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        Circuit Load in light of the phase out of incandescent bulbs Sign In/Join 
        posted
        Guys,
        This is all pure speculation, but I thought I might add a post here to get a discussion going. With DIY doing a better job of killing spam we need something to talk about.

        Given the eventual phase out of standard incandescent bulbs and the likely large scale adoption of LED lights do you think we'll see a change in the NEC in the next 10 years to allow more light fixtures per circuit?

        On a related note, do you think the CFL will be around in any great numbers in 10 years? I think as LEDs come down in price the CFL will die a rather quick, and deserved death. The LED light is of a higher color quality, and they are near instant on. CFLs seem to take several minutes to get up to full brightness.

        I have 7 cans in my bonus room, I've been replacing the standard PAR lights with LEDs as they burn out. I've been using 65 watt PAR's, when it is all said and done and all 7 lights are LED my load will be less than 1 of the current bulbs. So far I have 3 of the 7 done with LED's, soon to be 4 or 5, as one bulb burned out and when I get to the store I'll probably pick up 2 more LEDs. At $25 a pop I'm not going to do a wholesale replacement. But at $5 each for the better PARs and longer life of the LEDs I can justify the extra cost for replacing a burned out one.


        General Disclaimer

        Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

        My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
         
        Posts: 605 | Location: Cary, NC | Registered: Aug 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        I don't have anything to opine on the future of lighting, but I will say that thanks to "garden sprite" the spam is being taken care of better. She started the avalanche that the server has been getting about it
         
        Posts: 2501 | Location: florida | Registered: Sep 27, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        we just had a post several days ago about the wholesale death of $300 of LED lights in a storm. it won't be the last. CFLs seem to hold up better at this time, probably becuase they've had their rehabilitation already from shoddy components and selection.

        I have a token 3 watt LED in the hamshack, and don't intend to get into wholesale replacement at this time.

        the growth of higher-end media equipment, chargers everywhere, and more and more appliances that are always on in vampire-mode is probably making up for the drain of the good ol' incandescents. check your power bill, it hasn't gone down, has it?

        I don't see a change coming. for one thing, NFPA is a highly bureaucratic organization, they haven't even required GFIs dockside despite 7 or so years of agitation to require them. for another, who knows what amount of slop would be plugged in from one house to another? they will err on the side of caution and not change.


        sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
         
        Posts: 5478 | Location: North Burbs, MN | Registered: Mar 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of CommonwealthSparky
        posted Hide Post
        Actually you are treading into a grey area to some degree. The NEC does not limit per say the amount of fixtures [lights] on any circuit. What does limit the amount is our friend the "current draw" of each fixture added together to stay under the 80% continuous load of a circuit. As in 16 amps maximum draw on a 20 amp 12/2 branch circuit.
        But having said that lighting circuity will advance with LEDs energizing our world. Those actual wiring methods will change as you have stated. Fun times for sure.
        And I disagree with CFL tech ever becoming an important part of the home lighting world. Just a passing phase. Still we have to deal with crappy Chinese CFLs that last nowhere near the stated life. [Odd how they dropped the price dramatically of a CFL bulb the last couple of years]. Also remember mercury concerns which oddly you hear very little about now. Truth be told it was a minute about per bulb, but it would add up. And not a soul that I ever work for liked the CFL light output or color.
        The circuit specs may change and all lighting needs may be placed on one 15 amp circuit.{Maybe they will make a 10 amp breaker !!!}. Think of it, as electricians will no longer have to run the numbers, [or double check lighting prints]. It is an interesting to perform electrical work, for sure. Big Grin
        Others welcome to disagree with my logic, no a thing in the world wrong with that. Actually I welcome that. Would be great to read other theorems...

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: CommonwealthSparky,


        Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
         
        Posts: 1391 | Location: Central Pennsylvania | Registered: Jun 02, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of CommonwealthSparky
        posted Hide Post
        quote:
        Originally posted by swschrad:
        we just had a post several days ago about the wholesale death of $300 of LED lights in a storm. it won't be the last. CFLs seem to hold up better at this time, probably becuase they've had their rehabilitation already from shoddy components and selection.

        I have a token 3 watt LED in the hamshack, and don't intend to get into wholesale replacement at this time.

        the growth of higher-end media equipment, chargers everywhere, and more and more appliances that are always on in vampire-mode is probably making up for the drain of the good ol' incandescents. check your power bill, it hasn't gone down, has it?

        I don't see a change coming. for one thing, NFPA is a highly bureaucratic organization, they haven't even required GFIs dockside despite 7 or so years of agitation to require them. for another, who knows what amount of slop would be plugged in from one house to another? they will err on the side of caution and not change.

        Would suck to be on that end of the replacement bulb bill. Methings whole house surge protection in the load center is paramount when installing LED lighting.
        As so far in code changes I really don't deal with NFPA guidelines as much as the NEC. And that has a three year cycle of upgrades with the next one in 2014. I only buy the code reference upgrade book produced by DeWalt. In residential and light commercial work that book is the cats behind. And the going price is about 24 US greenbacks. Long gone are the days of purchasing spiral bound complete code books at 90 US greenbacks a pop. Big Grin


        Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
         
        Posts: 1391 | Location: Central Pennsylvania | Registered: Jun 02, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of GardenSprite
        posted Hide Post
        I can't speak to any of the technical issues you've discussed, but would like to add a somewhat simplistic woman's view of the CFL bulbs. Since they have mercury and would be a health threat if broken, I won't voluntarily use them in my home if I can still get a safer alternative.

        And that's one of troubling aspects of some replacement products - they're not entirely safe. Remember when asbestos was widely used before its toxic effects were known?

        I'd rather pay more in electrical costs than have a mercury containing bulb in my house.

        Just my $.01 worth.

        And thanks, Nona, for the recognition. I think there are a lot of unnamed others who also helped create the avalanche. I didn't do it alone, I'm sure. Just glad it's happened!

        (Notice the latest Hyundai version is gone already?)

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: GardenSprite,
         
        Posts: 1729 | Registered: Oct 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        GS,
        I think that regular florescent tubes have mercury in them as well. No one got their panties in a wad over those.

        My main complaint with them is the length of time it takes for them to get to full light. We have some over our kitchen table and in the basement it takes a good 3-4 minutes for them to get to full light. If I put them in our powder room you'd be long done with your business before they got to full light.


        General Disclaimer

        Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

        My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
         
        Posts: 605 | Location: Cary, NC | Registered: Aug 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of GardenSprite
        posted Hide Post
        Sparky, you're right about mercury in fluorescent lights. I hadn't thought about that in some time. And on that subject, remember when merthiolate was commonly used as an antiseptic? (I might be the only one here who's old enough to remember its use.) We used it regularly for cuts when we were children.

        Hmmm... maybe that's why I get so confused sometimes? Frown

        Did a quick check and learned that the first viable fluorescent light was sold in 1938, well before tv and public use of the Internet. I wonder how many people really had access to information on the danger of mercury.

        Contrast that with the massive overload of information today, including literally instantaneous access to rapidly occurring political events (such as the Arab Spring events).

        As to the reaction on anyone's underwear, I prefer not to speculate and will leave that to the readers' imaginations. Big Grin

        Surprisingly enough, even though most of the fluorescents I've used are slow to turn on, there was a set in my sister's home that turned on immediately, with no hesitation at all. I've never figured out why, but they provided really great light for computer work.

        And on the subject of lights, and since we're creating topics for discussion, I would not regret seeing those blue/white vehicle head lights fade into oblivion.
         
        Posts: 1729 | Registered: Oct 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of Jaybee
        posted Hide Post
        Ah, merthiolate......'blow on it, blow on it...it will help the sting go away"

        Yup GS, you ain't the only "non young' one here. Big Grin

        As to the light circuits in the original question. Circuit sizes may eventually change, but until the older style lights are no longer on the market the load requirements will remain much as they are. While an electrician could easily see if a wire was sized too small, a DIYer may not be able to do so.

        I also think the LED's will be the way to go. Prices are already a fraction of what they were just a couple of years ago, but they are still expensive. Still, they already make economic sense for lights that are in difficult to reach areas.


        Jaybee
         
        Posts: 10096 | Location: Knoxville, Tennessee | Registered: Sep 27, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        Jaybee,
        LEDs definitely make sense if you have some cans in a two story foyer that seems to be all the rage around here. You could probably go your entire period of ownership without replacing the lights.

        I've been replacing the PAR lights around the house with LEDs as they burn out. I'm not going to go out and do a wholesale swap at $25 a pop. I bought one several years ago for above the sink in our kitchen, I think it was $45 before a $10 mail in rebate. I think the last ones I bought were in the $25 range. I suspect they'll get to about $15 and stay there but who knows? I just bought a Sony DVD player for $29 at Sam's club. At that price they are really a throw away item. I was replacing one that won't fire up, after checking the easy stuff (fuse, power cord) and pricing a new one the non-working one looked a lot like a non-repairable paperweight.


        General Disclaimer

        Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

        My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
         
        Posts: 605 | Location: Cary, NC | Registered: Aug 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of GardenSprite
        posted Hide Post
        I'm glad to know I'm not the only "non-young" person here! And I like that term better than "old". Cool

        My only use thus far of the LEDs has been with those little flashlights Harbor Freight gives away with a purchase, and which don't last long.

        I assume the home lighting LEDs are of a better quality? The light seems to be harsh, though. Is it more diffused in a home setting?

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: GardenSprite,
         
        Posts: 1729 | Registered: Oct 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        LEDs themselves are a 10 to 20 year item on continuous use, provided they are operated at their rated current draw or below. but all electronic components are rated as a percent per thousand, or ten thousand, so any particular diode may be a dud. in auto and home products, there are multiple diodes in series. first one goes, black bar. there is also the switching power supply in the base of the bulb that provides the DC to the LEDs, and as in CFLs, that is the failure point.

        pre-war fluorescents all had poisonous phosphors in them, it was late 40s that the industry went to less-nasty phosphors. the mercury in a bulb wouldn't kill you if you dropped one, but the dust of phosphor might have in the early years.

        we had a storage room at the hospital in which we stashed all the bad fluorescent tubes, and the odd occasional maintenance guy would toss 'em in there. never saw any metallic mercury from it. unlike, say, my turntable, which has an arcuate single-point bearing for the tonearm, and the electrical contact to the cartridge is four pools of fine metallic mercury, triple-distilled, medical grade. with the odd scavenged glob of whatever from old switches and thermostats making up the balance, since you can't go the the drugstore and sign the red book to get any nowadays.

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: swschrad,


        sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
         
        Posts: 5478 | Location: North Burbs, MN | Registered: Mar 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of CommonwealthSparky
        posted Hide Post
        quote:
        Originally posted by Jaybee:
        Ah, merthiolate......'blow on it, blow on it...it will help the sting go away"

        Yup GS, you ain't the only "non young' one here. Big Grin

        As to the light circuits in the original question. Circuit sizes may eventually change, but until the older style lights are no longer on the market the load requirements will remain much as they are. While an electrician could easily see if a wire was sized too small, a DIYer may not be able to do so.

        I also think the LED's will be the way to go. Prices are already a fraction of what they were just a couple of years ago, but they are still expensive. Still, they already make economic sense for lights that are in difficult to reach areas.

        Yes wiring issues when mix and matching LEDs with conventional lighting fixtures would prevent drastic change in NEC wiring standards. But new housing wiring when LEDs are concerned could be interesting. As in the fixtures being able to accept only one type of bulb [LED] so the fixture could not overdraw move amps that it was designed for. Similar to fixtures that are on the market now that will allow only one type of CFL bulb to be installed.

        I to am in that range "not over the hill, but can see the crest in the distance" group". Big Grin
        Never used merthiolate but did have a few go arounds with iodine as a young lad... Wonder if in the modern age if the feds have outlawed that as well.

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: CommonwealthSparky,


        Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
         
        Posts: 1391 | Location: Central Pennsylvania | Registered: Jun 02, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of GardenSprite
        posted Hide Post
        CS, I remember iodine as well. I also remember a lotion (Watkins maybe?) that had some awful substance like turpentine in it.
         
        Posts: 1729 | Registered: Oct 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        Since you guys and gals are on the topic of LED lighting, I'm adding can lights to the kitchen, which only had one four bulb florescent fixture previously. I intend on using LED cans controlled by the same switch. What I hear you saying about code is that if I have say 4 or 5 led cans in place of this fixture, I'm OK to code???
         
        Posts: 2484 | Registered: Apr 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        You'd have to know the total load on the lighting circuit, I suspect there are other fixtures on that circuit unless your house is WAY overwired. I'm no code expert, I studied it in Tech School more years ago than I care to remember, so I'm not current on it. At this point, you'd have to assume that the LEDs could be replaced by incandescent bulbs.


        General Disclaimer

        Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

        My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
         
        Posts: 605 | Location: Cary, NC | Registered: Aug 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of CommonwealthSparky
        posted Hide Post
        I agree with Sparky617s logic.
        But running the actual numbers is always paramount as he stated.

        Not to derail the post but I'm redevicing a nearby abode. Changing out all the switches and outlets because of personal preference [color] and in the kitchen everyday grime. Adding GFCIs and tamper/prof outlets per the NEC. All of those devices were back stabbed with 12 AWG copper, so that makes the 30 or 35{?} years old ? Not one device showed any type of scaring from the dreaded back stab method of installing devices. Nor any arcing scars present on the copper. Which is a relief. Guess you know that every one of those new devices with be a clockwise attachment under the set screws. {Best work there is, sitting on a mud bucket, listening to The Bob & Tom radio show and getting paid} Big Grin .

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: CommonwealthSparky,


        Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
         
        Posts: 1391 | Location: Central Pennsylvania | Registered: Jun 02, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        I'm sure it is not overwired. I'll check my electrical drawing to be sure. Thanks
         
        Posts: 2484 | Registered: Apr 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of CommonwealthSparky
        posted Hide Post
        Just be sure to check what each fixture is rated to safely handle. A nameplate somewhere on each item will have that number listed. Good to go after that.


        Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
         
        Posts: 1391 | Location: Central Pennsylvania | Registered: Jun 02, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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