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Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4

1 recommendation

Liquid Cooled LED Bulbs

Click for full size

Animated
 
I don't know if this has been discussed here. It's an interesting idea. They liquid cool the LEDs themselves. But I was under the impression that in order to make LED bulbs inexpensive to buy, they have cheapened the electronics in the base, and that is what succumbs to heat fatigue and failure. If that true? The same goes for CFL bulbs. The claims of many thousands of hours of life have generally fallen short, making it hard for the bulbs to pay for themselves, as the manufacturers have claimed. The Switch bulbs are now available at Batteries Plus, and they are said to replicate the soft white incandescent bulb's color.

quote:
If you are curious about the LQD cooling system here is the quick-and-dirty explainer on how it works: The liquid silicone inside the bulb cools the parts through convection. In practice this means that the warmer liquid rises away from the heat source, while the cooler does the opposite. The convection happens because the liquid expands — you would not have convection without buoyancy. To account for expansion within a fixed volume the bulb has a compensation piston which moves in and out to adjust for changes in temperature and pressure. All that to cool 10 little LEDs…

Through some clever engineering — all of which has been patented — Switch was able to create a liquid-cooled bulb that operates at -4° F TO 113° F, can be placed in an enclosure, and doesn’t turn into a bomb when it gets hot (and the fluid expands). Some of the downsides are that the bulb weighs a hefty 10 ounces and that it’s expensive to produce, but more on that later..

»www.geek.com/articles/gadgets/re···2012096/


Jon
Premium
join:2001-01-20
Lisle, IL

Do LEDs get hot enough to require cooling?



alphapointe
Don't Touch Me
Premium,MVM
join:2002-02-10
Columbia, MO
kudos:2

Only if you overdrive the hell out of them, which most mfgrs seem to do...
--
"When the hammer drops, the bullshit stops"



Kramer
Premium,Mod
join:2000-08-03
Richmond, VA
kudos:2

1 recommendation

reply to Lurch77

Yes, we have been anxiously awaiting the Switch bulb here in a few threads. At 47 dollars ea. for a 60 watt bulb, my anxiousness has subsided into quicksand but not because I can buy them now. The bulb might not be over-engineered, but it is way over-priced. Yes cooling is a major issue, but other manufacturers have handled it with massive heat-sinks and they have been able to deliver a bulb at a much lower cost with similar claims of longevity. Switch knows they will not sell more then a handful of these at this price and is working to lower costs. I just don't see any of these catching on until the price point gets near 5 dollars. That's a few years away.



Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4
reply to Jon

That's what I was wondering. I thought it was the electronics in the base, and not the LEDs that got hot. But I may be off. Though most LED bulbs still do have requirements that they cannot be installed in any position, and cannot be inside an enclosed fixture. These bulbs claim none of that applies, install them anywhere in any position because of the better cooling system. That in itself is a nice if it really pans out.

Not to mention the bulbs actually look decent.

said by Kramer:

Yes, we have been anxiously awaiting the Switch bulb here in a few threads. At 47 dollars ea. for a 60 watt bulb, my anxiousness has subsided into quicksand but not because I can buy them now. The bulb might not be over-engineered, but it is way over-priced. Yes cooling is a major issue, but other manufacturers have handled it with massive heat-sinks and they have been able to deliver a bulb at a much lower cost with similar claims of longevity. Switch knows they will not sell more then a handful of these at this price and is working to lower costs. I just don't see any of these catching on until the price point gets near 5 dollars. That's a few years away.

The only problem with big heat sinks is they are ugly. We have an LED over our kitchen sink. It is hidden from direct sight. It is one ugly bulb, one that I would not want to install in our decorative bathroom fixtures or in our outdoor sconces, where the bulbs are in full sight.


Kramer
Premium,Mod
join:2000-08-03
Richmond, VA
kudos:2

I agree the Switch bulbs are beautiful. The light is supposedly very pleasing too. I use CFLs that cost about a buck a piece in places where I don't care about how the bulb looks or the color of the light. I use standard incandescent bulbs in a few places where lighting color and appearance is important to me. I have few LEDs scattered around the house when I was able to buy them for around ten bucks. I am going to keep buying the CFLs and incandescents until the price of decent LED bulbs come to Earth. There is virtually no energy savings to an LED (at this point) compared to a CFL. LEDs may have a slight environmental advantage.

I have one fixture where I would be willing to pay $20-30 per bulb for a decent LED. I have a fixture that hangs at almost eye height over my kitchen island. It has clear shades. I currently use 2- 150 watt clear bulbs on a dimmer. The bulbs are often dimmed and the ringing drives me crazy. I often run them full-blast just to avoid hearing the ringing. They cost about 3 cents an hour to run, which is pretty expensive if they are left on 8 hours a day. That works out to about $7.50/ month to have two light bulbs lighting my kitchen counter. LED would be a perfect application, but as of yet Switch hasn't released their 100 watt equivalent bulb and even when they do, they haven't been able to get the color temperature and spectrum close on that bulb to what they have been able to achieve with their 60 watt. A dimm-able 150 watt isn't even on the horizon.



nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
·surpasshosting
reply to Lurch77

Given my field and personal interest in LED (stemmed from a deep hatred of CFL), I followed Switch with great interest for what seemed like a couple of years. After multiple failed release dates, I decided they were vaporware and moved on.
I'm glad to see they have an actual product available now, however their price point and temperature range are cause for concern.
I can get a Phillips EnduraLED subsidized from my utility for $12 delivered to my door.
Not that I'm unwilling to pay more for higher quality or better aesthetics from a lighting appliance. Just not that much more.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.



tschmidt
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
Reviews:
·G4 Communications
·Fairpoint Commun..
·Hollis Hosting
reply to Lurch77

said by Lurch77:

That's what I was wondering. I thought it was the electronics in the base, and not the LEDs that got hot. But I may be off. Though most LED bulbs still do have requirements that they cannot be installed in any position, and cannot be inside an enclosed fixture. These bulbs claim none of that applies, install them anywhere in any position because of the better cooling system. That in itself is a nice if it really pans out.

SparkChaser See Profile is our resident opto expert so should be able to provide the definitive answer. Here is my uninformed take.

The LED control circuit is basically a switching power supply. It is pretty efficient. My guess is most of the circuity is located on the back of the multi-LED substrate. The bulk of wasted power is the LEDs themselves, not the control circuit.

Liquid cooling is a clever idea, liquid is a much better thermal conductor then air. That being said I assume cooling is a thermosiphon loop. Assuming the bulb is in upright position hot LEDs are at the bottom. That warms the fluid causing it to rise and cool off through radiative and conductive cooling and sink back down. I don't understand how that works if the bulb is in any other then the normal upright position. Unless it is just a matter the fluid's better thermal conductivity keeping the LEDs as safe operating temperature due to turbulence caused by temperature differences. In order to operate in any location there has to be enough fluid in the bulb to always keep the LEDs immersed.

At $60 a pop they are out of my price range but I'm excited about the advancement in LED lighting.

/tom


Majestik
World Traveler
Premium
join:2001-05-11
Tulsa, OK
reply to Lurch77

I've had my 60 watt led bulb on 24/7 outside since March. Made it through 25 days over 100 degrees last summer with max of 114 according to my outdoor sensor. In shade.
Still going strong.

»www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R···2Kny9KSM

I have since installed three more outside and has been on 24/7 since September.
--
The adventure continues...Sanctuary....



Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4

That bulb highlights my issue with many LED and CFL bulbs. Obviously it is a great bulb for reliability and performance. But that thing is sure ugly. I like and want a traditional looking bulb when they are visible or in a decorative fixture.



alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to nunya

said by nunya:

I can get a Phillips EnduraLED subsidized from my utility for $12 delivered to my door.

Just one?

Here I can get a 10$ MIR per LED bulb purchased at most major local hardware stores. They allow up to 15 x bulbs (150$ MIR), as long as the bulbs are >10$ each.

15 aint enough though.


Majestik
World Traveler
Premium
join:2001-05-11
Tulsa, OK
reply to Lurch77

There are a couple of fixtures in the home that I may need for that.
Keeping my eye on the switch bulbs as well.

In my case I needed an led bulb that was compact and could stay on constant and use less electricity. Those daylight sensing dusk to dawn screw on makes the bulb extend beyond the bottom of my outdoor tinted glass tiffany lamps. Led light is not noticeable because of the white base.

I actually thought the bulb wouldn't make it through the summer.
--
The adventure continues...Sanctuary....


Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
Reviews:
·Optimum Online

1 recommendation

reply to Lurch77

So the same manufacturers which can't make a simple CFL circuit that doesn't burn out in a year are supposed to make something this complicated?

quote:
The liquid silicone inside the bulb cools the parts through convection.
After the bulb burns out, you can re-use them as breast implants!


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to Lurch77

Question: Does that mean you can't use the bulb in a fixture that doesn't hold it right side up? That would be quite... a limited application.



Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY
reply to Majestik

said by Majestik:

I've had my 60 watt led bulb on 24/7 outside since March. Made it through 25 days over 100 degrees last summer with max of 114 according to my outdoor sensor. In shade.
Still going strong.

»www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R···2Kny9KSM

I have since installed three more outside and has been on 24/7 since September.

While I realize they're inexpensive to operate why the heck are you leaving them on 24/7?


Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4
reply to Bob4

said by Bob4:

So the same manufacturers which can't make a simple CFL circuit that doesn't burn out in a year are supposed to make something this complicated?

quote:
The liquid silicone inside the bulb cools the parts through convection.
After the bulb burns out, you can re-use them as breast implants!

Switch is a start up company. This LED bulb is their first product. I don;t know much about them, other than what I have read. But they appear to be trying to find a balance between cost and reliability. I hope it works out for them. I will wait and see before I buy.

said by alkizmo:

Question: Does that mean you can't use the bulb in a fixture that doesn't hold it right side up? That would be quite... a limited application.

On the manufacturers website, in the article I linked, and in one of my earlier posts here, it says they can be used in any position.
»www.switchlightingco.com/specs.html


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1

2 edits

said by Lurch77:

On the manufacturers website, in the article I linked, and in one of my earlier posts here, it says they can be used in any position.
»www.switchlightingco.com/specs.html

Yes but then the water cooling doesn't work. The hot part of the bulb is at the top, so the water gets hot near that area, but doesn't cycle with cold water, as the cold water is already at the bottom.
Convection only works if heat is generated at the bottom for it to move up and push down the cooler water.

Anyway, LEDs are still way way way way overpriced. They are only worth it for dimmable purposes or ON/OFF stuff like motion sensors.

20$ LED 12,5W = 60W equivalent
2.50$ CFL 13W = 60W equivalent

Yeah... overpriced LED is overpriced.


Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4

According to them, the liquid silicone will circulate by convection in any orientation. I can only take their word for it, since the product has not been on the market long enough to test longevity. I'm tempted to buy one and test it out myself.



Majestik
World Traveler
Premium
join:2001-05-11
Tulsa, OK
reply to Msradell

said by Msradell:

said by Majestik:

I've had my 60 watt led bulb on 24/7 outside since March. Made it through 25 days over 100 degrees last summer with max of 114 according to my outdoor sensor. In shade.
Still going strong.

»www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R···2Kny9KSM

I have since installed three more outside and has been on 24/7 since September.

While I realize they're inexpensive to operate why the heck are you leaving them on 24/7?

Where I live security prefer that you leave your patio lights on at night,keep bushes trimmed at windows,etc.. I also have cams outside.
The screw in dusk to dawn adapter does not work well with these lamps.
I'm not home to turn the lights on and off.
If I am going to leave a light on it might as well be LED.
--
The adventure continues...Sanctuary....

TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
kudos:3
Reviews:
·NorthWest Tel
reply to Majestik

said by Majestik:

I have since installed three more outside and has been on 24/7 since September.

Why leave them on all the time, even in daylight?

13W*4=52W

Your location gets about 2,788 daylight hours per year.

That's 145kWhr of electricity wasted every year.

I don't know what your electricity rates are, but at the rates that I'm paying, a light sensor or electronic timer would pay for itself in 1-2 years.

One of these should do the trick:

»www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R···NnoZ0joU

It automatically compensates for changes in daylight hours throughout the year. Just install it instead of the existing switch.


exocet_cm
Free at last, free at last
Premium
join:2003-03-23
New Orleans, LA
kudos:3
reply to Jon

said by Jon:

Do LEDs get hot enough to require cooling?

My LED floods almost burn your fingers when touched. This is probably the reason why they have massive heat sinks on the base.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to Majestik

said by Majestik:

I'm not home to turn the lights on and off.
If I am going to leave a light on it might as well be LED.

You should invest in something like this

»www.levitonproducts.com/catalog/···itch.htm

It's very cheap and gives the illusion of the house being occupied (as lights turn on in the evening and off in the morning).


exocet_cm
Free at last, free at last
Premium
join:2003-03-23
New Orleans, LA
kudos:3

alkizmo See Profile, have you used this before? If so, I'll send you a PM so I don't hijack this thread but that looks nice and might be applicable to a situation I have.


TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
kudos:3
Reviews:
·NorthWest Tel
reply to alkizmo

said by alkizmo:

said by Majestik:

I'm not home to turn the lights on and off.
If I am going to leave a light on it might as well be LED.

You should invest in something like this

»www.levitonproducts.com/catalog/···itch.htm

It's very cheap and gives the illusion of the house being occupied (as lights turn on in the evening and off in the morning).

That website is expensive!

Got one of those from Home Depot for a little less than $40 a while ago.


Majestik
World Traveler
Premium
join:2001-05-11
Tulsa, OK
reply to alkizmo

said by alkizmo:

said by Majestik:

I'm not home to turn the lights on and off.
If I am going to leave a light on it might as well be LED.

You should invest in something like this

»www.levitonproducts.com/catalog/···itch.htm

It's very cheap and gives the illusion of the house being occupied (as lights turn on in the evening and off in the morning).

I live in a gated condo community. The homes here are cedar and stucco. They are replacing all the cedar wood with a textured hardy board and my unit is scheduled for this in two years. While checking/fixing any termite damage,replacing barrier,and possibly replacing insulation they will be wiring these lights with sensors. Also perfect time to install wiring for any cams we want to mount before closing up.
If not for this I would be getting these.
--
The adventure continues...Sanctuary....

AndrewW

join:2009-03-07
Toronto, ON
kudos:1
reply to TheMG

Amazon has it for $33.70, see here »www.amazon.com/Leviton-VPT24-1PZ···PT24-1PZ . Honeywell has a similar unit, »www.amazon.com/Honeywell-Econosw···PT24-1PZ .



alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1

1 edit

Yeah sorry guys, I thought I was linking home depot's website. Here in Canada I can buy them for 30$. Very neat stuff especially since they auto adjust for the time of he year. Here we can have sunligth as late as 9pm in mid summer and darkness as early as 3pm this time of the year.

Edit- be sure to read amazon reviews before buying any model. Some brand/models have reset/crashing problems.



Subaru
1-3-2-4
Premium
join:2001-05-31
Greenwich, CT
kudos:1
reply to Jon

12V at 700mA with a max of 1A still needs cooling highest I've hit with a heatsink was 110F the higher you go the dimmer the light output.



disconnected

@snet.net
reply to tschmidt

I had my first E27-based LED lamp, a Utilitech from Lowe's, fail on me last month.



SparkChaser
Premium
join:2000-06-06
Downingtown, PA
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to Jon

said by Jon:

Do LEDs get hot enough to require cooling?

As Subaru See Profile pointed out they can get pretty hot. The Switch lamp has 10 LEDs (I think) and if they all draw a watt it doesn't seem like much but it's all concentrated in a very small area and difficult to get it out.

I thought this was a decent article on it

»www.geek.com/articles/gadgets/re···2012096/

They took an interesting approach and it will be interesting to see how it works out.
--
--
--
"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley