From Green Right Now Reports
As with other technologies, advances in lighting just keep coming. Now that you’re somewhat comfortable with CFL — compact fluorescent lamp — bulbs, get ready for things to change again.
The latest generation of LEDs — light-emitting diodes — are here and manufacturers claim they rival the look, dimming ability, and light quality of incandescents. Better yet, LEDs contain no mercury, and last up to five times longer than CFLs and 50 times longer than incandescents. They are pricey — many sell for $60 or more — but one can save about $300 in electrical costs over its life compared with an incandescent.
Until recently, LEDs lagged in light output and were considered useful mainly for task and exhibit lighting. But ENERGY STAR notes now that LED lighting is more efficient and versatile than incandescent and fluorescent lighting. LEDs emit light in a specific direction, whereas an incandescent or fluorescent bulb emits light — and heat — in all directions.
LED lighting uses both light and energy more efficiently. For example, an incandescent or CFL bulb inside of a recessed can fixture will waste about half of the light it produces, while a recessed down light with LEDs only produces light where it’s needed — in the room below.
Other key features of LED lighting include:
- Reduces energy costs — uses at least 75% less energy than incandescent lighting, saving on operating expenses.
- Reduces maintenance costs — lasts 35 to 50 times longer than incandescent lighting and about 2 to 5 times longer than fluorescent lighting. No bulb-replacements, no ladders, no ongoing disposal program.
- Reduces cooling costs — LEDs produce very little heat.
- Is guaranteed — comes with a minimum three-year warranty — far beyond the industry standard.
- Offers convenient features — available with dimming on some indoor models and automatic daylight shut-off and motion sensors on some outdoor models.
- Is durable and won’t break as easily as a bulb.
Here are few models that we found — and not all of them are as costly as we’ve been warned:
- Dimmable E26 A60 standard household base bulb ($22 from LED Wholesalers via Amazon.com) — This is a fully dimmable standard-size light bulb that delivers 40-50 watt light output but uses just 5.6 watts.
- Pharox III ($40 from EagleLight LEDs via Amazon.com) — This 6-watt bulb is dimmable and comparable to a traditional 60W light bulb.
- Nichia Series LED 60 Watt Replacement Bulb ($39 from Winter Electronics Co. via Amazon.com) — This warm white light uses 6 watts.
- Cree Super Bright LED Light Bulb – Natural White ($58.98 from EagleLight LEDs) — Replaces a 60 watt incandescent bulb and consumes only 6 watts. Uses Heat Sync Technology that keeps the bulb comfortable to the touch.