to the edition bulb, florescent is "native" to long tubes. Retrofitting one type of lamp to fit in a fixture native to a different type is an uphill battle from day 1. LED fixtures could be designed to have the whole thing replaced after 20 years, as you stated they will be obsolete by then anyway.

An LED fixture has a better shot than A19 retrofit lamps. LED fixtures that have a unique design that can't be duplicated using A19 technology could sell for $80 vs a A19 fixture selling for $62. The $18 fixture price difference is easier to swallow than $2 vs $20. People buy nicer fixture because the way they LOOK more than from an energy use standpoint. That being said I'm starting to see LED lamps appearing in ceiling fans, the cost of the fixture isn't that much higher than competing models that use Edison bulbs.

In my own home I've bought LED's for my Christmas lights from a durability standpoint (the don't break easily like incandescent bulbs) and the rich color they give off. I use LED in night lights and other low wattage applications due to high run times and bulb replacement costs. Incandescents don't last long when used every night, only about 3 months. LED's are low cost in low lumen outputs and CFLs aren't made with low lumen (under 300) outputs.

Bob -

Some thoughts on your comments regarding SSL products- some I agree with - others I would dispute.

The contention that LEDs as used in standard form factors( esp A -19 lamps) won't surpass CFL use

isn't right. CFLs market share peaked at 19% of the market for interior use stuff ( Pars, A, B lamps)

LED use in those catagories WILL factual surpass that percentage of use over time.


 Another statement about the inherent beam focus and expected illuminance from any given lamp

whether the throw is * omni directional or a focused or tight beam spream-- when  a light emitter

throws out  photons remote phosphor tech can and will blur those directional light only fallacies.


THere is a lot of speculation in the SSL industry about the life arc of lighting products that need

a screw base- many beleive that screw based lights have less than 10 years of "popular use" left

for their timeline.

So as it becomes a fact , the relative importance of standard bases are diminishing fast. The

whole catergory will become less important over the next 5 years


Your posts don't focus on photometric "facts" just the old Radiometric focus (cost/kW used metric)

in lighting (these days) true performance can't be gleened with out addressing how a system

was designed , what components are used, it's intended role and a consumers expectations -

and how well it will fiunction over a decade- operational costs are only half the story.

That means that systems need to be designed to have higher efficiencies than just 28% - they'll

absolutely require addressability, then they WILL supercede the incumbant lighting systems-


 These new lighting systems will impress - but few will be using SSL tech that are in SSL typical of

big box wares-  the fact is many in SSL industry consider those HD LED products on their shelves

as rudimentry, kinda embarrassing place holder products. - THe current stuff w/its single set CCT or

single energy consumption setting putting out 50 or 60 lumens per a watt - no where near as good

as it should be or will be in 18 months or less.


Oh and in my mind a LED retrofit standard form factor light is a system - as is a LED fixture - it too has to

be a "system" - I don't make the distinction you make - they're ultimately systems for conveting electricity to


In commercial lighting LED has a long way to go. Do dethrone the T8/T12 lamps that have been king for decades will require some serious price drops in LED technology. T8 fixtures cost a small fraction of LED for lumen per dollar. I see LED hitting new construction first, but it will be years before LED retrofitting of T8 fixtures will make sense from a cost standpoint. There's a reason that 80%+ of commercial lighting uses T8 fixtures, although some stores are going to other types of arc lamps. LED tech has a ways to go to significantly beat the T8 in lumen per watt without fixtures costing 10X as much.



While its true that 80% use T-8s but I would remind you that The Acme Gaslight company-

And Amalgamated whale light corp once use to crow about their large market shares too-


If its about lighting thats contemporary to your times,then that lighting would use similar "contemporary metrics", ya know, fluorescents appeal declines every week using

every metric,esp this new one it's apt, What is the cost of a Megalumen of light per Gram  Thats a measure that defines the two lighting genres ( + mindset) differences.


 I know there are  many T 8s recently put in ( even 5 yrs+) but as their lifespan comes to an end - they most likely won't get replaced with More fluorscents if history is a good indicator.

The next lighting upgrades commercially, institutionally will be SSL with  inteligent controls

 its just a question of when , not if they install SSL - another facet; SSL meets new ANSI

requirements and some more stringent state or region criteria relating to lighting.Effectively

concerns will have to switch to LEDs to be competitive. I hope all the concerns that get SSL

have robust products and systems that are vetted and exceed performance expectations. 


So again my hope is to illuminate a few things - Best practices in bldg mgmt indicate SSL use,

comptrollers, accts,+ CFOs want SSL in their properties , ditto major corps, academia provosts

It's a done deal - me I just want to see the migration to SSL goes smoothly , getting info

out there should help facilitate the lighting change over.

Not in the LED Mag review is the new CREE 9.5 watt, 800 lumen bulb--available via Home Depot at a price that makes it very interesting right now--$12.97.  See my review at  Short version: in early testing, I really like this bulb!



 Its great to see more people are examining and "researching" LED retrofits-

I really applaud the efforts made by everyone who are articulating any plusses and

minuses for a given product-


 Where these little capsule reviews come up short is NO concisely worded , explanations of

CCT and CQS  also Cri  And have this data help LED buyers with side by sides of

4- 6 products ( While the Jury is still out on Crees A19 iteration) these lamps - there

all - so so products -not good enough for my house.


 I guess the SSL industry will keep offereing up A 19 variations with various quality levels

for a few more years- but ultimately their clock is "ticking" just like incandescents and Cfl-


We will see OLETs using POE in the near future-consumers will clamour for the new lights

& many of the form factor oldie but goodies will go the way of the typewriter !

People may have light sockets but their function will be replaced with DC LED grids

and portable light tablets

Dennis--I live in the residential retail market. I haven't seen CCT and CRI (I don't even know what CSQ is!) drive many conversations in residential retrofit, and we're not likely to see that level of sophistication in choosing. You might look. I do. But in my experience most won't even know whether they prefer the broad brush "warm" or "cool".  Heck, even lumens is beyond the decision factors of most consumers right now--hence the goofy "60W equivalent" type language. I have seen well written descriptions of CCT and CRI--but that's just not driving consumer choice. And you have to speak to the audience--and the audience isn't there yet with CCT, CQS, CRI, Lumens, or a lot of other criteria! And while fixture replacement may be coming down the pike, we also have to think about now, and when we're doing that KISS.


Latest Activity

Luis Rios replied to Tom Smith's discussion Are Energy Efficient Windows worth the investment?
"To really know how much you are going to save it is important to know the current condition of the…"
Emily Ambrose posted a blog post
Profile IconChris Crawford, Jerry Herron, Baker Electric Home Energy and 1 more joined Home Energy Pros Forum
Dennis Heidner replied to John Lile's discussion Air Sealing Manufactured Home
"Yup,  I'm not sure you want to even try tightening up a modular home built before…"
Dennis Heidner replied to John Lile's discussion Air Sealing Manufactured Home
"You made some very important observations. It's really important to think about how tight you…"
Tom Wilson replied to John Lile's discussion Air Sealing Manufactured Home
"Unless the home is on a permanent block or concrete foundation, attempting this is a lost cause.…"
Tom Wilson replied to John Lile's discussion Air Sealing Manufactured Home
"Actually, it was only in 1976 that any standards at all were applied to mobile homes:  U.S.…"
Dennis Heidner replied to John Lile's discussion Air Sealing Manufactured Home
"You didn't mention anything about the age of these homes.  Early mobile/modular homes…"
David Butler replied to John Lile's discussion Air Sealing Manufactured Home
"Notwithstanding the typical low budget for these homes, it seems like encapsulating the crawl might…"
Chris Clay replied to John Lile's discussion Air Sealing Manufactured Home
"Thanks Ed, Yes the duct system is outdoors. It came from the factory that way. After working on…"
Ed Minch replied to John Lile's discussion Air Sealing Manufactured Home
"Chris I agree, and then notice that puts the duct system outside of the house.  So the duct…"

© 2019   Created by Building Performance Association   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service