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Best bulbs for Diamond 9ft light? - 08-02-2017, 12:44 PM

So I'm getting ready to install a new Diamond light, and I'm a bit confused as to which bulbs to get, particularly which color temp (Kelvin) would be ideal.

Can anyone point me in the right direction and/or share what bulbs they use? Thanks in advance!
  
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08-02-2017, 12:49 PM

I converted my 8 foot fluorescent bulbs in my Diamond light to 8 foot LED tubes and used the 5000K.


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08-02-2017, 01:07 PM

Apologies if this is obvious: The smaller the Kelvin temperature, the warmer (more yellow) the light. If you are trying to make them blend with other incandescent lights, you want to be in the 2500-3000K range. AS you get up around 4000K it is often called "cool" white, and you can choose that if you want it to stand out in the midst of regular incandescent lights; these "cooler" (higher number) colors tend to look brighter even if they are not. If you want something close to daylight, you need about 5000-6500 (higher looks bluer and brighter).

LED tubes come in a huge variety of color temperatures and "whiteness". Most are not very white, and make colors look a bit funny, but we are all used to it and do not notice much, but if you want more accurate color pay a bit more and get a better one.

However, as mentioned above, you may want to consider replacing with LED's. They make LED replacement "tubes" for florescent fixtures that offer some serious advantages - less power usage, less heat generated, better color, and (if you are careful in what you get) they may be dimmable.

These come in two varieties, those that just fit in place with no wiring change (i.e. "requires ballast") and those that expect you to remove the ballast. The latter are better in some ways -- one less thing to fail, a bit less energy usage (not much different) and easier to get dimmable ones -- but it requires some minor rewiring. Easy if you are at all handy. I recommend this approach if you (or a friend) are comfortable removing the ballast and twisting a few wires. This also removes some buzzing and humming that can occur with ballasts.

I've seen, but never tried, some that are supposed to work both ways (with and without ballast).

If you want dimmable, buy carefully, as most are not.

Some may have "CRI" ratings. The closer to 100 the more natural colors look with them. Probably anything over 70 or 80 is better than most florescents (depends on the florescent of course). Unfortunately most tube replacements do not seem to be rated.

I've replaced almost every florescent fixture in our house -- think maybe 1 left. Much brighter usually and never need to touch them again (probably).
  
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08-02-2017, 01:07 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattb View Post
I converted my 8 foot fluorescent bulbs in my Diamond light to 8 foot LED tubes and used the 5000K.
Thanks, I may look into doing the same. The table mechanics mentioned that Diamond will soon be selling them with LEDs, so it looks like my timing could've been better.
  
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08-02-2017, 01:22 PM

Thank you so much for these details. I've been so focused on the actual mounting of the light (joist spacing, height, etc) that I hadn't considered these aspects. While much of this stuff is over my head (I'm about as handy as my dog), I'm hiring a lighting contractor to help, so this is all very useful to me in understanding my options. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linwood View Post
Apologies if this is obvious: The smaller the Kelvin temperature, the warmer (more yellow) the light. If you are trying to make them blend with other incandescent lights, you want to be in the 2500-3000K range. AS you get up around 4000K it is often called "cool" white, and you can choose that if you want it to stand out in the midst of regular incandescent lights; these "cooler" (higher number) colors tend to look brighter even if they are not. If you want something close to daylight, you need about 5000-6500 (higher looks bluer and brighter).

LED tubes come in a huge variety of color temperatures and "whiteness". Most are not very white, and make colors look a bit funny, but we are all used to it and do not notice much, but if you want more accurate color pay a bit more and get a better one.

However, as mentioned above, you may want to consider replacing with LED's. They make LED replacement "tubes" for florescent fixtures that offer some serious advantages - less power usage, less heat generated, better color, and (if you are careful in what you get) they may be dimmable.

These come in two varieties, those that just fit in place with no wiring change (i.e. "requires ballast") and those that expect you to remove the ballast. The latter are better in some ways -- one less thing to fail, a bit less energy usage (not much different) and easier to get dimmable ones -- but it requires some minor rewiring. Easy if you are at all handy. I recommend this approach if you (or a friend) are comfortable removing the ballast and twisting a few wires. This also removes some buzzing and humming that can occur with ballasts.

I've seen, but never tried, some that are supposed to work both ways (with and without ballast).

If you want dimmable, buy carefully, as most are not.

Some may have "CRI" ratings. The closer to 100 the more natural colors look with them. Probably anything over 70 or 80 is better than most florescents (depends on the florescent of course). Unfortunately most tube replacements do not seem to be rated.

I've replaced almost every florescent fixture in our house -- think maybe 1 left. Much brighter usually and never need to touch them again (probably).
  
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08-02-2017, 01:32 PM

Very informative post Linwood.
People need to be educated about the Color Temperature of any and all lamps.
A lot of the LED's being sold are way too blue.
People accept 5000K/6000K as 'brighter' but they are hard on the eyes.


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08-02-2017, 01:39 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by mchnhed View Post
Very informative post Linwood.
People need to be educated about the Color Temperature of any and all lamps.
A lot of the LED's being sold are way too blue.
People accept 5000K/6000K as 'brighter' but they are hard on the eyes.
Indeed. I started putting some 3000K ones in, which are just a bit bluer than incandescent, but it was enough difference it was driving me nuts so ended up swapping about twice as many incandescents as I intended (these were in cans).

The other problem is a lot of cheap junk from china is not accurate in what they quote, so read reviews, and/or buy returnable.

Buying a pool table and deciding to put in new lighting for that caused a whole domino effect, so I've bought WAY more LED's in the last few months than I intended. The florescent tubes were a couple years ago, I just got sick and tired of replacing tubes ever couple months somewhere, and these LED replacements are just really nice. And have gotten a lot cheaper.

Amazon is your friend here; local electrical stores are WAY behind and WAY over priced, big boxes are not too bad but do not have a lot of selection.
  
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