Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Scoop on LEDs versus CFLs

CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs) have gotten a lot of attention over the last couple of years as a simple way to save yourself from emitting more than your share of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. And, while it is absolutely true that they are much more efficient than conventional incandescent bulbs, the real superstar of light bulbs just may be the LED (light emitting diode).

We’ve all seen them on digital clocks and large, outdoor screens, but LEDs are now popular options for strands of colored holiday lights as well as regular, run of the mill light bulbs for your home.

Whole cities are making the switch to LEDs to save 40 – 70 % of the energy a city uses for lighting street lamps, parking lots and the like through the LED City program. 

How does this work?

LED technology is totally unique in that it doesn’t waste energy creating heat like other bulbs. All its energy goes to the main attraction—light. (If you want to read about the science behind LEDs, refer to this article at How Stuff Works.)

These facts might help:

• A 60 watt incandescent bulb lasts 1500 hours; a CFL lasts 10,000; and a 2 watt LED finishes in first place lasting 60,000 hours!

• LEDs do not contain mercury like CFLs, making end of life disposal safer.

• LEDs contain no filament so they’re extremely durable and will last for years upon years.

• LEDs can save you 80% on your energy bill.

• Batteries powering an LED gadget will last 10-15 times longer than if run on an incandescent bulb.
(from Eartheasy.com

Put another way, to get 60,000 hours out of a 60 watt incandescent bulb, you’d have to replace it over and over again at a cost of $40.21. To save those replacements, you can use just one 2 watt LED that could cost you less, at $34.95.

So, while LEDS are a significant investment up front, they are energy powerhouses over the long haul.

Come into All Shades to learn more and to get an LED bulb that works for you (from 31.99-55.00).

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