I’ve been watching for LED lights to show up on store shelves for a couple of years and I just saw them at a Sam’s Club. Unfortunately they were 40 watt equivalent which I have no use for. I was a little surprised that they used banks of the little LED lights found in cheap flashlights and not the more powerful ones out today (3 to 4 watt). I would buy 60 or 70 watt equivalent today if they were in the stores.
Since these are over twice as efficient as CFL’s, how long do you think it will take to crowd them out of the market? My guess is that the technology will be delayed it’s place in the market because of the longevity of CFL bulbs so it will be 10 years before they really take hold.
I was looking at a variety of them this weekend. I haven’t seen the “warm” ones live but the regular LEDs produce a white light that is tinged into the blue zone; it’s powerfully bright but not pleasing to the eye. I’d use them for utility lights and so on but not for general illumination. I think they’ve got to get past that obstacle first.
While the cost can seem high, compared to other (non-incandescent) bulbs it’s not that bad. For example I have a number of fixtures with those little 20W halogen bulbs - great lights. The halogens are about $4-$7 each (depending on where you buy and how many). Replacement LED bulbs for those same fixtures are about $10 in the store, maybe $7 online. While my halogen bulbs have been very long-lived (I’ve only had to replace a couple of them in 8 years), each time I replace one that would leave me even on the cost of the LED bulb, and they use a tiny fraction of the electricity. Tempting.
But what percentage of the light sockets out there still have incandescents in them? I’ll bet it’s still the vast majority.
Even I, tree-hugger extraordinaire, still use incandescents in almost all of my fixtures. In fact, need to buy light bulbs tonight. I’m getting regular incandescnets. Here are some reasons:
–They don’t fit in many light fixtures or look very ugly in fixtures where they’re visible.
–High initial outlay for CFLs.
–I’ve found CFLs don’t always last too long anyway, so what’s the point? 10 years? Yeah right.
–Hopefully, LEDs are coming.
The first problem is really the biggest. But LEDs are tiny, so they can be made in small enough sizes to fit almost any fixture. And a decorative glass globe can be added for when looks are important.
And if they’re more reliable than CFLs, then #3 will be taken care of.
In other words, I suspect that a lot of light sockets will never even have a CFL in them. They’ll be switched directly from incandescents to LEDs. There will be very little delay in the adoption of this technology, especially if the price is right.
I’m not so sure. I don’t hang out with any tree-huggers but all my friends have CFL’s in their homes. I don’t know anybody who isn’t migrating over to them. I’ve noticed a real difference in my electric bill because all of my daily use lighting is CFL. The only except is my garage which is divided up between tubed lights and incandescent bulbs. Due to the cold I don’t want CFL’s as the main bulb. As soon as I see some 60 to 70 watt equivalent bulbs on the store shelf I will start juggling CFL’s around as a test.
Hmm… Strange, I’ve found just the opposite. Nearly every bulb in my house is a CFL, I have a small chandelier in the enyryway that takes those really small incandescents other than that it’s all CFLs and Tubes.
I go CFLs whenever I have to replace a light. I have few female friends who are otherwise eco-conscious and still only use incandescents in the living room, dining room, bedroom etc. because they don’t like the way CFL lighting makes them look.
Damn, I mistyped. I meant to type CFL in that last line and typed LED. It should have read: *The nicer looking CFLs (standard, not dimmable) have dropped a lot in price. I use them in about 14 fixtures. *
The LEDs are still pricey and hard to fine. I have only switched to LED Xmas Lights and flashlights.
Same here. I’ve never had a CFL last noticably longer than an incandescent (no more than year), the light from CFLs sucks, and seems to get increasingly worse over their very short lifetime. I really hope LEDs are better, and quickly replace CFLs.
There are CFLs that fit in almost any fixture that a normal incandesent fit in.
Out here, they are cheaper than regular bulbs. Yes, some of the fist gen of CFLs did not last long, but now they do pretty good. I’d say 5 years at least.
You can buy LED’s now, fairly cheaply, if you have a need for a fairly low-light bulb, around 25watt equiv.
You can buy led flood lights and lights in high wattage ranges but they arent cheap, the flip side is the last for friggin ever. mythbusters did a study on lights and hooked a bunch up to a thing that would turn them on and off repeatedly to simulate use, after a simulated 5 years the only ones still working were the leds.
getting around the problem of the “white leds” showing a sort of blueish light would be pretty easy but manufacturers seem to be a little stupid when it comes to say using a mix of white and yellow leds in the same bulb to give a distribution of color.
I have been using a couple strings of led xmas lights around the base of my bed (lights are hidden) and its a nice way to light a room when you dont want bright light.
I love CFL’s, and have replaced what I can in our house. The one place I haven’t is the “Can” flood light fixtures in our ceilings. And of course I have like 10 of them throughout our house, in the highest use rooms (Kitchen, Living room). CFL floods have too wide a neck, above the threads, to fit into these style fixtures. No idea why they designed them that way, since floods seem like they would be the most logical to replace first.
Believe me, the reason that LED manufacturers still produce blueish white light is not because they are a little stupid. It is because it cannot be done yet at a price point people are willing to pay, with the efficiency needed.
Their greatest hope is a high efficiency white quantum dot LED, or a conventional LED with lots of UV output, and some high efficiency phosphors to shift the output and warm the spectrum. But if you do this, the filters have to not leak any UV.