UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Powered By Google Custom Search Vintage Radio Service Data

Go Back   UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Discussion Forum > General Vintage Technology > General Vintage Technology Discussions

Notices

General Vintage Technology Discussions For general discussions about vintage radio and other vintage electronics etc.

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old 19th Nov 2017, 1:06 am   #21
1100 man
Heptode
 
1100 man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Ventnor, Isle of Wight, & Great Dunmow, Essex, UK.
Posts: 690
Default Re: Workshop: LED replacements for flourescent tubes.

I've just worked out that the Thorn SRS fittings (Series resonant start, they don't have a starter but are pretty much instant start) are 44 years old. Based on the same 10 hours per day useage, that's 110,000 hours and I've never known a ballast fail!
My own workshop ( for the repair of Austin 1100's) is lit by a dozen or so Crompton twin SRS 5' fittings. These date from the mid '60's and weigh a ton. Luckily, I have enough T12 tubes to last a lifetime and they don't fail very often. T12's also work much better in the cold then T8's.
Cheers
Nick
1100 man is offline  
Old 19th Nov 2017, 6:37 am   #22
Argus25
Octode
 
Argus25's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Maroochydore, Queensland, Australia.
Posts: 1,625
Default Re: Workshop: LED replacements for flourescent tubes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulsherwin View Post
Are you sure you want to do this given that the existing setup is working well? Replacement fluorescent tubes aren't expensive.
I agree entirely. The standard now vintage design fluoro tubes are amazingly good value for money, still well less than $10 here, last a couple of years often, good light output and the interference is usually pretty modest, with a typical vintage inductive ballast that is. These hardly every fail. The electronic ballasts are "hopeless and unreliable" in my opinion and other solutions with electronics, also containing electrolytic caps, even less reliable. Sometimes you just can't beat the old tech with its elegance, simplicity & reliability despite what the greens might tell you.
Argus25 is offline  
Old 19th Nov 2017, 10:01 am   #23
cheerfulcharlie
Hexode
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Birmingham, West Midlands, UK.
Posts: 450
Default Re: Workshop: LED replacements for flourescent tubes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100 man View Post
I suppose, amongst other things, you could call me a 'fluorophile'. I've had a love affair with fluorescent tubes since I was a kid and it was probably a significant reason I became an electrician!!
I have always felt there is something missing from an LED light glow but I have not worked out what it is yet.. LOL- eg.sure the new streetlamps are nice and white but they don't seem as penetrating or maybe have oomph (if they are the right words even) as the old variously coloured ones..

As a child I was fascinated by the streetlights we had in an alley way-they looked a bit like an ordinary bulb - but not quite -and gave off this rather mysterious not quite white glow (that penetrated fog etc) and nothing like the standard sodium lamps.Of course later found out these were mercury lamps.

As for LED lamps the jury is still out for me after all the failures of this so called 'lasting at least 20,000 hours' lamp.
cheerfulcharlie is offline  
Old 19th Nov 2017, 11:51 am   #24
paulsherwin
Moderator
 
paulsherwin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Oxford, UK
Posts: 16,728
Default Re: Workshop: LED replacements for flourescent tubes.

I think many local authorities are seizing the opportunity to reduce light levels in secondary streets when they convert to LED. People don't notice this because the quality of the light is so different, and light levels are still adequate. I have them in my street and the effect is similar to very bright moonlight.
paulsherwin is offline  
Old 19th Nov 2017, 12:13 pm   #25
David G4EBT
Dekatron
 
David G4EBT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Cottingham, East Yorkshire, UK.
Posts: 3,144
Default Re: Workshop: LED replacements for flourescent tubes.

I have a chum who recently converted his workshop lighting from twin fluorescent tubes to 600mm x 600mm LED panels, which to a large extent have superseded fluorescents in retail and office environments and it's not difficult to see why. Really bright and seem to flood his workshop with light. Nothing like as expensive as I'd imagined, and they come with a three-year warranty. No idea what they're like in terms of RFI and I wouldn't personally care about that. The spec is at the attached link, and it's worth reading the case study and before/after pictures of the conversion of lighting to LED panels in a chemist's shop.

The need to be mounted in a 600mm x 600mm box or recessed into a ceiling, so in that respect, aren't as convenient as fluorescents which can be surface mounted. They're 40 Watt, equivalent to 72 Watt fluorescents. In commercial environments there are considerable savings to be made of energy costs, which are of course less significant where we're only talking about a few panels in a home workshop.

Specification: Wattage [W] 40w
Voltage [V] 230
Lumens [lm] 3800 Tested
Dimensions [mm] 595x595
Beam Angle [] 120
Average Life [h] 35,000
Colour Temperature [k] 3850-4150
Dimmable?No
Equivalent Fluorescent Wattage [w] 72

https://www.lampshoponline.com/45w-l...r.html#reviews

I haven't looked to see how those compare price-wise with competitors, but they're certainly far cheaper than many similar products on the market.
__________________
David.
BVWS Member.
G-QRP Club member 1339.
David G4EBT is online now  
Old 19th Nov 2017, 1:06 pm   #26
The Philpott
Octode
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Colchester, Essex, UK.
Posts: 1,104
Default Re: Workshop: LED replacements for flourescent tubes.

I previously bagged 3 Thorn SRS fittings from a skip, only ended up keeping 1 since one buzzed loudly and one had a dead short inside. (I thought SRS stood for Semi-Resonant Start, Nick, but i could be wrong) The fact they thought it necessary to provide a fuse inside has always worried me a little- were they worried about the luminaire running away and melting down..?

I agree T12 is much better in cold starts (and T8 shouldn't be used with the SRS system) however T8's settle down after a few minutes and there's more lumens per watt; perhaps 10% more. I did get cold strike problems with 8' T12 fittings until someone told me silicon spray along the length of the tube stops the striking current leaking away.

LED's are certainly improving at great speed (my local supermarket's car park does indeed look like very bright moonlight at night, it's actually quite impressive, and the CRI isn't too bad either)

I personally still settle for an iron ballasted flourescent fitting with a modern solid state starter to ease the wear on the tubes. The fact that i have a loft full of tubes may be contributing to this approach though..
The Philpott is offline  
Old 19th Nov 2017, 1:18 pm   #27
G6Tanuki
Dekatron
 
G6Tanuki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Wiltshire, UK.
Posts: 6,170
Default Re: Workshop: LED replacements for flourescent tubes.

Interesting that some people are praising classic fluorescents for their low RFI: my experience is that they can be quite RF-noisy! (I used to have to depend on HF/VHF antennas in the loft only a few feet away from inductive-ballast 8-footers).

Personally I'm now a great fan of LEDs: they're efficient, cheap, and now available with decent colour-temperature (6000K plus) which beats 'daylight' fluorescents/CFLs into a cocked hat.

Cheap LEDs can be problematic: I've had several of the 10-Watt GU10 type where the series-dropper cap has puked its guts out after a year or so, but even so that's probably longer than a 60W GU10 Halogen (costing about the same) would have lasted. And yes there are some brands of LED that generate RFI but like I said, I've had fluorescents do the same ...
G6Tanuki is offline  
Old 19th Nov 2017, 1:19 pm   #28
John M0GLN
Heptode
 
John M0GLN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Southport, Lancashire, UK.
Posts: 770
Default Re: Workshop: LED replacements for flourescent tubes.

I've changed the lighting in the house cellar where I do all my mechanical work and woodwork, previously I had three 4' fluorescents fitted with newish Osram Tri Phosphor tubes, but they took at least two to three minutes after switching on to stabilise and even then the light quality left a lot to be desired, I removed them and fitted two 10W LED floodlights above my lathe and two more over the workbench, on the ceiling but close to the walls because of the lack of height I have fitted five batten lampholders spaced around the room with 7W LED GLS bulbs, the transformation in light quality is amazing, when switching on the whole of the cellar is lit up almost instantaneously with 'day light', it makes working down there so much easier and pleasurable.

John
John M0GLN is offline  
Old 19th Nov 2017, 1:37 pm   #29
stevehertz
Dekatron
 
stevehertz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Rugeley, Staffordshire, UK.
Posts: 3,395
Default Re: Workshop: LED replacements for flourescent tubes.

I agree John, the difference that a good LED batten makes is amazing; very bright, nice colour hue, even spread, instantaneous, less bulky, etc etc. I think the voice for staying with fluo is largely based on outlay and longevity, because they just don't compete with LEDs in other areas eg the important one; how they 'illuminate'. Put it this way, my xcite 5ft batten cost 46 (a 5ft, 'all in' strip light) and I consider it money well spent. I kept the bulky heavy fluo fitting that I took down just in case I wasn't happy, but six months later there's no way that dinosaur is going back up. In fact, costly though it may be, I may consider changing the other two fluos for LED battens too. There's no comparison.
__________________
A digital radio is the latest thing, but a vintage wireless is forever..
stevehertz is offline  
Old 19th Nov 2017, 1:50 pm   #30
emeritus
Nonode
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Brentwood, Essex, UK.
Posts: 2,675
Default Re: Workshop: LED replacements for flourescent tubes.

I understand that that Sodium lights are so effective because their colour lies in the middle of the range of hues to which the human eye is most sensitive.

Re Argus 25's comments [#22], I wonder if the experience of unreliable electronic ballasts is a consequence of the high temperatures experienced in his part of Australia, which would shorten the life of components such as electrolytic capacitors?

Last edited by emeritus; 19th Nov 2017 at 1:58 pm.
emeritus is offline  
Old 19th Nov 2017, 2:22 pm   #31
Boater Sam
Dekatron
 
Boater Sam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Middlewich, Cheshire, UK. & Winter in the Philippines.
Posts: 3,402
Default Re: Workshop: LED replacements for flourescent tubes.

I too am still a fan of fluorescent tubes. We went LED on the boat for energy consumption reasons, when you are off grid and 12v they make sense.
There are still four 16w 2D fittings which I have loaded with extra LEDs and another switch so we have the best of both worlds.
Last week one of them failed, they start to flash off and run hot when duff. I fitted one of our few remaining spare GE tubes. The old one was dated 13/7/06 ( I date them when fitted, anal I know) so we had our moneys worth out of that one!
Our flats are mostly LED to get the energy ratings up. I found early on that the higher rated GU10 ones fail early due to the heat in the fitting, 9W or less are better, 3W last for ever it seems. I buy the cheapest on ebay from a guy in China with whom I have dealt for years, his service is good, on the whole the products are fine, he exchanges any duff items without question and sends me extras whenever I send him stuff back to his England contact as well as paying postage.No complaints.
The farm was all Son outside lamps which have been replaced to great advantage with LED corn cobs, significant energy saving as they have to be on 24/7 for the cattle.
The fluorescent fittings are still tubed as they are mostly waterproof fittings, some in the house have 6' LED tubes in, the early ones were terrible, later seem to be OK.
Workshop, barn, yards and stores floods have all gone over to LED because the quartz halogen tubes were expensive to run and short lived, there is also a reduced fire risk.
__________________
Boater Sam.
BVWS Member

Last edited by Boater Sam; 19th Nov 2017 at 2:28 pm. Reason: spelling
Boater Sam is offline  
Old 19th Nov 2017, 11:12 pm   #32
1100 man
Heptode
 
1100 man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Ventnor, Isle of Wight, & Great Dunmow, Essex, UK.
Posts: 690
Default Re: Workshop: LED replacements for flourescent tubes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Philpott View Post
I previously bagged 3 Thorn SRS fittings from a skip, only ended up keeping 1 since one buzzed loudly and one had a dead short inside. (I thought SRS stood for Semi-Resonant Start, Nick, but i could be wrong) The fact they thought it necessary to provide a fuse inside has always worried me a little- were they worried about the luminaire running away and melting down..?
You are quite correct, SRS does indeed stand for Semi- Resonant Start not series resonant start as I mistakenly stated Apparently, it was developed by Thorn and had several advantages over conventional switch start. It was gentle on the cathodes so lamp life was good, lamps would start well in the cold and it had a naturally good power factor without additional capacitors.
Cheers
Nick
1100 man is offline  
Old 20th Nov 2017, 9:56 am   #33
Hybrid tellies
Nonode
 
Hybrid tellies's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Bristol, UK
Posts: 2,265
Default Re: Workshop: LED replacements for flourescent tubes.

If you do decide to stick with the existing fluorescents lighting and replace the tubes don't forget to replace the plug in starter switches. It could save you a lot of trouble.
I speak from bitter experience from a few years back.
__________________
Simon
BVWS member
Hybrid tellies is offline  
Old 20th Nov 2017, 11:13 am   #34
dseymo1
Dekatron
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Shropshire, UK.
Posts: 3,004
Default Re: Workshop: LED replacements for flourescent tubes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheerfulcharlie View Post
I have always felt there is something missing from an LED light glow but I have not worked out what it is yet.. LOL- eg.sure the new streetlamps are nice and white but they don't seem as penetrating or maybe have oomph (if they are the right words even) as the old variously coloured ones...
I have a couple of little 10W LED floods mounted on stands, for illuminating outdoor work after dark. They are perfectly adequate for that, but I tried using them a couple of days ago for photography (accepting that the colour balance would be off). To my surprise, the luminous flux going by the camera's meter was very low indeed - a 20W halogen table lamp was much more effective.
dseymo1 is offline  
Old 20th Nov 2017, 11:36 am   #35
kellys_eye
Heptode
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Oban, Scotland, UK.
Posts: 549
Default Re: Workshop: LED replacements for flourescent tubes.

Well despite purchasing the wrong length tubes (from Aldi) I decided to hard wire one of them to see how it compared in my work shop anyway.

Electrically, one end has two pins shorted and is also supplied with a plastic 'pin protector', so mains applied to the other two pins and voila - a very surprising improvement over my current twin tube arrangement.

Colour rendition is vastly improved, light output seems to be increased by 50% (even for one tube over the original two!), instant start, no noticeable flicker, no annoying hum.

Overall I'm really impressed and will be fitting a second tube today (no fitting, just hard wired). Next visit to Aldi I'll be looking for another pair.
kellys_eye is offline  
Old 20th Nov 2017, 12:14 pm   #36
Vintage Engr
Pentode
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK.
Posts: 176
Default Re: Workshop: LED replacements for flourescent tubes.

I didn't realise what I'd started here!

There are so many opinions, so many valid argument both for & against.

When it just a case of one or two fittings, then I can see why people have gone down the LED route. Here there are 10 surface-mounted diffuser fittings, each with two tubes.
To replace all of them, i.e. the complete fittings would be very expensive, & I would probably not get the benefit of the lower electricity consumption, when that was offset by around 460 to replace the entire lot. The existing fittings are almost perfect, if I do replace them, I'll have to repaint the ceiling, as the replacements would be unlikely to cover the existing fixings/area.

I did measure the light output in two different areas, one with old tubes, & the other with tubes from the office area which have hardly been used, as the overspill from the workhop is enough especially when only sitting at the P.C.

I originally designed the lighting to allow 1000Lux at the bench surface. That was still correct with the little-used tubes, and down to 700Lux (flies removed from diffuser!) with the old ones that still worked, but not including the those that flickered & were beyond redemption.

The colour temperature was fairy stable acros the whole area at 4000K.
To the eye the difference in illumination looked much more, so I shall be changing them for something..

Incidentally I did try the polishing the slow-starting tubes with silicone polish as suggested, I think the tubes I tried it on were past it.

Looking at the overall situation, these tubes have lasted 16 years, will I still be here in another 16 years...?
I will look at replacement tubes & probably go down that route, as I need to spend money on the workshop roof, which is now starting to be problematic.

Thanks again to all, much food for thought, & its helped my decision.

David.
Vintage Engr is offline  
Old 20th Nov 2017, 12:26 pm   #37
Vintage Engr
Pentode
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK.
Posts: 176
Default Re: Workshop: LED replacements for flourescent tubes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David G4EBT View Post
I have a chum who recently converted his workshop lighting from twin fluorescent tubes to 600mm x 600mm LED panels, which to a large extent have superseded fluorescents in retail and office environments and it's not difficult to see why. Really bright and seem to flood his workshop with light. Nothing like as expensive as I'd imagined, and they come with a three-year warranty. No idea what they're like in terms of RFI and I wouldn't personally care about that. The spec is at the attached link, and it's worth reading the case study and before/after pictures of the conversion of lighting to LED panels in a chemist's shop.

The need to be mounted in a 600mm x 600mm box or recessed into a ceiling, so in that respect, aren't as convenient as fluorescents which can be surface mounted. They're 40 Watt, equivalent to 72 Watt fluorescents. In commercial environments there are considerable savings to be made of energy costs, which are of course less significant where we're only talking about a few panels in a home workshop.

Specification: Wattage [W] 40w
Voltage [V] 230
Lumens [lm] 3800 Tested
Dimensions [mm] 595x595
Beam Angle [] 120
Average Life [h] 35,000
Colour Temperature [k] 3850-4150
Dimmable?No
Equivalent Fluorescent Wattage [w] 72

https://www.lampshoponline.com/45w-l...r.html#reviews

I haven't looked to see how those compare price-wise with competitors, but they're certainly far cheaper than many similar products on the market.
Thanks David,

I'd looked at those a couple of days ago, they would certainly work ilumination-wise. The price is good compared to ther purveyors of a similar product. I might just get one for test purposes.
I would have to remove all the existing fittings, & also use the surface-mount kit. This is why I decided to think carefully about it. There are currently 10 fittings so it would not be cheap. The ones in my mechanical workshop area are suspended on chains, so for that area only, I would have to either use replacement LED tubes/ballast in the existing fittings, or change to a complete LED industrial fitting. I will probably look at that smaller area separately.
Vintage Engr is offline  
Old 20th Nov 2017, 12:29 pm   #38
Vintage Engr
Pentode
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK.
Posts: 176
Default Re: Workshop: LED replacements for flourescent tubes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Argus25 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulsherwin View Post
Are you sure you want to do this given that the existing setup is working well? Replacement fluorescent tubes aren't expensive.
I agree entirely. The standard now vintage design fluoro tubes are amazingly good value for money, still well less than $10 here, last a couple of years often, good light output and the interference is usually pretty modest, with a typical vintage inductive ballast that is. These hardly every fail. The electronic ballasts are "hopeless and unreliable" in my opinion and other solutions with electronics, also containing electrolytic caps, even less reliable. Sometimes you just can't beat the old tech with its elegance, simplicity & reliability despite what the greens might tell you.
Agreed regarding the ballasts, its usually the very poor quality electrolytic capacitors. They either go high ESR, or simply explode!
Vintage Engr is offline  
Old 20th Nov 2017, 12:37 pm   #39
Vintage Engr
Pentode
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK.
Posts: 176
Default Re: Workshop: LED replacements for flourescent tubes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hannahs radios View Post
If I were you I would just buy a whole load of new tubes whilst you can get them and carry on with your existing lighting scheme. I have to admit I really hate LEDs just because it's all eco carp. Anyway back on topic my own shack/workshop is lit with 2x36 watt tubes on proper 50 cycle ballast which also has no PFC condenser just a suppresor cap across the mains. Fortunately it's never caused any problems but why did your fittings weld the switch contacts? Can't understand that one. I also have one fitting of 40 watts on HF gear which causes a little RFI, but not a real problem.
The reason my 10 fittings wrecked the first mains switch, was (A). Because the switch was a nasty cheapie from a DIY store with inadequate contact rating/contact clearance store, that wasn't a 10A X type, and (B). Because there were no PFC capacitors the back-emf from the combined inductance of the multiple chokes was sufficient to cause a huge spark across the contacts.
The existing fittings, although well-made were intended for domestic use, i.e singly. The manufacturer saved a lot of money by not fitting the power factor caps.
Vintage Engr is offline  
Old 20th Nov 2017, 1:34 pm   #40
Boater Sam
Dekatron
 
Boater Sam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Middlewich, Cheshire, UK. & Winter in the Philippines.
Posts: 3,402
Default Re: Workshop: LED replacements for flourescent tubes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintage Engr View Post
Looking at the overall situation, these tubes have lasted 16 years, will I still be here in another 16 years...?

I didn't want to go there, but it is always worth considering at our ages.
__________________
Boater Sam.
BVWS Member
Boater Sam is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 8:58 am.


All information and advice on this forum is subject to the WARNING AND DISCLAIMER located at https://www.vintage-radio.net/rules.html.
Failure to heed this warning may result in death or serious injury to yourself and/or others.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2002 - 2018, Paul Stenning.