Mon
Sep 6 2010
10:45 pm

Went to Lowes in SoKno today. Checking to see if there was anything new on the lighting aisle, we found they are clearing out the non-dimmable versions of Sylvania LED bulbs. There are several types included. I didn't check the exact discounts, but they're a good 50% off or so--maybe more. We bought a whole lot of regular light bulb replacements--the ones that look like little snow cones. 8 watts and 350 lumens. (Here is the new dimmable version.) We've installed just one yet, for test purposes, and it looks real nice. (Read more after the jump...)

UPDATE: Not so good news, everyone! I thought: wouldn't it be nice to have such bright spots in the garage? Since there were other items we were unable to buy yesterday, I decided to trek to the Cedar Bluff store today to do a doubl-icious dosage of Lo Depot shopping! I could check WeKno's offerings and hopefully buy two more spots. Well, this morning, after just a couple hours use, one of the three PAR30 bulbs had failed! Oh well, if I could find some more, I could replace the one (& get a refund for the dud) and put any extras in the garage where they could be mixed with an odd number of other types. The Cedar Bluff store had closeouts, but I didn't see any really good deals. They have a few other types of leftovers from the same series, but not the two kinds I liked, and their prices are more like $40 marked down from $60. Not worth bothering with, IMO.

Since I probably won't be able to find a replacement for the dud, I may have to pull the two remaining spots, since we no longer have a matched set of three. These will probably go in the garage and we'll go back to incandescent floods until the next great deal arises.

LED bulbs are probably where CFLs were 5-8 years ago. Idiosyncratic and not so reliable. Oh, well. They're coming around.

All of the Sylvanias I've seen on the shelf are called soft white (~3000K), but this one looked a little more neutral (less yellow) than that. There was a brief turn on delay, however, of a half second or so. These were selling for $10.71 each. Even the new dimmable version (here) was priced about $20, the same as Home Depot's no-name bulb, which I think is available online only.

We also bought several PAR30 spots. 525 lumens @ 11W, with three LEDs mounted in a large, heavy, finned metal heatsink. These are very bright, though they have a very slight yellow-green tint. No turn on delay. These were $23.91, formally $50 or $60 each, I think. Supposedly equiv. to a 65W spot. And these actually have as the country of origin a place called USA, whatever that is. This might be the new dimmable version, but it has a different appearance. Maybe this new version is of Chinese mfr. (The snow cones are made in China.) They also had a 40W equiv. single LED spot for about $20, but we picked the big'uns.

This is a very good deal for LED lights that use standard medium (E26 or whatever) sockets. They did have some MR16 types on closeout too. I don't know whether the other Lowes stores in the area have similar closeout stock.

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BoB W.'s picture

lamps

The spots sound great, but doesn't the dimmable version that you cite have somewhat directional light output?

Factchecker's picture

Don't you mean this one,

Don't you mean this one, which is meant as a replacement for a standard bulb, and not a spot? Yes, I suppose so, but since that's the shape of a standard bulb, this is what most manufacturers are doing for retrofit applications. We'll be using them in a shaded fixture where it's perfectly fine for most of the light to be directed in only one direction.

The real LED lighting revolution will be with new form factors, custom fixtures, special power supplies, etc. without adapting to the old screw-in sockets that were designed over 100 years ago. But at the right price and used appropriately, retrofits can tide us over. It was nice (for a few hours, anyway!) to have a LOT more task lighting at 33 watts than we have been used to getting from 150 watts.

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