Author Topic: Why must the lighting industry be like this?  (Read 4541 times)
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Re: Why must the lighting industry be like this? « Reply #15 on: July 22, 2023, 03:51:45 PM » Author: Mandolin Girl
@ Marco:
- There might not be any safety hazard for the end user, but the manufacturing can be highly hazardous.
- L*D products are just as prone to damage during shipping.
- Very cheap electronics, highly prone to failure.
- There is less manufacturing machinery, but what they have still requires maintenance.
- Simple and reliable production methods.? The products are thrown together as cheaply as possible.
- Designed properly..? see above.!
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Re: Why must the lighting industry be like this? « Reply #16 on: July 23, 2023, 08:32:01 PM » Author: wide-lite 1000
 My 2¢ worth :  If a fixture manufacturer saves 50¢ per fixture by cutting corners and installing cheaper components that just barely make it thru the warranty period  , they'll save $500,000 per 1 million fixtures produced .

 Honestly , it's not a new process !! For example , Ford Motor Company decided to pay lawsuit claims instead of fixing the fuel tank problems on the Ford Pinto as research determined that the cost to re-call and repair all of the Pintos produced would be higher than the projected injury lawsuit costs !  :poof:
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Re: Why must the lighting industry be like this? « Reply #17 on: July 24, 2023, 08:32:30 AM » Author: Mandolin Girl
Also if a customer decides not to buy a certain brand again because of its poor quality and reliability, the chances are that the next brand they choose are owned by the same parent company based in a certain Far East country.
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Re: Why must the lighting industry be like this? « Reply #18 on: July 24, 2023, 01:29:14 PM » Author: Medved
Cutting corners on quality is nothing new.
A bit older example are the older AC/DC radios, the topology design originates from 1930's but were made till 1970's.
TLDR: To save few cents on manufacture it costs user more than a dollar extra (abou 1940's one, not today's) to fix or to replace the radio once simple dial lamp burns out.

The whole story:
To get dial illumination in a cheap way you need a low power, low voltage incandescent.
But low voltage incandescent needs a low voltage supply. Where to get it in a design without any mains transformer?
Connecting it simply in series with the tube filaments would likely blow it on power ON, when the tube filaments are still cold (tubes warm up way slower than any incamdescent).
Connecting it in series with the complete set may have been a bit better, but still huge inrush overload.
Using 120V bulb may work, but that would be more expensive than the low voltage one.
Using separate drop resistors may work, but would create too much heat and will cost extra.
Engineers (I think it was at RCA, but I may be wrong on this) got an idea to create a tap on the rectifier tube filament, 6.3V from the line input end and connect the dial lamp across that and feed the anode from the tap as well.
When filaments are cold, they act as a rather low impedance voltage divider, feeding the lamp with the rated 6.3V, so no overload.
When warmed up, the filament current itself would be too low, but the rectifier anode current supplements it, so the filament section plus the bulb get the correct total current (about 350mA, 200mA for the bulb, 150mA for the filament).
So far everything seems to work perfectly fine.
But until the dial bulb decides to burn out. If that happens, the complete 350mArms drawn by the set flows just through the rectifier filament, so overloading it. So the rectifier bulb fails in a short time.
Because first the bulb burns after the warranty period is over, to fix the radio user has to replace not only the cheap dial lamp, but also the way more expensive rectifier tube.
So manufacturer saved few cents of the cost difference between 6.3V vs 120V lamp, but the user had to pay about a dollar or more (plus talking about 1930's dollars, not todays) for a new rectifier each time the dial bulb failed.
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Re: Why must the lighting industry be like this? « Reply #19 on: July 24, 2023, 07:32:33 PM » Author: BT25
If I were to give an honest opinion about what's going on in lighting and the world at large, I'd be banned for being political.
I will say this...all of the major manufacturers dumped their lighting divisions ASAP once they saw how it would effect the bottom line/stock price. The interesting part is that they had a hand in creating a market for LED lighting in the first place! ::)
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Re: Why must the lighting industry be like this? « Reply #20 on: July 26, 2023, 03:09:48 PM » Author: RyanF40T12
Sometimes change gets forced upon us and there is very little we can do, such as in the banning of one thing to ensure another thing comes to pass.  Let it be a lesson that the greatest gifts we have in life are freedom, and choice.  When those things get taken away, it hurts.  A lot. Vote wisely for those who still have the ability to vote. 

However- you still have the ability to stock up and save for future needs.  I am building an incandescent bulb stockpile while i can, and already have plenty of fluorescent T12 and T8 stuff I need to last beyond my lifetime.  That being said, I'll still be using LED products as well.  I have to install them as part of my job anyway.  Focus on what you can do and do have control over. 

We as lighting geeks/nerds are a very very very very small minority, and our opinion does not matter to the rest of the world and the lighting corporations and governments.  It never will.  Too few of us.  Let it go. 
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Re: Why must the lighting industry be like this? « Reply #21 on: July 26, 2023, 03:44:16 PM » Author: BT25
Agreed...

I've stocked up on about every HID lamp that I'd ever considered using...they will definitely outlast me...
That being said, I'd only actually use CMH lamps for exterior lighting...all other sources are for collecting/display only.
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Re: Why must the lighting industry be like this? « Reply #22 on: July 26, 2023, 11:43:34 PM » Author: Maxim
Sometimes change gets forced upon us and there is very little we can do, such as in the banning of one thing to ensure another thing comes to pass.  Let it be a lesson that the greatest gifts we have in life are freedom, and choice.  When those things get taken away, it hurts.  A lot. Vote wisely for those who still have the ability to vote. 

We as lighting geeks/nerds are a very very very very small minority, and our opinion does not matter to the rest of the world and the lighting corporations and governments.  It never will.  Too few of us.  Let it go.

This really resonated with me, thanks Ryan. And yeah, I agree, we as a group of lighting enthusiats are a negligible minority, in the eyes of the government, big business, consumers, etc. Most individuals couldn't care less what they install; so long as it works. This negligence is what causes fixtures to be mislamped, LED retrofits to take place where lamps were just recently replaced, etc., etc. Nothing we can really do is collect, and most importantly relish the history which we have our hands on. Not many appreciate the beauty of HID, or even fluorescent/incandescent/halogen lighting. Lighting, at one point, was an art. A beautiful, yet challenging art. An art of trying and failing; one where only the best, longest lasting product would be released from the Big 3.

I feel like that all changed sometime in the late 80s, early 90s. The time where 'Philips' Lifeguards were discontinued, the time when GTE sold off Sylvania to Osram, the time when manufacturers shifted focus from making the highest quality product to the highest profit margins and share price. Greed took hold; mastering the art of longevity, luminous efficacy, etc. all disappeared once money became the priority. Products began to include intentional points of failure, or, as we know it, planned obsolence. It's sad, but whatever can we do. I guess let's thank the overlords for allowing such amazing sources of light to ever come to fruition. As many say, don't feel nostalgic for the past; instead appreciate it for what it was and plan for the future. I guess I'll get a move on by buying more MV, fluorescent, and HPS...

End of rant.
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Re: Why must the lighting industry be like this? « Reply #23 on: July 27, 2023, 02:30:05 AM » Author: Richmond2000
Quote
I feel like that all changed sometime in the late 80s, early 90s. The time where 'Philips' Lifeguards were discontinued, the time when GTE sold off Sylvania to Osram, the time when manufacturers shifted focus from making the highest quality product to the highest profit margins and share price. Greed took hold; mastering the art of longevity,
not just lighting EVERYTHING we buy has fallen into the same "trap"
also MASSIVE CONSOLIDATION has taken hold in the 90's 00's
and the consolidation these "super" companies had to "tier" there brands
a prime example is FISHING BOATS
LUND a brand "famous" for high quality LAKE fishing boats is Owned be Brunsdwick group that also owned Bayliner
Boston Whaler
Brunswick Commercial & Government Products
Crestliner
Cypress Cay
Freedom Boat Club
Harris FloteBote
Lowe Boats
Lund
Meridian Yachts
Princecraft
Quicksilver
Rayglass
Sea Ray
Uttern
Valiant
with so many "famous" brands they have to LIMIT what Lund can sell to "protect" other brands they can NOT sell a "cheap" boat as they is what LOWE is for and Princeraft and Crestliner ALSO selling "premium" aluminum fishing boats
if you decided to NOT buy lund due to the quality you experienced on the last one / DONT like what you saw at the dealer likely Brunswick is still getting your money when you buy a Crestliner
they "win" you LOOSE )-:

I believe  it is these BIG political get togethers "to save the planet" that is driving a LOT of this as there was one in Japan and all signing countries agreed to reduce /eliminate Mercury usage
so they BAN mercury containing lamps "to be seen as doing something"
IMHO this type of action is MAKING it WORSE NOT better as LED IS A SUPERIOR lighting tech (for "joe" consumer AND the manufacturers) that is "naturally" killing FLoro and HID sources mush like incandescent has gone away
but these bans INCREASE waist as people REPLACE operational fixtures early DUE to EXPENSIVE / not available lamps and warehouses of NEW unsold lamps get destroyed as they ether can NOT be sold OR has NO market for DUE to the fixtures being pulled down and replaced

IMHO if this was a "save the planet" we  would incentivize RELAMPING existing fixtures with LED (Mercury free) lamps and letting a "natural" run down of already manufactured stock as most bulb manufacturers have stopped making Mercury containing lamps and if they have NOT LED bulbs will have there "lunch" shortly
look to SOX lamps NO ban but the "superior" sources have caused the plants to close SOX production making "cobbing" or a fixture swap out a better choice
IMHO unless GE and friends offer a LED KIT for the existing lights already in the field this is more about profits and LESS about "the environment"
imagine a powr/door kit with LED drivers and a LED "refractor" kit for the M250/M400s and how much "greener" that would be and COST EFFECTIVE for the utilities
« Last Edit: July 29, 2023, 05:07:16 PM by Patrick » Logged
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Re: Why must the lighting industry be like this? « Reply #24 on: July 29, 2023, 04:02:27 PM » Author: James
Ryan’s comment above is very accurate in my opinion.

I have to disagree though with the many comments claiming that manufacturers push this on us or even lobby for it.  I think nothing could be further from the truth.  The evidence has shown that LED products are by far the least profitable of all lighting technologies - so much so that all the major producers in fact lobby at political levels to fight the enforced obsolescence of the traditional light sources.  That certainly managed to delay the bans but has not stopped them.  The unfortunate result is that the manufacturers are less profitable when forced into a pure LED world.  Many struggle to survive unless they can find profitable niches, and the owners of all the major light source companies decided to get out of the business because it was financially dead.  Even the manufacturers of the raw LED chips and emitters have been getting out of that business.  None of the manufacturers would lobby for their businesses to be driven to destruction like that!

The simple reality is that manufacturers produce what sells best, and as also said above, we are a tiny minority whose views do not interest either manufacturers or politicians.  Due to rising energy costs, what sells best now are high efficacy lamps and fixtures and in most cases that means LED.  Quality of light, reliability, lifetime and repairability are much further down the list of priorities for the average customer.  Regrettably, this forces the manufacturers to follow that strategy.  It’s hard to compete with a long-life, reliable and repairable LED luminaire when the consumer just buys what is cheapest and does not understand or care about the rest.

The only way out of that is further legislation to ban the non-repairable LED luminaires, and education to encourage the customer to spend more now with the goal to save more later.  Both are slow processes, but I am pleased to see that there are significant efforts on both fronts.  There are quite a few successful European manufacturers who have not released any LED luminaires during the past year where it is impossible to replace either the LED board or the driver.  Panels remain a problem though - those sell to the lowest tier customers, and with present manufacturing costs being well under $0.50 per square foot of lighted area, it’s difficult to make them repairable without adding significant extra costs.

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Re: Why must the lighting industry be like this? « Reply #25 on: July 29, 2023, 06:25:00 PM » Author: Rommie
That is a very sobering comment, James. It appears we were misled, and we accept that, but what you said about the fact that our views do not interest either manufacturers or politicians saddens us intensely, and is one reason why I am in part glad that I am getting older and hopefully will not see a world where all light sources except LED do not exist.

As I have said before many times, it is not LED itself I detest, it is the lack of choice we have been forced into. We simply cannot buy anything else. Sammi and I are in the fortunate position that energy costs, while important, are not the be all and end all of our lives. I was left a good inheritance when my mother passed away three years ago, and while I would not consider myself rich by any stretch of the imagination, we have enough that we can afford to run incandescent lamps and CFLs etc. at home without worrying too much. Again, we are fortunate that we have sufficient stocks of both to last us the rest of our lives, so as far as domestic lighting is concerned, we are ok.

The real annoyance for us comes from street lighting. There, we cannot choose what is supplied and fitted. We are unfortunate here in that the local authority have chosen the cheapest and crappiest fixtures they could find, and they are truly awful. I don't know what they are, and I have no desire to find out, they are just simply ghastly. Flat panels of LED elements with no optical control whatever, they throw light in all directions except where it is actually needed, the road surface. They have kept the same columns (and therefore spacing) as the excellent HPS lanterns they unceremoniously ripped out to make way for them, with the result that there are huge dark patches on both the road and pavement surfaces in between the columns. It is so poor that we do not feel safe out at night, except on busy city centre streets where lighting from shop windows provide the majority of illumination. Outside our block, there is a large black area that has no lighting whatever. It conceals a step which we have more than once almost been sent flying by, and we know of people who have just fallen flat on their faces tripping over. The nearest light is a pathetic thing that replaced a perfectly good GEC HPS post top. It is so bad that there is little light anywhere other than immediately under it.

So no, I do not like LED and I deplore the attitudes of those who would deprive us of good and safe illumination.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2023, 06:27:50 PM by Rommie » Logged

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Re: Why must the lighting industry be like this? « Reply #26 on: July 29, 2023, 06:52:55 PM » Author: Maxim
James and Ria, thank you both for your words. I agree with everything that you guys have said; and to James, I now see the flaws in my logic: it’s not the manufacturer’s fault, really. I see that now. No wonder the Big 3 dumped their lighting business once it become economically UNviable.

And Ria, I cannot agree more with what you said in regards to streetlighting; in my home town, there are few remaining HPS, MH, and MV fixtures; and we had MANY beautiful lanterns from the 60s. Lots of Crouse-Hinds, Westinghouse, and other brands that eventually got sucked under one umbrella or another. We still have a few, but as the bulbs reach EOL, or dayburn, etc., they are scrapped in favor of glaring garbage. I’m lucky to have a Crouse-Hinds fixture just a block from my home that still illuminates every night; it’s seemingly running a Lifeguard MV lamp as this thing has been steadily illuminating the street over ever since I could remember.

It really saddens me to see 60+ year old fixtures that were BUILT TO LAST get scrapped for crappy E-Waste. That’s the worst part for me. Instead of being relamped, they’re sent to the landfill.
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Re: Why must the lighting industry be like this? « Reply #27 on: July 29, 2023, 10:08:38 PM » Author: joseph_125
@James - Thank you for your insights into as someone from the industry. It does appear that most were misled that the manufacturers were pushing for LED and bans but what you did does explain why the Big 3 decided to divest themselves of their lighting divisions are more or less the same time as each other.

I'm glad to hear that European luminaire manufacturers are starting to produce more repairable designs, even if only for the commercial sector. TBH the bottom of the barrel stuff will probably be never designed to be repaired. Even prior to the LED era with the LED panels, you'd have stuff like F15T8 undercabinet fixtures with the ballast riveted in place and the starter glowbottle hardwired into the circuit. The only difference was back then the components were still standardized so one could drill out the rivets if they desired and the hardwired glowbottle can be clipped and replaced with a socketed starter. The parts would probably cost more than a new luminaire so it won't be financially viable but still possible.

Yeah I don't really mind LED that much when presented with a choice especially back when you'd have all types equally represented on store shelves here and when fluorescent and HID luminaires are still available. And even when all the types were available, energy costs were the major push for LED adoption even without bans. Unfortunately stuff like streetlights can't be controlled but if your area is still using HID, it might be worth it to get your voice in if the utility does public consultations regarding what type of LED to use. I'm really glad that they ended up getting 3000K LED gumballs that looked superfically like the old MH gumballs as the replacements and that newer LED installs are standardized to 3000K instead of 5000K. They could have easily installed some cheapo 5000K/6500K waffle but the fact they chose the 3000K gumballs shows me they went the extra mile to pick luminaires that didn't significantly alter the look and feel of a street. 

It does bother me to see luminaires that were in use for decades get ripped out for LED but I suppose unless you owned the fixtures, there's not much you can do to prevent it. Instead I've built a decently sized collection of older street luminaires, fluorescent luminaires, and traffic signals, a lot of which was common a decade ago but is now rarely seen due to fixture replacements. At least I know the ones in my collection will remain preserved since I get to decide what to do with them instead of a bean counter. Unfortunately for the roadway luminaires, viable LED retrofit products for HID came a little too late for utilities to have considered them for roadway use but at least it meant some privately owned luminaires got saved.
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Re: Why must the lighting industry be like this? « Reply #28 on: July 30, 2023, 04:41:21 PM » Author: WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA
As far as I understand, if you do not take LED drivers into account, LED diodes by themselves last a very long time. The electronics that power the LED fixtures themselves are oretty much the only point of premature failure.
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Re: Why must the lighting industry be like this? « Reply #29 on: July 30, 2023, 05:29:43 PM » Author: Rommie
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
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