Today’s blog is on lighting. Now we all have probably heard about and seen the compact fluorescent lightbulb (CFL). All hotels have them installed, as they are businesses and CFLs save money! Even my parents, who aren’t particularly concerned with saving energy have CFLs throughout their home. I am happy to say that before this Great Energy Race began, I too already switched all of my home bulbs to CFL.
But now there if a new bulb on the market that really out performs CFL in all aspects, save one: price. Light -emitting diode (LED) bulbs have been available commercially for domestic use for a few years now. They last longer than CFL, use less energy and need any warm up time. But here’s the kicker, they cost about £10-15 ($16-25) per bulb, but just like with CFL, experts say the prices are and will continue to come down as demand increases and manufacturing becomes more efficient. Yeah, they ain’t cheap! But they are becoming standard good practice in city street lights where they are in constant use. If you never turn off your lights at home (like my husband! Shhhh don’t tell him that I ratted him out on the blog!) then you may find them economical even now.
Here are some LED pros
- Lifespans are longer than CFL. Over 10 years compared to 5 years for CFL and 6 months for incandescent.
- Light outputs (measured in lumens) for 60w equivalent bulbs is greater than CFL per watt of electricity used. LED 10 watt bulbs put out about 800 lumens. A 14 watt CFL bulb will put out about 775 lumens, while an incandescent 60 watt bulb will emit about 860 lumens.
- LEDs have the lowest yearly operational costs of any bulb. An LED bulb will cost you about £1.5 per year in your house compared to £2.2 for CFL and a whopping £9.5 for incandescent. American dollar conversions are about $2.50, $3.7 and $15.8 per year respectively, for LED, CFL and incandescent.
- LED bulbs do not contain mercury vapours like CFL bulbs do. However, they do contain other toxic metals (like all electronics) so care should be taken with cleaning broken bulbs. Incandescent bulbs also have mercury and lead, so there is no magical non-toxic light source unless you count the sun!
- The only con I can think of is the high purchase price. But when factored over its lifespan, an LED will end up being cheaper than all other bulbs.
If you still have old incandescent bulbs in your house, please change them now. I can hear your money getting sucked up through the wires when you turn them on! Buzzzzz Buzzzzzz. Having had CFL lights in my home for about 10 years now, I have nothing but praise for them, so go out and give one a try if you haven’t owned one before and LED bulbs seem too expensive.