The Handyguys Podcast - Working Together on that Honey Do List Home Energy Savings Tool tests

Led Bulbs

by The Handyguys

in Audio Podcasts, Radio, Video Podcasts

LED bulbs are the next generation of “green” lighting technology. The Handyguys talk about how LED Bulbs compare to CFLs and whether they are really friendly to the environment.

What is an LED bulb?

LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. LEDs have been around for a long time but only recently have become effective in lightbulbs. They use little electricity and can last a very long time. LEDs (the diodes) are very small elements that must be combined to produce one bulb that has an equivalent light output needed for a bulb. In addition to the diodes there must be electronic circuitry to control them.

LED Bulb

Advantages of LED Bulbs

Energy Consumption – The energy consumption is similar to that of CFL bulbs and much better than incandescent bulbs.

Dimmable – This is awesome, See a demonstration in the video. This is a huge advantage over a CFL.

Instant on – Truly instant on unlike a CFL. Its just like the real thing ;)

Long life – between three and ten times the life of a CFL.

Color – Great color temperature that matches perfectly with the old incandescent bulbs.

Safer – No mercury. Did you know CFLs have hazardous materials in them?

Disadvantages of LED Bulbs

High initial cost – Prices vary. $30 and up is typical. Some home centers have some for $40 and $50 depending on the style and light output.

Shape/style – The initial LEDs have odd shapes and look a bit weird. We expect things to look more conventional as time progresses.

Reliability – We do not know much about longterm reliability yet.

Is there a cost savings? Lets do some math

CFL LED BULB
Cost of each bulb $10.00 $31.00
Actual Wattage Used 15 Watt 12 Watt
Number of bulbs to be replaced 1 bulb 1 bulb
Electricity cost per year

(12ยข/kWh)

$3.94/year $3.15/year
Bulb Lifespan

(Continuous use, manufacturer supplied value)

8,000 hours 25,000 hours
Actual lifespan

(when used for
6 hours/day)

3 years 7 months 25 days 11 years 4 months 30 days
No. of times the CFL needs to be replaced during the LED
bulb’s lifetime
3 times -
Total annual cost(Cost of bulb(s) replaced in a year + Electricity in a year) $6.68/year $3.15/year
Time for the LED bulb to hit the break-even point:

5 years 11 months 14 days
Total savings with the LED bulb(After 11 years 4 months 30 days):

$19.25

Conclusions

There are a lot of ifs and assumptions to consider such as whether an LED will last its rated hours, will their price decrease and prices for energy. If energy prices stay stable then eventually an LED will pay for itself. Right now its not a compelling case. Saving $20 over 11 years is just too hard to justify for such a big initial cash layout.

If you decide the move to LED Bulbs is right for you we recommend buying your LED Bulbs online. Prices are a bit cheaper online, from us, at Amazon. Additionally, purchasing from Amazon by following our links helps us with a couple bucks of revenue.

Watch the show to see the discussion and more conclusions.

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