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The Dubai Lamp: The “World’s Most Efficient” LED Light Bulb (kbelectricpa.com)
72 points by lisper on Jan 18, 2021 | hide | past | favorite | 131 comments

Re. "commitment of sustainability"

Dubai is a city of over 3-million in the middle of the Arabian desert. They have air-conditioned bus stops, even though they are under-utilized because everyone drives.

Nothing in Dubai is sustainable. Changing LED lamps is Dubai in the name of sustainability is the very embodiment of greenwashing.

This is cool tech, but it's absolutely pointless.

Edit: I didn't mention the elephant in the room that the entire country's economy is based on cheap fossil fuel extraction.

And this is next level of insanity: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1094797/Worl...

Beach with cooling system because it's TOO HOT on summer!

PS: I was 15 years there and saw that you're wrote. Other example - stable for expensive horses with AC.

Meanwhile in Germany we don't even let restaurants use outdoor patio heaters in the winter, at least in certain cities. And we have the highest electricity costs even if it shoots Elektromobilität in the foot.

Germany has a very weird relationship with clean energy to begin with. I always found the stance against nuclear energy there anti-scientific in origin... Phaseout instead of better understanding and development...

Merkel went with popular opinion at the time, which was very much against nuclear power. I still see "Atomkraft? NEIN!" stickers in places.

Yes I agree that Germany has a weird relationship with science. Homeopathy is very big here. Same with plant-based remedies, which are sold (and recommended!) along with allopathic medicines in pharmacies by pharmacists. Nothing wrong with plant-based nature remedies, but they don't get the rigorous testing that allopathic medicines get.

They couldn't find anyone to build such a system, so it wasn't ever attempted.

They are more than likely just trying to lower the overall power sink that the city pulls as it grows. Obviously the massive buildings and projects are going to be using a shit-ton of power and I don't know where dubai gets its power from - but it is most likely limited... so this is a good thing for that infrastructure.

I have a friend who lives in dubai, Ill ask her about where their power comes from as well..

I wonder how many datacenters are in dubai.

We bought a new house this year, and replaced all the lights with LED lights - and our power bill is really low.

in 2001 when the Enron fiasco happened, I received a power bill for $900 for one month, and my usage behavior didn't change from previous months. It was during the dot com crash and I wasn't working - and I couldnt pay the bill had my power shut off and had to borrow money from my parents to pay the criminals.

So I am very power conscious...

One underreported angle of the blockade of Qatar was the fact that Qatar continued to supply the UAE with natural gas throughout the several-year affair.

> It pumps around 2 Bcm of gas per day to the UAE.


Can you explain more the logic behind this;

So Qatar was being punished for supplying natural gas to UAE? Why and by whom?

Also why is Yemen being genocided by the sauds with US MIC weapons? (When I worked at this RFID company - and we were bought by Lockheed - several muslim employees quit and said "we will not work with a company that sells weapons to kill arabs/muslims)

Also why are Uyigar children being raped and beaten and murdered in China?


lol i lived there for a few years - these bulbs are the least of their energy waste. outdoor air conditioning at bars was not as wild as you'd think (it wasn't _normal_ but it was common).

Also, the flat rate on your power bill is 5% of annual rent (split over 12 months) - it was a hidden tax that was 3/4 of (at least my) power bill. so i don't see how they're shaving 90%, unless they mean the variable part. In which case my water heater (in non-summer months cos tap water was HOOOTTTT), washing machine, fridge, etc, begged to differ.

Air con was a separate bill due to district cooling.

> I have a friend who lives in dubai, Ill ask her about where their power comes from as well..

Oil as well I believe. Also the water is reverse osmosis derived. Which also requires a fair bit of power

> the entire country's economy is based on cheap fossil fuel extraction.

I'm not sure that's true anymore. According to Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Dubai) oil now accounts for only 1% of their GDP.

Dubai is one part of the UAE, itself an extremely small place. The vast majority of the economy of the UAE is based on petroleum. If you consider that tourism and construction are conducted on the back of "wonders" and infrastructure that came about due to the petroleum industry, that majority gets larger. If you consider that Dubai's existence as a "financial hub" is entirely predicated upon the petroleum resource trade including shipping and refining, that majority balloons even further.

"Before oil was discovered in the 1950s the UAE's economy was dependent on fishing and a declining pearl industry. But since oil exports began in 1962, the country's society and economy have been transformed." (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-14703998)

The question is, do you believe the economy of Dubai would decrease by more than 1% if all petroleum business within the UAE were halted tomorrow? I think it's clear that yes, the economy would react significantly. That 1% number comes from a two-year-old shill piece from Bloomberg (click through the Wikipedia citation if you don't believe me) that doesn't show its data or the breakdown by sector for all of Dubai's GDP.

The country's economy is based on petrol - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_the_United_Arab_Emi.... At least 46%.

Maybe Dubai managed to diversify its economy with tourism and what-else but it's rather obvious to understand that such a city cannot thrive on its own (without an extensive, petroleum-based food/energy delivery system).

Everyone has to start somewhere right?

Surely it's better to have a public transport system under utilized (so there are enough vehicles to meet demand) than over utilized (so everyone is crammed on like sardines)?

A quick Google search would show that oil accounts for less than 1% of Dubai's (which is not a country btw) GDP, which is less than the US on both a percentage and total monetary amount (adjusted for population) basis.

This is not how you start.

If you try to optimize the loading time of your website front-page, look at optimizing the compression of the 100MB video that's auto-loading (or even better, removing it), not the 1kB logo.

If you ever feel good shaving off a few bytes from the logo, your work is literally bulls*t.

We live in a climate emergency, there's no time for shaving a few watts to feel good while being still allowed to live in air-conditioned palaces in the middle of the desert.

> while being still allowed to live in air-conditioned palaces in the middle of the desert.

Nobody needs permission to live comfortably where they're at. It is far more sustainable to live in a warm climate, with electric cooling (keeping in mind electricity comes from cleaner sources like nuclear and solar) vs living in a cold climate with gas heating.

> Nobody needs permission to live comfortably where they're at.

You don't need a palace, a AC-cooled beach and a couple Bentleys to live comfortably. The people in the UAE that are using problematic amounts of fossil fuels are not just "living comfortably".

Point being, it would reduce power consumption probably 2 orders of magnitudes more to stop cooling down beaches and pools than to switch a bunch of lights to ultra-efficient LEDs.

> It is far more sustainable to live in a warm climate, with electric cooling (keeping in mind electricity comes from cleaner sources like nuclear and solar) vs living in a cold climate with gas heating.

You forgot to mention the world "palace". It is far more energy-efficient to heat 40m2 per person than it is to cool down 400m2 per person.

You are also conveniently ignoring reality. The UAE electricity production is 99% fossil fuels (mainly petrol/gas). It is also possible to live in a cold climate with electric heating (regular electric or heat pumps). Most northern countries are much more advanced in this area.

I am not sure a single "cooled beach" even exists. Do you have a cite other than a 13-year old article from a clickbait tabloid?

Also there aren't really all that many mansions and palaces. The median home size is larger in the USA than it is in Dubai. Add R-1 zoning and the longer average driving distances and it becomes clear that the average American has a bigger carbon footprint.

Finally, there is a difference between what is possible in theory and what is achievable in practice. Retrofitting every home and building to go from gas heating to electric heating is not very easy.

Moving electricity to cleaner sources, on the other hand, is well under way with nuclear and solar.

> it becomes clear that the average American has a bigger carbon footprint.

First, this is just not true. UAE's per capita footprint is 21tCO2eq/yr while in the USA it's 15.7 as of 2017.

Second, neither UAE nor the USA are close to the per capita footprint targets that we should reach in order to stabilize the climate (between 1 and 3tCO2eq/yr). Just as I wouldn't care much if a murderer killed 15 or 21 people. They are not an example for me to follow.

Regarding cooled beaches, here is a Guardian article about it. It cites other luxurious excesses that you're trying to brush off, such as : 30,000 mature trees are scheduled to be shipped to Dubai to help landscape a new Tiger Woods-designed golf course that will be bordered by "22 palaces and 75 mansions".


> Finally, there is a difference between what is possible in theory and what is achievable in practice. Retrofitting every home and building to go from gas heating to electric heating is not very easy.

> Moving electricity to cleaner sources, on the other hand, is well under way with nuclear and solar.

In practice, both of these things have to be done urgently, with an extra-focus on energy use reduction. It doesn't matter if rich people in Dubai don't like it. It is also much more easily achievable than building spaceships to Mars, or whatever other escape solution to the growing damage we are inflicting to our planet.

It's probably more sustainable than most US metro areas. Look at stats like VMT per day, household gas usage, and keep in mind the US is also a fossil fuel exporter.

Recent Big Clive video discussing this lamp: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klaJqofCsu4.

> These lamps are currently only available in Dubai. The likelihood of them appearing elsewhere is limited by the fact that they are designed to last a long time, which isn't profitable for the manufacturers.

Just incredibly sad.

This is why (more than anything) I wanted the UK to stay in the EU. The EU seems to be one of the few organisations with the clout and principle to actually make this sort of thing happen - to improve people's lives and raise standards.

2 year guarantees being another example: https://europa.eu/youreurope/business/dealing-with-customers...

I can't figure out where the logic is in not selling these Dubai bulbs in other markets at all. Why not just sell the expensive-to-make bulbs at an equal or higher margin than standard ones? Are they protecting the bulb-replacement specialist industry by giving them something to do? Where are the competitive free market forces?

I've been using LED lighting at home for a decade+ now. Some bulbs I bought back then still work. Many of the newer ones are failing fast, obviously struggling with heat in the fixtures they're in, which has been bothering me. The bits I like best are adhesive LED strips driven by a stand alone power supply with PWM dimmer in the living room. They're mounted in aluminum backed diffuser rails. I expect that stuff will last near as long as I do. They're under-driven and run cool, and the power supply seems high quality.

Search for Osram Professional / Parathom Retrofit Classic A & B. I use them exlusively since a few years.

What would be interesting to me is how reliable the stated 1 Watt of those Phillips E14 Candlelights are, mine from Osram are rated at 2,5Watts. Otherwise looking very similar in specifications.

These led strips sound interesting can you suggest some brands/models? I've had led strips but not with a diffuser.

The LED strips are pretty standard. The diffuser is a separate product. Search for LED aluminum channel and you'll find some. They don't do a very good job of diffusing (would love to see some that are better at it) but they do act as a heatsink.

> Are they protecting the bulb-replacement specialist industry by giving them something to do?

That's the eternal question: How many computer scientists does it take to change a lightbulb?

ǝnssᴉ ǝɹɐʍpɹɐɥ ɐ sᴉ ʇɐɥꓕ ǝuoN

Isn't this already a "problem" with ordinary LED's though? For instance, I have the following first world problem: I bought a set of (newer, nicer) LED's to replace older bulbs as they burn out, but they've just been sitting in my closet for 4 years because not a single bulb has burned out since I moved in!

IMHO, you should have moved the existing bulbs to the closet for if/when the new ones fail, so you can enjoy your upgrade. :)

To answer your question, it really depends. If they run cool, are a good design, and aren't defective, they will last incredibly long. Often, one or more of those things isn't true.

That's exactly what I do, when I move I replace all light bulbs and keep the originals which I put back when I'm moving out.

There are plenty of junk LED bulbs on Amazon for instance. I got some Amazon Basic LED bulbs and a couple of them didn't even last a year.

I'm going to guess you didn't send them back for free replacements? And, guess again that the reason is "it's not worth the hassle [ie cost is greater than my time is worth]".

We should be punishing product manufacturers whose products fall in the bottom quartile of life expectancy - returns by Freepost (receiver pays the postage) and get £10 compensation + money back or replacement.

Perhaps then we could start addressing some of the planned obsolescence in low value goods.

See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoebus_cartel

> The Phoebus cartel existed to control the manufacture and sale of incandescent light bulbs. They appropriated market territories and fixed the useful life of such bulbs. … The cartel tested their bulbs and fined manufacturers for bulbs that lasted more than 1,000 hours.

Bulbs like this, even at a much higher price, would be great for high ceiling mounted fixtures where changing the bulb requires a ladder and probably moving furniture.

The most powerful of these is only 3W, which it says replaces a 60W incandescent. Nowhere near powerful enough to replace anything that actually uses a lot of power and would be high-mounted. Maybe if you have a chandelier full of 60W incandescent bulbs, which since this is Dubai we're talking about, is actually possible.

A specific use case would be recessed ceiling lights, which are not uncommon in this nominal wattage.

Yes that could be. Most recessed lights I've seen recently are spotlights, although that could be a function of where I am looking.

IMO, interior designers and light manufacturers need to work together to make attractive energy-efficient lighting solutions. For example, recessed halogen-based spotlights are a nightmare for LEDs - there's nowhere for the heat to go. Even if you get an LED bulb from aliexpress, it won't last long because of the lack of proper heatsinking. Meanwhile there's plenty of surface area that could be utilized for heatsinking if the fixture is designed for LEDs from the ground up.

Yeah this is my big gripe with LED bulbs - it's hard to find compact 200W equivalents.

The higher wattage units need good heatsinking, and I believe that is easier done with integrated units, where the "bulb" aka driver is not replaceable. I've also thought of making my own, with a strip of aluminum and mounting 1W/3W emitters to it myself. Easy enough to drive them at whatever wattage you want, and maintain good thermal properties.

I think there could be luxury market for them. They use a lot of more LEDs and electronics but there might be people that are willing to pay few times for more efficient LED that lasts longer and is gives more stable light when grid voltage fluctuates.

Customer must just be easily able to tell apart better LEDs and they can just by looking how many LED filaments per watt they contain.

I think China can make plenty of those if they become fashionable.

> Customer must just be easily able to tell apart better LEDs and they can just by looking how many LED filaments per watt they contain.

When I make buying decisions, I often struggle with exactly that: I have no way of telling what is "good" or "bad" quality, and I have to much experience with expensive stuff being repackaged cheap crap, so I end up buying cheap crap more often than I should.

One thing I really hate are discounts.

brand: this product is worth X brand, during some random days in the year: GUESS WHAT IT'S JUST X/2 TODAY YOLO me, always: you are ripping me off during the rest of the year

When some of the first edison style LED bulbs came out by Philips (looked like bug lights since the bulb looked yellow when off) they cost $40 a bulb. I did purchase one and is still being used.

Edison-style? As in the connection? I thought Edison-style bulbs had the strings of LED filaments.

I'd pay double for a lamp with double the life span because it's half the waste and that is just the right thing to do. Maybe they can then also give some warranties on this (internal timer?) I have already had about 3 Philips leds that I'm positive never got to over ~100 hours. Not the Hue ones, they seem to be pretty good quality.

I think the price would be rather quadruple or quintuple for undetermined (multiple(?) decades average probably) lifetime with no or standard warranty and better energy efficiency.

I would still gladly buy it if I was sure that higher prices actually pay for more undervolted LEDs and is not a marketing gimmick to "instill sense of quality".

This is exactly an area where government efficiency standards could help push the market forward (similar to CA in autos).

Exactly. Halogen and incandescent bulbs are allowed to be sold in Germany for decorative use, and what happens is that some people who can't imagine progress get their architects to put in multiple energy-sucking halogen lamps throughout their home. To hell with efficiency.

If the trick is running the leds at a lower, more power and lifetime efficient, voltage - then can't existing lamps be modified?

BigCliveDotCom does this, and mentions it in the linked YouTube video upthread.

Came here to post this same link but you beat me to it! Big Clive's videos are brilliant—highly recommend his channel to anyone remotely interested in electricity/electronics.

... or interested in carbonating cheap wine, etc.

... or electrocuting snacks and then eating them.

... or reveling in the mighty beard.

The reliability of LED lights is, from my experience, crazy bad. We installed all-LED lighting in the office. Over the past two years way over 50% of the LED lamps have died. Yesterday I ordered yet another batch of 25 new LED lamps. The office isn't even all that big, just four rooms.

And this is without dimmers. In the hallway, where there is a dimmer, the LED lamps (that are marked as supporting use with dimmer) dies after only a few months. Our hallway is dark at the moment, because it is just too much effort to replace the lamps.

IMHO the biggest boost for LED lamps would be for the longevity ratings to at least somewhat correlate with real world life time...

You're not buying Cree, thats why. Pretty much every brand except Cree cuts corners in the DC inverter stage... they tend to overheat badly and fry. Often, you can apply DC directly to the LEDs, and they still light.

Also, you need to read the package, even with Cree: many state "not suitable for fully enclosed fixtures". They make ones expressly for this, and are required to prevent the lamp from cooking itself.

On top of that, many of those scammy brands say things like "x year warranty", when they really mean "1,000 hours per year" warranty. Cree warranties their bulb for tens of thousands of hours... I have a much older 100 watt equivalent that has been burning 24/7 for over 5 years (somewhere around 50k hours), still ain't dead yet.

Now that the government is (theoretically) back on track, I'd love to see the FTC go after LED lamp manufacturers that straight up lie about their lifetime estimates; I don't care if their prices go up, all they'd do is start matching Cree in price.

Fun fact: Cree isn't just the world's best LED (as in, the actual diodes) manufacturer, they're also one of the world's leading GaN power module manufacturers, and all of their own in-house knowhow is used in their own consumer bulbs.

What tends to die aren't so much the LEDs, but the power supply. And those seem to be very heat-sensitive. At home many LED lamps die as well, presumably because our lamps are somewhat flat on the ceiling and enclosed, which gives the heat nowhere to escape. Those where the air circulation is better and the bulb is in the open air the live a lot longer, to the point that I didn't have to replace some of them so far.

I completely agree. In every "dead" LED bulb I have opened up (because I like to take stuff apart) the actual emitter still worked when I applied power directly. Seems to me the power supplies are all junk.

There is a huge variance with LED lights in my experience.

LED bulbs from Ikea are cheap garbage and die quickly.

220V 10W E27 Osram bulbs are pricey but reliable (but I don't have as many of them, so maybe I was just lucky).

I've never had a lamp with non-replaceable, built-in LEDs die. Probably because the power supply is not directly next to the LED, and the LEDs are typically attached to a big heat sink.

The tiny GU10 LED spots are the worst and die about as quickly as the halogen spots they replaced.

I was surprised at how short the Ikea dimmable LEDs lasted (not the smart ones) - but it's surprisingly hard to find E14's that are bright enough (60w equivalent), dimmable, and warm. The Osram's i gave in and tried (albeit at 40w equivalent and dimmable) had a green/yellow-ish tint that i despised.

Recently accidentally picked up ikea's tradfris (zigbee bulbs, dimmable (but not with dimmer), multi-white) and have gone on a zigbee spree after that. I hope they last.

I think E14 bulbs are just too small for high power output. I only use them for accent lights that don't need a lot of power.

yeah, i basically use them for standing lamps - i don't like overheads/ceiling lamps so much but still like enough light not to feel I'm in the dark.

Still happy to turn on the bright ceiling lights to find something/see well/etc.

The problem with E14's was that at least in Germany I knew they exist, but couldn't consistently find them. I'd regularly find 60W equivalent non-dimmable or cold white. Only Phillips and Ikea (it seems) had 60w (classically dimmable) warm E14s. They did not generally last that long

Most of these are GU10 from Ikea... wonderful combo...

Without having measured it, I get the impression that LED lamp failure follows the typical "bathtub curve" and that all mine that have failed so far have been on the downhill slope at the start. These were various brands and odd shapes when LED bulbs were still immature.

Current "Feit Electric" bulbs - outfitted the house with them top to bottom when they were about 30 cents/bulb due to a government rebate + deep discount at Lowes, actually seem to live up to expectations. I'm not sure when I've last replaced one, and a big box of them bought later for spares (at about $1/bulb) is so far mostly unused.

The other thing is that even crappy LEDs with low efficiency and reliability save so much electricity that you come out ahead, compared to a 1000h incandescent, even if they do fail after 1000h as well. Maybe not better for the environment, but microeconomically OK.

Check the voltage of your supply. I had the same problem, and I didn't think much about it until I mentioned it to an electrician I had in to do some work and he pointed out my supply was about 10 volts higher than it should be.

I cheaped out on some LEDs bulbs ("edison" form factor) and my biased opinion is that they mostly lasted about a year.

Bought some brand name ones recently and so far (~2 years) they are doing ok; I can't recall having replaced any since I bought them, but I only replace them when they're out. If there's room, I write in sharpie when I do it so I can see how long they go. My CFLs are often in the 5-8 year range.

Out of curiosity, what's the exact product you bought?

And do you keep your bulbs on 24/7? The mass market, "budget" (really, the baseline bulbs that most people buy; ~$1.25/bulb) LED bulbs are usually rated for around 10,000 hours of on-time (which is ~1.14 years).

The mass market, higher end bulbs (namely from Cree; ~$2.50/bulb) are rated for around 20,000-25,000 hours of on-time (~2.28 and ~2.85 years, respectively).

Commercial grade LED fixtures that don’t have replaceable lamps are generally rated for 50,000 hours. Swapping fixtures is the best way to do it, imo.

Yep. Especially for can lighting. Don't bother buying PAR13 LED bulbs, you will likely have a medium time at best.

I have about 50+ el-cheapo Feit LED can fixtures from Costco installed in my house now for over 3 years without a single failure. Previously there would be a PAR13 bulb failure at least once a month.

The downside of course is no bulb-change-with-a-stick, but since we're talking 20 minutes of pulling a ladder out every 4 (or more!) years to replace a $20 fixture vs. 5 minutes once a month for a $5 bulbs I'm pretty happy.

Even the Philips Hue 3-year US warranty only covers three hours of usage a day.

I just got started with em in December, have already killed one, and wonder how the warranty process goes when you admit that you do, in fact, occasionally use your lights for longer.

The terms are pretty unclear.

They ask you if you were running them for more than three hours a day on average during the warranty process.

Ikea for the most part...

The dimmable ones where $18 Osram ones though, and they died first of all.

edit: more specifically, a lot of this one: https://www.ikea.com/se/sv/p/ledare-led-ljuskaella-gu10-600-...

My price estimates are only for the "traditional" bulb size/shape (A19) used in the US [0]. GU10 bulbs do seem to be much more expensive than that (I'm seeing ~$5~6 being pretty typical) [1] which is basically exactly how much the IKEA bulb you linked is.

[0]: https://www.homedepot.com/p/EcoSmart-60-Watt-Equivalent-A19-...

[1]: https://www.homedepot.com/p/C-Cattleya-75-Watt-Equivalent-GU...

That seems like an _extremely_ high rate of failure. Are these embedded spot lights or something?

Ikea fixture and Ikea LED lamps.

I've taken many of them back. They give me replacements if I can show them the receipt... Maybe a good counter to poor quality LED lamps is making stores perceive them as a huge hassle with high return rates.

LEDs don't handle incandescent dimmers very well. The way it chops up the incoming electricity has harmful effects on the power supply. You should just replace the dimmer with a normal light switch or get a LED PWM dimmer.

You have to be careful of all the LED lights being produced as cheaply as possible by many manufacturers. I would think somewhere there is a website listing reliability of some of these manufacturer's LED lights.

I suspect the issue is the light bulb form factor. That shape requires that each fixture have its own (cheap) voltage regulator, and badly hampers their ability to release heat.

If you look at new residential light fixtures at your home improvement store, you’ll notice that they’re starting to shift over to built in LEDs. This allows them to use larger and better thermally regulated power supplies, and to provide better airflow over the individual LEDS.

I actually believe that the light bulb form factor is going to end up dying out in our lifetime.

I've been through many vendors on these things. I would literally pay $100 per lightbulb for a zero-bullshit implementation that can actually last 10 years regardless of how dirty/variable my electrical power is and/or how 'hot' the lightbulb area gets (as if this couldnt be anticipated by engineers). The PSU in my computer is certainly capable of this level of reliability and has an even longer warranty.

LED lights are quite reliable, it's their power supplies which die many times quicker than LEDs themselves.

Same with old incandescent lamps.

The glass bulb is quite reliable, it's often the filament that dies many times quicker.

(I'm confused why so many people feel the need to differentiate the reliability of the power supply from the LED chip in this context.)

Because it means that if you buy a fixture with built-in LEDs and a more reliable power supply it'll be a very reliable light.

The problem is that trying to cram a tiny power supply and a hot LED chip into a small bulb without a good heat sink is inherently unreliable.

Especially if you put that bulb into a completely enclosed light.

Is there no market for a properly-engineered solution that takes into account heat and power fluctuations?

From my experience this is not quite correct. About half of them seem to die because of the power supply and the other half because of problems with the LEDs themselves. This surprised me a lot because it seems to mean that the lifetime of both the transformer and the LEDs is pretty similar.

The failure of the LED element itself (in the model that I put under a microscope) was an internal wire burning through. The LED elements actually contained two LEDs in series connected by a tiny wire.

I assembled a working LED bulb from two broken ones that had failed in different ways. Not that I would ever dare to use such a thing in normal operations.

That's definitely not normal. Normally, the current needed to fry the lead will be many times the current needed for the diode junction to short.

I guess I didn’t explain well enough: it aren’t ‚huge‘ external leads (if you meant these) that fry but a minuscule wire internal to the SMD LED element that houses two junctions in series, connected by said wire.

Here is a bad picture of an undamaged wire, diagonally at the center. The image shows approximately 1.5x1.5mm.


Uh! So tiny! Effectively, they ship an LED with a free fuse! Buyers can be sure they will never burn the junction.

Light emitting diode as a fundamental technology is reliable and has very long lifespan, if the application is designed and implemented correctly, including thermal management and power supply. Unfortunately many consumer LED bulbs are cheap shit, but you can't blame the LED technology itself for that, it's the usual story with economics/marketing etc.

Really? I’ve never seen an LED fail

Are you in an area with unstable power?

On the contrary - Sweden is supposed to have a great power system...!

Actually scratch my above comment. I have seen LEDs fail. LED driven traffic lights...I've seen dead pixels on those.

...but never in the home lighting LED sense.

LED light bulbs are pretty efficient at this point, so what I would really like to see is LED light bulbs that produce higher quality light.

Due to how they work, most LED lights have color rendering index[1] of 80 or below. We have the technology, and there are some that have CRI above 95 within a reasonable price, but they are not so easy to find. It would be nice if there were more LED lights with CRI above 95 especially in the 4000K to 5500K range. I have one at home and the light is just beautiful.

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_rendering_index

I looked for an LED with a high CRI and 4000K color, but I couldn't find any. What is the brand of the one you have?

There is one Philips ExpertColor model that is 4000K and has very high CRI.

Looks like these are CRI 80 bulbs (on the big Clive video), which means they're bad enough at reproducing colors that many people will end up noticing it without even knowing what they're looking for.

He says 80 is "ok" but I'm not aware of consumer lamp manufacturers that will dare go lower.

I'm glad these exist, but personally I wouldn't want them in my house. Maybe would be good for lighting prison cells or something.

I would suggest we all contact Philips and asks them to make these bulbs wider available.


Go to products->lighting.

Here is a direct link to the Swedish form: https://www.lighting.philips.se/support/kontakt/kontakta-oss...

This does not match my experience. I bought 12 Philips Hue bulbs in June of 2013. They run an average of 15 hours per day across three color/brightness profiles, and in these 7.5 years only one has failed.

I suspect we’re starting to hit diminishing returns when it comes to lighting. Probably better if we start pouring research into how to better electrify our heating and transit needs (AC is already electrified and very efficient).

Last time this came up it sounded like they were only allowed to sell them within Dubai itself? Are they available in North America yet?

Where I live, the lowest I've seen in 10 watts and that's too bright for my taste - hopefully these are widely available soon.

I wonder... If I set a smart lightbulb to reduced intensity, would it have the same effect on its life expectancy?

And what is the catch? That's almost 30% light efficiency. Hard to believe.

Cost to manufacture, 4x the LED modules and better supply circuitry. Upsides: LEDs driven at very low current last "forever", more light, less waste heat. Downsides: price to manufacture, and manufacturers preferring to make the typical ones that over-drive and burn out the LEDs so you have to buy replacements.

> so you have to buy replacements.

They are rated for 15,000 hours, and so are regular LEDs.

The solution is very simple: Return any LED that doesn't last the specified time. Manufactures will very rapidly start making changes if everyone did that.

You can just write the installation date with a Sharpie on the bulb, or keep track of them in a spreadsheet.

I've been doing it for a couple years now, and based on my data I don't think I'll ever need to buy a bulb again. My bulbs last around 1,000 hours, not even remotely close to the promised 15,000 hours.

So I just return them and get new ones.

> The solution is very simple: Return any LED that doesn't last the specified time. Manufactures will very rapidly start making changes if everyone did that.

Agreed. I think this is why Energy Star rated LED lamps require such a long warranty. Eg, Philips Hue products have a two year warranty, unless they carry an Energy Star, in which case it's three.

2 years is a pretty short warranty, it's the mandated minimum for electronics in EU law AIUI.

>> it's the mandated minimum for electronics in EU law AIUI.

It's such a common misconception I'm really shocked that EU has never made a better effort to clarify it.

EU does not enforce any warranty period by manufacturers. Zero. What it does enforce however, is the seller's responsibility for the product they sold. And this responsibility is at least 2 years(it's actually 6 years for most electronics and other products), but....it only covers manufacturing defects. That is the key word here. Any defects found in the first 6 months are presumed to be the result of manufacturing issues and the seller has to fix/replace the item for the buyer without asking for any proof of how the defect occured. But after 6 months, the responsibility shifts - it's the consumer who has to prove that the defect is a result of manufacturing problem. As I am sure you can appreciate, it's extremely difficult for most items. In theory you could call upon this law even after 5 years after buying a bulb and say that the bulb broke due to a manufacturing defects and the seller would have to replace it - but it's up to you to prove it.

The seller warrants the goods, it's in the Consumer Rights Act in UK, did I say differently?

You're right it is often misunderstood, in part because shops will say "oh, you have to contact the manufacturer" which is fraud AFAICT, but seems to be extremely common.

Under UK's CRA there's effectively no end to a warranty, if the product could reasonably be expected to still work. But I thought the EU Directive only specified 2 years minimum for countries to apply ... do you happen to know a reference for the 6 years, please?

Wow--sounds like either you've got a problem or I somehow am getting very, very lucky. I bought my house about 12 years ago. We bought all LED and CFL bulbs when we moved in. With only a couple of exceptions (special circumstances), we're still using those bulbs today.

How do you return them? Through the manufacturer or the store? Wouldn't the return window be passed so it is now a warranty claim, right?

I had some FEIT brand LEDs stop working after a few months. I sent them email and promptly got a response. I had to answer some questions about the use, and they sent me a box of new bulbs.

Never asked me for proof of purchase either. Replaced bulbs have worked fine for a few years now.

I've been returning bulbs to amazon for years this exact way, even if the bulb is out of "warranty". I just go on the chat, say "the bulb packaging says it will last 15k hours, it hasn't even been 15k hours since I bought it, much less 15k hours of use, so it's misleading advertising". They just accept a return&refund 100% of the time. Amazon is too big to care.

1,000 is really really low. Could it be something to do with your socket position and how they dissipate heat?

> 4x the LED modules

LEDs themselves are very cheap.

For individual LEDs, the cost of the package costs more than the LED itself.

I think this one here appeared because it's been featured on hackaday recently[1], which got featured there because Youtube channel "bigclivedotcom" made a video about them[2], which blew through the roof because of some Youtube-algorithm-doodads? Compared to his recent other videos, this really stands out in terms of views. (Although I can really recommend the channel).

Anyways, the main thing is that these lamps use more filament-strips than usual led bulb, thus allowing them to run cooler and last longer. Unfortunately, they are only available in Dubai (afaik).

[1]: https://hackaday.com/2021/01/17/leds-from-dubai-the-royal-li...

[2]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klaJqofCsu4

They're more expensive to manufacture. They basically triple the number of LED "filaments" you'd find in a similarly-rated bulb, allowing them to run everything well below "max" spec, reducing heat (increasing longevity) and allowing the LEDs to operate at a much more efficient point (less lumens per individual LED, but drastically lower consumption).

>They basically triple the number of LED "filaments" you'd find in a similarly-rated bulb

Does it last 3x longer?

Yes, but it's not a linear relationship. The gain in longevity is via thermal gains, which reduces the likelihood of component failure. It might be 3x, it might be 10x.

You'd get the same (longevity) gains from taking a "regular" LED bulb and running it at lower power. You'd get less light output, though.

Nominally yes, but they also use more expensive control circuitry.

Might last even longer because driving leds at 1/3 of the current might extend their lives more than 3 times (or less but unlikely).

They're more expensive to make as others explained.

My guess is it's very difficult to make money with superior products in this sort of consumer market without government to force a level playing field where your competitors are obliged to offer a genuinely better product and/or better price to make the sale.

They are much more expensive to manufacture, since they are achieving that level of efficiency by using more LEDs and undervolting them, around four times the amount of a normal lamp. Big Clive did a complete teardown and reverse engineering in his youtube channel, if you are interested.

Didn't he say they cost £4-£7 in Dubai. That's pretty cheap for a bulb of it works for 30 years.

See 6m55s in the video.

I am from Dubai, this is great to see.

What a shame we can't buy them!

I don't use a single LED or CCFL in my home as a lightbulb replacement. The reason is because I like a more natural color spectrum not one with spikes in specific bands. The other reason is because they flicker.

Flickering can be addressed by running LEDs in DC mode and CCFLs with electronic ballasts, but both costs a little bit more money and our current society is geared for the cheapest possible product which means you have to skimp on components.

Color spectrum can be addressed by adding more phosphors (more expensive) to CCFLs. With LEDs it can be addressed by not using only blue leds with a yellow phosphor and calling it "white". True RGB LEDs are more expensive.

Every time I visit my folks place which doesn't use incandescent anymore, I am always struck by how dull and desaturated it looks because of the energy-efficient lighting.

There is more to lighting than energy-efficiency, there is also health to consider.

Our bodies didn't evolve under a flickering light source and they also didn't evolve under narrowband color spectrums.

First of all, CRI can be measured and you can buy lamps with high CRI. Secondly, sorry but even if an incandescent or halogen has high CRI, it makes everything look yellow and consumes a lot of energy.

It is much easier to make high CRI LED fixtures than to make incandescent lamps more energy-efficient.

I've been happy with these dimmable, warm LEDs. No flicker that I can detect, and they look really nice at a low setting.


Is this comment from a decade ago? If you buy a nice LED bulb these days, it doesn't flicker, and its spectrum is indistinguishable from incandescent to the human eye.

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