LED Light Bulbs... advice?

starhawk

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Oct 4, 2004
Messages
8,908
So I have a small hanging fixture in my front hall; Mom and I call it "the chandelier" which is a bit grand, but whatever. It's about seven or eight feet off the ground and it likes to kill a bulb about once a month (or so), which is ridiculous IMO. Probably has to do with the fact that the fixture's been in this house since the late 1980s, and the wiring dates to 1950 or so. It takes three candelabra bulbs and usually gets 25w incandescents. When it's on, it lights up the hall quite nicely... until the bulbs pop, of course.

I also have a height phobia, of a sort, which means that when I'm on a ladder changing the bulbs in that damn thing, I'm holding onto the ladder with a literal white-knuckle grip because I feel like I'm two millimeters from falling flat on my ass. As padded as that ass is, lol, it's still going to hurt if and when I land on it.

So these incandescent bulbs get replaced all at once, usually about a couple months after they've all blown... and then only because Mom won't stop bugging me about it.

Of course, LED bulbs are available from my local Wal*Mart -- for the sort of funds that NASA would spend on a second moonshot. They're not only particularly expensive, they're particularly /dim/. As in, so anemic I almost have to look at the switch to see if the lamp is on... ugh, what a waste of machinery.

LED bulbs still catch my interest here, though -- not only are they environmentally somewhat tolerable (lower energy usage is pretty good stuff, but "RoHS compliant" != "trees are my friends", if you know what I mean...) but they last basically forever. Like, the PCB inside will fall apart before the LEDs die, at least in theory. I've heard LED lifespans are usually somewhere around ten to twenty *years*!

So what I'm looking for here, is a source of "good" LED bulbs. Specifically, by "good" I mean...
(1) relatively inexpensive (let's say $5 or less per bulb)
(2) relatively long-lasting (let's set the bar at five years or so, considering they'll be on for at least 14 hours a day)
(3) BRIGHT (I believe our spare bulbs --GE 25w "flame shape" clear bulbs, candelabra base-- are 155-lumen models, for reference)
(4) compatible, of course (candelabra base, "flame shape" -- but not "fat flame shape" like the CFL ones, or they won't fit)

NB: I tend to avoid Amazon --don't tell Kyle!-- because I have to use Mom's account. Of course that's only an issue if the items arrive dead or damaged... but I don't want to risk it, you know?

Help me out here, folks, where can I get bulbs like that?
 

Skripka

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Feb 5, 2012
Messages
10,792
Yea they're bright...they last forever...but the spectra they out out looks like ass.

/signed theatre techie
 

starhawk

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Oct 4, 2004
Messages
8,908
I'll gladly put up with it, if it means less time on a ladder. Most of our lights are cheap CFLs anyways... we have a couple "full spectrum" CFLs but ONLY a couple.
 

Mohonri

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 29, 2005
Messages
5,751
If I may, here's another suggestion: replace the fixture with one that will fit CFLs, and preferably one that takes medium-base (non-candelabra) bulbs. Especially if you hit CraigsList/Bookoo/ReStore, it wouldn't cost much--it might be even cheaper than the LED bulbs themselves. Candelabra bulbs of all kinds, whether it be incandescent, CFL, or LED, tend to be stupidly more expensive than their medium base counterparts.

I just replaced the bulbs in our chandelier a few months back with CFLs. It saves a boatload of electricity (it's a *9*-bulb fixture!), but I had to do evil things in order to get the candelabra-based CFLs to fit.
 

starhawk

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Oct 4, 2004
Messages
8,908
That fixture is not going anywhere. It's too well loved, despite its bulb shortcomings.
 

starhawk

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Oct 4, 2004
Messages
8,908
...so does anyone have bulb sourcing suggestions, or do I just have to hit up eBay and pray...?
 

mnewxcv

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 4, 2007
Messages
7,236
home depot LED prices have come down a ton in the past year
 

starhawk

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Oct 4, 2004
Messages
8,908
That'd be great if I could get to one ;) I'm transportationally challenged. Nearest Home Depot is two towns over and public transit doesn't like me that much.

I probably should've mentioned that sooner, actually.

How about Newegg, fleaBay, and other eTailers? (I'd prefer to avoid Amazon for the reason mentioned in my first post.)
 

mnewxcv

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 4, 2007
Messages
7,236
That'd be great if I could get to one ;) I'm transportationally challenged. Nearest Home Depot is two towns over and public transit doesn't like me that much.

I probably should've mentioned that sooner, actually.

How about Newegg, fleaBay, and other eTailers? (I'd prefer to avoid Amazon for the reason mentioned in my first post.)

homedepot.com ships to home free with orders over $45.
 

starhawk

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Oct 4, 2004
Messages
8,908
That's nice, but I'd actually like to keep this to about a third of that at the most.

Sorry that I'm being difficult -- let's just say I'm not cheap out of choice.
 

starhawk

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Oct 4, 2004
Messages
8,908
I would... but they don't have the right socket-size bulbs, AFAICT. E12 = candelabra, and everything they have is E14. The sockets in my fixture are still a little too tight to fit an E14-base bulb...
 

starhawk

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Oct 4, 2004
Messages
8,908
@Zolishoru: yeah, that's a little steep ;) I'll think about it, though.

@jiminator: Both of those are E14 base :( two millimeters too wide.
 

michalrz

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 4, 2012
Messages
2,730
I used to be a big believer in LED bulbs, started buying them 5 years ago, like 2-3 bulbs twice a year. Different vendors, leds, suppliers.
Slightly over half of them eventually failed completely or just a segment or two of the diodes.
One of the bulbs elected a constant ear piercing blue arcing as its fault mode and I had to dash for the switch.
I just sit in the dark now or buy fluorescent lighting. Tungstens keep popping on me too, and some of those failures were frigging spectacular explosions that nearly gave me a heart attack.
I'm thinking of building my own led bulbs out of quality components and multiple coloured diodes but I'm lazy.
 

starhawk

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Oct 4, 2004
Messages
8,908
@RedWagnum -- sorry, no, the chandelier in question is really friggin tiny. No room for adapters.

@michalrz -- sounds to me like you have real wiring problems... I'd call an electrician in for a look-around before I spent money on anything else, electrically.
 

starhawk

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Oct 4, 2004
Messages
8,908
Gonna do all 3 at once. Found an eBay seller I like, going with that. They're in the US so I don't have to wait for the sampan...

Got some other stuff to buy first tho.
 

michalrz

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 4, 2012
Messages
2,730
@michalrz -- sounds to me like you have real wiring problems... I'd call an electrician in for a look-around before I spent money on anything else, electrically.

This also happens at work, where the wiring is modern and tested. I tried to introduce them there - I put 5 in, 2 survived.
Maybe it's because I live in 230v land? Or maybe I got some fakes. Or indeed my wiring needs an overhaul like you said.
No other major problems though with radios, tvs, computers, random shocks. I am ANGRY :D
 

starhawk

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Oct 4, 2004
Messages
8,908
Piss poor bulbs, then :)

Anyhow, I have a charitable friend who works at a Lowe's Home Improvement, he's gonna see what they've got and if he finds something good he'll shoot me three of 'em.
 

michalrz

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 4, 2012
Messages
2,730
You're probably right Starhawk, sadly there were no bulbs from reputable vendors available at the places I ordered from.
There's nothing inheritably wrong with the tech itself.
 
Top