Light bulb differences


  #1  
Old 06-07-14, 11:29 AM
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Light bulb differences

We are using too many kWh and our electric bill is about to double if we don't cut back. We are requesting quotes for a photo voltaic system but that may take 2 months to get installed.

So I'm looking to replace the florescent and CFL bulbs that we use most often with LED. But I'm having trouble understanding all the options. And maybe I am not alone.

For example - today I brought many bulbs to the store hoping to get the LED equivalent - but when I get home the new bulbs don't work but the old ones do.

old bulb = 12v 50W EXN Halogen lamp AND
old bulb = 12v 50W MR16 lamp Both work fine

but

new bulb = MR16-SMDLED/3W/30 do not - even though all three bulbs have the exact same dimensions and appearance. I don't see 12v anywhere on the new bulb.

Any thoughts appreciated.
 
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Old 06-07-14, 12:01 PM
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I can't help with the light bulb problem but I can say that swapping LED bulbs for existing CFLs won't make much of a dent in your power consumption. Also, unless you have a habit of running your lighting 24/7 even just not using any lighting is unlikely to make a significant dent in your consumption.

Why don't you list the items in your household that consume electricity and also post the approximate number of hours per day that each is in use and maybe we can figure something out. Also post the total kilowatt hours a month (or billing period) that you use along with the square footage of your house and the number of people in your family. If your bill lists an average kW-hour figure per day then post that as well.
 
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Old 06-07-14, 12:06 PM
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What Furd said. A water heater not on a timer will consume more than all your lighting combined if the lighting were left on all day and night. What type air conditioning do you have....heat pump, combo unit? At what temperature do you leave your thermostat? Do you have a set back thermostat for your air?
 
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Old 06-07-14, 12:29 PM
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Also, if you want to share the sales promise you received on the cost and payback from the solar panels there are some folks here that can sort out the fact from hollow promises. I do like solar power, but there are considerations, like how much you use and can you sell the excess back to the power company, that need to be identified.

I agree with Furd, LEDs will not reduce your electric bill enough to notice when replacing CFLs.

Bud
 
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Old 06-07-14, 12:58 PM
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Ok guys - I happen to have a lot of that info readily available.

- NO A/C nor ceiling fans (at the moment)(we get a good breeze)
- Our heat is the 2 fireplaces (we live in paradise)
- Our water heaters (2) are gas.
- The oven is electric and the stove has both gas and electric burners.

For April/May we consumed 568 kWhs for the 62 day period - 9.16 per day

We had the electric company out recently and they did a survey...

- First, they say our old-fangled meters (we have 3) are only registering 74% of the power we consume and they need to be replaced with one new digital meter. (which is only going to worsen our situation)
- The bottom line usage from their analysis was 690 kWhs per 2 month period

-- computers = 54 (5 hrs per day)
-- plasma TV = 109 (they have 10 hrs but is less)
-- satellite tv = 38 (was 24 hrs)
-- phone system = 73 (was 24 hrs)
-- fridge = 122 (brand new, small and energy star) (they have 8 hrs)
-- pool pump 1hp = 136 (but I know it is more in real life)(3 hrs)
-- washing machine/dryer (gas) = 42 (2 hrs)
-- lighting = 60

Then there is a bunch of little stuff which adds up to the difference.

In some areas (computers/ tv/ phone) stuff is plugged into power strips and now we turn off the strip when we remember. The outside security lighting is automatic at night (solar gizmo to detect sunlight) and now all LED.

I want to add a security system and perhaps a small standalone freezer.

If we are over 500 kWhs (on average) for a 6 month period we go into the dog house and they double the price per kWh.

It is just the 2 of us (and four cats). The house is probably somewhere between 2500 and 3000 sq feet (lots of empty space).

btw - the photo voltaic system would pay for itself in about 4.5 years. It would use a new bi-directional meter (for credit/debit with power company). We can also assume that our power costs will inflate 12% per year.
 
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Old 06-07-14, 02:34 PM
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If I assume $0.10 per KW your current monthly bill is about $30 and you are currently well below the penalty level of 500 watts. I quickly ran over your appliance list and I don't see anything hurting you very bad. Your pool pump would be your worst luxury.

As for payback from the solar panels, how much is the power company going to pay per KW as even reducing your electric bill to zero would be a slow payback.

The customers who benefit the most from solar panels are those who use the most electricity and have the highest rates. You seem to miss on both categories. As for the assumed 12% per year inflation, I don't see that in the predictions in other areas. With the new levels of natural gas the rates if anything should be going down. What the current administration has in mind I do not know.

I'm going to wish you the best and apologize for being so negative. Solar panels, if you can buy them right can be a new technology worth experiencing as they will only get better.

Bud
 
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Old 06-07-14, 02:51 PM
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.10 is pretty cheap.

We pay .06 for the first 150 kWh, .08 for the next 130 and then .22 for anything over 280. Our last bill (with tax) was roughly $100 (2 months) and as I said that could double +.

Edit:
Sorry - we are well over the 500 kWh penalty zone. All of our usage goes into the penalty box - not the part in excess of 500 KW. And that .22 changes from bill to bill.

Plus there are the slow meters - and their replacement - which will add 25% to our bill. And we want to add to our appliances. And the cost of energy increasing.

When we 'produce' power the meter goes backwards. And the 'credits' accumulate over a rolling 12 month period. We were thinking of a 10 panel system where each panel produces in the area of 70 kWh per 2 month period. Monocrystaline panels made in Mexico (20 yr warranty) , Inverter made in Austria (5 yr warranty).

But we have kind of gotten off on a tangent.

Can anyone explain to me the difference between
MR16-SMDLED/3W/30 (which doesn't work)
and
EXN-SMDLED/3W/30 (which works)
In researching the web all I see is that EXN implies 50 watt.

Charlie
 

Last edited by lhpdiver; 06-07-14 at 03:50 PM.
  #8  
Old 06-08-14, 12:33 AM
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Well, it sounds like you are screwed, blued and tattooed.

I live alone (with three cats) and I use between 11 and 14 kWh per day depending on several variables. When I was still gainfully employed I was sometimes as low as 9 kWh per day. I mostly use a microwave oven and a tabletop convection oven for my cooking although the range is all-electric. I have gas water heating and space heating as well. My lighting is a mix of incandescents, CFLs and LEDs. My outside lighting in the front is two 9 watt CFLs on a photocell so it runs dusk to dawn. I have two LED night lights that are controlled via an astronomic time switch so they are also for all practical purposes dusk to dawn. Air conditioning is at present only a 5,000 BTU window unit in the bedroom and it doesn't run all that often.

I also am billed every other month and my latest bill was for 645 kWh at an average cost of 9.26 cents per kWh, averaged due to different rates for summer and winter. My city also tacks on a 6% utility tax to the utility rates. Luckily, I am on a flat rate structure.

I know that my electricity consumption is fairly low, partly because I'm a bit anal about turning things off when not using (although I have gotten a bit sloppy the last couple of years) and partly because I DO live alone. I shut down my computer every night and start it up again in the morning although during the day I put it in sleep mode if not actively using it. Also, living alone I rarely do more than two loads of laundry every ten days or so. I run the dishwasher maybe once a week. I do know that changing my outside lights (the ones on a photocell) from incandescent to CFL saved me about $3 per billing period but that was at least ten years ago and rates have increased significantly from that time.

I used to work for an electric utility and while I had nothing to do with the meter section I would be absolutely gabberflasted () if your current meters were 25% slow. I think the utility is being dishonest in telling you this. I also suspect that what they did in the "survey" was to simply use "standard" time figures along with "average" consumption figures for all your appliances and from this they deduced (incorrectly) that your consumption is significantly greater than it actually is. I can tell you from experience that electric utilities are notorious for overestimating "average" consumption. I was once sent an estimated bill that was way over, several days after the billing cycle my meter had not even come close to the billed consumption and when I pointed it out to the utility they assured me it would be a much smaller bill next time to compensate. What DID happen was since my consumption during the next period was so low they hit me with a minimum daily service charge that wiped out the savings I should have received.

One thing you might want to do is invest in a Kill-A-Watt meter and meter the consumption of various items in the house to see which take a significant amount of energy. They are available from many sources and sell for about $20 to $30 for the less-expensive version and about $15 more for the unit that calculates actual costs rather than just kilowatt hours.

And sorry, but I still have nothing to offer regarding the problem with the lamps.
 
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Old 06-08-14, 05:15 AM
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new bulb = MR16-SMDLED/3W/30 do not - even though all three bulbs have the exact same dimensions and appearance. I don't see 12v anywhere on the new bulb.
I would suspect the new one is a 120 volt lamp. MR16 lamps come in both 12v and 120v. Look on the package of the new one. There should be a voltage rating someplace.

As for your electric bill, our bill is about $120 -$200 each month depending how much we use our A/C(s) Your bill will be mostly affected by heavy load appliances such as HVAC.
 
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Old 06-09-14, 06:03 AM
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You are right about the new one being 120v. The packaging says 100-127v.

btw Furd - just to make you feel better - we pay 16% tax (plus charges) on our utilities. Thanks for the idea of the Kill-A-Watt meter. I'd like to see exactly what the fridge/freezer use. Even though they are set to 1 (warmest) on the temperature gauge it seems that appliance is almost always on.

Thank you all for your comments and suggestions.
 
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Old 06-09-14, 06:23 AM
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Even though they are set to 1 (warmest) on the temperature gauge
A sacrifice for even less insignificant savings then switching light bulbs. Once a temperature is obtained the compressor only runs to compensate for heat loss. Heat loss is approximately the same at 1 or 5 so you are using about the same amount of electric at 1 or 5.
 
 

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