LED bulbs have only been out for 2 or 3 years now. Their design is
still changing and their price is still dropping. They're still in a
state of transition as both the theoretical science and practical
technology behind producing them are refined.
I've still got 13 watt (60 watt equivalent) Compact Fluorescent bulbs in
the hallways of my building, but I fully expect to stock up on LED bulbs
once I start seeing them going on sale, which may not be for another few
But, the bottom line is that even if the bulbs cost more than CFL's,
it's still worth a lot to me to not have to be changing light bulbs in
my hallways all the time. I used to buy 5000 hour incandescent bulbs.
My CFL bulbs are rated at 12,000 hours, and LED's are advertised at
100,000 hours. That means with 21 hallways lights, I'm looking at
changing one LED bulb every 6 or 7 months.
Also, re: the Nobel Prize:
Our technology involves not only making scientific discoveries that lead
to new technologies, but by marrying different technologies together to
come up with ways of doing things we couldn't do before or doing things
more efficiently or accurately or inexpensively than before, and that in
turn ends up making that technology more practical and available to the
masses. When computers cost millions of dollars, only large businesses
and governments could afford them. Now that you can buy a refurbished
computer for $100, everyone can afford them. The development of LED
technology to the point where a single LED can be used to provide the
light source for a powerful flashlight is certainly going to change our
world. LED based lasers are already in our supermarkets reading the
barcodes of what we buy. I have no idea what these much more powerful
LEDs will be used for, but I expect that using them in lasers or with
fiber optic communications cables will result in all kinds of new
technologies. The idea of satellites orbiting our Earth using powerful
LED's in laser beams to communicate with each other comes to mind, but
how that will improve our lives on Earth is unpredictable, as the future
always is. More powerful LED's may allow fiber optic computing, which
promises very much faster computing and communications is another area
of promise. A single fiber optic cable can carry thousands of different
telephone calls each at a different light frequency on the fiber optic
cable. Compare that to a single telephone call using a copper wire.
How that will change our world is unpredictable, but as always, it will
be for the better.
Do the math. It's costing you a *lot* more than a dollar a month to use a house-full of
Consider just *one* 60W incandescent that's used an average of 4 hours per day. That's
120 hours per month, times 60 watts, equals 7200 watt-hours or 7.2 KwH per month.
Replace it with a CFL that uses 13 watts, and your usage drops from 7.2 KwH to 1.56 KwH, a
difference of 5.64 Kwh per month.
Multiply by fifteen cents per KwH, giving 85 cents. There's your "$.50-1.00 more per month".
FOR EVERY BULB IN YOUR HOUSE.
My electricity bill dropped by $25 a month when I replaced all the incandescents with CFLs
nine or ten years ago.
The savings in labor, as you and Pat point out, can be substantial. I know
that I will be using them anywhere I need a ladder or where bulb changing is
difficult for any reason. One spill off a ladder will really raise the cost
of using older, incandescent bulbs.
I was at first reluctant to install CFL floodlights outside when they were
$20 each in case someone decided to swipe them. In NYC, a long time ago,
they had to use special left-hand thread bulbs and sockets on the subways
because so many people would steal them to use at home. Since they are
often on all night I would really like to replace them with LED bulbs,
especially now that they are taking a long, long time to warm up to full
One reason I still use an incandescent on the porch is that they are much
better at illuminating the porch for the CCTV cameras (which are infrared
sensitive). CFLs were extremely deficient in that end of the spectrum and
the low light performance of the cameras really suffered even though the
light ouput looked the same to the naked eye. I suspect that the LED bulb
will have the same problem since I assume their IR output is low compared to
tungsten bulbs. So there's still a minor advantage to using tungsten bulbs
for me in at least one application. Since that bulbs on an X-10 dimmer and
runs dimmed all the time, it lasts far longer than an undimmed tungsten
filament bulb. The CFL's did not run well on the X-10 circuit. They would
turn on remotely but never turn off.
Oddly enough one of the articles I read about blue LEDs was complaining that
their wide-spread adoption would actually raise the use of fossil fuels
throughout the world (someone's always bitching!). However a more sensible
comment following the article pointed out that LEDs consume so little power
that it makes it practical for small, remote villages all over the world to
power them at night with a fairly small solar array and rechargeable
I'm going to get some more 40W LEDs from Staples and be on the lookout for a
sweet deal like the one that Mike got at Home Depot (four dimmable ones for
$5.05). I tried to dim the Staples bulbs but they just flickered. )-:
Yes, I think Mayana's calculations are a little bit off unless there's only
one bulb on at any one time. (-:
incandescents with CFLs
I noticed a similar, but even steeper drop when I changed over. I noticed
another even more profound drop when I finally stopped nursing my 30+ year
old Westinghouse refrigerator and replaced it with a new one. The new GE,
which I doubt will EVER last 30 years - but that's another story - uses
about 1/3 the juice the old unit did. It's a wonderful feeling to pay the
electric company less each month (although the keep raising the rates to
compensate for their lost revenue, it seems).
| Do the math. It's costing you a *lot* more than a dollar a month to use a
| Consider just *one* 60W incandescent that's used an average of 4 hours per
| 120 hours per month, times 60 watts, equals 7200 watt-hours or 7.2 KwH per
I don't remember what our bill is offhand. I think
it's about $40-$50 per month, so I'm certainly not
going to see $25 savings by changing lightbulbs.
(Some of that cost is trumped up service fees.
I expect computers and may workshop are by far
the most expensive costs.)
CFLs are for areas where they stay on for long
periods. The reason they burn out so quickly is
because they were never designed for general use.
In many of the places I might use them they often
wouldn't even get fully lit before I turn them off.
(Hallway, bathroom, cellar, etc.) And I find them
just too ugly to use.
LEDs might eventually be very good, but right now
they're still new. It's fad appeal. People talk about
how much money they're saving, which makes sense
for an always-on nightlight, but in most other uses
it just isn't significant.
I also wonder about the logic
of so many people who say they're going to such
great lengths to save money. Do those people *really*
try to save money sensibly? Do you keep your thermostat
down to 60F and skip using AC unless you live in the deep
south or southwest? Do you avoid unnecessary, high
demand appliances like dishwashers, garbage disposals
and hair dryers? Do you turn off the TV when you're not
watching it and turn off lights when you leave the room?
And that's not even getting into the really dumb money
wasters, like paying Starbucks $4 for one's morning coffee.
Anyone who doesn't at least follow simple, sensible guidelines
like that is only playing at saving money; or is a symbolic
money saver -- one of those people who will spend a dollar
to save a dime.
Many years ago, when there was a Zayre's store, they
had 3rd brake lights on sale. The 3rd-light had just become
standard and people thought it was clever to retrofit older
cars. I was in Zayre's for something and the man behind
me in line was holding 5 lights, which was the limit per
customer. He was thrilled that he had managed to get there
in time to buy 5 of them; so much so that he started
bubbling over about his good fortune to me. I asked whether
he had 5 cars to put all those lights in. His face dropped.
It clearly had never occurred to him to think whether he
could actually use 5 brake lights.
I have only one LED light in a lamp over a music stand. It's used every day a couple of hours and has been in there 3 or 4 years now.
It replaced a CFL, and something interesting happened.
The CFL in that fixture made the switch arc and work unreliably. The LED does not have any problem. I assume there is a significant difference in reactance.
My Mom used to know (decades ago, when gas was well
under a buck) someone who drove across town to save
ten cents on a bag of potato chips.
I found it was cheaper to telephone and ask a question
(business line, with per call charges) than to drive
some where to check a price.
Christopher A. Young
Learn about Jesus
| My Mom used to know (decades ago, when gas was well
| under a buck) someone who drove across town to save
| ten cents on a bag of potato chips.
It seems to be especially prevalent with people who
lived through the Depression. Saving money on an item
often gives them more pleasure than whatever the item
is. I suppose maybe it's a way of feeling they have
control over unpredictable circumstances.
I have a customer what will waste billable hours
and $$$ on gas to drive across town to save 10 cents
on a bag of nails. When pointed out the economics
of it, he states that it is the principle that matters.
Then again he has CABDs (Cheap Assed Buzzard
Disease) really bad. (The "B" might not stand
I won't sell him any parts. I just tell him to
find his best deal. Doesn't save him anything
as he does not account for shipping. And if I
sell the part and it doesn't work, all the labor
and everything else is free to fix the situation.
If he buys the part, he is on the clock for
EVERYTHING. I make much more money his way.
As I said, he has CABDs really bad. It is
the "principle" that matters.
He who spends the least, spends the most.
CL's [I believe] require like 200-300 volts to turn on, then once 'fired'
they drop to something more reasonable, like 20-100v
look up Xenon arc light.
Whereas the LED just put in a down converter to supply fixed current and
you're off and running. Except someday pesky pfc requirement demanded by
the utilities distribution people will rear its ugly head and it will get
more complex, but with the advantage that ALL SMPS's will become cheaper
using a standard 'built-in' module.
I have a couple of small LED flashlights and the light is bright and
clear. Only the batteries are more expensive than cheap D-cells like
regular flashlights use, and they also seem to run down a lot quicker.
How much does equivalent LED use vs Compact Fluorescent? And how much
doe they cost? CFs seem to have been perfected now and are dirt cheap
-- $1 or less if you shop around.
On Thursday, October 30, 2014 12:34:43 PM UTC-4, Sasquatch Jones wrote:
r. Only the batteries are more expensive than cheap D-cells like regular f
lashlights use, and they also seem to run down a lot quicker.
e they cost? CFs seem to have been perfected now and are dirt cheap -- $1
or less if you shop around.
I would argue that CFLs are FAR from perfect - not dimmable, lousy CRI, and
slow rise time in anything other than the standard spiral format.
They're acceptable for "utility" lighting where they're not dimmed and thei
r sole purpose is to keep you from tripping on the stairs and busting your
coccyx, but in a room that someone has actually put effort into decorating,
I'd prefer to have a more inviting type of light.
hmmm... I stocked up on '40W' CFLs last year when my local Costco was
selling 4-packs for 49 cents ($4.99 minus $4.50 'instant rebate' from
the power company). So it's not quite time for me to buy LEDs just yet.
I just bought my first LED bulbs today. Costco had them; a pack of
three candelabra base 4.7 watt (40 watt equiv.) for $18.99, but there
was a $9 instant rebate paid by Manitoba Hydro, so the bulbs effectively
cost about $4 each, or about the same as I'm paying now for candelabra
base 9 watt CFL's.
They had the standard Edison medium base bulbs too, but I didn't buy any
because those would have worked out to about $11 per bulb, and I have a
stock of 13 watt CFL I'd like to go through first.
I was anxious to replace the 9 watt bulbs in the chandelier in my front
lobby because those bulbs are a pain to replace. So, I didn't buy the
chandelier bulbs to save on my electrical bill; I bought them to largely
eliminate the nuisance of having to replace the bulbs in that
I haven't installed them yet, but I hope they turn out OK. They're
supposed to be good for 25,000 hours, and if I burn them for 10 hours
per day, that translates to a life span of about 6 or 7 years.
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