It seems like these should exist - but my searches (e.g., "led replacement for EMD") produce lots of noise but nothing that looks like the right bulb.

Since the definition of an EMD lamp includes the wattage, I'm wondering if there is a better way to specify what I'm looking for - are there standards for the size and pin arrangement that I could search on instead? Or is there some reason why equivalent bulbs aren't being made with LEDs?

I'm not concerned about differences in the quality of the light output between a true EMD and an LED equivalent - I'd be using these for work lights and in situations where reducing heat output or bulb longevity trump light quality.

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    I think you mean Tota-Light? The only TOTO light I've ever heard of is a UV light used in high end TOTO toilets, ostensibly to kill bacteria. – Michael C Feb 17 '20 at 20:52
  • Thanks, I do mean the Lowel Tota-Light. – dlu Feb 17 '20 at 22:17

Though the way they work is different, EMD lamps are a lot like classic fluorescent lamps in that they require unique external electrical components for them to work properly. Thus the fixtures that support them, often called Tota-Lights, have unique connectors so that only the right type of bulb is used.

LED lights do not need the specialized electrical components inside Tota-Lights that are required by EMD lamps. In fact, the wiring would probably need to be modified to support LED lights.

If you wish to replace EMD Tota-Lights with LED lighting, you're going to need to replace the fixtures as well as the bulbs. But be prepared to pay considerably more for them. They are rated for 50,000 hours, as opposed to about 300 hours for the 750W tungsten bulbs.

  • I've never taken a Tota-Light apart, but I wouldn't think that the internals would be much different than any other incandescent light fixture. I'd be surprised if any rewiring were necessary. The EMD lamps are "normal" incandescent bulbs - albeit with a different arrangement of contacts, they don't require a ballast like a fluorescent fixture. – dlu Feb 17 '20 at 22:22
  • Who said they need a ballast? I said they are specialized lighting that needs more than two bare wires and an on-off switch, and they do. It may just be protective circuitry due to the high amp rating and the heat generated by the bulbs, but there is definitely more in there than a desk lamp (which allows you to unscrew a tungsten bulb and screw in an LED bulb) has. – Michael C Feb 18 '20 at 0:37

I tried modding a similar device once (1000W 220V version in my case), lessons learned (they are likely to apply to these tota lights too):

The bulbs used in that kind of hotlight almost resemble those used in construction site style portable floodlights, and inexpensive replacements will most likely be designed for the latter. There will be the following problems, however, making these an imperfect replacement:

  • LED bulbs for construction lights will likely have lousy CRI, lousy driver circuits causing flicker and banding.

  • The socket can be an inexact fit (even if it is officially R7s), and will require a bit of hacking (only do that if you are confident about electrical modifications!!!) - the bulbs for these seem to be a little longer so people do not accidentally, ignorantly or maliciously put a hotlight bulb (double the power and not rated for long duty cycle!) into a construction light and cause a fire.

  • The reflector will be optically designed to work with a thin filament shaped light source, not a LED array, lighting can be very uneven

  • LED bulbs that can match a 750W lamp in sheer output power will be hard to find if at all. A LED array that small and powerful will have a hard time dealing with its self heating - even if it is 90% efficient, 75W of waste heat in an enclosed fixture of that size would cook LEDs.

If you are handling this style of hotlights as they are, be aware of the general safety risks with these:

  • They get hot. Very hot. Uncomfortably hot. Sht on fire hot.

  • Heed all instructions regarding duty cycle, esp if there is no fan in the device

  • When handling bulbs, make sure they are cool - and clean them well (eg with alcohol) after or before installing, handle only with a grease and grunge free(!!!) cloth once they are cleaned. Greasy fingerprints, grunge, moisture etc can result in the bulb bursting while heating. Make sure you know where any flammable cleaning sh... is before powering the lamp up!

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