Are LED Light Bulbs The Future?

After hearing about LED light bulbs and their development, I decided that I wanted to do a little research on my own to see what these lights are all about. I took a look around at different places checking prices, colors and wattage and created the following chart to show the potential money and emission savings generated by one regular 120v LED light bulb for home use. The results are listed below:

Comparison chart between LEDs, CFLs and Incandescents over one LED's life span of 50,000 hours:





Life in Hours (hrs)
50,000 hrs.
10,000 hrs.
1,500 hrs.

Number of Bulbs

Cost in US dollars ($)
$67.95 (white)
5 x $4.00 = $20.00
33.5 x 32� = $11.22

Input in Watts (W)
9.5 W
13 W
60 W

Electricity Used in Kilowatt hours (kwh)
475 kwh
650 kwh
3000 kwh

Electricity Cost at 8¢ per kwh

Total Cost

Total Savings Over a Compact Florescent Light: $105.95 – $72.00 = -$33.95 -No Savings

Total Savings Over an Incandescent Light: $251.22 – $28.00 = $145.27

As you can see from the results, looking only at costs, it is still more cost effective to use CFL's over LED's. However, both CFL's and LED's are much more cost effective than using regular incandescent light bulbs.

Even though LED's are more expensive, one of the biggest selling points is their lack of Mercury, officially making them the “greenest” of all lighting technologies (except natural lighting of course). I should also mention that because of the way LED's or Light-emitting diodes work, they produce far less heat than incandescent and compact florescent lights. This reduction in heat is great for individuals in hot climates where the cost of conditioning air is over 50% of their utility cost.

LED's work by using different semi-conducting materials to make electrons jump from one material to the other. This “electron jump” makes the electrons emit photons in the form of visible light, and the color of the light is dependent on the different materials used in the diode. This process uses much less electricity to create the light, however the intensity (lumens) are less than other forms of light. However, with more research and more people buying these household LED's, you can bet that the cost per lumen will continue to drop and we will soon have a superior product at very competitive prices.

Posted in Product Reviews.

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