I have been waiting for about 10 years for them to make a replacement LED unit for our tungsten spots (IKEA) in the kitchen and bathroom, and I finally found some (LIDL) which seemed to fit the requirements nicely, so I bought a whole batch and rigged them up yesterday.
Our 2 systems are 12 volt and 20 watts each, and things go badly wrong with the transformer if you put anymore than three per line on it. I melted one by replacing a 20 watt tungsten with a 35 watt one, putting a total load of 75 watts on the feeble thing which is - I found out - only rated up to 60 watts max.
The LED replacements are 3 watts each - that is a huge power saving: 9 as opposed to 60 (I'm tempted to say 'do the maths', but they tell me it represents a 85% saving on the box).
These lights are designated as 'warm white', but there is no standard about warmth as yet, so all you can do is fit them and find out. Last night, ours proved too white, so today I am taking them all down and tinting the fronts with acrylic ink. This is a real bind, but since each unit is supposed to last for 25,000 hours, I will hopefully be dead before I have to repeat the procedure.
The other complication is that the frequency of LED light is totally different to tungsten, and this has nothing to do with brightness. The light from an LED is very sharp and clear - it makes glasses glister and sparkle, but if it is in the blue side of the spectrum, it appears very harsh and unforgiving. You know how candlelight is so conducive to a romantic dinner for two, whereas the lights in a mortuary are not? That's the difference in an extreme example.
Lighting is incredibly difficult to get right, especially if you live with H.I. The biggest compromise she has had to make in order to accept my change to LEDs is the fact that we will no longer have the little pink lines over the ceiling where some light escapes from above and gets filtered through the silvered backing of the glass units. That is what she likes more than almost anything else, and she is - I know - deeply gutted that it will no longer be like that.
When I told her that these pink lines will be a thing of the past, and that she must just get used to the idea for the sake of the 85% power saving, she said, "Typical man's way of looking at it". I suppose she is right - I love the idea of dramatic savings, but I also actually like LED frequency light.
I am not the type of person who switches their engines off at traffic lights though, and I have never been tempted to cruise downhill in neutral just to save about 3 pence worth of petrol. Did your father complain of finding the lights 'blazing away' in an unoccupied room of your family home?
I always buy cars with large engines (by British standards) and I tend to thrash them to the limit regardless of MPG. At the same time, I religiously put every scrap of waste paper in the recycling, even if it is only the little leaf which warns you that you only have six cigarette papers left.
I suppose that I could be described as enigmatically hypocritical.