Friday, March 17, 2017

Parmida - Another Disappointing LED Disk Light Offered At Amazon

Silly me. I have tried out this light imported from China by Parmida LED Technologies , Downey, CA. Parmida is another pretender of being a manufacturer, enabling unguided Chinese exports to USA. This light is not mentioned at the glossy Parmida web site devoted to can-loading bulbs and LED conversions.

(4-Pack)- 5/6" Dimmable LED Disk Light Flush Mount Ceiling Fixture, 15W (120W Replacement), 3000K (Soft White), ENERGY STAR, Installs into Junction Box Or Recessed Can, 1200Lm, $45.98 . Sale via Amazon and "LED Light Club," an odd holder of inventory, now out of stock but for 5000°K blue-stuff.

I will rely on LED Light Club for refund upon requested return defective.
LED Light Club, Customer Service Phone: 323-593-5205, Amazon Business Seller, Established 2015, Retailer, Top Brands Parmida LED Technologies, LED METRICS.
LED Metrics is an ebay seller of stupid LED A19 bulbs all out-of-stock.
This sounds about as dangerous as making a direct purchase of something cheaper than its cost of USA shipping, from a naive Chinese factory as at DH Gate or Alibaba. 

My first negative impression of these lights was in absolute inability to disengage the lens with the intuitive counter-clockwise force of palm friction, for the first box. The lens came off too easily on the next box, with no detent resistance.

The biggest complaint against this light is the needless concentration of already too-bright diodes, little obscured by the thin lens.

Employ the noted dimensions in the following table of glare comparisons.

I remain surprised to see how high the unsupervised manufacturers in China are pushing the diode luminance. 15 lumens per sq mm is the largest I have yet seen. Other awful lights contend for the record with Array Luminance. Many lights foolishly discontinued in quest of cheapness, have very little glare. This table includes the TorchStar  light previously found most-glaring.

The Parmida light is worse than obviously-cheap TorchStar, only because it is pushed to deliver 50% more light through diodes only slightly more-dispersed. The careless output push is such that the Parmida struggles some to reject heat; it will noticeably warm your hand unlike any other LED luminaire I have tried. The box backside has an overheating caution (see above).

My Canon Digital Rebel does not fully capture the glare. Eyes perceive three brightness zones, one perhaps 2" diameter at center, of dancing angry white sparks.

Let's accuse poor guidance from US Department Of Energy, where glare is not reported on packaging, to disadvantage or ban, cheap LED lights that abuse consumer trust. Absent trust, and locked in for many years with poor choices made, we shamefully fail to conserve energy as promised by LED innovation.

Guidance Given By US Department Of Energy:
The only guidance of our government is in the definition of "high efficacy," lamps worthy of promotion. Approved wording for the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code, IECC, states simply:

HIGH-EFFICACY LAMPS.  Lamps with a minimum efficacy of 75 lumens per watt.

Reason: The wide availability and falling prices of LED lamps makes them a cost-effective option for improving residential efficiency. The proposed threshold of 75 lumens/Watt encourages the use of the new technologies while still permitting many better CFL.

This is a deceitful act to continue production of CFL bulbs for another three years, against the public interest. The deceit requires dismissal of known times-two efficiency advantage of directional downlights for practical illumination, vs. antique point-source lighting.

Please see in above tables, that efficacy greater than 75 lumens per watt is a difficult and perhaps expensive or less-durable reach, for LED lights now on offer. All of the LEDs yet are greatly superior to mercury-leaking, delicate, less-efficient CFLs. 

The roughly factor of two disadvantage of a point source in practical (task) illumination demands that lumens count alone must not serve in this standard of the US Department Of Energy: 
The lumens count of a point-source CFL, reduced by half, could never meet a high efficacy standard.

The failure to distinguish between task-useful directional light, and point source light, leads to misinformation in package labeling of "watt equivalents," the wattage of a comparable incandescent not distinguished whether point source or downlight.

The Parmida box claims equivalence to  120 watts of directional lighting. But how could I know the equivalence except by my own side-by-side comparisons?

I believe a standard of the watt equivalence is in a 500 lumens directional LED, compared to a 100 watt point-source incandescent. 1200 directional lumens scaled thus, is 1200/500*100 = 240 watt equivalent point-source. Divide by two for 120 watt equivalent directional incandescent.

At LHS, Parmida. At RHS two 65 watt incandescent floods. The 1200 lumens Parmida should be very similar to 130 watts of incandescent flood, about 1200 lumens.The Parmida is in fact less illuminating.

At LHS, Parmida. At RHS two 72 watt Philips EcoVangage "100 watt" incandescent point-source. The 1200 lumens Parmida is about 60% less illuminating than 200 watts of point source incandescent.

At LHS 900 lumens first-version Sylvania 70732 LED Disk. At RHS two 72 watt Philips EcoVangage "100 watt" incandescent point-source. The 900 lumens, Sylvania is perhaps more illuminating than 200 watts of point source incandescent.

At LHS 900 lumens first-version Sylvania 70732 LED Disk. At RHS, 1200 lumens Parmida. The 1200 Parmida is less illuminating than Sylvania with 900 lumens. I believe this proves less usefulness of LED light highly concentrated at center of a lens. 

Package labeling of equivalent incandescent lighting is consistently of point source. Here is a label of the 2016 version of 6" Glimpse, 850 lumens, 11 watts.

These side by side comparisons, and relating of directional lumens to point source lumens, inform GREAT FOLLY in the quest to get many more lumens from a directional LED than are needed to match the illumination by a point source light of watt equivalence as point source. Why would one construct a direction LED luminaire on a usual eight-foot ceiling to put out 1200 lumens in replacement of a 75, 100 or even a 120 watt point-source incandescent?  Where 1200 directional lumens would match a 240 watt hot-hot-hot point source bulb, is that what was wanted?

Who is to blame for this naive exercise by some Los Angeles buyers of junk, ill-conceived at some Chinese factory? Will the naive sellers give me my money back? If not from  those losers, then perhaps a loss recovery through Amazon? And, where this was listed by Amazon, has Amazon done me a disservice? I expect some apologies.

At 3/21/2017, in monitoring of appreciation of my writing at statcounter, I find this visit:

China FlagChina, China Unicom Jiangsu Label IP Address  
(0 returning visits)

Win7, Chrome 54.0, 1280x1024 (Keywords Unavailable) 
20 Mar19:55:37
I speak there of the difficulties of direct China to USA commerce in the quest of LED lighting innovation, concluding it simply does not work. I have been enjoying the avoidance of distraction by directing all email from DHGate and alibaba, to SPAM. I wonder what this China reader is thinking.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Illuminance: Brightness Numbers Needed and Defined

Please track progress in a conversation here, with Google Search of terms:

Illuminance: Brightness Numbers 

Try the search with some quotation marks too:

Illuminance: "Brightness Numbers"  

My thinking then does enter the conversation. 

Let's please have a debate here.

Do we need a new comparison measure, to replace lumens in consumer selection of most-efficient lighting?

I have sought to inform the selection of LED lighting to replace incandescent and CFL point source bulbs through reported unambiguous side-by-side comparisons. In this I have suggested that a "Brightness Number" be used as the alternative to lumens count. All of my writing in this blog, on this subject, may now be selected through a a new post Label definition, Brightness Numbers .

I think US Department of Energy has the paid-for responsibility to cease misinformation here: 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Review, Thinklux LED Recessed Downlight Fixture Upgrade Kit, 13W 4 Pk, Sold By Amazon

Lights come in a nice box, with little waste.

It is a pretty-enough light, for those of us who accept light as a directional ceiling spot, a downlight. $20 each compared to better but still disliked Utilitech 0752125 , sold at Lowe's . same price, with a really-nice design of the mounting on a ceiling junction box. The Thinklux at 910 lumens called 85 watts equivalent, might offer preferred, dimmable brightness for nine-foot ceilings, vs. the Lowe's reduction to 700 lumens in its offering of shelf space.

The Thinklux is inferior to Utilitech 0752125 in appearance,and especially in susceptibility to bugs-upon-lens. There is nothing to keep bugs from guiding to the brightness of unused mounting screw holes. Darkness shows at the mounting screw positions and at lens-attachment keys, through the thin lens.

Look for Amazon negative reviews , to affirm my first impression: All installation demands removal of the thin plastic lens. Removal is by friction of hand against the lens, twisting - which direction? CCW I would think. CW says the instructions .  Where the backside is visible on first install, the key shape guides the twist direction. But, from the first box opened, I could not get movement. Way too much friction. From the second box, release was too easy; this lens will fall down frequently. A review I found helpful, does confirm the wild variation of tightness.

I accept these facts stated on the box, but know that life is likely to be much greater.

Now get down to the business of insane glare evident with this light. I expected that, and thought this observation, with product return and help to other shoppers in review comments, would be my sacrificed contribution to the success of Amazon. 

I see now that I tried the Thinklux lights in October 2016, buying from EarthLed at same $20 apiece price, returning them unhappily over the thoughtless glare, worse even than with less-bright Utilitech 0752125. I wish I had done diligence with the October unhappiness, avoiding further diversion and expense.

Please be careful in consideration of luminance/ glare, as you venture to go LED_Downlighting in your home. Avoid glare and installation foolishness, not reverting to your old incandescent luminaires. There is so much money to be saved through informed choices.

Monday, February 20, 2017

4 In. White Integrated LED J-Box or Recessed Can Mounted LED Disk Light Trim, 3000°K

I report here on buying and trying 4" EnviroLite Pro LED disk light, newly-offered at Amazon , as Designers Fountain EVDSK490WH30 4 inch White Integrated LED J-Box Or Recessed Can Mounted Led Disk Light Trim, 3000K.

See too manufacturer-offered information. It is only offered at Amazon. Other lights in the family are not yet offered anywhere. 

Here again is two-rings beauty. But, don't forget how these are installed whether upon a 4" can or a junction box, by friction grab in a hard push against the ceiling. Pry at the outer edge to remove. The lens and intermediate ring can not be removed by rotating or prying. Invitation to try first in the correct pry may came from imperfect seating against the ceiling. Yet, other lights with same appearance including gap to ceiling, are removed by lens features. I have good attitude, wanting these lights to succeed, and will try and report the firmness against the ceiling that is achievable.

Plentiful, well-distributed diodes give uniform lens illumination, with low luminance (low-glare) numbers.

See two sets of three keyways at the back side. The larger keys accept can light retrofit friction clips, with no opportunity for bug entry to the lens. The smaller lens attachment keys have tiny bug paths probably negligible. Know that the lens and intermediate ring as a unit are detached by screwdriver push inward at each of the three lens keys.

The opaque lens except for its interior diametral clearance, is the barrier for bug entry.

See a clever spring that grabs the ID of the junction box mount ring, wherever that ring seats vs. the ceiling. There is not a catch that works only for some perfect junction box leveling in the ceiling hole. 

Here in behaving as a dutiful reviewer despite preferred installation without can, I have inserted the three can-mount friction clips. One, that at top in photo, will not engage; it is formed with crushed shape too small for the luminaire slot.

I don't want any of the friction clips, but now I am unable to detach the two that engaged. They are of a heavy metal that will not release with very strong push by a screw driver. The first-tried needle nose plier deformed without any effect upon the grabbing J-shape. I have chipped off white paint that will detract from luminaire appearance, surely to get worse in further effort at the stubborn clips. Do violence instead at the aluminum cast body. Break the clip engagement by twisting. Then with J-ends accessible, crush them with pliers. See that working clips were about 4.5 mm across the J shape. The defective clip J-dimension is 4.1 mm, and I crushed the "good" clips to 3.5 mm (no springback!) in the extraction.

See the violence done to the body casting. I hope it won't show too much as I make effort to get good use from this nice light.

Glare numbers with the 4" EnviroLite are pretty good. I can bear to stare at the lighted lens, not blinking back stars.

For a first trial installation of the EnviroLite, take down a 4" Glimpse over a bathtub after three years of service. I thought my junction box was bug-proof, and have been aware it is not. The biggest is an ant. Bugs have found their way to the ceiling through 11" of insulation and through hard-to-seal wiring clearances of a Molded Fiberglass box.

The EnviroLite bracket for junction box mounting will engage screws at either 2.75", or 3.5" pitch. Where there is only two-point contact with the ceiling, it won't matter which I choose. Rely on the bracket to be sufficiently stiff, and don't over-tighten screws.

Here, and with can mounting, achieve good ceiling contact by rotating the luminaire.

Getting a grip for the rotation isn't easy. Rotation with a pull can also serve removal, but a clean putty knife works better. Just remember if you can, that this pries off the ceiling

Friday, February 10, 2017

Amazon/GetInLight 4" Disk LED 3000°K, 550 lumens, 9 watts

After some difficulty, I have found much happiness with the start of a new family of disk LED lights, sold exclusively at Amazon . The discovery follows finding that recently-favored lights via importer Cost Less Lighting , are discontinued with no replacement offered. 

This is a really-pretty light suited to 4" can light retrofits and to direct mounting on any ceiling junction box. 
With circuits on board the light engine, the light is directly powered by line 120 vac. This will mount with ease on a small 3 1/2" ceiling box, mounting screw pitch 2.75", even if the box is well-populated with wires.

Beware though if you have a usual 4" junction box with inch-wider screw pitch. Beware too with any can or junction box open to space inhabited by bugs. The five openings of the back side glow brightly and WILL attract bugs madly seeking celestial navigation. Where an LED light can be maintenance-free forever, it will be quite a shame if one must climb up to twist off and clean the lens. 

The bug problem will be huge and certain where these lights are used  to improve upon architectural lighting with burned-out halogen bulbs. My adventure with the photo at left is detailed here . My solution for such lighting has been 4" Glimpse, once and still, hard to find. How many of us know that these nice 450 lumens, 3000°K lights are at last fully available at importer Lighting Science ?

The GetInLight 4" will be challenged in serving architectural applications where there is ample energy to be saved, and need to be free of maintenance. Bug paths of the 4" Glimpse can readily be taped-over under-the-lens. 

Here the face cavities for screw mounting are readily taped over. The three irregular lens-attachment keyways can not be taped over. 

Here is a photo of the light almost-fully installed, not yet with the lens applied. This is in the overhead of a closet, working awkwardly in darkness. Notes on the photo detail missing items in the package, where I was willing to cope, spending a full day in pursuit of needed hardware. By my investment in making things work, then, I hope to work with Amazon to not frustrate the usual buyer

Where I install lights on RACO 175 steel boxes air tight and bug proof, and want lights of about 500 lumens as replacement of 100 watt incandescent in closets, hallways and bath/ shower overhead, I I will have much interest in the 4" GetInLight, perhaps identified by its UPC, X000ZCIY39.

Here summarize some of the package numbers:
550 lumens for 9 watts is efficacy 61 lumens per watt.

Diodes are 3 mm dia., qty 33. There are 25 in an outer circle, and 8 at an inner circle, 57 mm array dia.

Diode area is 233 mm2. Diode luminance is 2.36 lumens per mm2.

Array area is 2552 mm2. Array luminance is 0.216 lumens per mm2.

I believe diode and array luminance are important competitive measures of a light, and that those glare characteristics of 4" GetInLight, are excellent.