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JUNE Newsletter : Once Upon A Time
Taken from Josey Paul Article:
Just before midnight , an unbroken bank of clouds floats in low over the forest. Not a trace remains of the moon and stars. This night is beyond black. And all of you LED deniers are about to eat crow. Yep, I remember you from the last time I wrote about LED lights – and all of your whimpering about how they aren’t bright enough to read by.
So here goes. A Meter man LM631 light meter on my desk will referee this contest. Lux is a unit of light intensity, which for this test means how many photons are bouncing off my reading desk from a light source exactly 1 meter away – that’s 39 inches for those of you not hip to the metrics of Old Europe.
First up is the villain: Mr. 75-watt incandescent bulb himself, the bane of the off-grid set and the ubiquitous handmaiden to guzzlers of fossil and nuclear power. This bulb is the standard – an energy-hogging, short-lived and fragile appliance that was invented at the dawn of the Electricity Age. It’s what most folks still use.
I flip on Mr. Incandescent, squint at the Meter man and read 80 lux. Just to be fair here, lux is the intensity of light hitting my reading desk, not the total amount of light coming from the bulb. Lumens are the measure of total light. This GE bulb is throwing lumens all over the room, but most of them are useless for my reading. The photons spraying on my stove don’t help me read a book at my desk across the room. Flashlights focus their light, so they tend to be better at lux than lumens. Light bulbs are better at lumens then lux. The 75-watt incandescent bulb is throwing 80 lux at my reading desk and using a porky 74.8 watts to do so. The math works out to 1.1 lux per watt. Remember that number.
Next up is a 26-watt compact florescent light. This light is a real energy saver and should be the equivalent of a 120-watt incandescent bulb. I flip the switch again, and after a few minutes to let it warm up, the ref pronounces a very respectable 130 lux. The energy-efficiency factor is 5.6 lux per watt. The bottom line is that CFLs give you a lot more light for a lot less power – at least compared to incandescent lights. But you already knew that.
Now the test that you LED deniers have been dreading. I screw a 12-volt, 3 Watt LED light into the fixture, position it 39 inches from the light meter and flip the switch.
Voila! (That’s French for “would you like ketchup with your crow?”) French horns fill the night, and the ref proclaims 140 lux. Better still, the light is using just 3.9 watts. The energy-efficiency factor is a whopping 35.9 lux per watt. Way more reading light than that nasty incandescent. And way less electricity. The End.
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