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Archive for December, 2011

Quality of BBC Reporting – Led Lighting

Some day the BBC will get it right.  In “LEDs offer a brighter future, says report”  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-16199552 the BBC report on a field trial of the “new technology” of LED lighting.

In it the report states the millions of Kilowatt hours that can be saved and paints a wonderful picture of LED lighting which it says can last for up to 100,000 hours.

Typical of the kind of surface reports we see, the author has not put the slightest effort into this – as there is a real story underneath which they missed.

LED Lighting in this country is currently a RIP-OFF – the likes of B&Q charge obscene prices for LED lighting – and yet the technology is NOT AT ALL new, high intensity LEDS having been around for several years now – as anyone with a LED keychain will tell you.

tmp681Many of the lights out there are nothing more than a printed circuit board with a load of inexpensive LED lights and a power supply and yet the charges are horrendous. Not only that but the “claimed life” is actually that of the LED itself, used in ideal circumstances and at reasonable temperatures.

The problem is – in order to cram as  much light as possible into a small space, many LED mains lights run warm or hot and this has a considerable effect on reliability.

Tosh? All you have to do is go into any of the larger stores which have LED lighting on demonstration – you’ll see dud lamps all over. Early adopter hotels that used these lights in come cases reverted back, in others have had to replace.

The newer 3-led units which DO work are even more obscenely priced…


tmp2E89Yes, that’s over £20 for a LIGHT BULB. The very same unit can be bought from China for around £3 or so including postage – and indeed in Spain, the outlet stores there sell them for not much more. I have several and they are great.. At £3-£4 they are a definite investment – but at FIVE times that price they are nothing more than a rip-off.

I always like to buy locally or at least British when I can – but seeing prices like that you think “to hell with it” – THERE’S the story the BBC SHOULD have come up with instead of a lame endorsement.

Technical: LEDS don’t like heat – note the new versions have a massive aluminium heat sink – but there are many millions of the older style (shown above) sold as new technology – basically they are crammed onto a board and over-driven to get the light output – they cannot achieve anything REMOTELY like the stated lifespan.  You might also ask why they’re not very bright in garden solar lamps? That’s because they are dramatically UNDER-driven – to save on solar cell and battery costs. Right now it seems to be all down to profit, not quality.

For those of you who think this stuff is new technology – and expensive – go to Ebay and punch in “5mm LED” or “LED strip” – cheap as CHIPS!!