Converting from fluorescent to LED track lighting

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Old 05-30-09, 03:00 PM
J
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Converting from fluorescent to LED track lighting

Small room, 11x19, kitchen all at one end. Currently there is a 2-tube, 4' fluorescent fixture. It's a cheap and ugly light, but much better than the 2-bulb, ceiling mounted incandescent fixture that used to be there. The landlord likes it too because he's the one paying the electric bill.

I want more style, better light, but I don't want to raise the electric bill on my landlord. I like something like this:

<img src="https://1footinthegrave.com/images/ozone-collection-5light-oiled-bronze-track-light.jpg" width="509" height="168"/>

That particular fixture comes with halogen bulbs, but I think I can replace those with LED, right? Will that keep the power bill near the same as my fluorescent fixture? Will it provide enough light to cook, wash dishes and work at my desk (just a few feet away from the cabinets)?

Thank you for your advice.

Jim
 
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Old 06-03-09, 04:22 PM
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First, since your are renting, you may not do any electrical work to the space in most locations.

Second, you can compare the fixture you posted with any other fixture watt for watt. The fixture you posted most likely uses MR16 20 watt halogen lamps. At 5 lamps the fixture will use 100 watts of power. You can then use that number to any other type of lamp or fixture. If you remove the cover of the existing fixture you should find a rating of watts the ballast and lamps of that fixture uses. The same can be said with converting to LED's.

As for being enough light, I think the halogen lamps will give you the best and brightest light followed by the fluorescent fixture. Light from LED's don't seam to go very far and many times give an odd color.
 
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Old 06-03-09, 07:14 PM
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Track lighting is highly directional. It is a poor choice for general lighting.

Also think about how that track would look once you cook awhile and it gets grease covered and dust bunnies perch up there.
 
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Old 06-03-09, 07:48 PM
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Thanks for your reply, Tolyn. The tracklight fixture I showed comes with 50watt bulbs - 250watts total. My current 2-bulb fluorescent fixture (it's a standard 4' length shop-type fixture) has tubes that say 40watts on them, so I'm guessin' that means total 80watts. That means the tracklight I like uses more than 3 times the electricity. The landlord will let me do anything I want, except raise his electric bill.

Best R'gards,

Jim
 
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Old 06-03-09, 07:54 PM
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pcboss, you posted while I was composing (I was actually trying to multi-task and took a long time to reply). Hadn't given much thought to what it would look like with greasy dust globs dripping from it. Not a pleasant visualization. I should cook in the dark. Perhaps my fluorescent fixture isn't all that bad after all. I could maybe put warm white tubes in it instead of the cool white that are in it now. I can easily trim it out decoratively to update its appearance.

R'gards,

Jim
 
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Old 06-03-09, 08:14 PM
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You posted that your existing fixture is using two 40 watt lamps.
That is the older style T-12 lamps. These are not very efficient and do not provide the light that the newer T8 or even T5 lamps will give. Also, with fluorescent lighting getting more popular I bet you could find something much more stylish. Just Google "fluorescent lighting fixtures"

Also on a side note if you chose to just stay with the two lamp strip light and changed it to a T-8 ballast you have many more color of lamps to choose from. Any ware from 3000K - 5000k
 
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Old 06-03-09, 08:29 PM
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What would be considered "natural light", or is that subjective? I didn't know this fixture was "older style" (I know you mean "model"), so I'll look around for something newer and see what I can get - and maybe even save the landlord a buck or two. He'd like that.

Thanks,

Jim
 
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Old 06-03-09, 08:54 PM
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This may help you understand color temperature of bulbs.

OSRAM SYLVANIA - Color Characteristics of Light
 
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Old 06-03-09, 09:42 PM
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Interesting information on that page and others. Thank you,

Jim
 
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Old 06-04-09, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim McClain View Post
I didn't know this fixture was "older style" (I know you mean "model"), so I'll look around for something newer and see what I can get - and maybe even save the landlord a buck or two. He'd like that.
I mean older as in older technology. If the lamps are 1 1/2" diameter they are the T12's. T8's (and T5's) will save your landlord money and give you better light to boot.

For comparison an incandescent light bulb is about 2700K
 
 

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