Author Topic: LED bulbs - Darwin award enticement  (Read 2565 times)

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Offline TerraHertz

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LED bulbs - Darwin award enticement
« on: November 03, 2018, 03:13:11 pm »
With filament light bulbs, if the glass breaks the filament instantly burns out. So you replace the bulb.

Not so with 240V LED bulbs. Naturally they just keep working without the glass.
I found this one broken on the floor at a business premise I was visiting. Asked to have it, thinking I'd cut the LEDs out. Then later wondered if it still works. It does.

Who is going to win the first Darwin Award with an LED bulb?
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Offline janoc

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Re: LED bulbs - Darwin award enticement
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2018, 03:23:36 pm »
How is this different from taking any other mains powered device, discarding the shell that keeps your fingers out of harms way and then using it like that?

Gosh, that CE and UL certification is totally useless because it doesn't protect against user's deliberate stupidity!  :palm:
« Last Edit: November 03, 2018, 08:04:32 pm by janoc »
 
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Offline Gyro

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Re: LED bulbs - Darwin award enticement
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2018, 03:34:03 pm »
Single insulated device without protective earthed enclosure. Class 1.????  Certainly not Class-II.
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Online Cyberdragon

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Re: LED bulbs - Darwin award enticement
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2018, 06:25:39 pm »
You can still shock yourself on an incandescent bulb's filament connectors. ::)
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Offline Gyro

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Re: LED bulbs - Darwin award enticement
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2018, 06:55:09 pm »
Yes, I know - obviously.  ::)

Seeing the OP suddenly made me realize that I know zero about how lightbulbs fit into the Cat system. Traditionally, filament lamps, FLs and CFLs have failed to operate once the glass is broken, an obvious visible hazard from broken glass etc. as well as an instinct to turn it off. It's suddenly not the same with LED ones.

The only vaguely similar comparison I have is 'recent' ie. last 20-30 years, valve amplifiers. I know that these did not meet safety standards unless the supplied metal cage was fitted - the exposed valves are regarded as single insulated exposed devices (the vacuum doesn't count!). Of course these cages were always removed for magazine review pictures (just like speaker grills) and with imports from China etc. they are not even manufactured or supplied. The reputable manufacturers, Quad for example, always supplied them though.

There is obviously a 'loophole' that covers bulbs, and bulb holders (ES and BC) for that matter, but I've never seen or had access to the EN or UL standard that covers them - presumably there is one, rather than just historical precedence? Anybody know?


EDIT: Actually there's a whole raft of them... https://lightingdigest.co.uk/lighting-british-standards I'm not sure which one covers bare bulbs though.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2018, 07:02:48 pm by Gyro »
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Offline chris_leyson

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Re: LED bulbs - Darwin award enticement
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2018, 07:37:42 pm »
Nice one TerraHertz, definately gets a creativity award and a green award for recycling, like it  :-+ Darwin award only goes to those who don't know what they are doing.

Quote
The only vaguely similar comparison I have is 'recent' ie. last 20-30 years, valve amplifiers.
500V DC wouldn't be be very nice, mind you it might take some doing to break the glass and leave exposed anodes at the same time. Don't know if anybody has actually done a crash test dummy test on a 100W tube amp, probably not given the price tubes these days, maybe some sacrificial Chinese tubes, hmm...

Talking of valve amps, when I was in school one of the guys in the 6th form was running a home brewed 1kW linear amp on 160m, it was an open chassis with eight 6146's and a big tank coil in the middle. He ran it into a vertical V and one end was tied to a street light, you guessed it, voice modulated street lights. The scary thing was the front panel mains switch, "stand back guys, this has a tendency to explode" I've never seen anyone operate a switch so fast and jump out of the way whilst doing it !
 
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Offline TerraHertz

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Re: LED bulbs - Darwin award enticement
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2018, 04:46:41 am »
How is this different from taking any other mains powered device, discarding the shell that keeps your fingers out of harms way and then using it like that?

Because you can't accidentally remove and discard the protective shell from typical devices.  And there's no incentive to keep using typical devices in uncovered, dangerously live condition.

But you can accidentally break the glass on a LED bulb. Then there's plenty of incentive to keep using it like that. It works, and the Dawin Award nominee doesn't want to spend money on a new one.

Also LEDs 'look harmless.'

Real nice case of unintended consequences here.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2018, 04:48:41 am by TerraHertz »
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Online james_s

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Re: LED bulbs - Darwin award enticement
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2018, 06:10:48 am »
Most HID lamps would continue to operate with the outer glass bulb broken, although in the case of mercury vapor and metal halide types they would put out large amounts of dangerous UV. Granted they were not typically used indoors in residential locations where someone would be likely to touch it. It seems like common sense to me not to continue using a broken lamp with exposed wires, I know common sense isn't as common as it ought to be but you can't protect everyone from themselves.
 

Offline donotdespisethesnake

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Re: LED bulbs - Darwin award enticement
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2018, 07:24:12 am »
Who is going to win the first Darwin Award with an LED bulb?

No one, because the design of the bulb is not the fault of the user.
Bob
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Offline Zero999

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Re: LED bulbs - Darwin award enticement
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2018, 06:00:33 pm »
Most HID lamps would continue to operate with the outer glass bulb broken, although in the case of mercury vapor and metal halide types they would put out large amounts of dangerous UV. Granted they were not typically used indoors in residential locations where someone would be likely to touch it. It seems like common sense to me not to continue using a broken lamp with exposed wires, I know common sense isn't as common as it ought to be but you can't protect everyone from themselves.
No because the outer shell in most HID bulbs is filled with an inert gas which surrounds a fuse which will blow if any oxygen from the air gets in. The same could be done for LED lamps, but it would increase the cost. I say it should be common sense not to operate an LED lamp, with the case broken.
 

Online james_s

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Re: LED bulbs - Darwin award enticement
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2018, 06:06:49 pm »
There were a few specialized HID lamps which had an oxygen fuse but most of them do not, I have a collection of more than a hundred HID lamps spanning around 6 decades and I have no examples of the fused type. I have personally seen several broken mercury and MH lamps that continued to operate, one was in a streetlight in California and two different ones were in lights in the garden center of big box home center stores, apparently whacked by a fork lift.

One thing that does help is that while a broken HID lamp will continue to light, it won't be very bright. Without the outer bulb, the arc tube will never reach full operating temperature so the light will remain dim.
 

Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: LED bulbs - Darwin award enticement
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2018, 06:31:20 pm »
That would make a pretty neat light for inside a shower.  >:D 
 

Offline Gyro

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Re: LED bulbs - Darwin award enticement
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2018, 07:01:36 pm »
Ah, now shower / bathroom lights are Class-II.  :)
Chris

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Offline Neilm

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Re: LED bulbs - Darwin award enticement
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2018, 07:07:20 pm »
I say it should be common sense not to operate an LED lamp, with the case broken.

Common sense is so rare it should be classified as a superpower
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Offline janoc

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Re: LED bulbs - Darwin award enticement
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2018, 10:48:05 pm »
How is this different from taking any other mains powered device, discarding the shell that keeps your fingers out of harms way and then using it like that?

Because you can't accidentally remove and discard the protective shell from typical devices.  And there's no incentive to keep using typical devices in uncovered, dangerously live condition.

But you can accidentally break the glass on a LED bulb. Then there's plenty of incentive to keep using it like that. It works, and the Dawin Award nominee doesn't want to spend money on a new one.

Also LEDs 'look harmless.'

Real nice case of unintended consequences here.

I am sorry but this is trying to make an elephant out of a flea and trying to stretch a really weak argument into absurdity.

Have you never dropped a kitchen appliance or a plug pack or something else and have its plastic cover break, exposing its guts? It is not like only lightbulbs are fragile in a typical home.

E.g. a few years ago the small low voltage halogen lamps were popular (the kind with a bulb atop of two telescopic rods serving as conductors and a transformer in the base). The plastic of the base where the transformer is tends to get so brittle after a while that the trafo simply breaks off and rattles around at the slightest bump, eventually falling out of the fixture - live mains and all. I have two such wrecks somewhere in a junkbox here still.

I do wonder who would continue to use a lightbulb (or anything else) after the cover has been obviously smashed and there are sharp edges (assuming the bulb is glass)? If nothing else then that alone  should be a good enough reason to replace it. (also a lot of LED bulbs are made out of plastic, so much harder to accidentally break)

That a regular lightbulb died when you broke it is not a safety feature of any kind. You can still reach into the light fixture and try to unscrew it while it is turned on - and get electrocuted on the filament holder in the process, even though the bulb is not working anymore. By the same logic you are using we should declare these unsafe - the broken bulb gives the false impression that it is safe to handle it because it seems off. In fact, from this (ridiculous) point of view a LED bulb is actually safer - you are immediately aware that it is still powered because it is still producing light when you break it, so it will remind you to unplug it first.

I am not sure where did you get the concept that "LED look harmless" neither - a lay person has likely no idea what those components are nor why they should be harmless when it is a mains powered device.

I don't know how it is in where you live but here even small kids are being taught from the young age that using anything electric that has its cover broken is dangerous, regardless of whether it still "works".

If you need an explicit label and "idiot proofing" for everything because common sense is in a short supply that's really not the fault of the bulb manufacturers. It is like those labels "don't put a cat in the microwave".


« Last Edit: November 04, 2018, 11:17:54 pm by janoc »
 

Offline amyk

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Re: LED bulbs - Darwin award enticement
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2018, 01:12:58 am »
I don't know about you, but the majority of bulbs in my house can't be touched without conscious effort to reach up for them.
 

Offline rrinker

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Re: LED bulbs - Darwin award enticement
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2018, 05:25:07 pm »
 Very few of mine are even reachable without climbing on at least a step stool, and I'm not short, at 6 feet tall I am above average. ANd most of them are actually inside a fixture, so not only would the glass around the LEDs need to be broken, the glass from the lamp fixture itself would also have to be broken/removed.

I'm not worried.

 

Offline Richard Crowley

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Re: LED bulbs - Darwin award enticement
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2018, 05:31:15 pm »
Speaking of Darwinism,  hasn't the broken LED bulb now evolved into a combination light source AND a bug zapper?
 

Online Jeroen3

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Re: LED bulbs - Darwin award enticement
« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2018, 06:41:16 pm »
Who is going to win the first Darwin Award with an LED bulb?
Those who nominated themselves by not installing an GFCI/RCD.
 

Offline Gyro

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Re: LED bulbs - Darwin award enticement
« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2018, 07:53:33 pm »
Speaking of Darwinism,  hasn't the broken LED bulb now evolved into a combination light source AND a bug zapper?

Only for the long legged ones ;-)
Chris

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Online james_s

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Re: LED bulbs - Darwin award enticement
« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2018, 11:25:59 pm »
Who is going to win the first Darwin Award with an LED bulb?
Those who nominated themselves by not installing an GFCI/RCD.

In North America those are only used in wet locations. Receptacles outdoors, in bathrooms, kitchens and places like garages and unfinished basements. They are rarely used on lighting circuits.
 

Online duak

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Re: LED bulbs - Darwin award enticement
« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2018, 02:15:44 am »
I wonder if some LED lites will last longer because the driver or LED array are cooled better when out of their cases.

I bought some GE LEDs and if memory serves, I measured 90 deg C with a thermocouple near the driver.  If it's true, how hot are the semis inside?
 

Offline TerraHertz

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Re: LED bulbs - Darwin award enticement
« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2018, 04:09:45 am »
For curiosity and the LEDs I stripped it down.
Good value - 47 nice 3mm conical-hat white LEDs for the cost of picking up broken crap from a floor.
I'd been looking for exactly this form and size of LEDs for ages, to hopefully replace some blown mini-bulbs in optical spinner knobs in a couple of HP 8350B sweep oscillators. Didn't have any luck at all finding them online via ebay or Asia sellers. Hard to believe, but no...
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Offline Gyro

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Re: LED bulbs - Darwin award enticement
« Reply #23 on: November 13, 2018, 07:53:02 pm »
There's surprisingly little encapsulation on those LED packages compared to any others I've seen - the lead frames are almost flush the sides. I bet they would fail really quickly under any sort of mechanical stress. I suppose they get away with it because they are using full lead length.
Chris

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Online james_s

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Re: LED bulbs - Darwin award enticement
« Reply #24 on: November 13, 2018, 09:58:45 pm »
I have some LEDs like that, they're actually reasonably robust. Certainly more durable than a miniature incandescent lamp.
 


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