Lighting : High Efficiency Low Energy Lights
This page focuses on the types of lighting available to replace high electricity usage halogen downlights that are found in so many Australian homes.
A major concern for many householders is the high energy used and the heat given off by these 50 watt halogen downlights. A halogen down light operating on a 12 volt transformer uses around 60 watts. That is 50 watts for the globe, with an additional 10 watts used by the copper wound transformer. The 12 volt halogen lighting system is a lot more common in homes than the 240 volt.
It's not that long ago when a room in the home now with six halogen downlights, would have had one 60 watt light globe. So we can see that this modern trend like so many others, has in fact created a greater demand for energy! 360 Watts instead of 60 Watts!
So What Are Your Halogen Downlight Replacement Options?
One solution is to use an LED halogen downlight replacement. The LED globe is available in both 12 & 240 volts. The main advantage of LED lighting, is the very low power consumption, ie 1 - 6 watts. We have started testing the light output of various LED halogen downlights. See our LED DOWNLIGHT COMPARISON TESTS
Other advantages of LED lighting are:
Efficiency: LEDs emit more light per watt, than incandescent light bulbs.
Colour: LEDs can emit light of any colour without using any filters.
Size: LEDs can be very small.
On/Off time: LEDs light up very quickly.
Cycling: LEDs are ideal with frequent on-off cycling, unlike fluorescent lamps that fail faster when cycled often.
Dimming: LEDs can be dimmed when using an LED dimmer.
Cool light: In contrast to most light sources, LEDs radiate very little heat in the form of IR that can cause damage to sensitive objects or fabrics.
Lifetime: LEDs can have a relatively long useful life. Estimated 35K - 50K hours.
Shock resistance: LEDs are difficult to damage with external shock, unlike fluorescent and incandescent bulbs which are fragile.
Focus: The solid package of the LED can be designed to focus its light. Incandescent and fluorescent sources often require an external reflector to collect light and direct it in a usable manner.
Low toxicity: LEDs do not contain mercury, unlike fluorescent lamps. However, LEDs may contain other hazardous metals such as lead and arsenic.
As the demand for this type of lighting increases, we will see more different types of LED technology being introduced into Aussie homes. Not all types of LED halogen replacements are the same though. The major differences being the amount of light emitted and its colour. Common are Diode LED [Light Emitting Diode] & SMD [Surface Mounted Device] LED globes. Described here are some of the different LED technologies.
Diode LED - Diode LEDs in the past were more commonly used as indicator lights. Such as the red light showing appliance power, on a modern TV. Advances in technology have produced Diode LEDs of different power and colour outputs.
White Diode LEDs, both low power and high power are now being introduced into Aussie homes, as replacements for incandescent and compact fluorescent light bulbs. Commonly replacing low power 5 - 40 watt / 60 watt incandescent bulbs.
Currently to replace a 60 watt incandescent globe, a Diode LED of 7 watts [or group of] would be required. For a 100W incandescent globe, a 13 watt Diode LED would suffice. Changes in LED technology are producing more light output for less watts, so expect energy efficiency to increase.
Generally a incandescent globe emits approximately 14 to 17 lumens per watt, depending on the size and voltage. Thus a 60 watt incandescent globe would have a light output of 840 lumens.
High Power Diode LED - The HPLED can be thought of as the same technology at the standard Diode LED, with the advantage that it has a higher light output. Compared to the Diode LED shown above with 32 Diode LEDs, the example shown here only has three High Power LEDs, each one being a 1 watt LED. Thus the example shown is a 3 watt High Power LED spot lamp. A popular choice for a 50 watt halogen replacement.
Low Power 3528 SMD - SMD 3528 LED lighting is the latest lighting in LED technology. Having high energy conservation, low-power consumption, high illumination and an extra-long life span. Used widely in automotive applications. Each 3528 SMD is equivalent to 2 Diode LEDs. The powered required by each individual 3528 SMD is around 0.06 watts. The illustrated example with 60 SMD 3528 LEDs, is equivalent to 120 Diode LEDs. The power used, is a third of the 5050 SMD. Unlike the Diode LED which suffers from luminous decay, the 3528 SMD does not and further has a longer lifetime with less heat emissions.
High Power 5050 SMD - SMD 5050 LED lighting is the latest lighting in LED technology. Having high energy conservation, low-power consumption, high illumination and an extra-long life span. Used widely in automotive applications. Each 5050 SMD is equivalent to 6 Diode LED or 3 3528 SMDs. The powered required by each individual 3528 SMD is around 0.2 watts. The illustrated example with 12 SMD 5050 LEDs, is equivalent to 72 Diode LEDs. Unlike the Diode LED which suffers from luminous decay, the 5050 SMD does not and further has a longer lifetime with less heat emissions.
Can LEDs Be Dimmed?
MR16 LED lights which are commonly supplied for a 12 volt supply in Australia, can be dimmable or not. Where dimming is required this is done through an in-line LED electronic dimmer, connected to the 12 volt supply. The controller for the dimmer can even be a remote control, with on/off & dimmable options. These MR16 lights are not dimmable through incandescent style light dimmers, fitted to many Aussie homes. Currently the situation with MR16 LED style dimming is that the effect of the dimming may not be too great and may suffer from flicker. This dimming technology is still in some cases quite immature, in the LED industry. Technological developments will change this situation though.
Where a dimmable LED light is required, GU10 [Halogen Downlight] or E27 [Edison Screw] lights with a varied voltage of 85 - 265 volts are the best choice. Firstly the effect of the dimming is very good and secondly it can work well with most of the incandescent dimmers. Lastly there is no transformer needed, as it operates directly off the 240 volt Australian supply.
So to summarise there are at least three ways an LED light can be dimmed:
By using an incandescent wall sited dimmer, where the light is rated at 240 volts. Or a wireless remote control, as illustrated above. This example adjusting the intensity of light, the colour of light and the on / off option.
By using a 12 volt remote dimmer control, where the in-line controller is sited in the roof cavity, between the transformer and LED.
By using a wall sited electronic dimmer designed for a 12 volt system.
LED dimmers can be wired to dim from only a couple of LED downlights, or a large array. Make sure you know the total wattage of the LEDs to be dimmed before choosing the dimmer. As like LED transformers, there is a stated maximum wattage on the LED dimmer.
Do LEDs Come In More Than One Colour?
YES they do! A new exciting feature of LED lighting is colour changing. Illustrated above is an 3 Watt MR16 12 volt colour changing replacement for a halogen downlight. Whilst only 3 watts of power, it would not be the best choice to read under, but can be used to change the mood of any room. The remote control offers colour changing sequences, fixed colours and full dimming.
For more information on LED lighting see our LED DOWNLIGHT COMPARISON TESTS
Incorporating LED Lights Creatively Into The Home
This is where the team at Aussie Home Energy use a little of their creative energy. The urge is often high at Aussie Home Energy to create new lighting projects, where LED lighting can be easily incorporated.
We're not talking of 'run of the mill' fixed lighting here, but more of a recycling the old unwanted electrical appliances in new and cool looking original art forms, using this new low voltage, low energy lighting technology.
We will be adding more of our original World's 1st LED objects to this page, as we design & build them. Click on the links to see the larger images.
RONSON 'ONE TOUCH LED BLENDER' - With the burn't out motor removed the Ronson still has plenty of live left, now used as a cool looking light.
BRAUN SUPERCOMPACT 1200 HAIRDRYER - Turning on this retro hair dryer of the early 80's and seeing it go up in smoke, created the World's first Braun LED Hair Spotter! This hair spotter as we now call it, looking very at home in the bathroom.
WANTED OLD Electrical Appliances For Conversion
Have you got some unwanted electrical appliances around your home? Have you got appliances that you simply cannot throw away for whatever reason and the idea of converting the appliance into a light interests you?
If so we can rebirth your old appliance into a cool LED light. Now you will be able to enjoy the appliance again, even if it is not for the original purpose of use.
OK so here is the deal. If you want to donate them to our creative exploits, them please post your unwanted electrical appliance to PO BOX 597 Macksville NSW 2447. You can of course CONTACT US first.
If we do convert them into a useful LED light, we will add your appliance to the World's First Collection Of Electrical Appliances To LED Conversions, noting your generous contribution of course.
On the other hand if you wish to have them converted and returned to you, to use and show off to your friends, then please forward to the same address.
We charge $50 for quoting on the conversion, where we will list the parts and time required, plus return P&P.
What a great idea to using some of our spare creativity, bringing alive your unused electrical appliances. Even if your appliance is not electrical in nature, we may still be able to add an LED light.
CFL - Compact Florescent Downlights
CFL downlights are based on the same technology as the florescent strip lighting. Similar to the common energy efficient light globes. Common are globes using 9, 11 or 13 watts.
Like all florescent technology light output will fade over time. Some CFLs take a couple of minutes to reach maximum light output, whilst others do not. This operational feature will need to be taken into account, depending where the CFL is installed within the home.
Would You Like To Save $130 Per Year?
Looking at a house using 12v 50W Halogen Lights, the householder plans to change 8 of the lights for 9W fluorescent bulbs. The halogen lights are used for 4 hours per day. Each 50W Halogen actually uses 60W due to the power consumed by a transformer. A device stepping the power from 240v to 12v. An electricity rate of $0.2212 per kWh is used.
We will use this formula to compute the Savings Per Bill [3 Months].
- No. Of Appliances X Total Watts Of Appliance/s X Hours Used X 90 Days X kWh Rate / 1000
- Existing 50W Halogen: 8 X 60 X 4 X 90 X 0.2212 / 1000 = $38.22
- Planned 9W Fluorescent: 8 X 9 X 4 X 90 X 0.2212 / 1000 = $5.73
- Forecast SAVINGS PER QUARTER $32.49 [$38.22 - $5.73]
- Forecast SAVINGS PER YEAR $129.96
WOW! By Only Changing SOME Of The Lights!
Are You Aware Of The Mercury In Energy Efficient CFLs?
Is Your Local Council Offering You Safe Disposal?
When broken these light globes can discharge deadly mercury into your garbage bin, or the on way to the tip!
How are you currently disposing of your CFLs? We would like to know, please leave your response on our SURVEYS page.
Aussie Home Energy - Brighter Solutions For Saving On Home Lighting