Originally Posted by silkiechicken
LED, incandecent, fluroecent, halogen... does not matter what kind of light you use, all that matters is the intensity when you want to look at a chick. If you do go with LED, don't get sucked into marketing as not all LED's are created equal. If you see something that offers 3 or 100LED lights... run, run away from it gimick. Furthermore, depending on the color output of the LED, you may get less color resolution in different applications.
No it is not a "gimmick". Every single LED light made has integrated circuits (LED CHIPS) on it. These are placed together in groups. I have an LED light in front of me with 3 (tiny) groups of 3 lights in it. It is made by Phillips. The one by my bed has many more that just 3 of those groups of 3. Small groups of 3 LED chips are pretty common. Most of the time there are small plastic lenses over the LEDs (or over small groups of them) to focus the light at a more useful angle (like the reflector in older style lights - in fact some do use reflectors instead) .
The fact is that LEDs don't work the way "normal" lights do. They use an effect of quantum physics to create light. The wattage they are rated to is also their MAXIMUM wattage, and nobody who knows what they are doing ever designs an LED device that puts that much wattage through them & with good reasons :
1) they would burn out very fast that way (they normally run at about 60% of max stated wattage)
2) As you put more and more electricity through an LED, it gets less and less efficient at making light. So at lower wattages LED light production is very efficient, and then as you go up it isn't anymore. The light you get out of an LED per WATT (efficiency) is a curve and that drops off very fast as wattage goes up. Once you get about 60% of the way to max wattage, you no longer get very much light out for any amount of additional electricity. On teh other hand you start to gets lots of heat.
- SO - in order to give you the maximum light for your electricity (bang for you electrical buck) and not have the thing burn out extremely fast, engineers use MORE LEDs with less power going through each one, instead of ONE of them at a higher wattage. Do it the other way (tons of watts, and fewer LEDs) and you use far more electricity to get less light and it burns out very fast. LEDs that are run at about 60% of max wattage tend to least 10 years+ and are usually guaranteed to last 3. On the other hand companies into hard core "planned obsolescence" (like Phillips) will have much warmer LED bulbs (they may warn you not to put them into an enclosed fixture). These babies use fewer "higher wattage" LEDs, and run them far closer to the max Wattage rating to intentionally make them fail sooner (so you will go out and buy another one sooner).
*** SIDE NOTE ***
Interestingly enough Mr Phillips made 'planned obsolescence' a byword in the USA. He came up with the idea for corporate American planned obsolescence. You see his light bulbs used the standard design of the day. That design did not wear out. They just did not die unless you broke them. The same thing was true of the early Edison bulbs. In fact there are some old bulbs that are over a century old that are still running right now (one has only been off during power outages in that entire century+ of running).
Now old Mr Phillips was greedy (no surprise there), but not that creative (not a design guy) & did not understand that he could make *other* items, or unusual/unique versions of the one he had in order to make more cash over time. He panicked over the idea that his lights would be there forever and he would run out of customers in need of light bulbs. Of course he did not know that we would have massive energy use today, or that the population would explode past 7.2 billion people.
He saw very afraid of a world in which all the light bulbs that would eve be needed had already made and sold, and well NOBODY in business likes the idea that any market gets *saturated* (how many pairs of pants do you need to own). So to deal with his fear of only having too much money for ten thousand people to ever spend, he came up with an idea... what if the bulbs just up and died on their own instead of lasting? He told his engineers to "break" the design for the incandescent bulbs he sold. He told them to invent ones that would burn out and they did it.
Edited by barleysinger - 10/31/14 at 7:34pm
This is why every decade since then the incandescent light bulbs made have lasted less time that the last ones. No it isn't your imagination.
Not that many years later in WWII the DuPont company invented Nylon as a substitute for vital silk & hemp fibers (high quality hemp and silk were trades that the Empire of Japan controlled). The new fiber they invented was very hard to hurt with physical stress (well you could always catch it on fire). You could use the very same pair of NYLONS to tow a car, then use it as a substitute fan belt (people kept them in the car glove box for emergencies) and then wash it out and wear it without a single run. The first Nylons they made could not run. Not ever.
DuPont took a hard look at how durable this amazing product was and looked at his companies future. He panicked just like My Phillips did and then he took a page from Mr Phillips play-book and had HIS engineers break their Nylon fibers. They changed the manufacturing process, so that the fiber had tiny weak spots which could cause it to wear out eventually (in ropes) and in the hose women wore .. well he made them run very easily. Back in the 70s you could buy "no run" nylons from small manufacturers (they cost more and lasted pretty much forever). You could also buy light bulbs that lasted a very long time... but the ones you bought from BIG companies (with high profits) from you local shops... those failed rapidly (on purpose) and had to be replaced.
Now back when LEDs first got bright enough to use in energy efficient light bulbs Mr Phillips grandson got involved with them and he started a small company. His company makes LED bulbs that last 30+ years. This might give you an idea of how much the grandson agrees with old Mr Phillips decision to make more money by producing crappier products that INTENTIONALLY FAIL, using a lot more energy in manufacturing them and producing a lot more pollution in the process. Of course THESE ones, these LEDs bulbs are not like the ones produced today by his grandfathers company. The LEDs in *his* bulbs are run at a far lower wattage - specifically so they will not get hot and burn out fast and wind up in landfills. Oh they do cost more (in the short term) and look a bit like corn cobs.
Planned obsolescence is now so "normal" we expect it. Our cars have "heads" made of aluminum so they will wear out fast and stop going up hill very well before a decade is out. Pretty much every computer printer made now days has a circuit in it that counts the number of pages printed, and then just stops printing (software is occasionally available ... made by irritated computer people and given out for free which resets the counter to zero). They also tell you the ink is low when you have about 30% of it left. Many Apple tablet, ipod and iphone products (in the "corporate" version of the company we have today) have a "die date" built right into them so you will HAVE to buy a newer model. This is often built in by way of using a battery that WILL fail after 1 to 3 years, and a design in which batteries cannot be replaced unless you are very good at micro-soldering (and the things have a case you can't open without breaking ot unless you know exactly what you are doing).
By doing this companies make more money. They also waste a huge amount of irreplaceable resource, waste a lot of energy - all to make replacement items again and again (instead of being smart enough to make other things people want to buy .. and not be so bloody greedy). Planned obsolescence (aside from hitting us in the wallet) also waste a lot of energy in manufacturing replacement items, puts out a lot of atmospheric carbon, in computers it wastes irreplaceable rare earth elements and helium, and dramatically increases pollution with a lot of eWaste that winds up sitting in villages in Ghana polluting the ground water.