Entries tagged as fluorescent light

Now switching light bulbs to LED

So we're getting LED bulbs, too?

After successfully deploying LED lamps across the FPL lamp fixtures, I thought that the lamps installed in the traditional screw-in sockets should be replaced as well. Ever since these lamps started to go mainstream about 5 years ago, the price kept dropping and the choices kept on growing. This meant that it was a good time to make the move.

Comparing the various offerings on the market, I ultimately settled on the BEAM series of lightbulbs from Sigma LED (formerly Sunsea). They were among the brightest for the rated power, yet priced competitively. Both the 8W and 10W versions cost me about US$3.75 (KRW 4,500) per bulb.

The new versus the not-so-old lightbulbs: Sigma LED and Hankuk CFL

They were set to replace the 20W compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs made by Hankuk Lighting and installed throughout the house by default. Here is how they compare.

Name Type Dim. (mm) Power (W) Lum.Flux (lm)
Hankuk HKL-20-D-1 CFL E26 54⌀ x 161 20 1220
Sigma BEAM-10W LED E26 65⌀ x 122 10 1024
Sigma BEAM-8W LED E26 60⌀ x 108 8 744

The LED bulbs are shaped closer to the traditional incandescent bulbs, making them thicker and shorter than the CFL ones. Because of the larger diameter, some of the fixtures that were designed only with the CFL in mind may have trouble taking in the 10W ones. This is why I got 8W ones as a fallback.

Meanwhile, the spec comparison reveals a similar trend seen with the longer cousins. The LED bulbs meant to replace the CFL comes in at about half the power consumption and slightly lower total amount of light. I'll be checking if the reality reflects these numbers, of course.
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Switching home lighting from FPL to LED

Fluorescent light replacement LED lamps from TopLux - 14 in all

Having a smart meter giving real-time power consumption data provided a lot of insights for my home. The baseline load when everything is idle is about 80W, and the refrigerator running at full power adds 90W to that. So when I noticed that more than 300W were being used during the evening hours even with the TV turned off, I had to track down what the culprit was.

It turned out that the sole reason for this uptick was the lighting. Fluorescent lights in the living room and the study room were turned on for several hours every day and contributing much to the total consumption. Knowing that LED lights were more efficient and that the price has come down a lot recently, I decided to make some major investment.

Front and back of the LED lamp / comparison of the connector (back: LED / front: FPL)

As with a lot of apartments in Korea, the typical type of lighting installed was PL compact fluorescent lights, or FPL for short. It uses 4-pin 2G11 socket and has external ballast. Lots of replacement methods exist - lamp-only, ballast + lamp (socket is kept), or total replacement. As the lamp-only method is simplest by far and not much more expensive than replacing everything, the choice was obvious for me. I ordered the relevant LED lamps manufactured and sold by TopLux of Korea which were on sale - 23W version cost about KRW 21,000 (US$17.50) and 15W one, KRW 14,000 (US$11.70). Here is how they stack up with the existing FPL lamps.

Name Type Len. (mm) Power (W) Lum.Flux (lm)
Hyosun FPL45EX-D FPL 540 45 4060
TopLux FT23-57 LED 535 23 3400
Hyosun FPL32EX-D FPL 415 32 2600
TopLux FT18W-04-57A LED 415 15 2250

According to the specifications, the LED lamp consumes about half the power while putting out about 85% of total light, or luminous flux, compared to the similarly sized FPL counterpart. This is indeed quite an increase in efficiency if it delivers. Visually, one side of the lamp is taken up by a long heat sink and uses the same four-pin layout. The pins themselves are simply round, not dimpled in the middle like the FPL it's replacing, so I suppose it won't "hook in" quite as well.
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