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Thread: Excellent Idratek Blog

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    Automated Home Legend Paul_B's Avatar
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    Default Excellent Idratek Blog

    I'm sure Gumby is far too modest to promote his own blog!

    Therefore, I'll do it for him because it is an excelent resource for anyone that has not already discovered it (especially newbies). In addition he has also updated recently with two new articles, one covering macros and another discussing CFL bulbs.

    http://www.gumbrell.com/

    The latter subject is close to my heart as it is why I started looking at HA to cut over all energy use and make the house work for me. The Megaman CFL look good and operate quite well (bit slow to warm-up). The packaging states around 10,000 hours to failure and interestingly a switching life of 600,000. I purchased some generic CFL's around 18 months and they are already failing which is very poor so I am hoping for more from the Megaman.

    Finally, David mentions the use of LEDs as an up and coming technology. I have used LEDs in my kitchen for atmospheric lighting and under cabinet strip lights. For this they work very, very well with no start-up period, no humming, etc. For most tasks they produce more than enough light.

    Cree seem to be a manufacturer at the cutting edge of this technology and some of the recent LEDs at around 3 - 5W produce a good level of light:

    http://www.ultraleds.co.uk/gu10-240v...en-p-1579.html

    The above, although a bit bulky and pricey, demonstrates where things are with a 120 degree beam, 250 Lumen from 4W

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    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    Default Excellent Idratek Blog

    BTW - Which? magazine had a review of CFLs recently, many brands etc ... some were a lot better than others, for life, for maintaining brightness through their life, for coping with switching on & off, for colour temperature, and so-on ...

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    Moderator Gumby's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Paul_B;6728]I'm sure Gumby is far too modest to promote his own blog!

    You are too kind !

    I've been a bit slow getting articles finished - the house is about to undergo some major damp proofing work and I've been up to my eyeballs in prep work.

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    Moderator Gumby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_j_hunter View Post
    BTW - Which? magazine had a review of CFLs recently, many brands etc ... some were a lot better than others, for life, for maintaining brightness through their life, for coping with switching on & off, for colour temperature, and so-on ...
    I must reread it - I only scanned it and got the impression they weren't examining the extent of the disadvantages. The picture of their test feature implied only open light fixtures, for example.

    mea culpa.

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    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    Default CFLs

    I'm no great fan of Which? ... they tend to miss too many questions, I find ! Plus they seem to be riding the Green bandwagon, and their presumption on this one seems to be that CFLs must be good, despite the data for some they tested seeming to say otherwise ! Generally, they only test a sample of what's available, too, leaving questions about the others ! Still, it's data, and this time some did seem to perform a lot better than others ... pity they didn't look at dimming, too ...

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    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    Default LEDs

    it is very tempting to see LEDs as the future ... life in real situations & dimming seem to be the big issues, and maybe colour-temperature, too ... much the same as with CFLs, actually ... we're currently betting on T5 fluorescent's, for most of our lighting, but maybe we should change horses ? Things do move faster these days, but IIRC it took quite a while to get dimming sorted for fluorescent tubes ... maybe it just needs a different approach ... Problem is, the differences are not just a matter of changing bulbs, on a new-build anyway, because different architectural & shading approaches are driven by each ... maybe uplighters would work with any of them, but which way to go is yet another dilemna !

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    Automated Home Legend Paul_B's Avatar
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    Dimmable LEDs already exist (again price and aesthetics need development

    http://www.ultraleds.co.uk/mr16-gx53...le-p-1505.html

    You raise a good point about lighting design. In most houses you have a single bulb in the centre of the room. In the past it would tend to be a 60W tungsten. But with lighting design you can use multiple LEDs which only need to be 1W vareity for task based and atmospheric lighting.

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    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    Default LEDs

    >dimmable LEDs already exist ...

    Yep, but when people try them they seem to find things like the dimming's not really progressive, up & down, or other issues ... will be intersting to see what people make of those ones !

    >single bulb in the centre of the room ...

    MIL still has that - well, sometimes it's two !

    >multiple LEDs ... 1W ...

    maybe that approach can be used, by controlling the lamps individually, to dive the equivalent of dimming (ie: it's not really dimming we want, but progressive & controllable lighting) ...

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    Moderator Gumby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_j_hunter View Post
    I'm no great fan of Which? ... they tend to miss too many questions, I find ! Plus they seem to be riding the Green bandwagon, and their presumption on this one seems to be that CFLs must be good, despite the data for some they tested seeming to say otherwise !
    Not that I want to turn this thread into Which? bashing, but I have found the same on many more sophisticated items. The CFL article makes no mention of enclosed fittings at all. Given the safety implications of fumes and fire I am surprised. In fact, I was going to write to them, but had no time.

    There are other odd incorrect statements .. like CFLs are more efficient "because most of the electrical energy is used to produce light". At a typically stated efficiency of 10% I find that somewhat short of "most" !

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    Automated Home Guru JonS's Avatar
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    Hijacking the thread back to the original topic ;-) I totally agree about the Blog. The recent article on programming a flash for suspended off gives me an idea for programming into some of the light LEDs as with kids pressing butons sometimes it's not clear if the action or inaction of a light is due to it being overridden, or something else! This and the many other good articles and photography and screen shots make it essential reading for anyone considering installing Idratek. Thanks David.
    Jon

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