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The Home Ownership Thread

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by Douglas, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    Harvey, i have an LED in my floor lamps that you cannot tell it is not incandescent when it's on. I use them because I have my floor lamps on timers, they run about 7 hours per day. I like the house to have some light in every room without my participation, makes it seem a little more liveable.
     
  2. Harold falcon

    Harold falcon Senior member

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    That isn't bad looking at all. Maybe I'll give them another try.


    That's interesting. Is it a ploy to ward off potential thieves or just your own personal quirk?
     
  3. Douglas

    Douglas Senior member

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    I wanted to run all my gallery track lighting as low-voltage and use LED bulbs. Unfortunately, I just had a really tough time getting my electrician and GC on the same page as me. They just didn't seem all that motivated to bring me product cut sheets or tell me how it could be done, leaving me to try to research it all on my own. In the end, between what seemed like a relatively scarce availability of these sorts of things, or at least my inability to find them online on my own, and the technical details that were beyond my understanding, we never figured it out. It still kind of chaps my ass, because I know it isn't that complicated.

    In the end, I finally just went with little MR16-based mini-spots at 120V, figuring that eventually the bulbs will catch up and just be plug and play in the existing fixtures. But haven't taken the plunge yet.

    For those of you who've done it, how is the light color?
     
  4. Ataturk

    Ataturk Senior member

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    They claim different light colors, 2700k being as low as it goes and supposed to be equivalent to an incandescent. In my experience it depends on the bulb. That's why I bought twelve at once.

    The Feit floodlights claim to be 2700k but are a bit whiter than the real bulbs they replaced. It's not dramatic, though. It works out well because I have a blue and cream oriental rug in the bedroom that looks much better under a whiter light.

    The Philips uglies are very close in color to incandescents. It's supposed to be a selling point along with the nondirectional light.

    A downside of the LEDs is that they don't get much warmer when they dim, unlike real bulbs. The really fancy ones have different colored LEDs, set up so the red ones dim less to get a change in color.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  5. Douglas

    Douglas Senior member

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    I could be misunderstanding some of this, but it is kind of weird how we enjoy warm light and judge light based on the realities of an old technology. LEDs and fluorescents are actually closer in temperature to that of direct sunlight, which should feel more natural to us, but we desire warmer light because it's what we've gotten accustomed to at night time thanks to the incandescent bulb.

    I wonder if in 30 years people will look at old photos and be like "wtf is with the yellowish light?"
     
  6. Ataturk

    Ataturk Senior member

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    The incandescent bulb and the candle, I guess. Really our expectation of warm yellow light goes back to burning sticks in a cave.
     
  7. otc

    otc Senior member

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    Yeah, I think warm light feels better as it is getting closer and closer to bed time (hence it being nice that bulbs dim to a warmer color temp).
    Sunlight is gone and replaced with nice warm (literally) fire at night.

    I think there is some merit to the "old tech" argument though (just like low frame rate movies)...other than maybe right before bed, there's no real reason we need warm light. We just think the daylight bulbs look wrong compared to everything else we see. If you just replace one bulb, you are going to hate it. If you replace all of your bulbs, you will be used to it quick--until you stand on the street and your house looks like an alien abduction scene compared to your neighbor's windows.
     
  8. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    Harvey, definitely my quirk. It gives the house a comfortable feel when you have a little light in every room, or at least those that you use regularly.

    If I had a staff I would have them start the fireplace daily, so this is a more cost effective approach to having a comfortable room.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  9. Ataturk

    Ataturk Senior member

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    [​IMG]

    I did the math and the LEDs will pay for themselves in two years at three hours a day, one year at six hours. I realize it's not exactly right to say that, since I could have gotten CFLs for less, but with LED you're paying more for a better all around bulb.

    And it's nice to be able to leave the lights on when you want. The first LED I got is over my kitchen sink and it stays on all night.

    It's worth noting also that the bulb-type LEDs aren't more efficient than CFLs, but the downlight types are. The BR40s I got put out the same light as a 26 watt CFL for 17 watts. It's not that much of a difference, but then BR type CFLs aren't exactly cheap either--and they're just plain awful.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  10. suited

    suited Senior member

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    We had LED bulbs in the kitchen recessed cans, and ended up swapping them out for CFLs. We had the Philips LEDs that have a flat surface (reminds you of an Audi headlight), and this causes them to shine directly down like a spotlight as opposed to a floodlight (and they are advertised as being floodlights). The result is a room that looks much darker than it should because all of the light is concentrated in a small area - and we had 6 bulbs @ 950 lumens each. They sell LEDs with a rounded surface, but the CFLs were 1/4 the price. When it comes to recessed lighting, the cost savings is questionable in the beginning. It would take roughly 7 years to breakeven on the cost of the LED bulbs, according to the advertisement on the Philips box (of course, this varies depending on what you're comparing them to). That assumes that the bulbs actually last for 7 years and you don't have to pay shipping costs in order to take advantage of the warranty in the event one of the bulbs fizzles.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  11. otc

    otc Senior member

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    The world is going to be a funny place when tomorrow's 21 year olds (because today's 21 year olds are already incompetent at many basic tasks) have managed to grow up without ever having to change a lightbulb.

    Parents replace everything with fancy new LEDs at age 7 (they will probably have the kinks worked out by then...and it will be more like CFLs are now where you can get a 10 pack at costco for $4 after electric-company instant rebate and just do the whole house)...and the kid is never consciously aware of the fact that bulbs might need to be replaced. Maintenance takes care of it in the dorms and then they are finally living in their first crappy apartment and can't figure out what to do when their room goes dark.
     
  12. Rambo

    Rambo Senior member

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    The LED bulbs at Costco are nice, and cheap as well. Well, comparatively speaking at least.
     
  13. Ataturk

    Ataturk Senior member

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    Right, it's based on what you compare them to. CFLs are pretty efficient--the difference of 9 watts per bulb would take forever to make up. Problem is that the CFLs made for can lights stink. They don't dim, come on at 1/4 brightness and take literally five minutes to reach full brightness, at least the ones I have do. The internet is full of people ranting about the awful light and poor reliability of CFL reflector bulbs.

    Spotlight applications are supposed to be one of the strong points of LEDs since you can't get a focused beam like that from other sources without losing lots of light. You might like those narrow beams if you had a 20-foot ceiling in the room you installed them. You just need to pay attention to the packaging. The 120-degree LEDs I got are great at spreading light around for the lower ceilings upstairs--much better than the bulbs they replaced.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  14. idfnl

    idfnl Senior member

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    Ya, that's the problem.... how do you ever recover the cost and get any savings?
     
  15. suited

    suited Senior member

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    The brand of CFL I replaced them with is called n:vision, and they get bright very quickly. Full Brightness in less than a minute, and they are also dimmable (haven't tried yet, but they are advertised as being dimmable on the packaging and website). 3100k/1000 lumens seems to work okay for the kitchen. I found them for $10 each, so I was happy spending $60 total instead of the Philips bulbs that were something like $34 a piece. As far as long term reliability, I can't comment on that.
     
  16. VLSI

    VLSI Senior member

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    Buy a house that's way too big for me that I can afford comfortably but will have a tangible impact on standard of living or buy a little town home and have much more left over play money? Also interest rates are stupid low right now and property prices are still low which is making a bigger house a more attractive use of my money.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
  17. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    I'm biased but I have a larger house than we need and I kind of resent the unused spaces (upstairs).
     
  18. jgold47

    jgold47 Senior member

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    my wife and I must have spent $100 on bulbs last month on a repaint project we did. First none of the colors looked the same because the lamps in the room were tinting everything way too yellow. So we got the colors squared away thank god, but it looked terible with these lamps. Also for some reason even though I wouldnt say we painted considerably darker (at least not based on the lighting issue), so first we tried brighter wattage bulbs, that didnt help. Then because half of the lamps use candelabra and half regular, we had to track down matching higher K bulbs to whiten it up a bit to compensate for the yellowness of the lamps. Then, the adjoining dining room which we painted this grey/green color looked olive where it butted up against the living room, but grey against the far wall. That fixture has an open candelabra thing going on, so we've used regular incadecscent bulbs. Its been a nightmare.

    And dont get me started on the warm up. Even instant on bulbs take forever to warm up (at least to my wife who complains CONSTANTLY about it).

    TL:DR

    fuck lights

    fuck CFL's

    fuck Lord Kelvin and his damn color scale.

    fuck paint companies for using light sensitive colors

    Thats all.
     
  19. jgold47

    jgold47 Senior member

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    Thats a little difficult to answer in a vacuum. depends on a lot of things People will respect you more imo, if you have a comfortable, well furnished house and money in your pocket vs. a large, empty house that you cant afford to furnish, and have no money left over when you're done with all your expenses. The term is house poor.

    where that changes is if you are deliberately stretching. Perhaps you have a stable carreer with defined growth (if so, are you hiring?), perhaps you're in a stable relationship and a family is imminent. Perhaps your looking long term, as in this is a forever house. In that case, I would say its ok to stretch.

    But just keep in mind, the cost of a bigger house is exponentially more compared to a smaller one. some friends of ours stretched into a very very nice 'forever' home. Its what we all would be buying in 5-10 years. But listening to them go on and on about having two furnances, and 3000 sqft to heat and cool, and the pool and the hot tub and blah blah blah and how the electric bill is 2x of their old place is kind of a drag. But fast forward 5-10 years, and that cost is no issue.


    I'll leave you with one more example. Its like these dickheads who save all their money to buy a BMW when they are 25 and then cant afford to pay for an oil change because they are out of money and failed to take into account how expensive an oil change on a BMW is.
     
  20. Douglas

    Douglas Senior member

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    There are a lot of personal circumstances that determine where you go with this decision. Are you married? Kids? Plan for them? Where's the big house? Good neighborhood? Good neighborhood for kids? Good schools? Near to your office, and likely to be over the long term?

    In short, I'd advise that if you don't have a clearly defined path to needing all the space, and in a relatively near-term timeline (i.e. ~5 years), go with the smaller place. Even if you plan on meeting someone and settling down and having three kids, if you haven't met her, it's a waste to spend the money now. She could be a breathtaking French heiress who wants you to settle with her in her apartment in Paris.

    You always have to make some concessions to future marketability, but in general, you should buy the house you need, for now. A home is not an investment.
     

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