LED Lamps

Power

Active member
Costco is selling 100 watt incandescent equivalent dimmable A19 LED lamps. The output is 1600 lumens at 15 watts. Side by side, I see color rendition and light output very close to 100 watt incandescent.

I know people have had trouble using CFL lamps on a generator, and I think I recall a warning about using non dimmable LED's on generator.

As I was installing them, a question came to mind. Does anyone know if dimmable LED's are generator friendly?
 
L

Lead Head

Guest
Re: LED lamps

If the generator has clean power, it should be okay.
 

Elden DuRand

In Memory Of
Re: LED lamps

I think the only thing that would be affected by "dirty" power is the rectifier diodes in the luminaire. If they are super cheap, the peak reverse voltage rating may not be high enough to survive short spikes from load changes on a generator.

Otherwise, all AC voltage operated LEDs have their input changed to DC and filtered for them to work so, except for the spike issue, they should be fine.
 

BHoward

Subscriber
Re: LED lamps

I have been running LED lights on an inverter for 2 years . The inverter is at least 20 years old. Never tried them on a gen. Bill H.
 

John Kendrick

Subscriber
Re: LED lamps

I now have a couple of dozen various LED lamps in my mountain cabin. They have all survived our Perkins-powered camp generator, and my own Onan 3DSL and two different CCKs.
Old Cowman
 

csareb

New member
Re: LED lamps

Both dimmable and nondimmable leds and cfls work fine on purely mechanical older generators and my homebuilt little pure sinewave inverter generator. Only the dimmable led type will work with New squarewave generators or off shelf inverter generators. and no cfl bulbs will work with modern squatewave generators or off shelf inverter generators

If your generator was made prior to 1984 you should have no issues at all. Especiaaly with bulbs rated for 50/60 hz interchangeably as most leds are. Similarly a true sinewave inverter will run them fine also.
 

Frank DeWitt

Subscriber
Re: LED lamps

Both dimmable and nondimmable leds and cfls work fine on purely mechanical older generators and my homebuilt little pure sinewave inverter generator. Only the dimmable led type will work with New squarewave generators or off shelf inverter generators. and no cfl bulbs will work with modern squatewave generators or off shelf inverter generators
.
Good information, but now more questions What are some examples of New squarewave generators? and would you share how you home built a pure sinewave inverter generator.

Thnaks
 

csareb

New member
Re: LED lamps

Good information, but now more questions What are some examples of New squarewave generators? and would you share how you home built a pure sinewave inverter generator.

Thnaks
Generally all the generators in stores now are squarewave aside from the hugely overpriced low wattage outfits you see now and then (200
0.00 for 1200 w or so)
Somebody decided that since squarewave is cheaper they just use that and then sell small sinewave units for big money.
Basically if it was made in the last 20 years and you paid less than 2000 for it New then it's probably squarewave output. Quantity instead of quality. They make a lousy product for cheap to fill most emergency light needs ( storm outage ) and then expect people to pay an arm and a leg for what used to be a , standard, generator ( " watered down" with junk electronics and other added failure points of course.
As for how to build a pure sinewave inverter type generator all you need is an old non computer type engine ( adjustable carb, mechanical governor) a decent size pulley 4" or so is good. A high output GM alternator. A decent size battery (55 ah or more) A frame to mount it on an appropriate length vbelt. And the expensive part, a pure sinewave inverter _1500w to 3000w continuous or more).
 

Frank DeWitt

Subscriber
Re: LED lamps

Thanks for the info. I need to think about building one just for fun. My new generator is an Onan JB from 1977. My old one is a Kohler auto start from 1947 I take the Kohler to shows and I have charged my Ipad and phone with it. No problem.
 
L

Lead Head

Guest
The only generators that may output squarewave AC are the little "briefcase" inverter generators. The vast majority of generators sold at big-box stores are NOT inverter generators, and do put out a sinewave AC signal. I'm really not sure where you got the idea that modern generators have a squarewave output. It's physically impossible for a non-inverter generator to do that.
 

NDmeterman

New member
When I started working for a meter testing company in the early 2000s, the company was almost done replacing the inverters in the test vans with a newer / higher capacity model than what was in there before (the van I was stuck with most of the time was the last one to get upgraded. Pro tip: Weight distribution makes a LOT of difference in available traction. Enough said.)

I was told that these put out a 'stepped sine wave' and one had to be careful as to what kind of electronics we plugged into the inverter.

I remember going with the VP to one assignment and he plugged his new portable drill charger into the inverter's output, only for both of us to notice a funny smell in the air a few minutes later and seeing dim LEDs on the charger. If I remember right, it did work OK for a while once plugged into a proper 60Hz outlet later that day, but the VP had to buy a new charger not long after that.
 

Vanman

Subscriber
I use incandescent lamps and they work fine on ALL of my generators. :shrug:

Heck, when those generators were made, incandescent lamps were largely all there WAS! How did those people ever get by without all of this new crap?!? :rolleyes:

The lighting load for a house is insignificant either way unless you like to just leave them all on all of the time lol.

I do have some T5 fluorescent fixtures in the kitchen- below the cabinets for task lighting and above the cabinets for indirect lighting- and they flicker on some generators, even though they have electronic ballasts. Magnetic ballast fluorescent would likely be fine, have to try the 8 foot T12s in the garage.

Keith
 

pegasuspinto

Active member
Some generators, new and old, may not have a skewed rotor, and will have a pretty noisy output. You can see this really well in florescent tube fixtures, they can do all kinda strange light dances with noisy power, but many times that's only when you look right at the bulb, often the 'average' light is OK or only a bit noisy. Most all name brand sets have skewed rotors and don't have enough distortion to cause any real issues, they are close to pure sine wave.
 

csareb

New member
The only generators that may output squarewave AC are the little "briefcase" inverter generators. The vast majority of generators sold at big-box stores are NOT inverter generators, and do put out a sinewave AC signal. I'm really not sure where you got the idea that modern generators have a squarewave output. It's physically impossible for a non-inverter generator to do that.
Experience and looking at osiloscope output.
As stated in another thread I've tested newer models that were given to me or found for next to nothing on cl but always ended up selling them due to poor quality power output. Onan Koehler and katolight tend to be the cleanest but even a cheapie brand generac (60's model) puts out a cleaner waveform than a lot of cheap generators these days.

I'm not saying they don't exist any more. They are just hard to come by. Mecc alite makes modern sinewave generator heads and I have one on an old briggs 32 xxxx that puts out a real clean sinewave so logic says that some company undoubtedly sells modern generators with these generator heads on them but you can bet they are prohibitively expensive and of course would suffer trouble from computer controlled engines and fuel starvation issues developing from EPA carburetor. Sure they might run a little quieter but the exhaust bark of a 32xxxx with a small tractor muffler isn't terrible and is well worth it for the peace of mind knowing it's going to keep running and is easy to rebuild when needed too.

Onan isn't onan anymore they we're bought out by Cummins which is another reputable company that built some great diesel engines. Still if you are going to buy New then one of the Cummins " "onan's" would be your best bet for clean and somewhat reliable power ( best available new )
 
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