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#2689457 - 11/14/17 01:32 PM LED bulbs  
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As some of you are aware I have 3 lights suspended from the ceiling above the keyboard of my music room piano.

Last week one of these gave up the ghost. I thought it would be good to make sure that I had identical bulbs in the three sockets. The only 3 matching bulbs available in the small electrical retailer's shop were 10 Watt LED units.

Having exchanged the old ones, and having sat down and played- well the difference is amazing. The light is just so much better for my eyes. I wish I had had these from the day I built the music room.

Believe it or not, most people here still buy the incandescent bulbs, because the unit price is lower.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
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#2689465 - 11/14/17 02:00 PM Re: LED bulbs [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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For less eye fatigue, it is best to choose the ones with a "warm" color. These are usually identified as having a color temperature in the range 2700K to 3000K. I converted my entire house (more than 50 bulbs) to LED 3 years ago.


What do snowflakes and Chickerings have in common? There are no two exactly alike!
#2689472 - 11/14/17 02:14 PM Re: LED bulbs [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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I put in a LED bulb in my piano lamp and it’s been great. It has warm color temp, lasts longer, does not put out any heat.

#2689476 - 11/14/17 02:30 PM Re: LED bulbs [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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Yes the low heating and much light per watt is good.

But I'm holding back on LED lighting because of the low color quality of the light. The average LED stuff is about 80% CRI which is same as a cheap TL light, with sharp peaks in the spectrum. This results in faded looking colors. They also often flicker just like TL.

There is high quality LED lighting but it is very expensive, say $500 for a 10 pack of 95 CRI LED TL's...


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#2689480 - 11/14/17 02:39 PM Re: LED bulbs [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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Regarding the unit price, be aware that the "lifetime" of energy-saving lights is often greatly exaggerated. Especially when they get hot (eg when they are in an enclosure) their life time drops fast. Also some lights do last long but fade or de-color quick, making them useless long before their "lifetime". I have some $0.50 incandescent bulbs lasting already over 10 years here. Hard to beat that


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#2689481 - 11/14/17 02:43 PM Re: LED bulbs [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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Sorry... What are CRI and TL?

#2689492 - 11/14/17 03:33 PM Re: LED bulbs [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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Know an old lady who is paranoid about the new bulbs being cold and possibly giving off radiation or contain poisons like mercury when they're broken.

When it comes to color, found some 9W=60 bulbs made by Philips that come in 3 colors: Warm White 2700K, Bright White 3500K & Daylight White 5000K. Personally prefer Bright White with a color like the sun through the window in the middle of the day but not too white like a fluorescent or too warm like sunset glow.

The CFLs (compact fluorescent) 10 years ago lasted a long time but the quality control isn't all that consistent. I've had some that lasted for 12 years while some of the same ones with the same brand only lasted for 5 years.

#2689517 - 11/14/17 05:43 PM Re: LED bulbs [Re: guyl]  
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Originally Posted by guyl
For less eye fatigue, it is best to choose the ones with a "warm" color. These are usually identified as having a color temperature in the range 2700K to 3000K. I converted my entire house (more than 50 bulbs) to LED 3 years ago.


+1. The make I use is Topaz. Quality and dimmer compatibility vary between makes, Topaz is good....


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#2689521 - 11/14/17 06:08 PM Re: LED bulbs [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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I'm happy with the ones from Ikea for longevity, quality, cost, and cost of operation.


Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

#2689528 - 11/14/17 06:38 PM Re: LED bulbs [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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I don't know how much all of you are paying for bulbs vs electricity prices, but certainly here in Australia the cost of not using LEDs is too high. So much so that the government has set up a scheme to allow contractors to visit homes to exchange all non-energy efficient globes over to LEDs - at no cost to residents. But maybe our electricity is a lot more expensive than most. LEDs are very cheap for us now, Compact Flouros are cheaper still, incandescent is now almost as expensive as CFs - not sure if that's an inducement to change over or because of low volume.

#2689547 - 11/14/17 08:48 PM Re: LED bulbs [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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Here incandescent is banned by the government -- sort of. You can still get tungsten halogen quartz, and decorative specialty ones like the candelabra type. I saved a bunch of regular tungsten argon borosilicate incandescents because the light quality from CF is so very poor. But now I'm going with LED, because the light is very close to Planckian like an incandescent, the efficiency is much better, and there's no heat to roast the sockets and switches. I may let go of the incandescent stash.....


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#2689550 - 11/14/17 09:03 PM Re: LED bulbs [Re: JohnSprung]  
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Originally Posted by JohnSprung

Here incandescent is banned by the government -- sort of. You can still get tungsten halogen quartz, and decorative specialty ones like the candelabra type. I saved a bunch of regular tungsten argon borosilicate incandescents because the light quality from CF is so very poor. But now I'm going with LED, because the light is very close to Planckian like an incandescent, the efficiency is much better, and there's no heat to roast the sockets and switches. I may let go of the incandescent stash.....





I just bought an incandescent 50-100-150 3 way in a Target. I think the "Ban" is a little ephemeral like the US converting to metric measurement or the Do Not Call List. I'm still finding color temperature to be hit and miss with LED's. I use them in some places but in others the yellowish "soft white" of tungsten is like the warmth of vacuum tubes in audio and I hoard my incandescent in case they ever get serious about not making them anymore.


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#2689638 - 11/15/17 02:15 AM Re: LED bulbs [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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This might be a stupid question.

I am using the lights to read black ink on white paper. Does the colour of the light matter?


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
#2689643 - 11/15/17 02:55 AM Re: LED bulbs [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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Originally Posted by PhilipInChina
This might be a stupid question.

I am using the lights to read black ink on white paper. Does the colour of the light matter?


We humans have a tendency to interpret the prevailing ambient light as "white," whatever its spectral composition might actually be. Most of us, for example, can't detect the change in colour of daylight between, say, mid-day and 3pm, although the difference is very noticeable to a measuring instrument. That's why photographers have to be concerned about the notion of "white balance" -- the camera's film or sensor will record what is actually there, not what we perceive.

People make a big deal about "daylight coloured" lighting, but the colour of daylight is not very constant. There are specialist reading lamps whose colour temperature is supposed to be better because of this or that, but I'm not sure what objective evidence there is, if any, for the improvements they claim to offer.

If it has not already been done, it would be interesting to study how (say) sight-reading accuracy was affected by the colour profile of different kinds of ambient light, with equivalent intensity. I would expect there to be extremes of the red end and blue end of the spectrum where our optical machinery doesn't work very well, and a huge range in the middle where the light makes little difference. But that's just a wild guess. I would love to know if anybody has actually studied this objectively.

#2689647 - 11/15/17 03:24 AM Re: LED bulbs [Re: kevinb]  
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Originally Posted by kevinb
Originally Posted by PhilipInChina
This might be a stupid question.

I am using the lights to read black ink on white paper. Does the colour of the light matter?


We humans have a tendency to interpret the prevailing ambient light as "white," whatever its spectral composition might actually be. Most of us, for example, can't detect the change in colour of daylight between, say, mid-day and 3pm, although the difference is very noticeable to a measuring instrument. That's why photographers have to be concerned about the notion of "white balance" -- the camera's film or sensor will record what is actually there, not what we perceive.

People make a big deal about "daylight coloured" lighting, but the colour of daylight is not very constant. There are specialist reading lamps whose colour temperature is supposed to be better because of this or that, but I'm not sure what objective evidence there is, if any, for the improvements they claim to offer.

If it has not already been done, it would be interesting to study how (say) sight-reading accuracy was affected by the colour profile of different kinds of ambient light, with equivalent intensity. I would expect there to be extremes of the red end and blue end of the spectrum where our optical machinery doesn't work very well, and a huge range in the middle where the light makes little difference. But that's just a wild guess. I would love to know if anybody has actually studied this objectively.


This is a whole subject in itself and has been throroughly studied by most of the LED light bulb manufacturers. The main manufacturers produce very well-tailored light covering most of the spectrum by using a multiplicity of frequencies that mimic a black-body radiator at the given temperature (say 2700K). They had a lot of trouble with producing LEDs with this mix initially, and a lot of LEDs worked, but failed to give the required freqiuency mix. These LEDs were sold off at semi-scrap rate to many Chinese producers who put them into light bulbs. There was a period when cheap 'warm white' was often a ghastly yellow monochrome.

The main manufacturers never did this. So there used to be a heck of a difference between various manufacturers output, and after being caught out by this, I now only ever buy Philips Master series LED bulbs.That said, the manufacturing process is now much better and the rubbish ones that were sold cheaply are getting to be a thing of the past, and can now be nearly as good as the good ones - but there's no guarantee.

If you're a photographer, you may find that some light bulbs give off light that is easy on the eye, but give strange results on the photograph. For those pictures you may need to resort to changing the LEDs or using incandescant light bulbs to get good results.


Still trying to play the piano properly ...
#2689654 - 11/15/17 04:41 AM Re: LED bulbs [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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I'm sure the colour characters of LED bulbs have been studied. My interest, though, is in the specific area of how these characteristics affect human performance at things like sight reading. Or even ordinary reading. There's a company in the UK that makes specialist LED reading lamps, and claims that the effectiveness of its product is backed up by research. However, they don't provide any actual references, and my attempts to find anything in that area have not been successful. I suspect that the manufacturers have carried out a few private, qualitative surveys, and called the job done. But maybe that's just me being cynical.

As for photography, happily these problems are easy-ish to correct in software with digital photography. Less easy with film, I guess.

#2689690 - 11/15/17 08:59 AM Re: LED bulbs [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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I've had good luck with the FEIT LED bulbs they sell at Costco. Here in Illinois the price is subsidized by ComEd, so they're dirt cheap. I've replaced everything. I used to like the daylight bulbs, but as I got older I started to prefer the warm bulbs.

I have an LED clip-on piano light that's more blue than the lights in my light fixtures. I'd prefer something warmer, but it's really bright.

Back in the 80s first night in my first apartment in NYC, I couldn't figure out why I had all the lights on but still couldn't see. It turned out my landlady had put 10W bulbs in all the fixtures.

#2689700 - 11/15/17 09:45 AM Re: LED bulbs [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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Originally Posted by PhilipInChina
This might be a stupid question.

I am using the lights to read black ink on white paper. Does the colour of the light matter?


Probably very very little -- There's no reason we couldn't read Christmas carols printed in green on red paper. At most it would be a minor irritation.


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#2689701 - 11/15/17 09:47 AM Re: LED bulbs [Re: kevinb]  
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Originally Posted by kevinb

...If it has not already been done, it would be interesting to study how (say) sight-reading accuracy was affected by the colour profile of different kinds of ambient light, with equivalent intensity...I would love to know if anybody has actually studied this objectively.


Lighting that instantly improves sight reading? I'M IN!!!


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#2689705 - 11/15/17 10:03 AM Re: LED bulbs [Re: Fareham]  
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Originally Posted by Fareham
We humans have a tendency to interpret the prevailing ambient light as "white," whatever its spectral composition might actually be. Most of us, for example, can't detect the change in colour of daylight between, say, mid-day and 3pm, although the difference is very noticeable to a measuring instrument.

This is a whole subject in itself and has been throroughly studied by most of the LED light bulb manufacturers. The main manufacturers produce very well-tailored light covering most of the spectrum by using a multiplicity of frequencies that mimic a black-body radiator at the given temperature (say 2700K). They had a lot of trouble with producing LEDs with this mix initially, and a lot of LEDs worked, but failed to give the required freqiuency mix.


Yes, we adjust to whatever we encounter and try to make white of it. There's no such thing as color in physics. It only exists in our heads. Our eyes take the physical wave lengths that come in, and run them through three different weighting functions -- long, medium, and short wavelengths, basically red, green, and blue -- and report that to the brain. We see with three primary colors, pigeons have five.

LED's actually produce fairly narrow bands, in red, green, and blue. There are theatrical and motion picture lights that use tri-color LED's to produce whatever mix you want. But for household lighting the way they work is to use an extreme short wave blue LED source to activate a mix of phosphors with a broader spectral distribution. Remote phosphor soft lights for motion picture use have interchangeable screens so you can pick the color temperature you want. The improvement in the light from household LED's is the result of better phosphor mixes.


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#2689889 - 11/16/17 01:04 AM Re: LED bulbs [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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As I have mentioned elsewhere I have painted the reflecting part of the shades in blue. The LED light looks even bluer that before. I had read that blue light aids concentration.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
#2690284 - 11/17/17 04:40 PM Re: LED bulbs [Re: David-G]  
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CRI is color rendition index. The colors we see are a result of the objects ability to reflect certain wavelengths back, However if those wavelengths are not present in the first place then color can look off. The CRI scale goes from -100 to 100. -100 is pure monochrome, (Laser light) and 100 is sun light/incandescent. The closer your bulb is, the more natural colors will look because the light from the bulb is more balanced over the spectrum relative to natural light.
For something like lighting a room I would go no lower than 80+. (really 85+ if you can find it). For kitchens/places you eat or places like a vanity mirror setup I would say 90+ really 95+.

Often such 95+ CRI bulbs cost a fortune, so my solution is to get the lower CRI rated ones and supplement them with incandescent, after all the LED is pulling 10% of the power, so you are still cutting power draw by nearly 50% (I made my parents go with 4 LED and 2 incandescent in out dining room chandelier, that worked out really well and uses only 144W now as opposed to the original 360W)

TL I am guessing is Tube light or a term for Fluorescent?

The main thing to watch out on with LEDs is their strobe. Cheap LEDs lack smoothing capacitors or use half wave rectification, and thus the strobe effect can be quite noticeable. There is no good way to know without testing the bulb, I have dropped fair sums of money on bulbs only to be be disappointed by the strobe.

For LEDs that look like normal bulbs I recommend Greenlight LEDX (or any LED filament based bulb (jsut watch out for strobe)), for ceiling based accent lighting there is Soraa, they have some wonderful high CRI bulbs but be prepared to pay the premium.


As for lighting that helps sight reading, yes such a thing does exist. I have played around with low pressure sodium lighting (-44CRI effectively pure monochrome yellow) and while it drains any sense of color perception from the room, it renders black text on white super clearly. (ever wonder why caution signs are black text on yellow?) I am sure there are less extreme varieties of lighting that could work, but likely not as well.


Sorry for the wall of text, Lighting is something I really care about, spending some time and money to get the right setup can really make huge differences on your daily life.


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#2690383 - 11/18/17 05:45 AM Re: LED bulbs [Re: XenondiFluoride]  
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Originally Posted by XenondiFluoride
Cheap LEDs lack smoothing capacitors or use half wave rectification, and thus the strobe effect can be quite noticeable. There is no good way to know without testing the bulb, I have dropped fair sums of money on bulbs only to be be disappointed by the strobe.


I have a suspicion -- not backed up by evidence -- that some of the bias I have against LED bulbs is this strobe/flicker effect, even though I can't directly perceive it. I can't see the flicker whilst looking at something directly illuminated (and I suspect that nobody can, because human persistence of vision is too long); but I can see it when I move my eyes rapidly around the illuminated object. That makes me wonder whether I might be unconsciously aware of it at other times as well.

Although I can't consciously perceive the flicker, I wonder whether it does affect me in some subliminal way.

#2690430 - 11/18/17 10:45 AM Re: LED bulbs [Re: kevinb]  
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Originally Posted by XenondiFluoride
Cheap LEDs lack smoothing capacitors or use half wave rectification, and thus the strobe effect can be quite noticeable. There is no good way to know without testing the bulb, I have dropped fair sums of money on bulbs only to be be disappointed by the strobe.


Originally Posted by kevinb
... but I can see it when I move my eyes rapidly around the illuminated object. That makes me wonder whether I might be unconsciously aware of it at other times as well...Although I can't consciously perceive the flicker, I wonder whether it does affect me in some subliminal way.


If you can see the flicker when you are not looking directly at the lights, you are still perceiving it. My experience is that LED bulbs have improved greatly in this regard.

The first year that LED holiday lights were available we tried some and they lasted less than an hour in my house because they were an instant migraine for me.


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#2690480 - 11/18/17 02:42 PM Re: LED bulbs [Re: kevinb]  
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Yes, that is when I am most aware of flicker, when I turn my head, or move my eyes quickly. But I also can notice it while not moving it is just much tougher. one good test is to wave your hand in front of the bulb. if you see distinct striated blurs then there is strobe.

Strobe from cheap bulbs can lead to eye fatigue, and if it is really bad, I can get a headache.


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#2690674 - 11/19/17 04:32 PM Re: LED bulbs [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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Yes CRI and TL as XenondiFluoride wrote. tube light / flurescent.

Halogen and incandescent have very high light quality / CRI but very reddish, like a sunset.

I see almost all flicker. Some cars today have flickering rear lights, I can't see these cars properly, I just see red spots scattered around. Some fluorescent lamps also flicker, I think it's something wrong in the electronics or maybe cheap electronics. They also use flickering displays eg on buses, information boards, etc. Again, I see just a cloud of flickering light if I'm moving relative to that...

> am using the lights to read black ink on white paper. Does the colour of the light matter?

Not much. But in the evening be careful with blueish light, it may disturb your internal clock and your sleeping. Better use warm white. And of course different lights have different whites, so you can get pinkish, bluish and yellowish spots if you mix lights with different color temperatures in your room.


Last edited by wouter79; 11/19/17 04:35 PM.

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#2690695 - 11/19/17 06:04 PM Re: LED bulbs [Re: wouter79]  
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You likely have better eyes than I do, I can see a little past 60Hz but not much, so I'll notice strobe fairly easily if I am looking for it, or if it is on the bad side. It sounds like you are able to pick it out much better.


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#2690830 - 11/20/17 01:07 PM Re: LED bulbs [Re: XenondiFluoride]  
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Originally Posted by XenondiFluoride
Yes, that is when I am most aware of flicker, when I turn my head, or move my eyes quickly. But I also can notice it while not moving it is just much tougher. one good test is to wave your hand in front of the bulb. if you see distinct striated blurs then there is strobe.


Peripheral vision is more sensitive to strobe than central vision, because our prehistoric ancestors needed to be more sensitive to motion there, where predators might come from. Look at something about 60 - 80 degrees away from the light and most people can pick up 50 - 60 Hz. strobe. The finger wave test works well.

People who grew up in the 50 Hz countries back in the CRT days have developed the ability to ignore strobe because they watched 50 Hz TV. (BTW, the actual fluorescent and LED strobe frequencies are 100 and 120 Hz, because light is produced on both the positive and negative half cycles, they go dark around the zero crossings.)

LED's and CFL's today mostly use electronics to strobe them somewhere in the tens of kilohertz, which nobody can see. You need a camera with a high frame rate and small shutter angle to pick it up. The main source for power line strobe now is fluorescent tubes on old time magnetic ballasts, which are mostly over 10 - 20 years old. Manufacturing of magnetic ballasts was banned in the U.S. in 2009, most makers and electrical contractors converted well ahead of the deadline.


-- J.S.

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#2690839 - 11/20/17 01:51 PM Re: LED bulbs [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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I never imagined I would learn so much from such a simple post! Than you everybody.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
#2691126 - Yesterday at 09:18 PM Re: LED bulbs [Re: PhilipInChina]  
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 47
harpsichorder Online content
Full Member
harpsichorder  Online Content
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 47
Vermont USA
I don't know if I believe this, but here's an interesting study:

https://tinyurl.com/y8a3hfpp

It's about how LEDs can hurt your eyes. I tried the recommended computer application called "IRIS" - made the screen look really dark and weird, but my eyes did feel better. Just can't do any kind of color processing with it.

Gotta wonder sometimes- there seems to always be a possible drawback to new technology that isn't discovered until a number of people are injured. As I mentioned- not so sure about this particular case.

I like the old Mr. Blue full spectrum lights or Ott lights, but I use LEDS for most of my overheads.


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