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 Post subject: Re: Rant On LED Flourescent Replacements
PostPosted: Jun Mon 17, 2019 8:10 am 
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Just picked myself up off the floor after reading the poster's first comment.

Let me get this straight: You actually walked into a Home Depot and found an employee who actually had intelligent answers to your questions? Unbelievable!

Hope you got that on video.


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 Post subject: Re: Rant On LED Flourescent Replacements
PostPosted: Jun Mon 17, 2019 11:28 am 
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well no, I so seldom record my visits to Home Depot. But yes, that was a one in a million occurrence for certain. Although they usually do have someone in plumbing that knows plumbing, that's usually been the limit of experienced help in the large box stores. Till now. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Rant On LED Flourescent Replacements
PostPosted: Jun Mon 17, 2019 1:32 pm 
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Barry H Bennett wrote:
well no, I so seldom record my visits to Home Depot. But yes, that was a one in a million occurrence for certain. Although they usually do have someone in plumbing that knows plumbing, that's usually been the limit of experienced help in the large box stores. Till now. :)


Really that Home Depot employee didn't have a clue about the questions that Barry was asking. The first ERROR the employee made was that Home Depot didn't sell DIRECT WIRE LED bulbs in 2 foot and 4 foot variety.... they don't have them available in the STORES .. but trust me Home Depot sells TOGGLED brand DIRECT WIRE LED bulbs in 2 foot 3 foot and 4 foot length bulbs. Order online and get FREE HOME DELIVERY.

It won't take 15 minutes to rewire the fixture for direct wire LED bulbs. The danged NOISEY Ballast will be GONE. And if you get the Toggled brand and there are also others that DO NOT MAKE RF NOISE. Remember we are old radio hobbyists and most of us want to listen to AM radio. Plus the new NO Ballast Bulbs require less then half the power to run them so your saving some bucks on your light bills. Plus these bulbs have a 50,000 hour warranty on them. Plus temperature doesn't effect them near like Florescent bulbs. No Flickering around No dim bulbs for a while. Nearly Instant ON full brightness and VERY LITTLE RF noise in our old radios.

Watch the 2 minute youtube video of how to rewire the fixture. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shrXPyjB2O4

A second you tube video explaining the differences in Shunted or Non-Shunted Tombstones. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCWoI0X4jw0

I have now installed something close to 300 of these bulbs in my homes as well as friends and relatives homes.
John k9uwa

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 Post subject: Re: Rant On LED Flourescent Replacements
PostPosted: Jun Mon 17, 2019 2:10 pm 
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I just turn off the dang lights when I am not using them. Seems effective. I have sort of a mix of old and new. My last electric bill was 43$ and that is more or less typical.

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 Post subject: Re: Rant On LED Flourescent Replacements
PostPosted: Jun Mon 17, 2019 2:34 pm 
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Joined: Nov Wed 30, 2016 7:35 pm
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Location: Sunbury, Ohio 43074
Thanks y'all. I know HD has them ONLINE.... I just wanted to pick up a few to try here before I buy 40 or 80 of them, but I guess i'll have to order. This is a commercial building, not my home, so quantity matters :-D

I'm hoping that I can replace 4 flourescent tubes per fixture with just 2 LED tubes per fixture, and at the same time remove the ballasts. The tombstones are non shunted, so I can rewire them any way I want.

A bit more research is in order. I really HATE doing this kind of research online but it appears to be an ever increasing thing.....used to be you could walk into a HD or Lowes or any lamp store and they'd have many choices. Even the lighting places don't anymore... all online.

grrrr

............I guess this means the rant continues

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 Post subject: Re: Rant On LED Flourescent Replacements
PostPosted: Jun Mon 17, 2019 3:16 pm 
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Location: Austin, Texas
I perform hospital mnt. , having replaced a TON of ballasts, primarily in 2 and 4 bulb models. My new hospital is all LED and not only do the drivers go out within a few years, but so do the LED light strips. As an added bonus, the drivers are $ and not stocked by Grainger, so our Electrician must bust his tail to find even one! Not impressed!-Gearhead222-PS-10 years ago, HD DID carry ballasts, as I replaced one onetime for an ex. Sad that they have stopped:(


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 Post subject: Re: Rant On LED Flourescent Replacements
PostPosted: Jun Mon 17, 2019 4:56 pm 
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I'm not sure what drivers Gearhead is referring to, but I converted several shop lights to LED tubes that John recommended a while back and have been very pleased with the conversions. Remove the ballast, do a quick re-wire of the tombstones and you're good to go. The drivers must be built into the tubes.

In the house we moved into last summer I also ordered a bunch of LED bulbs for vanity and recessed light fixtures. I ordered everything, including the tubes from 1000bulbs and have been pleased so far.

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 Post subject: Re: Rant On LED Flourescent Replacements
PostPosted: Jun Mon 17, 2019 5:17 pm 
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Home depot can be very disappointing when you really need a little help.

One bad experience I had was when I saw on-line that the store had stock for some Rustoleum Epoxy garage floor sealer. So I went there and spoke with the "head" girl in that paint and sealer dept.
She flat out told me they don't carry it. Never did.

When I told her the on-line page says they do.. she grimaced and told me she'd walk me through the paint area and prove it wasn't there.
Yikes. So of course she proved she could not locate it.

So I said thank you... and was about to leave... but I thought I'd look again by myself... Sure enough there it was!!.
So I took two gallons over to her counter and said to her: "Is this the stuff you don't carry?"
Boy was she RED faced.

Then the next time I was in the tile area looking for a shower pan. I only saw some rather small pans. So I found the guy in charge who said he could answer anything about showers and shower pans.
So we walked over to the area and I pointed out the ones that I had found. I asked him if those were all he had because I wanted one a larger size.
I asked him if they stocked larger pans. He said what you see there is all they make.
I said... how can that be.. those are so small. What sizes do they come in?
He says... "that's pretty much it"
I looked at him saying how can that be? ...
So then I said what size do they make?
His reply : "Well it depends on what you are going to do in there."
... OMG
I laughed at him and asked him " What do you expect people do in there? ... SHOWER! right?
I laughed at him and walked out.

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 Post subject: Re: Rant On LED Flourescent Replacements
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 7:12 am 
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Location: Lincoln City, OR
Greetings to John and the Forum:

I am going to have to respectfully disagree with your comment below:

Quote:
#3 Ballasts create RF interference noise.


Ballasts are simply coils of wire on a magnetic core. They do not create RF interference. At least the old original magnetic ballasts don't. Of course, you are right if you meant the new solid-state replacements for the old magnetic ballasts. I actually searched on the 'bay for and found some NOS magnetic ballasts for the fluorescents in my ham shack because I know how RF noisy the solid-state ballasts can be. Of course, there is some noise generated by the tubes themselves... after all, there are essentially a mercury vapor arc light. However, they are relatively quiet compared to those awful solid state ballasts which seem to be all you can find nowadays. Hence my 'bay purchase.

However, now that I have found some quiet LED fixtures, I will probably just replace my remaining fluorescents with those when they fail. It costs a fortune to dispose of old fluorescent tubes around here anyway.... I think the LED lights are going to render them uneconomic in the near future, if they haven't already.

Just my $.02 worth; your mileage may vary.

Regards,

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 Post subject: Re: Rant On LED Flourescent Replacements
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 3:13 pm 
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When you get to the point of actually replacing the old florescent fixtures, you should first consider if strip lights are the best solution because they are far more expensive than standard fixtures that take LED screw in bulbs. I have ten dual tube 4' florescent fixtures in one of my radio rooms and decided that over the bench LED flood type single bulb fixtures will provide a better solution and some of the others may also get changed to a fixture that will take a very wide variety of low cost LED bulbs. Just something to consider now that there are many options for providing a lot of light with reasonable wattage consumption which at one point was the forte of florescent strips.

Rodger WQ9E


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 Post subject: Re: Rant On LED Flourescent Replacements
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 4:22 pm 
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Jthorusen wrote:
Greetings to John and the Forum:

I am going to have to respectfully disagree with your comment below:

Quote:
#3 Ballasts create RF interference noise.


Ballasts are simply coils of wire on a magnetic core. They do not create RF interference. At least the old original magnetic ballasts don't. Of course, you are right if you meant the new solid-state replacements for the old magnetic ballasts. I actually searched on the 'bay for and found some NOS magnetic ballasts for the fluorescents in my ham shack because I know how RF noisy the solid-state ballasts can be. Of course, there is some noise generated by the tubes themselves... after all, there are essentially a mercury vapor arc light. However, they are relatively quiet compared to those awful solid state ballasts which seem to be all you can find nowadays. Hence my 'bay purchase.

However, now that I have found some quiet LED fixtures, I will probably just replace my remaining fluorescents with those when they fail. It costs a fortune to dispose of old fluorescent tubes around here anyway.... I think the LED lights are going to render them uneconomic in the near future, if they haven't already.

Just my $.02 worth; your mileage may vary.

Regards,


Your correct Jim. Plain florescent bulbs do make a bit of noise. And all of the new solid state ballasts are terrible noise makers. This house had in it 45 florescent bulbs. A few of the ballasts were the newer solid state ones. Nearly every week I was putting in new bulbs. This house literally ROARED with RF Noise. The absolute best quietest LED 2ft and 4ft bulbs I could find were ThinkLux brand but buying those today is a bit of a problem on the supply end. Toggled brand are pretty quiet as are SOME of the Feit bulbs. So for well under $20 you can replace the ballast and the old florescent bulbs in a 2 bulb fixture and be done with it. The bulbs have a 50,000 hour warranty.

Another RF noise maker is our computer monitors. For the most part the problem isn't so much the monitor itself but the Switch Mode Power supplys that are built into the monitors. The CURE is to buy a monitor that is power by a "Wall Wart". Yes the wall warts make the noise but it is reasonably easy to eliminate them. These LG monitors I bought are run from a 1.6amp 19vdc wall wart. So I found a couple old heavier than a boat anchor Lamda regulated 0 to 20 volts transformer powered supplies and ditched the wall warts. Much better than trying to cut into a brand new monitor ruin the warranty by trying to filter the SMPS.

For plain old A-19 screw in 60 watt bulbs Sunbeam brand are quiet bulbs. Not perfect but not too bad. They are available at your Dollar Stores yes for a buck a bulb. So the 9 watt bulb replaces the incandescent 60watt bulb for a savings on the light bills and they don't create RF noise.

John k9uwa

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 Post subject: Re: Rant On LED Flourescent Replacements
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 4:58 pm 
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k9uwa wrote:
For plain old A-19 screw in 60 watt bulbs Sunbeam brand are quiet bulbs. Not perfect but not too bad. They are available at your Dollar Stores yes for a buck a bulb. So the 9 watt bulb replaces the incandescent 60watt bulb for a savings on the light bills and they don't create RF noise.

John k9uwa


Osram/Sylvania makes a quiet 60 watt LED replacement that puts out light pretty much exactly like a 60 watt incandescent.

Maybe a year ago I went to get two for a couple lights at work in a screen room as the incandescents were too dim. They no longer had those, but they did have GE LED bulbs which from the outside look every bit like an incandescent even down to the glass bulb and light dispersion, but they are LED.

The GE bulbs are dead silent RFI wise. The screen room is used to test something sensitive to interference and the Selective Level Meter and oscope I use could pick up no RFI whatsoever from those bulbs even when the probes were held right at the bulb envelope. All I saw on the scope when I held the probe close wss a 60Hz sinewave which was being picked up by the probe being close to the fixture.


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 Post subject: Re: Rant On LED Flourescent Replacements
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 11:03 pm 
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Tube Radio wrote:
k9uwa wrote:
For plain old A-19 screw in 60 watt bulbs Sunbeam brand are quiet bulbs. Not perfect but not too bad. They are available at your Dollar Stores yes for a buck a bulb. So the 9 watt bulb replaces the incandescent 60watt bulb for a savings on the light bills and they don't create RF noise.

John k9uwa


Osram/Sylvania makes a quiet 60 watt LED replacement that puts out light pretty much exactly like a 60 watt incandescent.

Maybe a year ago I went to get two for a couple lights at work in a screen room as the incandescents were too dim. They no longer had those, but they did have GE LED bulbs which from the outside look every bit like an incandescent even down to the glass bulb and light dispersion, but they are LED.

The GE bulbs are dead silent RFI wise. The screen room is used to test something sensitive to interference and the Selective Level Meter and oscope I use could pick up no RFI whatsoever from those bulbs even when the probes were held right at the bulb envelope. All I saw on the scope when I held the probe close wss a 60Hz sinewave which was being picked up by the probe being close to the fixture.


Hi Tube can you get me the model number or a direct link to those GE Bulbs? And where you purchased them?

To: Barry Bennet try some of the Toggled brand bulbs Easy to install and quiet plus reliable. I have a Brother In Law who is now in process of replacing all the bulbs in a whole county school system. Now thats commercial for sure. He ran into some shunted fixtures in some of their locations so it was either change out the tombstones or rewire using a bulb with one wire to each end of the bulb. Then some way of identifying the fixtures so in the future if a bulb burns out the next maintenance guy would know what to put into that fixture. He I know is attempting to only use one type so they don't have to inventory multiple types of spares. I haven't talked to him but am guessing he would change to Non-Shunted tombstones so he could keep the same bulb and wiring system throughout the schools and admin buildings etc. Think here probably a few thousand bulbs. Long term a whole lot less work changing out bad bulbs and a considerable savings in the lite bills for the school system.

John k9uwa

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 Post subject: Re: Rant On LED Flourescent Replacements
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 11:14 pm 
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Here's the three versions they have.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/GE-Reveal-60-W ... 1000442853

https://www.lowes.com/pd/GE-Relax-60-Wa ... 1000444903

https://www.lowes.com/pd/GE-Refresh-40- ... 1000444877


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 Post subject: Re: Rant On LED Flourescent Replacements
PostPosted: Jun Wed 19, 2019 4:38 am 
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I use the clear sylvania led bulbs and they give no RFI what so ever and they give pleasant lighting i bought mine at walmart.

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 Post subject: Re: Rant On LED Flourescent Replacements
PostPosted: Jun Wed 19, 2019 6:14 am 
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Not wanting to teach anyone how to suck eggs, but … well, it's clear that many who've commented so far don't actually understand how magnetically-ballasted fluorescent lamps work.

(And I'll assume we're only talking about magnetic ballasts here because - and correct me if I'm wrong; I'm not 100% across what's sold in 110V countries - as far as I know all the drop-in-replacement LED tubes are specifically for magnetically-ballasted fittings, and can't be used in electronically-ballasted fittings without removing/bypassing the ballast.)

Fluorescent tubes, once they strike and start conducting, show "negative resistance" characteristics - current rapidly increases until it either the supply goes into limit or the tube arcs over / destructs. On the other hand, magnetic ballasts are non-linear in the other direction - at low currents, when they're not in magnetic saturation, their effective impedance is low; but at operating current they run in magnetic saturation & their effective impedance is high.

So, when used together, the ballast is (a) unsaturated & low impedance to start with, allowing sufficient current to preheat/start the tube, but (b) saturated & high impedance when operating, limiting the current through the operating tube. In sequence, something like this:

  • At startup the ballast is not in saturation, so is effectively low impedance.
  • Full mains voltage runs through the heaters, and thermionic emission from the heaters 'primes' the tube.
  • (I'll leave out the bit about how the tube strikes, because that does differ between tubes/fittings/ballasts & mains voltages. There may or may not be an inductive voltage spike in addition to the mains voltage; it depends…)
  • When the tube strikes, it suddently starts drawing much more current - and, given the chance, would run away - but the extra current saturates the ballast.
  • Because the ballast is now in saturation, its impedance increases & limits the current through the tube.

From the figures I've seen, in 110V countries a nominal 34W fluorescent fitting (i.e. a single 4' tube) will use ~44W. So in normal operation, the ballast in saturation is dissipating ~10W - or 25~30% of the total power in the fitting - in magnetic losses and heat. Mostly heat…

On the flip side, LED replacement tubes are rated in 'fluorescent equivalent' watts - that is, an equivalent LED tube has the same light output as a 34W fluorescent, but doesn't actually draw 34W. According to Philips datasheets, for their tubes it's more like 16W. So there's an immediate saving there.

The second thing is that, with the lower current draw (∵ lower wattage), the magnetic ballast never goes into saturation - so it's wasting a lot less power than it normally would.

The one thing I can't speak for is the difference in unsaturated/saturated ballast impedance in the US case (since the construction and operation of the ballast is slightly different between the 240V types I've measured & the 110V types used there). It should essentially be the impedance as measured on a LCR bridge at 60Hz. Anyone here able to measure it and report the result?

But regardless, with an LED tube drawing less than 1/2 the current of a fluorescent tube, a magnetic ballast will stay low impedance, emit much less RFI* (because it's not saturating/clipping), run much cooler, & last much longer than normal. Sure, efficiency won't be optimal, but I'd bet it's a relatively minor hit overall & in comparison to the vast improvement gained from the LED tube itself.

(* That is, from the ballast itself. LED drivers can be noisy themselves, & so mean noisy tubes - but I'd bet in that case that the ballast will actually be an advantage by limiting the amount of high-frequency hash/RFI conducted back into the rest of the house wiring. That certainly seems to be the case with the few I've seen here in 240V-land …)

edit: couple of typos, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Rant On LED Flourescent Replacements
PostPosted: Jun Wed 19, 2019 11:41 am 
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The LED replacement tubes are designed for electronic ballasts.

Some specifically state they will not work with magnetic ballasts.


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 Post subject: Re: Rant On LED Flourescent Replacements
PostPosted: Jun Wed 19, 2019 11:59 am 
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rsingl wrote:
When you get to the point of actually replacing the old florescent fixtures, you should first consider if strip lights are the best solution because they are far more expensive than standard fixtures that take LED screw in bulbs. I have ten dual tube 4' florescent fixtures in one of my radio rooms and decided that over the bench LED flood type single bulb fixtures will provide a better solution and some of the others may also get changed to a fixture that will take a very wide variety of low cost LED bulbs. Just something to consider now that there are many options for providing a lot of light with reasonable wattage consumption which at one point was the forte of florescent strips.

Rodger WQ9E

Good point--but one advantage of "strip lights" is better lighting for photography.

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 Post subject: Re: Rant On LED Flourescent Replacements
PostPosted: Jun Wed 19, 2019 12:00 pm 
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Tube Radio wrote:
The LED replacement tubes are designed for electronic ballasts........
The replacement tubes John and I are referring to do not use a ballast; the tombstones are rewired for one end to connect to 120VAC. I guess you could leave the ballast in there for whatever reason, but I just remove them to make the fixture lighter.

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 Post subject: Re: Rant On LED Flourescent Replacements
PostPosted: Jun Wed 19, 2019 12:47 pm 
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pixellany wrote:

Good point--but one advantage of "strip lights" is better lighting for photography.


I agree and there are times/places where that broad source lighting is definitely useful. But I suspect a lot of older florescent strips were installed mainly because they were the lowest wattage source of a lot of light at the time while that is no longer the case and in my radio room I will probably replace a few of the strips with different fixtures when converting to LED.

I went a different direction for photography lighting with a set of three Hensel D500 strobes and a selection of light modifiers :)

Rodger WQ9E


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