Thursday, May 19, 2011

Are LED Lights Soon Coming Home?

Image showing both a fluorescent and an incand...Image via WikipediaFor the last few years, CFL's have been the next good thing in home lighting. Yes, they are more expensive than incandescents, but over time save you money. However what we were not aware of at the time, is the negative impact they can have on our environment and our health. CFL's (Compact Florescent Lights) contain mercury and if one breaks, it contains enough mercury to have a small hazardous materials spill on your hands.

Nowadays, LED Lights (light emiting diode) are becoming the social norm, as we are starting to see them everywhere like cell phones, street lights, TV's and homes. In fact if you can think of a light bulb, I can almost promise there is an LED alternative for it. Take for instance airplanes, all new planes are incorporating LED lights in nearly every facet of the plane, including the led rope lighting, reading lights, and more. If comparing these two technologies (CFL and LED's), CFL's use about 25% of a typical incandescent lightbulb where as an LED equivalent will use about 2-4% under the same circumstances. LED's also don't have any mercury used in them, don't heat up like incandescents, and can withstand a higher temperature range.

Why don't we all have LED lights in our home then? Well only a couple of years ago, LED Lights cost about $60 a bulb, whereas CFL's were about $6, and incandescents cost about $0.60.  Currently, CFL's still remain about the same price, but I have seen these same LED Lights drop below $50 and some even as low as $30 a bulb. Now this may still seem like a lot, but if you take into consideration, how long these LED bulbs will last, even at $50 a bulb, this would save you money over the life of that single LED bulb. Why? Well most LED bulbs are rated at about 50,000 hours, versus 2,000-5,000 hours of a typical CFL. If you paid for 10 CFL bulbs, this will last at best the length of 1 LED Bulb and you paid approximately the same money for it. If you take into consideration the cost savings in electricity, you are making money purchasing these LED Bulbs.

Like any emerging technology, a little faith has to be spent on the part of the consumer, however LED lights are here to stay and a making leaps and bounds in the technology everyday.

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