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April 24, 2011 10:03 AM   Subscribe

Is there a better option than incandescent bulbs for my kitchen? More inside...

We have 2 pendant mounted globes in our kitchen, and are using incandescent bulbs (to my chagrin) in them. However, I can't find a lighting option that fulfills the needs of my wife better than these. Here are the minimum requirements:
* output of around 2,700 lumens (to replace a 150 watt bulb)
* radiation pattern similar to an incandescent bulb (not a flood or spot)
* Color temperature warm (3000 kelvin I guess?)
* Infinitely dimmable, with no flickering or misbehavior at lower power (e.g. when turning on/off)
* must fit inside existing globe fixtures (probably room for 3 regular incandescent bulbs)
* Must turn on instantaneously (or pretty dang close)
* Energy efficiency should be similar to CFLs

I am hoping to find out that there were some LEDs that met these conditions, but the search so far as not been very helpful. I find low output bulbs, questionable dimmability, etc. CFLs dimmibility and on/off performance seems poor too poor to consider.

I would consider doing something mildly crazy, like running 12v LED lights using a fancy/schmancy controller if I could do that with minimal remodeling and high assurance that it'd work for the long haul, but this is a tough bill to fill I think.
posted by daver to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I hope that you get some answers because I have a similar situation.
posted by futz at 11:50 AM on April 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

Have you visited a dedicated lighting store? They may have something that matches some of these criteria.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:51 AM on April 24, 2011

Yar. Try calling or emailing Sunlan Lighting — they stock jut about every kind of bulb made, though their website tends to focus on full-spectrum.
posted by mumkin at 4:24 PM on April 24, 2011

this is a tough bill to fill I think

Yeah, it is. It sounds as if your wife wants exactly the lighting effect she gets from incandescent, with no compromises at all. I'm a bit behind the curve because it's been a few years since I was really enthusiastically reading about lighting design, but I'm still fairly confident that the technology you're looking for doesn't exist yet.
posted by jon1270 at 3:50 AM on April 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

One step you could take is to replace your regular incandescents with halogen bulbs. They are twice as efficient as regular bulbs but otherwise have all the benifts of incandescents. Still no where near as efficient as a CFL though.
posted by Mitheral at 4:30 PM on April 27, 2011

Response by poster: Mitheral, can you give me an example? The Halogen bulbs I've seen rated as 150 watts/2700 lumens seem to consume, well, 150 watts of electricity...
posted by daver at 1:34 PM on April 28, 2011

Halogen bulbs typically produce quite a bit more lumens per watt than conventional incandescents, but I think 2X is overstating the benefit. For example, Phillips claims only 22-47% savings for their Halogena energy saving bulbs.

Part of the problem is that 150W conventional bulbs are relatively uncommon to begin with, so direct substitutes are less likely to be manufactured at all. The A-shape (conventional edison bulb shape) Halogena bulbs seem to be only available up to 70W, marketed as being equivalent to a 100 watt non-halogen incandescent.

Are you sure that the bulbs you're hoping to replace actually produce 2700 lumens? That would be at the top end for 150W incandescents; bulb life would be pretty short. A lot of 150W bulbs are engineered to run dimmer / cooler to extend their service life; some produce 2000 lumens or less.
posted by jon1270 at 3:26 AM on April 29, 2011

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