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BehindBlueEyes
3rd Nov 2018, 17:00
Why is buying a light bulb so bloody confusing nowadays? Not only does there seem to be different wattage/lumens for the things, you have to read the small print to choose whether you want cool white - very industrial- or warm white - more home friendly. To add to the minefield, the coded reference numbers seem to be different depending on whether you buy a high street chain/Philips/ Osram etc.


Anyway, the main issue I have is that my porch has an LED downlighter (old fashioned R63 type) with an Edison screw fitting. As I have a Nest home system and the nights are drawing in, I though it might be a good idea to buy a compatible smart bulb so that if we’re out during the day, I can use my app to turn it on before we get home. Simple? It should be, but it seems I need some kind of additional connection called a bridge (£50) plus a bulb that will cost another £25! This bulb apparently can be programmed to “change colour to suit my mood” I don’t want a coloured bulb - I just want a white one! It’s for a porch for God’s sake!

Has as anyone got any experience of these things and could offer any advice?

Cheers,

chevvron
3rd Nov 2018, 17:05
You can thank the EU for deciding bulb output has to be given in lumens as opposed to watts; I find that a rough 'rule of thumb' one LED watt = 5 tungsten watts.
They've done the same with the power output on cars of course; now it's Kilowatts instead of HP/ps which are almost the same as each other.

Gertrude the Wombat
3rd Nov 2018, 17:19
Why is buying a light bulb so bloody confusing nowadays?
It seems to be partly because the technology changes every five minutes - doesn't seem to have settled down yet.

We have a mixture of CF, halogen, LED, of various different colours of "white", as replacements for what used to be (uniformly yellow) 100W and 150W tungsten. Not because I've deliberately bought this random mixture, but because the same thing is never on offer on two consecutive visits to the shop. The halogen is the most bizarre - it's only a few percentage points more efficient than tungsten, so why bother to make them?

gemma10
3rd Nov 2018, 17:30
I have new bathroom LED downlights recently installed. Made by Aurora, there is a mini switch on the rear of the fitting enabling you to switch between Warm white ,Cool white or Daylight! I used to use 300 watts of halogen, now it`s only 48watts. That`s the way to go give us plenty of options.

Jetstream67
3rd Nov 2018, 17:35
It seems to be partly because the technology changes every five minutes - doesn't seem to have settled down yet.

We have a mixture of CF, halogen, LED, of various different colours of "white", as replacements for what used to be (uniformly yellow) 100W and 150W tungsten. Not because I've deliberately bought this random mixture, but because the same thing is never on offer on two consecutive visits to the shop. The halogen is the most bizarre - it's only a few percentage points more efficient than tungsten, so why bother to make them?


Halogen is 15- 20% more efficient ( Lumens per Watt), the 'standard lamps' lasted at least 2000hrs instead of the older technology 1000 hrs and the Colour was slightly but noticeably whiter 3000K+ vs 2700K for 'normal' lamps). They therefore found fame in shop display lighting, film and TV projectors, Car headlamps (quite robust too) and finally as a decorative home light in spots /downlights for bathrooms and kitchens where the bright white light was popular. A quirk of the EU legislation on incandescent lamps meant that Halogens made to have the same lumen output as the old lamps could truly claim to be 'lower energy' and so their last surge of fame was encased in 'ordinary household bulbs' as a cheaper low energy option. They also dim way better than LED's at a similar price point.

Can I have one on Aircraft now ??

tescoapp
3rd Nov 2018, 18:00
All the smart bulbs work by setting up there own network in a web around the house with a link into the wifi system via a "bridge". Each bridge can support a number of zones and bulbs and devices attached. Think Philips Hue is 55 per hue box.

There are several flavours of system each with their own bridge and even more flavours of software which control them.

Ikea do a range of smart home stuff which may fit your needs.

The smart ability of each bulb is variable on the price you pay. Some will do the full monty of RGB and others different white temps and others off and on.

there are other ways of doing it such as getting a sonoff wifi controller which gets insert in the live and will turn the circuit on and off via its app via normal wifi. The bulb can be anything you like.

Personally I have kitted my place out with Philips hue bridge with Innr warm white bulbs which can be dimmed. Quite like the temperature of the light from them 2700k. Not really interested in being able to change it or have anything other than white.

Those bulbs are 10 quid each. they pull 5 watts each have 20 of them in the house so equivalent to a single 100w bulb when they are all on 0.4 amps. Old tungsten I would be looking at 1200w and 5 amps. It used to 4 zones all with 6 amp breakers on each one they are now replaced with 1 amp.

The hue app works well and the battery powered wall controllers and motion detectors also do the job nicely they are pricy though. The bog motion detector is probably my favourite it selects the light power depending on the time of day so at night when the door opens it switches on at min setting during the day its full blast.

Takes a while to get used to the option. I would say a motion detector inside your porch would also be viable leave the switch on all the time and let the motion detector turn it on and off.

BTW I agree its very confusing and way to many options.

tescoapp
3rd Nov 2018, 18:15
looking at ikea you can get that E27 bulb and motion sensor for 25 quid. For a warm light (you can see it in the shop to see if you like) 1000lm (which is just over 60 watts equivalent normal bulb 12.5w pulled from the supply) .

it is dimmable but you have to buy another box from ikea.

personally I find the Philips hue bulbs over priced but the sensors and controls reasonable value. Be warned though the Ikea system says its compatible with Hues but its only limited.

Gertrude the Wombat
3rd Nov 2018, 18:16
Yes, well, my idea, which it's probably too late to patent now, was to hook up a pheromone detector to a domestic lighting system, so that the lights would automatically adjust to the mood of the occupants.

andytug
3rd Nov 2018, 18:20
Yes, well, my idea, which it's probably too late to patent now, was to hook up a pheromone detector to a domestic lighting system, so that the lights would automatically adjust to the mood of the occupants.

Not a good idea in our house, would go dark for 4 days a month!

funfly
3rd Nov 2018, 18:31
Light bulbs used to be 30p for a 60Watt bayonet type.
FF

radeng
3rd Nov 2018, 18:58
Some of these 'smart' bulbs, despite the CE marking, are virulent producers of radio noise and so are VERY antisocial. Already there are concerns being raised that the amount of radio noise being produced from badly filtered (for the sake of cheapness) electronic devices is starting to affect meteorological satellites as well as the COSPAS/SARSAT distress satellite system. Sadly, seems no governments are prepared to enforce the rules and pay for the enforcement by massive fines....

The situation will get worse with wireless charging of electric cars - assuming that the market predictions for take up are met, the inefficiency of wireless charging over plugging in a cable means we need the generating capacity of another 3 Hinckley Point C power stations over and above those needed to produce the electricity anyway.

One horsepower is 0.746 kiloWatts

Blues&twos
3rd Nov 2018, 19:04
Where's the fun in all this automated stuff? Here in rural Oxfordshire I get home, stumble about in the pitch dark, trip over the ducks, crack my shins on an invisible wheelbarrow and spend ten minutes trying to feel how to get the front door key in the lock, before going into a freezing cold house because I haven't been able to proactively switch on the heating.
Proper living.

tescoapp
3rd Nov 2018, 19:11
lucky to get 500 hours out of a tungsten bulb that's not left on perm. The led are good for 25000 hours and because the heat doesn't build up that much they are not a sensitive to number of cycles. And its usually the driver circuitry that goes. I haven't had one fail yet.

30p for 500 hours gives 0.0006 pounds per hour. over 25000 hours that works out at 15 quid over the life span compared to 1 led. You are going to have to change it 50 times as well. in that time your going to save 1250 Kwh of energy at 12.5p per Kwh. ie 150 quid ruffly per bulb. A freezer pulls about 250 Kwh of power every year.

So my 10 quid innr led bulbs are saving me 3100 quid (5 quid per purchase price and 150 quid electricity at todays prices) not counting going in the car to get new bulbs when they blow 50 times.

There is a smart room feature which does automatically adjust the ambient lighting depending on certain variables such as music/tv playing, temperature, humidity, open fire is alight and even if the iron is turned on.

only thing I still have a tungsten light in is a lava lamp these days.

I agree with radeng about the amount of noise that comes out of some off them. ZigBee network meshes are becoming more common and the power out put from some of the hue clone systems is way over what's required.

VP959
3rd Nov 2018, 19:15
The situation will get worse with wireless charging of electric cars - assuming that the market predictions for take up are met, the inefficiency of wireless charging over plugging in a cable means we need the generating capacity of another 3 Hinckley Point C power stations over and above those needed to produce the electricity anyway.

Current wireless car charging is actually slightly more efficient than plug-in charging to a charge point, about 97% efficient for the best wireless charge solutions versus about 94% for the best DC charge points. Not a massive difference, but it's worth noting that if every car in the UK was electric the grid could easily cope with the demand without needing more generation capacity. The key is that the vast majority of electric cars charge overnight, when electricity demand drops to a low level, meaning there is a lot of spare generation capacity. One consequence may well be an impact on off-peak tariffs, as with a higher overnight demand the 30 minute wholesale price will inevitably increase during what was a low demand period.

Bergerie1
3rd Nov 2018, 19:16
Why do you want all this so-called smart stuff? Automatics in aircraft have their uses (sorry about the aviation reference), in cars it is a ruddy nuisance, and in the home it is totally unnecessary, But, then, I am very happy to be an old fogey.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKZToY-V16w.

tescoapp
3rd Nov 2018, 19:40
It doesn't take long to get used to being able to command the heating and water if your working unusual hours or getting stuck away from home. For the single people it will be even more effective than for me.

Second homes its utterly brilliant, walk in the door with the lights on, House up to temp and the air system at max with no stale air or cold musty sheets when you get into bed. No going round the house to put it in care taking mode when you leave. Wonder if you forgot something when you leave its zero stress checking and if required turning it off,

I have a remote switch on a contactor switch which kills the power to the oven and hob in the kitchen its been used twice this year. There is a current monitor on the circuit to see if there is power being pulled to see if something has been left on. Opps in the park, and the mrs thinks the grill was left on. Two seconds to check on the phone and kill it. Old days it would mean you would go home early just to check.

Get stuck down route tech nobody else in the house. Heating put in house empty mode. Get back at some strange time. Turn the phone on and hit the button after shut down checks and when you come in the door its at a sensible temp (either hot or cold). The energy savings easily cover the cost of setting it up.

BTW I can't be doing with the voice controlled stuff. Next thing is to put a couple of wall tablets in the holiday house in the hall and the kitchen to run it all so you don't have to go searching for your phone. Music cast, heating, ventilation, lights. I have to look into one of the front end android apps which links all the different systems together.

radeng
3rd Nov 2018, 19:45
VP959,
Your figures for efficiency are very much higher than the numbers the proponents of WPT-EV have claimed in input papers to ITU-R WP1A and CEPT SE24....

For a charger to be 97% efficient, even with no loss caused by radiation leakage and transducer inefficiency, it would need a DC to RF conversion efficiency of 97%. Even a Class E final amplifier stage can't manage that......

VP959
3rd Nov 2018, 19:48
VP959,
Your figures for efficiency are very much higher than the numbers the proponents of WPT-EV have claimed in input papers to ITU-R WP1A and CEPT SE24....

For a charger to be 97% efficient, even with no loss caused by radiation leakage and transducer inefficiency, it would need a DC to RF conversion efficiency of 97%. Even a Class E final amplifier stage can't manage that......

Figures came from here: https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1119579_wireless-charging-could-widen-efficiency-edge-over-cords-suggests-doe-lab

Personally I trust Oakridge to quote valid data, not sure I'd trust manufacturers so much.

radeng
3rd Nov 2018, 20:05
After having the experience of making reasonably good living as a professional radio engineer for over 50 years, I still cannot believe that you can get DC to RF conversion efficiency of 97%. That puts the claim in the 'clock that strikes thirteen' category, although admittedly, that didn't apply in Saltaire.

Gertrude the Wombat
3rd Nov 2018, 20:37
because I haven't been able to proactively switch on the heating.
Because you didn't have a spare hour to make sure the range was going to keep going all day before you went out in the morning?

What were your servants up to? - time for a new lot I'd say.

andytug
3rd Nov 2018, 20:49
Problem with most of this IOT connected stuff is that the security is laughable, and it's connected to the Internet.

Blues&twos
3rd Nov 2018, 21:03
What were your servants up to? - time for a new lot I'd say.

I don't like to talk to the downstairs staff. I might get the first footman to castigate the assistant kitchen maid for her failings.

VP959
3rd Nov 2018, 21:06
After having the experience of making reasonably good living as a professional radio engineer for over 50 years, I still cannot believe that you can get DC to RF conversion efficiency of 97%. That puts the claim in the 'clock that strikes thirteen' category, although admittedly, that didn't apply in Saltaire.

I'd have been similarly surprised, until I looked in-depth at the efficiency of the switched mode power controls that drive the motors of my car at reasonably high frequency. They run at around 93%, using ten year old technology. Things have moved on a fair bit, and the last switched mode motor controller I built manages to run at around 98% efficiency, switching at up to around 100 kHz. The big advances have been made in reducing switching losses within the power devices, and increasing switching speeds. To some extent these go hand in hand; the faster a device switches the lower the losses, provided that losses from charge transfer can be minimised. It seems that reducing gate capacitance may be one of the key ways to reduce switching power loss, together with the use of synchronous rectification to virtually eliminate conventional diode switching power losses.

jimjim1
3rd Nov 2018, 21:50
Poundland have 2/3W and 5W LED bulbs in various fittings and styles. Cost of course is £1. Stock levels seem to vary where I am but if you are not fussy about the size or shape of the envelope it's not too bad. I don't have dimmers.

I find them satisfactory. One failed out of about 10 but I never got round to taking it back.

I have zero incandescents and a few CFLs still soldier on in places they are not used much.

tescoapp
3rd Nov 2018, 22:20
its not the bulb bit that's costs the most its the smart features that it gives you which bring the price up.

Even Philips top of the range none smart led 100w equivalent bulbs are only 4 quid each for e27.

basic white only smart Philips dimmable 12 quid.

colour ambiance hue which you can change the colour of your talking 40 quid.

on the security side of things its one of the reasons why I went with hue on the advice of a pro security IT mate. Its about the only one which is secure on the internet side of things. Once you get internal to your local network its pretty rubbish but so are the rest. Heating control systems which are wifi are also pretty poor, I went for hard wired no wifi.

Smart meters are insecure as hell to boot.

Pontius Navigator
3rd Nov 2018, 23:17
We had one traditional tungsten bulb in a hall closer still going after 46 years. Before we switched to LED our living room candle bulbs would last a couple of years at best. Failure was not linked to operating life.

My first upgrade was to halogen - in short order I had 7 failures with 3 replaced under warranty. The surviving bulb was still working after 4 years - it was used low power day/night and PIR. Odd that all the others failed.

Some halogen GU10 Have failed but no failure among LED replacement s.

Jetstream67
3rd Nov 2018, 23:41
Agree - internet of things security is currently a bad-joke on anyone who connects it to the same network as their phones PC and router. I will check back in a year or so in case this has been sorted. .

Also agree low cost LEDs light up well to begin with but most won't be emitting much light if they even survive to 25000 hours. I find the rot really sets in around 10,000 hrs on cheap ones but by then they are dim and the colors are all different/wrong too so I have replaced them all for that reason. 10,000 hours is still a great result for a few quid.

Philips and a few others do try to ensure all their LED lamps on a part number light up the same colours batch after batch and stay that way for a fair while and don't whistle or smoke or wipe out DAB radio's. The cheap ones are generally using poorer drivers and semi-matched batches of the LED's the more upmarket makers didn't want. Clearly there is a market for each of these types so fair enough. .

Gertrude the Wombat
3rd Nov 2018, 23:46
Agree - internet of things security is currently a bad-joke
Nobody would imagine, for example, that all you need to turn off the streetlights across a city, including the bit you wanted to burgle, was a handful of passwords ...

radeng
4th Nov 2018, 00:14
Pontius,
you've beaten me! I had one outside light that had been installed in1981: the original bulb ('Osram' was the make on it) failed in 2016....45 years. Biggest problem was freeing the screws that held the glass cover on!

I read some where that the New Zealanders were going back to tungsten filaments because of the mercury problem in disposal: LEDs leave you with the probability of arsenic leaching out into landfill.

Tom!
4th Nov 2018, 00:31
I also have a few of these smart lights. Felt funny the first time i got a notification on my phone there was a firmware update for my lightbulbs :8 never thought i would be updating lightbulbs...:}

visibility3miles
4th Nov 2018, 01:32
My gripe is that the early (expensive) LED lights we bought came with claims of ten or twenty year lifespans.

With the rate of failure we've had, this is clearly bull.

Still, they reduced our electric bill.
--------
A big problem with replacing standard tungsten filament bulbs with LEDs in street lights is the latter don't generate enough heat to melt wind driven snow.

As a consequence, traffic lights disappear in winter storms.

Some places retain tungsten lights for the red stop light to avoid the worst case scenario.

Krystal n chips
4th Nov 2018, 06:50
I'd have been similarly surprised, until I looked in-depth at the efficiency of the switched mode power controls that drive the motors of my car at reasonably high frequency. They run at around 93%, using ten year old technology. Things have moved on a fair bit, and the last switched mode motor controller I built manages to run at around 98% efficiency, switching at up to around 100 kHz. The big advances have been made in reducing switching losses within the power devices, and increasing switching speeds. To some extent these go hand in hand; the faster a device switches the lower the losses, provided that losses from charge transfer can be minimised. It seems that reducing gate capacitance may be one of the key ways to reduce switching power loss, together with the use of synchronous rectification to virtually eliminate conventional diode switching power losses.

Fascinating, in one sense, about energy efficiency which is something we should all be concerned about.
But, this being JB , we are now being educated as to the standard of technology that is seemingly a must for every self respecting JB householder.

As one poster so succinctly put it, automatics are fine, but ........and frankly if you are too lazy to switch a light "on / off ", programme a CH controller and revert to manual when the temp becomes too warm or cold then reliance on technology suggests mental and physical lethargy is already well established in your psyche .

However, lets have a look at switched mode motor controllers, as the subject has been mentioned above. Building one implies / infers you have done so and subsequently fitted it to your vehicle, which will doubtless not entirely merit the approval of your insurance company ....they tend to be somewhat reticent when it comes to "DIY modifications "....

Then there's the claimed increase in efficiency . Given energy reduction , in whatever form, is and has been for some time, very much a Holy Grail, along with cost savings in mind, how is it, we wonder, manufacturers haven't been sending convoys of cash in transit vans to queue outside your door in order to obtain this benefit for their products ?

Of course, this device could have been constructed for an entirely different reason, but, it's difficult to think of what this maybe given the allusion to cars and the related context.

tescoapp
4th Nov 2018, 07:40
frankly if you are too lazy to switch a light "on / off ", programme a CH controller and revert to manual when the temp becomes too warm or cold then reliance on technology suggests mental and physical lethargy is already well established in your psyche .

Those functions when your about are done as normal. Well in my setup they are anyway. Its more the remote operation and checking that's the driver. Followed by shall we say safety features.

Apart from the stuff described above. I have

Nest fire/CO alarms hard wired. One on each floor and they are linked through the wifi so if the one in the basement heatpump area goes off then the top floor bedroom one goes as well and tells you the problem is in the basement.
If the co side of things triggers then the ventilation goes into emergency mode two baffles open either end of the house and a 630 cubic meter/hr pump triggers blowing in the top of the house and runs until 30 mins after the alarm is cancelled then everything closes. We have a Russian 8.5Kw wood stove, this feature has been activated a few times until the mrs learned that shutting the ventilation down while there is still embers in the fire really doesn't work the way she wants.

Water leaks detector in every wet area if 5 mm water occurs on the floor then the water supply for that section is cut off.

Water leak in the cellar where the hot water tank is then the sump pump is activated and the main supply stop cock is closed.

Any of these things trigger then a warning is sent to various people. All valves go closed if there is a power failure.

The lighting side of things it is more useful so you don't have to run wires everywhere to power remote led strips, dispersed activation points and change the requirements for time of day. I agree the funny colours are a bit of gimmick and a bit of a waste of cash for me.

The water leak stuff I fitted to my brother in laws washing machine area it saved the day within 6 months of fitting it when it started dumping water everywhere and they were out.

So the smart consumer stuff which is what I class the music and lighting side of things is one side of things, the building and safety protection side of things is another which doesn't save energy per say but does protect things.
Must admit the first time after I had set up the CO emergency system was a bit of eye opener for me. I had tested it thought well that's nice. But I heard the window getting shut down stairs by the mrs and then 10 mins a change in air pressure as the pump kicked in at full blast and the alarm went off. 2 mins later the alarm cancelled and after 30 the motor cut out. DId make me wonder what levels we had been subjected to before. Much to some peoples frustration its impossible to stop it. So the pump blasting for 30 mins stops corner cutting with the fire.

I can remember as a kid various floodings and incidents which cost a fair amount of time and cash to sort out. If the smart protection stuff prevents me having to replace a floor or deal with a flood the cash I have spent on it will have been worth it. I haven't lowered the quality of the water installations etc all copper instead of the PVC hosing just the same as the stuff from my childhood which had extremely rare events. The BIL's and SIL's pvc setup which the local plumbers assured them was the modern best thing for the job seems to have something need tweaked and tightened every 6 months or so to cure leaks. I am quiet happy having old school copper setup and the smart leak protection stuff.

Oh a link to a paper on security concerns of smart meters

https://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rja14/Papers/JSAC-draft.pdf

ShyTorque
4th Nov 2018, 08:44
Not a good idea in our house, would go dark for 4 days a month!

Round here (where there are two women in the house) sparks might fly! :E

Mr Optimistic
4th Nov 2018, 08:59
Why do people bother with all this stuff? A switch on the wall works fine here. What next, sented candles or those asthma inducing socket mounted air fresheners? The world's going to the dogs 😁

Jetstream67
4th Nov 2018, 09:06
https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/640x1136/80b93b05_3964_4339_8ebf_5d6b4040656f_3b14a2888e032efd26aa6ba a1cb115e9f5a61e32.png
I understand the attraction of smart-toys and some remote control applications do sound appealing. However my passing interest in smart thermostats died when I saw a FAQ full of issues my old-trusty thermostat will never have (and therefore won't give me a hot or freezing house just because IT fails)

VP959
4th Nov 2018, 09:12
What happens to all this stuff in a few years time, when a new generation of smart phones comes out and none of the older stuff will work on them? It's bound to happen, just as it has with software and PCs. My perfectly good, couple of year old scanner stopped working when Windows 7 came out, as it was "no longer supported". The result was the scanner was scrap.

The flip side is that when we recently sold our old house I had to replace a couple of slightly damaged sockets and a cracked light switch. Despite the old ones being over 40 years old I found near-identical new ones in one of the local DIY sheds and fitted them pretty easily; same screw hole locations, near identical appearance.

How many of these smart bulbs, switches or whatever are going to still have spares readily available in 40 years time?

Pontius Navigator
4th Nov 2018, 09:34
Our council replaced Sodium, which I believe is a 'good' colour for night time, with LED. They have and unnaturally hard white light, worse the light pattern on the ground was a grid of squares.

LED wise I bought a load from a local supplier, these have a wide light dispersion as there are lots of small nodules that scatter the light. Had them for 4-5 years. Not seen any available commercially. The cool white were brilliant in the garage and utility.

Gertrude the Wombat
4th Nov 2018, 09:49
What happens to all this stuff in a few years time, when ...
... the supplier goes bust, or simply can't be arsed to run the servers any more (as has happened already with some smart TVs).

tescoapp
4th Nov 2018, 10:22
Apart from the nest stuff all my stuff is through my own Linux server with a Raspberry Pie as backup. Per say its not linked to any provider but myself.

I agree that needing a cloud service to function is pointless. Also not planning for internet break down is also pointless with the safety stuff.

The remote switches I have been using for a good 20 odd years starting with the old GSM text switches turning the heating on and off. Still working.

The alarm stuff because of the nest cloud thing I have done via a microphone next to the cellar alarm. The alarms goes and the microphone triggers when the noise is above 110 db its pretty much instantaneous.

The controlling the lights is just the top of the iceberg when it comes to smart homes.

Also doing things by wifi is also a bit stupid if you don't have to. Cat 6 cable it or stick a 1mm 3 core cable in if its ebus. Don't use anything that requires battery's apart from backup.

Gertrude the Wombat
4th Nov 2018, 10:32
Also doing things by wifi is also a bit stupid if you don't have to. Cat 6 cable it or stick a 1mm 3 core cable in if its ebus.
Or proper fire resistant cabling if you're serious about the fire detection bits.

Pontius Navigator
4th Nov 2018, 10:48
I use a number of plug in sockets for table lamps which give flexibility as I can use the sockets for other things. I haven't tried to set up remote switching but they are great for programming etc.

Apart from when my home network went down. Had to go round switch off each device individually 😡

BehindBlueEyes
4th Nov 2018, 11:00
Reading all your replies with fascination - it’s even more complicated than I thought.

So, to put it simply; I can’t just buy an R63 reflector Edison screw smart bulb for my porch without a ‘bridge’ to enable my phone to talk to it?? :ugh:

Mr Optimistic
4th Nov 2018, 11:13
And I thought I was a worrier.

Pontius Navigator
4th Nov 2018, 11:19
My Son in Law has gone the whole hog changing light and power sockets. If I decided to go the bridge route I know who to ask.

tescoapp
4th Nov 2018, 11:34
Depends on the area and what load its carrying. Both of those applications its 5V and low current so its a bit pointless as if a fire can take it out then the whole structure is going up.

Fire detection is battery backup and can operate independently when they are solo, no connection power or wifi required. No requirement to have a special connections to the mains.

The detectors are lifed anyway at 10 years and you get a report every month on battery state which as I have the mains version only gets brought on line for test for 5 seconds every day. The battery is good for a year in the battery version. The whole system starts nagging for a test every month via the app. Hit the test now button it all goes off and 30 mins later things are back to normal.

As most people have a crappy battery 10 quid beeper which gets hit with a broom or table cloth waved at it when it goes off, this thing has a button you hit which turns off the smoke detector bit but leaves on the IR detector and the CO when you accidentally set the kitchen one off. Gives you 10 mins for the smoke to clear which is not a problem for me as the ventilation clears it in seconds. I may reduce the length of time the blower operates for after a period of experience. Not using fire resistant cabling on there own radial from the mains box for my detectors carries an extremely low risk and not worth the cost of installing.

To be honest it did play on my mind quiet a bit about pumping so much air into the house to clear CO in the event that it was a fire but then again it gets rid of the smoke and gasses and keeps the exit routes visible down side its loads of o2. Which a thought has just come to me I might get it to trigger the LED lighting strips under the stair case rails to light the escape route. In the 6 months its been triggered 4 times twice for fire embers CO and twice due to doing DIY work and it was most impressive blasting the dust out the place and dropping the CO level. I think my greatest threat is CO and its removal quickly is more beneficial than the down side of supplying o2 to a fire and its likely to happen way more than a fire.. If we didn't have that Russian stove log burner it wouldn't be such a factor and the emergency venting wouldn't be as it is.

On the above mussing I am more than welcome to advice and comments as I am not a pro firefighter it just seems CO is a greater threat to my family descending the stairs into high concentrations of it than the whole house going up quickly and being trapped upstairs. Doesn't matter how often you tell people that descending into unkown contaminated areas can kill you without anything be visible they will still do it. There is windows to jump out of, might look at getting an escape rope for the two bedrooms.

I can’t just buy an R63 reflector Edison screw smart bulb for my porch without a ‘bridge’ to enable my phone to talk to it

No you can't just now but I am sure eventually there will be a wifi version instead of ZigBee mesh but it will be quiet large. But there is other options I have given, I suspect you want the light to come on when before or as you open the door with your hands full and don't want to put down stuff and search for a switch in the dark.
If that's the case then a motion detector will do the job, you can have an external trigger that turns it on as you approach the door or internal when it turns it on as you open it. Or both so when you approach the front it turns on from the inside. Biggest problem will be you need to leave the main light switch on all the time and allow it to do its job. If you turn the switch off on the wall the power will be off and it won't come on.

VP959
4th Nov 2018, 11:47
Where's the CO (carbon monoxide) coming from, though? That would really seriously worry me, as CO can only normally come from incomplete combustion, and things like boilers and gas fires that are possible sources should have flues and adequate ventilation to positively prevent CO being released into the interior of the house. Badly set-up gas cookers might possibly generate a bit of CO from incomplete combustion, but again the solution should be to fix the faulty appliance rather than ventilate the space after a faulty appliance has generated enough CO to give a cause for concern.

Our house is airtight and positively ventilated with a mechanical ventilation and heat recovery system, with ducts and terminals in every room, and we've found that this massively improves the air quality, as well as significantly reducing the heating required. I monitor relative humidity and CO2 concentration, really just to get a feel for how well the ventilation system is working, and have found that there is a pretty close correlation between RH and CO2. close enough that just monitoring RH would be good enough as an indicator of indoor air quality.

Mr Optimistic
4th Nov 2018, 11:48
I wouldn't worry that much about CO in a 'dynamic' situation. A high enough concentration would be flammable! Smoke is the problem I think.

tescoapp
4th Nov 2018, 12:43
https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/600x449/phoca_thumb_l_oik_160_30194ce28e46868bcefe337d4f10b65cf47964 0b.jpg
I agree in a dynamic situation, and if there is enough o2 it won't be formed anyway, its this bloody fire and sealed house which puts me in unknown territory for me.


I would normally go with have a look what the solution has been from the last 100 years because the Russian stove fires have been used for century's and people don't automatically die when one is lit.

Thing is the house sealing until the last 15 or so years has been more like a tea bag than a plastic bag in the local housing. Now they still want the stove because wood is the cheapest main form of domestic heating. Another change is that the fire also used to have a big pot of water strapped to it which dealt with humidity issues in winter.

They seal the place so its modern air tight, not a problem, use a heat exchanger for ventilation so the air isn't stale. But then your pulling in air with 60% humidity at -15 and heating it up and its humidity drops to 5%, because the water boiler is gone nothing to bring it up. Q wood work lasting for 2 winters before it turns into firewood.

Then the fire.... the stove mister issues a safety cert for them every couple of years that they have been cleaned and the brickwork is safe. In the report it gives a volume of air required while running it. Mine is 530 cubic meters per hour. You have a choice then of opening the window (if you don't your ears feel it in under 5 mins and the fire goes out) or you sort out some other method of ventilation because the heat exchanger puts in the same amount as it squirts out. The bils house you don't need to open anything when the fire is on.

So your only choice is to have a secondary ventilation method which can supply the required air. Because you don't really want air at -15 or lower free access to your house through a single source when the fire is not on you have an engineering problem because it destroys the whole point having the heat exchanger in the first place.

My solution is a powered automatic baffle with a blower after it. Turn the power on for the blower and the baffle opens and the house can pull its own air in. Turn the blower on and it positively pressurises the house forcing air up the chimney which has very nicely dealt with smoke coming out of the fire while the flu warms up.

Problem occurs when the system is turned off and the baffle closed you end up with a sealed ground floor with the air from the heat exchanger being pulled from the kitchen ceiling and bathroom and pumped into the bedrooms which is low volume during the sleep period.. There has also been issues with ash buckets generating CO in the local area, there are couple of deaths a year usually of pissed up men sleeping on the couch down stairs once houses have been "done up" and sealed. Its this mixing of new and old technology and methods which is the issue. I must admit I do like the fire, but the tradesmen all very good at there individual areas and do things as they have been trained to do but there is only one person looking at how it all interacts with each other and that's me. And I freely admit with some of it I am making it up as I go along. This solution with the CO detectors is one of them. I have asked the trades men but their solution is to stick a 110mm open pipe with ventilator grill through the wall which defeats the purpose of sealing the place. But apparently there are loads of these rebuilds with these fires about and there are issues with them all and the solution is leave the window open with the fire on and replace the woodwork every 2 years. The old traditional way of doing it was to light the fire in the morning to boil the water up and then the heat in the brick work kept the house warm all day after it went out. Thus doors opening an closing while the house was moving dealt with the problem and it had been out for hours by the time everyone went to bed. Tea bag house sealing meant no requirement for a 110mm vent pipe to keep things safe.

To be honest I don't trust my loved ones to leave the window open until the fire is completely out and the danger of CO production is passed. -15 air blowing a gale through an open window all night will be to much of a temptation to shut it when they go to bed.

BTW I have a cp3 mini humidifier plumbed in to deal with the humidity level.

BTW if you don't know what a Russian stove is I have attached a picture of one to the post. Our one also has a cooking plate as a secondary heat source which is a 50cm by 1 meter two ring cast iron plate heated by a fire under it. The flue winds its way up a wall behind it to the chimney stack heating the wall.

finncapt
4th Nov 2018, 15:24
Tesco.

I live in Finland and have a, Finnish, fireplace very similar to your picture (stone not brick).

We have a triple glazed, wooden house which is sealed in your parlance.

There is a ventilation system, with heat recovery, to keep the air fresh.

I am a bit mystified as to why you think the fire will go out if you do not have some additional source of air as mine certainly does not - many Finnish houses have the same arrangement.

It is important not to close the air off (damper?) until one is sure that the fire is completely out and we always leave the damper partially open when going to bed at night and only close it in the morning on getting up.

The biggest problem is when first lit after the summer and we prewarm it with candles for perhaps a week before first lighting - if we haven't used it for a while in winter we will also prewarm it before lighting.

Most Finnish do not have a humidifier but I tend to keep a large bowl of water under the bed as I find the house very dry.

Being used to drafty pre 1900 UK houses, I do keep the bedroom window ajar, even when -30 outside, much to the amusement of my Finnish wife?

spInY nORmAn
4th Nov 2018, 16:33
I've done a fair bit of home automation this past year and have had no problems with Sengled brand smart bulbs. I find them quite affordable and reliable. A hub is required and they have one that will support a large number of bulbs throughout your home if you decide to go that way. You can either use their app or link their app to Google Home or Alexa for voice control. I use a Samsung Smartthings hub as it has great compatibility with a wide array of smart home products. This Samsung hub replaces the need for the dedicated Sengled hub and I use it with my thermostat and smart door lock as well as my lighting. I found a Sengled starter kit on Amazon that will work in the UK (I'm in Canada). It's still GBP70 but you do get the hub and two bulbs. If you shopped around you could probably source them individually to get just one bulb and the hub in order to reduce costs. Here's the kit I found: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0716KSPTK/ref=emc_b_5_t Good luck!

tescoapp
4th Nov 2018, 16:43
It originally did go out with the window shut hence my starting to look into it. the change in air pressure was also ear popping alarming.
The chimney has the dual pipe, one up and one down ventilation shaft as per the stove misters design and its the same in my Finnish brother inlaws place. And air does come down it.
He also doesn't have additional ventilation and his fire doesn't go out either. His place is the same as yours only difference with mine is that
my floor is solid concrete on top of insulation foam (this was done before I got the place). His is wooden and suspended with vents through the foundation to under under it.

The mrs shutting the window and the CO alarm going off really got my juices flowing.

It is important not to close the air off (damper?) until one is sure that the fire is completely out and we always leave the damper partially open when going to bed at night and only close it in the morning on getting up.

I agree completely but it would take a change in living philosophy for that to happen. I still haven't cracked the concept that the house doesn't heat up any faster with the thermostat set at max than it does when its set at the wanted temperature with them. The old way was shut everything to keep the heat in before you went to bed.

The humidity thing is mainly me, last couple of years I have suffered and needed false tears. Even the houses with people in them every day seem to have problems with wood cracking over two winters. The really old wood seems to be able to handle it but the modern stuff just gets hammered and fancy floor laminates have gapping cracks through them second winter. They use various methods including portable humidifiers which need someone daily/hourly to top them up. And they are still not very effective. I did the calcs for 300meters cubed an hour through the heat exchanger and at -25 and 50% outside humidity when the air was swapped out the house it needed 3Kg of water an hour to bring the humidity up to 40% from the 5% it would be at after heating to 16 deg C with the house in unoccupied mode. I plan on one air change per day unoccupied at lunch time when the outside air is at its max temp . Normal operation is 3 changes while being lived in during day and 1 change during night time. Temp at 22 deg would require 4kg an hour during the day and 2kg at night. the heat exchanger also does humidity swapping as well and I haven't included it in my calcs so it should work out less and the cp3 pumps out 4kg an hour. To be honest it came as a bit of a shock how much water actually is required to keep the humidity up. Its not surprising that these portable buzzing puffer things with a ltr tank don't cut the mustard. And they are not cheap either. 10 of them covers the cp3 which is standalone automatic regulator which dumps its water when not in use for 24 hours to stop you getting legionaries disease and other nasty's. Possibly over kill or might not work they way I intended I will only see if my floors making it past the second winter and if my eyes don't feel like sandpaper in the morning before putting the tears in. They don't seem to notice and neither do the finnish inlaws. Coming from a moist Scotland I bloody do.

The cost of the humidifier works out a 3.5 euro per square meter of wood work in the house which is wooden wall panels and wooden floors and that doesn't include furniture. Electric about 45 euro a season. Flooring is 20 odd euro a square meter and the wall boards 15. The sister in laws place was done up with similar woodwork this summer and I am already seeing cracks appearing and its not even December yet. She also has one of these stoves which is fired up when people are in it, but her place is heated by air heatpump and blowers where as mine is underfloor heating and ground pump. My house wood work will be going in spring and then next winter the heating will be going on after its breathed a bit and the humidifier is on line only then will the heating go on properly.

Loose rivets
5th Nov 2018, 01:29
Can anyone help. I have a difficult situation which is causing considerable distress. Since the house is not mine I can't just experiment with solutions.

I'm renting a modern-ish detached house with a Potterton Profile thing in a cupboard in the kitchen. The flue goes straight out of the wall to a coaxial arrangement just protruding from the bricks. The gas from that is very hot, so the boiler is probably quite old despite looking modern.

My problem is that when I have the boiler on the main room stinks of fumes. Occasionally the kitchen suddenly is bad. Yes, I've called the agents and the very conscientious young chap put his test gear inside and outside but was only concerned with the danger of the gas not the smell. A passionate non-smoker, I concede I'm probably more sensitive to the problem than most. My mouth feels as though I'm tasting the output and I imagine I can feel the stuff going up my nose. It is plain horrible.

The outlet is 44" from the top of a pair of patio doors which do not seem to allow draughts. However, if the curtains are drawn and I put my head into the gap the smell is very much stronger. With the wind in a favourable direction there's no problem but most winds are @$^@$^ unfavourable.

Added to all this, the carpet was cleaned prior to me moving in and that has caused a lot of problems as well.

With contemporaries dropping like flies, I really value having a heart-lung fitness folks 40 years younger would die for. I really don't want to F- mess this up with bad air.

I guess the question is, just what comes out of the flue that could be so noxious, while supposedly being safe? Is anyone else affected in this way? I've got a clean blue flame yet within minutes of lighting the house smells.

The agent said something about an extension to the outlet, but the heating guy said it was a bit old for that. Totally at a loss since I'm trapped in a deal for months to come with an owner from Hell.

jimtherev
5th Nov 2018, 17:09
We had what could have been the same problem in our North London house, but on the advice of our next-door neighbour, whose bedroom window was a just-legal distance from the flue, required the heating engineer to fit a flue extension to the boiler he had just fitted. This was a vertical pipe which discharged in our case at about gutter level.
Worth having a word with a local (gas-safe registered) heating engineer?

tescoapp
5th Nov 2018, 18:41
agree with jim its the same with grey water smells, Needs to get the flue vertical and the outlet above the lower roof the higher the better.

I would buy a CO alarm as well. The smell will be the combustion gases coming back in and that will recirculate back into the boiler. Which means there will be a lack of O2 and CO produced.

If the alarm goes off the owner will have to get it fixed.

The guy that tested will more than likely only have done a leak test for supply gas.

Mr Optimistic
5th Nov 2018, 19:05
Tescoapp. If you are burning wood then can't see much of a problem. We have a thermometer on the flue to avoid chimney fires and lots of sweeping. If the fire has air inlets at the top and bottom of the doors, always keep the top ones open if burning wood. Leaving the room internal door slightly ajar should help. Building regs require a certain number of air changes per hour anyway, for condensation reasons if nothing else. Don't the windows have vent strips?

tescoapp
7th Nov 2018, 13:09
just installed a CO alarm in the sister in laws place. Came back to the thing screaming after the mrs locked up and shut all the flues and windows after the Russian stove was on for an hour this morning.

4 hours later when I came to the house and it was screaming, After opening all the doors and windows to get it to cancel I had a look in the stove and there was maybe 3 or 4 embers at the back of it.

NO vent strips on the windows in either house. I was starting to think I was being paranoid about it from the comments on this thread.

The sparkie was in today sorting out a distribution box for the kitchen. And we had a play in my house with shutting windows with the blower off line and basically a fingers worth of embers glowing in the fire and the flue open. The low level automatic baffles opening when triggered. The CO alarm triggered after less than 5 mins and continued to sound until a window upstairs was opened. After it was ventilated and the alarm cancelled we did it again with the blower online. The alarm triggered again after 5 mins but with the blower online it cancelled after 2 mins of the air getting pumped in.

Think I am going to stay paranoid and leave the blower and baffles as they are.

Only other thing is I have just ordered 3 nest fire CO alarms for the sparkie from the Uk as payment for the work done. This concept of the fire alarm next to the bedroom telling you that there is a fire in the cellar is a novelty over here. And he was more than happy to issue the safety cert (which I think I am one of only two people in the area to bother to get. The other guy is German) .

finncapt
7th Nov 2018, 17:02
Tesco.
You have got me quite interested about your difficulties.
If it's any help my stove is a Hopealoimu fireplace with baking oven. (hopealoimu.fi)
The models have changed a bit, mine is 20 years old, and mine approximates to the Kevo TLU2-S.
I have tried to find the structural plans from when it was built but, so far, have not been succesful.
As I said before I have no problems unless I were to fully close the damper before it goes out - seems to me the sensible thing to do.
I bought the house (2002) when it was about two years old and have just followed my instincts in how to operate the fireplace.

I am of the impression that you do not live in Finland, although you appear to have connections, or I would suggest that you visited me to see my set up if it would help.

Alan

tescoapp
7th Nov 2018, 18:11
its not the fire's that are causing the problem. They are doing what fires do. They both have the legal paper work and safety check. Both in mine and the sister inlaws, She has a suspended wood floor with cellar under it which has a 1' square access to outside which rats get in through. But... its new tight fitting floor boards.

With the windows open then everything is good.

Its when they are shut in a sealed house that it all seems to go pair shaped extremely quickly. The locals are used to living in none sealed houses with tea bag ventilation characteristics.

I have similar instincts with operating the fire and the flues...….. I just don't trust the rest of the family not to run the fires as they have for the last 30 years.

To be honest the sparkie who is in his mid thirties was more than a bit surprised as well and he is born and breed in the area. His place isn't done up..... yet.... but he has plans and he has a couple of kids as well. Its not a very healthy and safety culture, basically if you do your house up and then die of CO poisoning its tough luck. The planning permission for my place (the SIL didn't bother) took 3 days and 60 euro, I thought was just a structural and land use approval, but its not its full electrical, ventilation, and sewage, structural and land use. There was nothing in the plans about the first 3 items. Going to go have a Wiese beer with the Kraut and see what his views on the whole thing are.

ExSp33db1rd
8th Nov 2018, 07:43
I read some where that the New Zealanders were going back to tungsten filaments

I hope you're right, but I haven't seen that - yet. I'm getting to the end of my supply of old fashioned tungsten 75W and 100W bulbs that I stockpiled when "Auntie Helen" banned the import some years ago, in favour of all the "sustainable" alternatives mentioned in this thread. Don't want, don't need, to know. It all used to be easy and understandable, now one needs a passing 5 year old to explain EVERYTHING. World's Gone Mad,

funfly
8th Nov 2018, 16:15
I remember my mother used to have a Y shaped attachment to the centre light in the room with a bulb in one side and she plugged the electric iron in the other side.
Wonder if you can still get them?

Pontius Navigator
8th Nov 2018, 17:10
I remember my mother used to have a Y shaped attachment to the centre light in the room with a bulb in one side and she plugged the electric iron in the other side.
Wonder if you can still get them?
Car boot sales. I sold a 5 amp adaptor into which you could plug 13 amp appliances. The light one of which you speak was wonderful as you could Daisy chain several.

jimtherev
8th Nov 2018, 23:35
Car boot sales. I sold a 5 amp adaptor into which you could plug 13 amp appliances. The light one of which you speak was wonderful as you could Daisy chain several.

Warmed the house from the overloaded lighting cable as well.:=

ExSp33db1rd
9th Nov 2018, 07:20
​​​​​​​I remember my mother used to have a Y shaped attachment to the centre light in the room with a bulb in one side and she plugged the electric iron in the other side.
Wonder if you can still get them?

i still have one in the garage ... and... NO !

G-CPTN
9th Nov 2018, 08:55
You would be able to get a Y-adaptor here:-

Wardhaughs of Hexham (http://www.wardhaughsofhexham.co.uk)

VitalSpark
9th Nov 2018, 13:09
I remember my mother used to have a Y shaped attachment to the centre light in the room with a bulb in one side and she plugged the electric iron in the other side.
Wonder if you can still get them?

Those in the US can still get them - can't post links but look on amazon for "Light Socket to Plug Adapter". They even have one that comes with an additional adapter for UK plugs... ;-)

cee cee
9th Nov 2018, 14:22
Then there's the claimed increase in efficiency . Given energy reduction , in whatever form, is and has been for some time, very much a Holy Grail, along with cost savings in mind, how is it, we wonder, manufacturers haven't been sending convoys of cash in transit vans to queue outside your door in order to obtain this benefit for their products ?.

Actually they have (not queued up outside VP959 offering loads of cash, but rather) implemented them in all sorts of places for the power savings.

Some you did not notice, such as in PC power supplies and mobile phone chargers. Pick up a 20-year-old Nokia wall wart and feel the heft. It is around 5 times the weight of a modern one. The difference in weight is from the iron core transformer that is now replaced by a switching power supply, making the new ones lighter and more efficient.

Other uses maybe outside of your experience. Very long distance or under-sea transmission lines now use high voltage DC to reduce losses (as well as having other advantages), I am not a power engineer, so I do not know for sure, but I vaguely recall learning (three decades ago) that it was the difficulty in stepping up DC voltages that hindered the use of HVDC at that time.

Ancient Observer
9th Nov 2018, 14:34
FFS
Life was so much simpler when one went to Woolworths for a few light bulbs.

gemma10
9th Nov 2018, 20:32
I remember my mother used to have a Y shaped attachment to the centre light in the room with a bulb in one side and she plugged the electric iron in the other side.
Wonder if you can still get them?

Brilliant idea if you want to use an iron without an earth connection.

ExSp33db1rd
10th Nov 2018, 01:57
Life was so much simpler when one went to Woolworths for a few light bulbs.

Yes, 3d or 6d.

tescoapp
10th Nov 2018, 12:57
I seem to remember it was a weekly trip to woollys as a kid to get light bulbs. Closely followed by burning your hand and getting blinded replacing them. Good thing to run out because you got sweets at woollys and the bulb was cool by the time you got back.

I haven't bought bulbs for over a year.