A silly place filled with caffeine induced ramblings of this person named KarmaGirl....or something.
these things are cool!
Published on November 27, 2006 By KarmaGirl In Pure Technology

OK...well, let me start this off by letting everyone know that I am a geek.  I'm not a natural born geek.  I've simply become one over the years of working with geeks...I guess it kind of rubbed off on me.

I've always been fascinated by LEDs.  Up until recently, you mainly saw them in computer boxes and other tech hardware.  But not anymore, my friends!  They are going mainstream.

Now, LED lighting is more than just a geeks fascination, it's also a dream come true for the environmentalist at heart.  Why is that?  Because an LED (light emitting diode) isn't a light bulb at all.  It's a semiconductor which emits incoherent narrow spectrum light.  The color of the light depends on the semiconducting material used.  LEDs are extremely durable, won't change color (since the color is not a lens, but the light itself), last for about 100,000 hours (yes, that's right- that's 11 YEARS), and cost a fraction on the price to run as incandescent bulbs (80% to 90% less). 

So, what does that have to do with Christmas?  Well, this year, we went all LED.  We decorated our outside trees, or inside tree, and our mantel.  These are the brightest, most vibrant lights I have ever had.  Outside, at night, the outside trees light up the yard.

So, here are some pictures:

This is of the inside tree (this is actually a back lit picture during the day, so you can tell how bright the lights are) :

This is a close-up of one of the bulbs, so that you can see the shape:

Now, this is my mantel.  It has blue lights on it.  The blue ones don't have a lens on them like the tree ones do.  They are actually a bit intense:

I tried to take a close up shot of the blue bulbs, but they are *really* intense.  This is what I got:

Though more expensive initially than standard bulbs, the LED will last longer, stay truer to color, and cost less to run.  My next adventure with LEDs will be in trying replacement bulbs for around the house.  I plan to start with two lights that we use the most often and see how that works out.

Can you imagine eventually having light bulbs that not only save money by using very little electricity but also last for a decade? 

on Nov 27, 2006
LED technology has come a long way over the past few years. They are now being used for the tail lights and marker lights on semi tractors and trailers because they're brighter, last far longer, and draw far less current. I understand they are working on LED headlights as well.

I have a couple of LED flashlights that do a great job and the lights on my bicycle are LED.

I wasn't aware that they were now selling LED Christmas lights. Good idea and from what I can see of your pics, they look great.
on Nov 27, 2006
Great lights. Here'sanother new thing I saw in a British paper the other day: A tree made from fibre optic needles ie the tree itself glows . Must look great--I suppose it is similar technology to those fibre optic table lamps that have all the glowing tentacles.
on Nov 27, 2006

Welcome to Geekdom!

Now where do I get some of those?

on Nov 27, 2006

Now where do I get some of those?

I got mine at meijer.  It cost $10 a strand, and there are 3 strands on the tree.  The ones on the mantel were $7 a strand (only one strand used).  The ones that I have outside (no picture on here yet) I got from a lighting store locally.  However, you can get them on the net, like here: http://www.christmaslightsetc.com/productdetail.htm?productid=14229&CategoryID=731

The beauty of them is that you don't need to load as many on the tree to get a bunch of light.

on Nov 27, 2006
BTW, the Santa hat on the Buddha statue is hilarious.
on Nov 27, 2006

BTW, the Santa hat on the Buddha statue is hilarious.

Yeah, that's my touch.  You would be amazed at how many people have looked at that at my house and just looked confused and never said anything.  Heck, why couldn't Buddha believe in Santa?  Santa isn't a Christian...afterall,the original celebration of St. Nicholas was December 6th

on Nov 27, 2006

That is very cool!


on Nov 27, 2006
on Nov 27, 2006
Not bad. One thing I have noticed with some LED's is how they are used. Might work out well in this fashion on a Christmas tree, but sometimes they have to be carefully designed to emit the most light possible. For example, I want to get some LED's for my bike, but some types don't put out too much light because they don't stick out far enough, stick out too far, or don't reflect enough from the base unit to project the light forward. Also...many times LEDs dont work like light bulbs because bulbs emit light all around, whereas LED's usally just emit straight out and have a much lower visibility from various angles. Would be interesting to see how they make a light bulb out of them, and if they do project as much light all around as a regular bulb.
on Nov 28, 2006

An LED *always* is directional.  They don't radiate light the same as a standard bulb because they are a diode.

There are a couple ways that they make light bulbs out of LEDs so that they replicate a standard bulb: 1) They put them in a very reflective base (like for a spot light like you would use in a can light) and direction have of the diodes toward the reflective service.

2) just put the diodes in multiple directions

3) use a diffusing lens over the diodes

You can have an LED bulb as bright as you want it- they just add more diodes. 

on Nov 29, 2006
I've wanted to get these since I saw them advertised on TV as energy saving, I work with LED's at work sometimes and always thought they'd make great decorations. I think in Japan they discovered a way to make the "missing colors" of the rainbow too, which means they don't differ from the non-LED type.

Where do you get em?
on Jul 09, 2007