Energy

13 Watt LED replaces 100 Watt Bulb

By Ryan McGreal
Published April 23, 2008

In February of last year, RTH posted a blog entry about the practicality of mass market LED lights that generated quite a lot of good commentary.

At the time, the best LED light on the market was a 3.4 Watt model that produced as much light as a 40 Watt incandescent. Now, another company has released a 13 Watt LED that produces as much light as a 100 Watt incandescent.

With all the attention that light bulbs have gotten over the past year or so, this bulb comes along with excellent timing. LEDs last five times as long as compact fluorescents, produce a bit more light per Watt, light up instantly, can be turned on and off repeatedly without shortening their lifespan, and contain no mercury.

With all this upside, there must be a downside somewhere, and of course there is: these bulbs cost a wallet-walloping $89.99 each.

However, they demonstrate proof of concept taken to the consumer market. Prices can only come down as production goes up and more companies enter the market. All in all, this is good news for energy conservation.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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By lorne (registered) - website | Posted April 25, 2008 at 14:00:33

I found your statistic that LED lights last five times as long as compact fluorescents interesting, but can't help but wonder if this just another exaggerated claim by a newer technology. After all, CFL manufacturers claim five to seven years for their products, which would mean 25 to 35 years for an LED when, in fact, I have had several of my CFL's last a year or less.

While they may in fact reduce energy consumption, they have yet to live up to their claims of longevity. What evidence exists for LED claims of 25 to 35 years usage?

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted April 25, 2008 at 14:49:09

You raise an important point. I'm not specifically aware of any studies that have been done to test longevity claims, but so far, I've been very happy in my own experience. The first light I bought nearly a decade ago finally died last year.

I wonder if the market has attracted discount manufacturers putting out substandard products.

Similarly, I've got plenty of old electronic equipment (including a Compaq Portable from 1986 that I occasionally fire up for nostalgia) in which the LEDs still work.

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By David (anonymous) | Posted April 25, 2008 at 16:16:11

I like the potential energy savings and long life (less maintenance cost) of LED lights in all outdoor decorative lighting, as well as traffic control lights, etc. But it troubles me that govt begins thoughts of mandating the use of these lights in homes before more development to correct the color rendering problems with them. Also, in cold climates, energy use of incandescents not only is additive to the home heating, but in the case of someone heating with fuel oil, some of that heat load is being transferred to coal, wind, and hydro power instead. The use of LED lights means you put up with lousy color rendering, while burning more fuel oil - worth their cost?

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By cable (anonymous) | Posted September 22, 2009 at 02:47:03

Hi,
It's a pity that people don't realize the importance of this information. Thanks for posing it.

cable

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