Energy efficient LED light bulbs that can fit in a standard socket, last over a decade, and save users money, are starting to slowly trickle onto the market. But the rub: LED bulbs can cost $40-$50. Here’s a quick cheatsheet on the metrics of the bulb:

Energy efficient LED light bulbs that can fit in a standard socket, last over a decade, and save users money over the life of the bulb, are starting to slowly trickle onto the market. This morning GE announced its latest bulb, and late last year Netherlands-based Lemnis Lighting announced its LED bulb that can replace a 60-watt incandescent. But the rub — both of these LED bulbs cost around $40 to $50. Here’s a quick cheatsheet on the metrics of the bulb:

Bulb Lifespan Efficiency Cost
Incandescent Bulb Lasts about 1,000 hours, less than a year. Most inefficient consumer bulb option, being phase out by companies and governments worldwide. 50 cents to $1
Compact Fluorescent Bulb (CFLs) Lasts 5,000 to 6,000 hours 3.5 to 4 years Uses up to 75 percent less energy than an incandescent. Around $4 to $10 (for specialty bulbs)
LED Bulb Lasts 25,000 to 36,000 hours, 17 to 25 years Can be 75 to 90 percent more energy-efficient than incandescents. $40 to $50

Image courtesy of Lemnis Lighting.

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  1. The Metrics of the Bulb « Happywatts – Power to the people Friday, April 9, 2010

    [...] April 9, 2010 · Filed under Uncategorized http://earth2tech.com/2010/04/08/cheatsheet-the-metrics-of-the-bulb/ [...]

  2. Sorry, but I don’t really believe the cheat sheet. My experience with CFLs is that the burn out MUCH sooner than 4,000 hours. That is, they are a rip-off and legislation forcing their use is an inappropriate demand on the consumer.

    CFL apologists will say that some brands are more error-prone than others or that CFLs last longer if you don’t switch them on/off as much. That may be, but at the end of the day, as a drop-in replacement for incandescents, they don’t seem to make sense economically.

    LEDs are way more expensive, but their technology is more robust, so I believe their lifetime claims.

    BTW, you should add a 5th column citing total cost assuming say, 10 cents per Kw-hr electricity. So for a 60 W Incandescent (equivalent) for the 3 types you’d have costs (per 1000 hours) of: $6.50-7.50, $1.93-3.80, $1.70-3.5

    That would lead me to choose LEDs because 1) electricity costs will go up over time and 2) CFLs sucks and I don’t believe their lifetime estimates.

  3. I get mt LED bulbs for $5 to 15 each, I get them at COSTCO, Wal-mart and Heatland America. They pay for themselves very quickly with no heat and just light.

  4. 5 LED Bulbs You Can (Soon) Buy To Replace Incandescents Friday, April 16, 2010

    [...] About four years ago Lemnis introduced one of the first LED bulbs that can screw directly into an incandescent socket. Just a handful of companies offer these types of LED bulbs today and the average price is about $40 to $50 per bulb. Here’s five LED bulbs that you can buy now — or soon will be able to buy — to replace incandescents (here’s our cheatsheet on the metric of the bulbs): [...]

  5. I agree with Jim. My experience with CFLs have been unsatisfactory. Too many burn out too often and far more quickly than promised. I’ve thrown out at least 6 CFLs that have lasted less than 6 months in the past year alone.

    I also agree that a 4th column with the cost associated with running the bulb over those hours.

  6. One last comment. While this may sound trivial, the cost of replacing a bulb in a corporate environment should be taken into account. It probably costs 30 mins of man hours @ $x for all the involved parties to place the call, get the order, carry a ladder, and replace a bulb.

  7. Your Cheatsheet fails to mention the lumens – or lack thereof – of the LED lamps. Sure it “replaces a 60-watt incandescent” and only uses 10% of the power – Fine. But it alos only produces 20% of the light. Please compare apples to apples.

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