LED Bulb Compatibility to Device Type

Posted on
Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:07 pm
Devildog0331 offline
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Joined: Jan 22, 2014
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

LED Bulb Compatibility to Device Type

After a few trips to Home Depot and Lowes, I think I've narrowed down a few LED bulbs that work well (dim or full w/o flicker). Problem is that while one may play well with a switchlinc (or KPL), it doesn't with a couple z-wave types (that would be to easy).
While I have some info to share, I'm sure others do as well and it would be nice to have an organized place to hold that info...

Posted on
Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:48 am
jay (support) offline
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Re: New Wiki - LED Bulb Compatibility to Device Type

[MODERATOR NOTE] moved to a better permanent home.

Our wiki isn't really (yet) set up to allow open (non-moderated) editing, nor do we have the bandwidth to moderate something like that. I recommend we just use this thread to post results that people have found. If you'd like to roll up any information in successive posts to the original post (sorta a master list) then you can certainly do that.

I've made this topic sticky, which means it will stay close to the top of this forum so it's more easily found.

Jay (Indigo Support)
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Posted on
Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:09 pm
amannone offline
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Location: Boston, MA

Re: LED Bulb Compatibility to Device Type

Which bulbs have you found to play nice? I got a bunch of the Cree 9Watt LEDs. I want to like them but I have noticed some flicker and an annoying buzzing noise. I tested with the LampLinc (3A, non dua-band).

Posted on
Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:41 am
Devildog0331 offline
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Joined: Jan 22, 2014
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: LED Bulb Compatibility to Device Type

When using the Insteon dual band dimmers (KeypadLinc, Switchlinc, and LampLinc): I have found that the Cree bulbs not only work the best but also broadcast and produce the best color of light. All of the LED bulbs I've tried (Cree, Sylvania, Phillips, etc.) produce a slight hum but I only notice it when it's VERY quiet in the house and when I'm within 12 - 18" of the bulb (lamp next to a couch). I've set all of them to a default level of 80% (increases the life dramatically w/ a very slight hit on output) and never had an issue with flickering. The ONLY time I've seen them flicker is when I try the lowest dimming level.
Keeping with the Insteon but with the Sylvania and Phillips brand... outside of the same hum mentioned above, I've experienced flickering when output is dropped below 25 to 75% (varies). This was with the 'dimmable' types too. I have two Sylvania LED outdoor BR30 bulbs and every now and then they'll flicker a few times and return to normal (I dim the outdoor lights until motion is sensed). This occurs at any level below 75% and during any temp range or weather condition.

When using the Aeotec/AeonLabs Micro Smart Dimmer... stay away from LED bulbs! All of them I've tried had issues when dropped below 80%.

If you have a Phillips HueLux kit ($99.00 at most places), you could make use of Nathan Sheldon's plugin and start using the GE Link bulbs ($15 at Home Depot). While you can't use them in a dimmable fixture, you can turn them on/off, dim/brighten, set timers, etc. with Indigo or use the Phillips Hue app. They don't hum and they do have a decent color but don't broadcast the light as well as others.

Hope this helps.

Posted on
Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:33 am
Devildog0331 offline
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Joined: Jan 22, 2014
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: LED Bulb Compatibility to Device Type

Another note about the Cree bulbs in triac type dimmers (Insteon):

It dims nicely with no flicker or flash as it turns off. I used both a Lutron Maestro dimmer and a garden-variety cheap triac dimmer, and the dimming was smooth at all times. Along with flicker, audible noise can be a problem for LED bulbs. I had to get my ear within 18 inches to hear any noise at all. I erroneously assumed this meant the LED driver components were potted. (They’re not.)


That came from this article: http://www.ledsmagazine.com/articles/2013/04/cree-60w-led-replacement-bulb-review-and-tear-down.html

Posted on
Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:05 pm
dduff617 offline
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Joined: Jul 05, 2006
Location: Massachusetts, USA

Re: LED Bulb Compatibility to Device Type

strange my experience with acoustic noise is essentially the opposite. in the past, i had lots of incandescent bulbs that would "ring" audibly when dimmed on insteon. it seemed that the filament is vibrating at 60Hz plus some overtones, i guess. generally, the dimmer the bulb, the louder the buzz.

compared to those incandescents, i find CREE brand LEDs (the type popularized in the last ~2yrs or so by Home Depot) to be a very good overall tradeoff.
they have great color rendering.
they're available in two color temps: cool and warm with white and yellow text on the package, respectively. (i buy "warm" personally)
the controller is reasonably well-behaved under dimming
- it starts at a fairly low level of brightness. insteon device set at approximately 3% will cause the lights to turn on at (subjectively) about 5-10% brightness.
- bulb output increases smoothly with insteon level up to about 70-80%, then maxes out.
- no flicker (unlike many other brands of LED bulbs i've tried in the past)
- there is (almost) no hysteresis
- there is (almost) no noticeable audible noise
- i have seen no sign of electrical power line noise, RF, etc. (unlike some CFLs)

in regular use, the main fault i've found is that the bulbs are NOT able to really reproduce a satisfactory "ramp-up" from off to on like an insteon-driven incandescent can. instead, they "blink" on abruptly at somewhere about 5-10% brightness. since that is a feature that's been baked-in to insteon since the early days, i've become accustomed to it and i miss it when it's gone.

one other note: i live in MA and i believe at any given time, the electric utilities seem to be subsidizing the prices of a few bulbs of each given type. the result is that there are typically a few of these "chosen" bulbs available at extremely low prices compared to other options. these CREE bulbs have been one of the ones so chosen in my area for most of the last several years - i can sometimes get the medium and low power ones for about $7/ea. while i notice that the high powered ones ("100w equiv") are more like $25-30.

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