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Author Topic: SOLUTION! - X10 switch to control 7 fluorescent fixtures converted to LED tubes  (Read 6038 times)

alexcomp

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2200 W for the Sylvain yeah was on the low-end but I saw none in excess of 3000 wants available for sale on Amazon . Show me a 40 W florescent bulb rated at 4000 lm or more and I'll be surprised
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alexcomp

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My forefoot and 3 foot LED tube replacements that I purchased from Hyperikon are working fine with standard lamp modules from X 10. I have no doubt that other tubes with different electronic configurations might be problematic. The good thing about the Hyperikon organization is that they have an accessible tech-support department that has been most cooperative
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bkenobi

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Those LED tubes are really $18/ea after the sale price?  It's amazing to me how much people spend to save a few cents.   B:(

alexcomp

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I paid less than 10 each for the three footers and around $15.50 for the four footers. Anticipated payback is less than one year the savings in energy. I believe I live longer than that.

 At least two of my fixtures would've required ballast replacements at many of my tubes or on the way out. I think I made a good investment. But the bottom line is that the quality of the light is much better
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dhouston

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So how long have you worked for Hyperikon?  :'
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alexcomp

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When I can easily reach knowledgeable technicians and talk with them for 15 minutes receiving good information it's a pleasure to share this find with others.  I've managed to enter my eight decade without becoming a sarcastic cynic.  Too bad we can't say the same for you "houston".
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bkenobi

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I haven't done any math myself so if someone has a good chart, I'd like to see it.  I'm open to hearing good arguments for/against new tech over old, but I have a pretty good propaganda detector.

I only use T8 bulbs in a few locations: garage (6 4'x2 fixtures = 12), shop (13'ish 4'x2 fixtures = 26), kitchen (4 4'x2 fixtures = 8), and laundry (2 2'x4 fixtures = 8).  That sounds like a lot of bulbs, however I'd contend that it likely won't make much difference to my overall energy usage.  The reason is, I only use lights when I'm in the room.  I'd say I split my time at home between the bedroom (no lights when sleeping) and the family room (no T8 bulbs) pretty evenly.  The other rooms are used for maybe an hour or two a day while doing laundry, making dinner/breakfast, and misc tasks in the garage/shop.  Generally in the summer, I don't use any lighting for most of the day since we have good window lighting and I spend a lot of time outside.  In the winter, we use a lot of lighting when home since it's dark when I leave for work and dark again when I get home.

That said, here is a table of projected costs/savings, environmental impacts, and other factors related to the 3 bulb choices (screw in type is all I could find).

http://www.designrecycleinc.com/led%20comp%20chart.html

If these bulbs are your primary lighting source, then it's likely that they would quickly break even assuming the light quality was good enough.  BUT, what I've seen with CFL is that the initial quality degrades below that of incandescent rather quickly and has other down sides.  LED has up to now been cost prohibitive.  However, that's comparing the benefit of incandescent to CFL and LED.  What this thread deals with is Fluorescent vs LED.  Comparing data for CFL vs LED, I see a 50% reduction in electricity usage and a 720% higher "sale" price.  I would have to use the bulbs for ages to make that work out.  And, considering that my T8's have almost all lasted well over 5 years (when I bought the house and have only replaced 3-4 bulbs), it seems like replacing them as they fail would make for a significant hodge podge of T8 and various LED's (I'd only buy them as they were needed and that would mean various models most likely).  I'm all over a better light bulb to save on my bill, but I've been skeptical of the "savings" people report when they ignore the initial cost of the bulb and installation.

alexcomp

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These T12 fixtures (T12 bulbs are 1.5" diameter and typically use the older style magnetic ballasts) were probably installed when the house was built in 1989 so overdue for replacement.  When you carve out the ballast and feed a single hot wire to one tombstone and a single neutral to the other tombstone you have essentially made the original fixture into nothing more than a lampholder and that was good for me.  At least two of my fixtures had bad ballasts - guessing $50 or so to fix them so that reduces my outlay for the led tubes.

The kitchen where they are installed is quite large - about 30 x 20 with cathedral ceilings about 15' at the peak.  Takes a lot of light to make it cheery and the old system didn't get it done.  I think my Amazon invoice for 16 tubes was around $220 plus I bought 3 3packs of 60w led bulbs at Lowes for our chandelier making total outlay less than $250 to be reduced by the $50 for replacement ballasts.  This is nicer light than what we had and we're loving it.  Wife was demanding complete relighting of the kitchen and this was actually the most cost effective solution.  These kitchen lights were used a lot.

All kitchen lights on 4 hours per day
6 4' at 40w = 240w/hr
8 3' @ 30w = 240 w/hr
9  medium base bulbs @ 60w = 540w/hr

Total of 1020 watts x 4 hours avg utilization would be 4080 watts per day or 1489200 watts per year = 1489.2 kwh @ 11.4 cents = $169.60

All kitchen lights on 4 hours per day
6 4' at 18w = 108w/hr
8 3' @ 14w = 112 w/hr
9  medium base bulbs @ 8.5w = 76.5w/hr


Total of 296.5 watts x 4 hours avg utilization would be 1186 watts per day or 432890watts per year = 432.89 kwh @ 11.4 cents = $49.34

Not quite a one year return on investment - 1.66 years is about 20 months.  I'm good with that ROI.  There is an additional savings in that ballasts draw power but I don't know how to quantify that and maybe it's built in to the current consumption for the fluorescent tubes already.  Anybody know?
« Last Edit: December 04, 2017, 06:14:23 PM by alexcomp »
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dhouston

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Here are numerous before/after wiring diagrams.
https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=tube+led+wiring+diagram&id=C145C9827B7072528AD371E7F4FB36B4C5451219&FORM=IQFRBA

Your story keeps changing. You now want to include other, non-fluorescent bulbs you replaced in your payback calculations. And, you said you had 14 ballasts for sale while you now say at least 2 are defective. BTW, Amazon has T12 ballasts for under $12 each instead of the $50 figure you suggested.

Sticking with Hyperikon tube LEDs at current Amazon (Prime) prices and figuring your labor is worthless, gives a 4 year,  9 month payback. I suspect many of your 14 tubular LED bulbs will have experienced premature failure before then.

Including realistic labor costs would stretch the payback to 15-20 years.

BTW, your labor rate will come in handy when you need to figure out which of your 14 tubular LED bulbs has a noisy power supply blocking all X10 activity.
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bkenobi

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I appreciate the quick ROI calcs.  Those are quicker periods than I would have expected.  When I've done the math, it appeared I would need close to the 20 years to break even and bulb life won't get me there.  My math said that I'd be better off replacing my windows and skylights if I wanted to save electricity (though that's a much larger investment).

I agree with the noise issues, though I have a couple tubes fixtures in my garage that don't play nice with a WS4777.  It doesn't hurt anything else in the system other than not being able to remotely turn that set of lights off.  I suppose I can't say my current setup is perfect, but I'd definitely not be happy with making it worse.

Reading your installation description, I have a couple concerns.  If you take the ballast out of a standard fixture and wire hot/neutral directly to the tombstone, is the connector rated for 120V?  What happens if you sell the house and the next owner (or your wife/friend/son/daughter/etc) tries to install a fluorescent bulb in a 120V, non-ballast fixture?  This seems like something an electrician would frown upon, but I don't know code so I'm not sure.

EDIT: Oh, and I guess I lied.  I have T12 bulbs (the fat ones) not the newer T8 style.  I don't think that changes much other than the wattage slightly.  My office building actually just redid all lighting from T12 to T8 within the last couple years so I guess for them, LED wasn't worth the investment.

EDIT2: I asked google my question and it appears to me that using a fluorescent tube without a ballast isn't dangerous it simply won't work.  The ballast apparently increases voltage from 120V to 216V during startup so the tombstone is running 120VAC anyway and must be rated to 216V at least.  Either way, it seems like a sticker would be a good idea (like how you'd electrical tape color code a traveler wire in a switch box if you only have black/white wires).
« Last Edit: November 05, 2015, 10:47:19 AM by bkenobi »
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alexcomp

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Some led tubes come with a label stating "Rewired for LED Tubes etc."  You make a good point and I will print up labels and affix.

As far as noise, system turns on and off perfectly, both A1 and A2.  The wall switch WS467 wouldn't work - I had one AM466 (?) that looked like it worked briefly but then stopped working.  All my X10 stuff is 15 or 20 years old so it may just have worn out.  The lamp module gets hot and neutral and perhaps that makes it more amenable to X10 than the Wall switches only connected to the hot wire.  Don't know but they do work.  Knock on wood.

As far as t8 or T12, the 3' tubes I bought state T8 but when I talked to the tech rep at Hyperikon he verified they would work with either T8 or T12.  The tombstones are the same - what changes between 8 and 12 mostly is that 12 is magnetic ballasts whereas 8 is the electronic ballasts, so I understand. 

Good question about "what would happen"?  if you put in a fluor tube in a converted fixture passing 110.  "Googling",,,,  Couldn't find anything definitive so sent email to the vendor.  Will post when I get there answer.
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Brian H

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On the ones you are using. Where the Line is on one end and the Neutral on the other. It probably would not work.

On the ones I have with both the Line and Neutral on the same side. The heater in that end would short the AC into the fixture. Not sure if the tube would just flash brightly or maybe crack.
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dhouston

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AFAIK, T5/T8/T12 refers to tube diameter. Larger diameter means more surface area for phosphor which probably relates directly to wattage.

Some of the tube LEDs I saw, included highly visible stick-on labels regarding the fixture's conversion. Others did not.

Given the number of noisy switching power supplies with CFL and LED lamps reported here over the past few years, I would expect there to be a similar incident rate with the tubular LEDs. Finding one noisy power supply among 14 tubular LEDs on the same circuit will be challenging - even more so than Noam finding his neighbor's noisy CFL.

There was a very high rate of early failures with CFLs. As most were related to power supply failures, there's reason to expect similar issues with tubular LEDs.

 I've always been an early adopter, buying my first (expensive even with a ComEd subsidy) CFL in the mid-80s (which failed after less than 6 weeks) but I would hold off here until prices fall to about 50% of current levels. A little time may also help identify the most reliable vendors.
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alexcomp

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Here's what Hyperikon had to say about inserting standard fluor and noise.

Sorry
1)       Nothing will happens when you out a T8 fluorescents in .
2)       We can send you some warning labels
3)      No they will only fade  5 to 9% over 50000Hours of use and will not become noisy
Cheers have a nice day

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dhouston

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Here's what Hyperikon had to say about inserting standard fluor and noise.
3)      No they will only fade  5 to 9% over 50000Hours of use and will not become noisy

Dream on.  ::)

In order to meet FCC limits on high frequency noise on the powerline, many manufacturers install a capacitor across the line. This capacitor also eats X10 signals and frequently fails after a few weeks or months, allowing high frequency noise to spew to the powerline and block X10 signals.
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