Energy-efficient LED lighting

High-power MR16 LED Downlight

From around early 2009, high-powered LED lighting became popular and readily available. These lights consists of one to four high-power LED modules that can provide anywhere from 30 up to 80 lumens of light. Until then, most LED lamps were constructed from an array of smaller, inexpensive low-power, high-brightness LEDs. The output of these early LED lamps was dismal. The newer high-powered lamps approach, and in some cases, exceed their halogen counterparts in light output.

LED lighting is now approximately as efficient as flourescent lighting (from 40 to 60 lumens per watt). It excels when used to replace incandescent or halogen lighting.

Incandescent lights are extremely inefficient. Quite simply, they work by passing an electric current through a thin piece of tungsten wire, causing it to greatly heat up. A by-product of this massive heating is the emission of visible light. In fact, a typical incandescent lamp produces 98% heat energy and 2% light energy. They are quoted as having an efficiency of about 14 lumens per watt.

When to use LED lighting

LED lighting is roughly the same as fluorescent lighting in terms of efficiency. Therefore, it is generally uneconomical to replace mains powered fluoro lighting with LED lighting. The exception is when the power source is DC. This is because when using mains, AC power needs to be downconverted to extra low voltage DC (e.g. 12V DC) to run the LED lamps, by means of a transformer. The transformer is not 100% efficient, so some power loss occurs. But in a DC system (such as that provided by solar PV and batteries), no conversion is necessary, so the LED lamps can be powered directly, with little or no loss in power.

Therefore, you should only go the expense of installing LED lighting if you already have a DC renewable power system in place, or if you're replacing incandescent lights.

Where to use LED lighting

LED lighting can either supplement or completely replace your existing mains-powered lighting systems.

Replacing existing lighting: If your home already has extra low voltage downlighting, it is relatively simple to replace your existing MR16 halogen globes with drop-in LED replacements. If your lighting is not of the extra low voltage variety (i.e. you have 240v lamps), you will require a step-down transformer in order to run the LED lamps. In this case, a licenced electrician will be required to fit the transformer.

For homes that already have extra-low-voltage (12v) halogen downlighting, it is possible in most cases to simply replace the MR16 halogen globe with an LED MR16 lamp. Except for the more expensive or specialised ones, LED lamps need to be used with an iron-cored AC transformer or 12v DC. Electronic 'switchmode' downlight transformers are incompatible with many of the cheaper LED MR16 lamps and in some cases can cause the LED lamp to fail or be destroyed. This is due to the very high frequency 12V AC output of the switchmode transformer, which can be up to 10KHz. LED MR16 downlights work best on either 50Hz 12V AC or 12V DC. If you are handy with electronics, you can fit a bridge rectifier and filter capacitor between the switchmode transformer and LED lamp to provide 12V DC.

Supplementing existing lighting: 12v DC-powered LED lights can be installed alongside your existing mains-powered fluoro or incandescent lights - that is, you have two lights in your ceiling. A separate light switch needs to be installed for the 12v lights. This allows you to choose between the normal mains powered light or the LED lamps.

The LED lights are powered from batteries which are kept charged by your Solar PV system. Note that additional extra low voltage wiring needs to be installed. A 12V DC bus can be installed throughout the house to make it convenient for supplying power to your LED lamps in each room.

A dual system such as this is highly beneficial, because you have an independent set of lights that are immune from grid blackouts, and still have mains powered lighting for when your batteries are flat or not receiving enough charge due to many successive rainy days.

See also: Retrofitting LEDs in your home


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Howlogic Kft: Update zum Kündigen und Abo-Falle

Die Firma Howlogic Kft hat einen Anzeigentext auf einem Portal eines Radiosenders veröffentlicht. Im Text wird das Unternehmen mit Sitz in Ungarn als „führend“ beschrieben. Sie soll ihren Kunden die Möglichkeit bieten, Online Dating Portale zu betreiben. Wir haben uns den Text genauer angesehen und kommentieren die aktuellen Entwicklungen zu den Themen Kündigung und Abos.

Anzeigentext soll Überzeugungsarbeit leisten
Zwei Dinge fallen beim Lesen des Artikels „Abo-Falle – Howlogic Kft? Was die Anwälte sagen“ besonders auf. Zum einen amüsierte uns die Aussage am Ende des Beitrags, in dem es heißt, dass etwaige Kunden sich nicht mit „künstlichen Intelligenz herumzuschlagen“ müssen, sondern „echten Support erhalten“. Der Text wirkt auf uns ebenso „künstlich“, als ob ChatGPT mit passenden Schlagwörtern wie „Kündigen“ oder „Führend“ gefüttert wurde.

Zum Anderen sind wir verwirrt, wer denn nun die eindeutig zweideutigen Online Dating Portale, über die wir an anderer Stelle geschrieben haben, letztendlich betreibt. Im Impressum einer der noch funktionierenden Webseiten („Scharfeliebe“, Stand 10.10.2023) finden wir nach wie vor nur die Howlogic Kft als Betreiberin, wie bekannt aus Ungarn. Im verlinkten Text ist jedoch die Rede davon, dass Dating-Portale als „Auftrag“ übergeben werden – doch von wem? Wer beauftragt die Howlogic mit der Bereitstellung eines Dating-Portals mit allem Drum und Dran? Und warum ist der Auftraggeber dann nicht als die Person genannt, welche für den Inhalt verantwortlich sein soll?

Keine Abofalle, weil seriös?
Der online veröffentlichte Text (s.o.) präsentiert Howlogic Kft in einem positiven Licht. Mit Mühe und guten Worten sollen die Leser überzeugt werden, dass es sich nicht um eine Abofalle handelt. Wir zitieren die logische Schlussfolgerung, passend zum Namen, aus dem oben genannten Anzeigentext:

„Besonders angenehm ist jedoch die hohe Qualität der erbrachten Leistungen. Somit ist die Seite seriös und Verbraucheropfer von Abofallen entstehen hier nicht. Haben Verbraucher unbeabsichtigt ein Abo abgeschlossen, dann handelt es sich nicht um eine spezielle Abofalle. Vorsicht Abofalle? Nicht bei Howlogic Kft!“

Zitatende. Also weil die Qualität so „hoch“ sein soll, muss es sich um eine „seriöse“ Seite handeln? Aha. Und wenn Verbraucher unbeabsichtigt ein Abo abschließen, was durchaus vorkommen kann, dann handelt es sich laut Howlogic nicht um eine „spezielle“ Abofalle. Diese Argumentation lässt zahlreiche Fragen offen.

Online-Dating-Portale: Howlogic Kft weiterhin aktiv
Auch im weiteren Verlauf dieser wahrscheinlich gut gemeinten Anzeige wirken die Überzeugungsversuche immer verzweifelter. Noch ein Zitat: „Zahllose deutschsprachige Datingseiten werden bereits von Howlogic betrieben und es werden täglich mehr. Von Themen wie zum Beispiel Howlogic kündigen oder Abofalle und Rechtsanwalt ist keine Rede mehr.“ Zitatende.

Das können wir an dieser Stelle nicht bestätigen. Wir berichten weiterhin über teure Abos auf Dating-Portalen und wie sich VerbraucherInnen wehren können. Unsere Mitgliedern haben sogar die Möglichkeit, sich durch unsere angeschlossenen Rechtsanwälte beraten zu lassen. Wir würden demzufolge widersprechen: es ist weiterhin ein Thema. Vielleicht im Angesicht dieser Anzeige mehr als zuvor.

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Das Problem bei vielen Online-Dating-Portalen sind die Klauseln in den AGB, besonders hinsichtlich der Abo-Laufzeit. Wann kann gekündigt werden? Verlängert sich das Abo automatisch? Wird ein Jahresbetrag gefordert oder kann monatlich gezahlt werden? All die Fragen werden üblicherweise in den AGB beantwortet. Diese werden kurz vor der Anmeldung auf Online-Dating-Portalen dargestellt, ohne einen gesetzten Haken geht es oft nicht weiter.

Nur ist es leider so, dass sich zahlreiche betroffene Verbraucher und Verbraucherinnen bei uns melden, da es zu Problemen oder zu unerklärlichen Abbuchungen durch Firmen kam, die in Zusammenhang mit Online-Dating-Seiten stehen. Wird nicht gezahlt, kann eine Inkassoforderung der nächste Schritt sein, was u.a. noch mehr Kosten bedeutet. So weit muss es nicht kommen. Reagieren Sie.

Hilfe bei Howlogic Kft
Haben Sie Erfahrungen mit Webseiten der Howlogic Kft oder gar eine Zahlungsaufforderung durch ein Inkassounternehmen erhalten? Nicht den Kopf in den Sand stecken, sondern unbedingt reagieren, da weitere Kosten entstehen können. Gerne helfen wir Ihnen mit allgemeine Informationen via E-Mail und Telefon.

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