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.
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
|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
(Continuous use, manufacturer supplied value)
|8,000 hours||25,000 hours|
(when used for
|3 years 7 months 25 days||11 years 4 months 30 days|
|No. of times the CFL needs to be replaced during the LED
|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):
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.
Watch the show to see the discussion and more conclusions.