LED – The Light Bulb of the Green Future?

Posted by Kelly Wu

As electric bills continue to go up, consumers will keep trying to look for things they can do to lower their home energy use and reduce their electric bills. One of the easiest ways to reduce the electricity usage is by switching to the energy efficient light bulb. Government all over the world also involves to encourage phase out of incandescent light bulb. So what are the choices of energy efficient light available in the market today?

Compact fluorescent light (CFL) is today’s most popular choice of energy efficient light bulb. According to EPA, Energy STAR qualified CFL bulb use about 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulb and can save about $30 or more in electricity costs over each bulb’s lifetime. While this is very attractive in terms of saving energy uses, thus reduce carbon emission due to less electricity usage, CFL bulb does have a down side that can impact our health and the environment. Every CFL bulb contains a small amount of mercury, an average of 4 milligrams in each bulb. Mercury is highly toxic and if CFL bulb is not properly disposal or recycle, it can contaminate the environment and harm the whole ecosystem, therefore CFL bulb is not as green as you thought.

With incandescent light bulb which is not energy efficient and CFL bulb which contains mercury, consumers’ choice on energy efficient light bulb is limited to light emitting diode (LED) bulb. LED is not something new, it has been widely use in many applications, like digital clock, cell phones, and watches, but it was impractical to use as a light bulb. However, advance in technology allows LED to evolve to be more energy efficient than both incandescent and CFL bulb. Also, unlike CFL bulb, LED does not contain mercury. As with all new technology, they all come with a high price. A LED bulb with an equivalent brightness of a 100 watt incandescent bulb cost about $80, but its power consumption is only 13 watt and can last for over 50,000 hours (incandescent bulb has a rated life of less than 1,000 hours). Keep in mind that this is a one time cost and in the long run with the consideration of saving on electricity, LED bulb can actually help cut cost.

Source: http://energyboomer.typepad.com/energyboomer/2009/01/evolux-led-light-bulb-review.html

Other than its energy saving, LED bulb has not had positive review so far. Similar to CFL bulb when it first appeared in the market, consumers found the light from the LED bulb is not as bright or as comfortable as incandescent bulb, but since LED bulb is still new in the market, there is a lot of potential for future growth as its advance with new technology. When that time comes, LED bulb should stand for “less electricity deal” bulb, and it is truly the green lighting option of the future.

More information from LED bulb manfacturer:
Advanced Lumonics, LLC
Lumoform, LLC

More information from EPA about:
CFL bulb