LED light bulbs: a real, practical energy saver.

LED bulb photo courtesy of Clean Air Gardening.

LED bulb photo courtesy of Clean Air Gardening.

You’ve probably heard the argument about many forms of alternative energy, or energy saving products. Corn ethanol uses more energy to make than it saves when you use it. The Toyota Prius was accused (incorrectly) of being less efficient than a Hummer, because of the energy used to manufacture it.

Until now, people have had the same questions about LED light bulbs.

Does the manufacturing of the bulb itself use so much energy that the bulb could never make it up with a lifetime of lower energy use?

Today’s New York Times reports that a new study shows definitively that the lifetime energy use of LED light bulbs is dramatically lower than incandescent bulbs.

The study results show that over the entire life of the bulb — from manufacturing to disposal — the energy used for incandescent bulbs is almost five times that used for compact fluorescents and LED lamps.

The energy used during the manufacturing phase of all lamps is insignificant — less than 2 percent of the total. Given that both compact fluorescents and LEDs use about 20 percent of the electricity needed to create the same amount of light as a standard incandescent, both lighting technologies put incandescents to shame.

There’s one other misconception about LED light bulbs that I’d like to address here. People often mention that LED light bulbs are “too expensive” because of the upfront cost.

But it’s a little more complicated than that.

Yes, the upfront cost of the LED bulb is higher. But consider that a single LED bulb might last as long as 25,000 hours of use, where an incandescent might only last 1,000 hours. So you’d have to buy 25 incandescent bulbs (and change them regularly!) to equal just one LED light bulb.

And this doesn’t even account for the fact that an LED bulb uses around 20 percent of the energy to create the same amount of light. The energy cost of using the bulbs is just as important (or even more important) than the bulb itself.

Anyone have any experiences with LED light bulbs that they’d like to share?

Which bulbs are you using? How much did you pay? How’s the light and color? Are they lasting as long as promised? Where did you buy them?

Drop us a comment!

Docel December 23, 2009 at 7:08 am

LEDs are quite inexpensive. The makers are expensive & are making fast bucks.
Some years ago I saw the cost of LED light fixtures and went mad!!! They were so terribly expensive that it is the major cause for people NOT using them at all.

Look at it this way:
Ultrabright 5mm White LEDs cost around 2cents each in India.
The wholesale cost drops to almost 1cent ea.
Now 100 of these in a strip gives a LOT of light…..
So, why are the LED light manufacturers charging so much??
They use expensive high wattage LEDs that need cooling , electronics for switching and unwanted aesthetics that cost about 1/3rd of the cost!
Now if it costs $1 for 100 LEDs, one can calculate the cost for a ready, useable fixture, with or without frills.
The LEDS will last a loooong time, if used within its current limit ( which is just a series resistance calculated to keep the current low. this will automatically increase life ) . LEDs use a pittance of current each- the WLEDs work good @ 3.3V across them and at a current < or =30ma. This is not a rule of law but a ball park value, as different LED makes have slightly different Voltage and Current ratings. It is best decided by the individual lots' datasheet.
There is no need to use those terribly expensive & complicated high power 'Branded' LEDs at all. It is simple and dirt cheap to DIY.

ganghui September 2, 2011 at 1:21 am

Led lighting is modern-day lighting. There are a number of benefits to be gained from use of led bulb light, such as, efficiency, longevity,long lifespan scenarios, durability,safety.environment .
So if it will be the best choice if we want to buy lights.It can help you save money,

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