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Fluorescent Lights versus LED: The Great Showdown

Energy efficiency is a money-saver for everyone, and for off-the-gridders, it is a fundamental principle of sensible and sustainable living. No stone should be left unturned by preppers, survivalists, and homesteaders who need to preserve every last watt of electricity they possibly can, which is why decisions about what kinds of lighting to purchase and install should not be taken casually.

The old-style incandescent bulbs are, unfortunately, testaments to inefficiency. Between that and the 2005 energy bill which essentially mandated a nation-wide switch to CFLs, the shift away from incandescents to fluorescents has been inevitable. While the cost of CFLs is still higher than incandescents, they have come down to the point where the separation is now relatively narrow.

But does that mean that fluorescents are the true wave of the future? Or do they actually represent an intermediate technology that is destined to be replaced by something even more energy-efficient? Boosters of light-emitting diode lighting, or LEDs, are convinced it is the latter. And there are good reasons for this belief. As we will see, this new breed of lighting really does promise to revolutionize the way we illuminate our personal spaces in the years to come.

Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs)

Compact fluorescent bulbs are longer lasting, more energy efficient, and produce less heat than incandescent bulbs. In fact, a CFL is 300 to 400 percent more efficient than an Edison bulb. However, despite all the hype that CFL manufacturers, environmental groups, and the government have and continue to make, there are a lot of negative aspects to these lamps (although we do need to give recognition where recognition is due— ever since 1938 when GE brought these lights to the market, they have been lighting American in myriad ways, and doing so very well).

  • The bulb must heat up before the full luminosity of the lamp is available.
  • They require a ballast, which can create a buzzing sound and adds to the cost of the lamp.
  • Bulb life is reduced when the light is switched on and off frequently, such as in a high-use area like a bathroom or basement, for example.
  • Requires specially manufactured bulbs for use with dimmer switches and 3-way lamps, which are more expensive.
  • While manufacturers will say that a CFL bulb will last up to 7 years, a more realistic expectation of lifespan for these bulbs is about 1 1/2 to 2 years under normal household usage.
  • All CFLs flicker, even if a person isn’t aware of it. For those with migraines and certain central nervous system diseases, this flickering can exacerbate symptoms.
  • Broken CFL bulbs are a health hazard from the mercury content of the bulb.
  • Disposal of CFL bulbs is neither convenient nor easy. The EPA has some pretty convoluted rules about safe disposal of these bulbs. Most people simply throw them into their household garbage where they wind up in landfills.

The Advantages of LEDs

LED bulbs are actually very small, and in the past they were used primarily to illuminate objects rather than spaces. But ways have been found to combine and power a group of LEDs in thick, tight clusters, and this breakthrough has allowed LED bulbs to be created that are large enough and luminescent enough to be used interchangeably with incandescents or CFLs in just about any imaginable setting.

The benefits of these larger, multipurpose LEDs include:

  • Lifespan – LEDs can last up to 30 times as long as incandescent bulbs, and up to 10 times as long as fluorescents.
  • Durability – LEDs have a solid, tough form that makes them uniquely resistant to breakage.
  • Low Temperatures – there is little or no heat build-up from LED bulbs, which produce a miniscule 3.4 Btu of heat per hour. (In comparison, incandescent bulbs produce 85 Btu.)
  • High efficiency – LEDs use 25 to 50 percent less energy than CFLs of similar brightness, and 4 to 6 times less energy than incandescents.
  • Dimmability – it is possible to purchase LEDs that can vary in light intensity.
  • Off-the-grid compatibility – because they have such low power requirements, LEDs are perfect for use with small generators and battery banks charged by solar panels or wind energy.
  • Variety – LEDs are now available in the following forms:
    • Diffused bulbs – for normal home lighting needs, i.e. lamps, overhead lights, etc.
    • Dimmable globes – for bathroom vanities, kitchens, or hanging lights
    • Track lighting
    • Flood reflector lights for recessed light fixtures and other types of housing
    • Candelabra style – candle-flame shaped LEDs for decorative lighting
    • Tube lights – can be used in place of fluorescent tube lights

The CFL vs. LED Comparison

While fluorescents are still relatively cool, they do produce more heat than LEDs. This is not usually a problem, but it can be if fluorescents are used in recessed lighting, where the heat produced is not so easily vented and can therefore damage CFLs and shorten their longevity considerably.

Fluorescents do tend to come up short of their projected 10,000-hour lifespan in many instances. LEDs have a much better chance of lasting the 25,000 – 50,000 hours they are expected to last regardless of how or where they are used.

LEDs do cost a little more than fluorescents right now, but their benefits seem to outweigh the costs of the bulb in more ways than not. If you look at it from a long-life usage standpoint, from a disposal standpoint, and from a health perspective, LEDs win any contest with fluorescents hands down.

The Off-the-Grid Verdict

For those who are pursuing an independent lifestyle, energy is a precious resource for those relying on alternatives to the grid to supply their power. Being able to use less of that energy in any circumstance is a benefit in and of itself. Therefore, installing LEDs wherever possible on a homestead that is being designed for maximum self-sufficiency is probably a wise choice.

And for those off-gridders who have already installed fluorescent lights on their homesteads, a sensible course of action would be to leave those lights in place until they actually burn out, after which they can be replaced one by one until the transition to LEDs is complete.

©2012 Off the Grid News

© 2008-2014 Off The Grid News

51 comments

  1. I bought several LED lights and they lasted just over 6 months and then became so dim they where useless. I moved into my house in 1999 and replaced the bulb in the bathroom off the master suite with a CFL. The light is on all night and off and on many many times during the day (no window). I’ve yet to replace that bulb. LED might get better in the next 10 or 15 years but not today. I’m 58 so I’ll probably never buy LED unless the government takes control of all businesses and pulls CFL’s off the market. Probably not even then since I’ve loaded up on CFL’s and incandescent bulbs. Light bulbs and computer software, never buy the 1.0 version always wait for 2.0.

    • Hello, I have bought several CFLs over the years. I still have them. Don’t know what to do with them for recycling! No body wants them. The sanitation worker at the recycling center near home said, put them in the regular trash. How do you like that?! Well, I’ve tried only a couple of led lights. That are way too expensive! I got a cheap one from chine, it worked for less than a year. As it turns out the transformer in the bulb went, not the LEDs themselves. I guesse you get what you pay for. I would like to switch to LEDs, but where can I get good ones cheaply?

      • I went to CFLs throughout the house with 4 in the bathroom. I was constantly replacing them in the bathroom and finally went back to incandescant bulbs. Tjey have done well in the rest of the house, having only replaced two bulbs in my bedroom. I have no LED lights because of cost.

        • I’ve already had to replace CFL in my bathroom too. I purchased 1 LED flood type bulb in my kitchen to try it out. I like it, but they are very expensive (purchased mine at Lowe’s). I too would like to know where the most cost effective place would be (without sacrificing quality).

          • Its not the “where” but the “what.” See tips in #32 above.

            BTW, LEDs are not yet a real good and especially cost effective replacement for fluorescent lights, including CFLS.

            They are great for flashlights and a few specialty applications but most else is marketing hype.

            After flashlights, probably the #1 best use of LEDs would be for Off-the-Grid lighting because there, in most instances, efficiency is tantamount.

      • You can take CFL’s to Lowe’s for recycling. Maybe Home Depot too.

      • I know Lows and Home Depo will take them back at the customer service desk in our town.

    • My experience exactly! I am confident that the led’s will become a solid product in future as they are being used successfully in automotive applications. However currently, for household applications they are too expensive for their service life which is well short of claims!

    • As long as they have the old candescent light bulbs, I will continue to purchase them simply because the CFL’s are a health hazard and can start fires in your home, and the LEDs cost about 100 times what a regular light bulb costs. Texas just mandated that any candescent light bulb manufacturers will continue to operate regardless of what this egregous fed government says….they cannot stop the states allowing the manufacturers to operate, just can’t sell them across state lines, so guess people will have to visit Texas to get some. I believe it should be a choice of what people want to purchase, not set by federal regulations.

  2. Since LED’s run on DC, I suggest that the expensive portion of this type of bulb is the AC to DC transformer. Off the gridders should look for direcrt DC types and skip the ineffeciencies of the transformation. I imagine RV industry will propel these since much of their design is dual voltage systems(both AC and DC systems in parallel)

  3. Are the LEDs made in the USA or China. Are there any LED manufacturers in the USA? I try to avoid pruchasing any products made in China. I find they are inferior and also risky to one’s health.
    We need to bring manufacturing back to the USA.

    • I believe there is at least one LED manufacturer in the US. I work for GE and we seem to get all of ours from a US supplier. The division I work for builds street lights, and indoor lighting for places such as warehouses, and also outdoor lighting for parking lots, walkways, and wall packs for illuminating walls on buildings. The regular indoor LED lighting I believe is still assembled in Cleveland, Oh.

  4. As an artist and gallery owner, I rarely see mentioned one of the biggest problems of fluorescent lighting: it destroys color pigment. I’ve been involved in professional testing on these bulbs and clearly pose a direct threat to anything with color in it, including photographs, paintings (oil or acrylic), wall paint, colored fabric, you name it. And it doesn’t tale very long at all for clear and noticeable fading to occur. You will never see fluorescent lighting in a museum or gallery. LEDs must be used if incandescent goes away.

  5. How long do we let this go on thank you sooooo much for all the information I take adult stem cell nutrition http://jdimlm.com/mirac

  6. TheyWantToStealYourHouse

    Ever have a CFL break? When you go to sell your house you will have to answer this question under the penalty of perjury. Answer yes and you will be required to prove that you had proper cleanup or you will not be able to sell your house and it will probably be condemned. Still owe on the mortgage? To bad, just keep paying even though you cannot live in the house. Have equity? To bad, just keep paying even though you cannot live in the house. Also, now you and everyone in the family has mercury poisoning and now will be denied health care. Do you wander why they are mandating CFL’s?

    • Have amalgam fillings in your mouth…….?…….well you get Mercury poisioning each and every day but the feds won’t mention this because Americans would go crazy and open up all kinds of law suits on the dental industry….and they have know this for years…My wife had all them removed from her mouth over the last two (2) years and the hazardous materials unit was brought into play….Go figure. When, oh when, will we get the FDA and the EPA out of our lives? Sorry to bring in politics but both parties are quilty and will go with the money…or as we say follow the money.

    • I aplaupd @jnjoblon I aplaupd you for your skeptical attitude. I think the reason why Fox? might have been the only outlet to report on this is becuz it’s under the Obama administration, puts in place a new type of regulation and anything that’s remotely green will set off major craziness by Fox. Solyndra was just one of the many loans that Obama made to green energy companies. The only reason it got more press is becuz he publicized Solyndra. Fox has a reputation for lying more than others.

  7. LED’s are readily available from many sources in China, and at very low cost. It’s confusing when trying to determine which brightness and color would work for what you want on a matching luminosity level, their comparison charts don’t really help much at all. Then there’s the practice they use for maximizing their profit…..FREE shipping. The cost of a single bulb seems fair enough when you consider it’s shipped free, but most American homes have at least 5 bulbs per room in most cases, so if you need bulbs to replace all in your 3 bedroom home, you’d be looking at around 35 bulbs, for which most of the Chinese merchants won’t discount for combined purchase shipping. On top of that, the overwhelming majority of complaints have been over luminosity failing within a very short time, making the bulbs useless. In comparing MY use of incandescent bulbs to the complaints of the LED’s, the incandescent ones are far superior and outlast the LED’s from China 2-1, so the added cost is not worth it at all. For what it’s worth, I’m seeing far fewer complaints about those made in the USA, most of which were over cost, as American produced ones are quite expensive, but do tend to meet useage specifications as described. But when you consider the cost for American made ones, currently averaging around $30 PER bulb, a house full of them would set you back nearly $1,000! I feel that’s profiteering on the part of manufacturers trying to justify the expense by claims of long life and lower electric bills, which is fine if you accept the trade-off, but I find there are many households, especially retired seniors on Social Security, that simply cannot afford to pay out that kind of money. So we keep on buying the cheaper incandescents!

  8. At $0.94 per 4 pack of 60 watts bulbs on sale at wal-mart, I will never change until my substantial stock runs dry. The poison of the CFL and the ridiculous cost of LED(and low lifetimes) it does not make sense to change at this time. In theory, you may use more power but the imbalance to cost wins on the side of incandescent every time. That is what is called practical.

    • The biggest complaint about incandescent bulbs is that they waste energy because they get burn hot. Heat is waste, however, if you have a house full of lightbulbs in the winter, your heater should kick on less. This is just a thought.

  9. CFLs and LEDs are both on my NO list. LEDs never last that long, even for the LED night lights for bedrooms and such. My family has a sensitivity to Cell Phone towers–the ones with all the little boxes on them. CFLs only make this problem worse. I get major headaches from regular fluorescent bulbs–especially the larger ones, and hate hate hate the CFL light. CFLs also last only half as long as the regular incandescent bulbs–regardless of where they’re used or the wattage. We’re stocking up on the incandescent bulbs for health and longevity reasons. I won’t buy the others.

  10. I buy LEDs direct from a supplier in China for hobby and craft purposes. One of my first attempts at creating something useful was a yard light made by drilling holes in a 10′ 1″ PVC pipe and mounting white LEDs for lighting the back yard.
    It takes a minimal 7.2 watts, gives a nice soft glow to the backyard, will cast a shadow over 100′ and had operated continuously for 2 years with zero maintenance.
    Since then I have solved other lighting needs.

    I learned most of what I use at: http://www.instructables.com

  11. Have an off-the-grid house here in Veracruz, Mexico with 12 volt dc solar-electric cells. I bought some tail-light leds at an AUTO parts store, soldered them into clusters of 4 or 8, an use them there–works great.

  12. This whole idea of saving energy by using these bulbs rises to the level of ridiculousness.
    The amount of energy saved in the average household is miniscule compared to the amount of energy it takes to run all our other appliances.

    Energy wasted from leaving a computer and printer on when not in use and from vampire boxes throught the home, use more energy than saved on CFLs, LEDS or flourescent. The recovery of the cost of LEDs takes years before any savings is seen.

    We have 60% of the worlds fossil fuels and our assinine government won’t let us have them.
    But China is side drilling just beyond our international water lines and taking OUR oil right out from under us.

    Alaska was purchased for its natural resources and we can’t get to them. Another fraud on the American people.

    Drill baby drill ! ! !

  13. What effect would an EMP attack or a CME have on CFL’s and LED’s? Has there been any tests?

  14. So, because we don’t put mercury in people’s mouth’s any more where do we put it? We put it in light bulbs. What do I do if I drop and break one in my house? A broom and a dustpan will not work. Does anyone know what Home Depot or Lowe’s does with these bulbs?

    When I moved into a house a couple of years ago the previous owner had put CFL’s everywhere. The house was dingy looking as the light these bulbs put out is terrible. I replaced every one as soon as I could with an incandescent bulb. And whatta you know. The inside of my house looks so much better

    Flourescent lighting has been proven to decrease immune system functionality among other things causing more sickness in people. Not so with incandescent lighting.

    The following are clean-up steps taken from a Canadian Health website if you happen to break one:

    If you break a CFL, follow these directions for clean-up:

    * Leave the room
    o Remove people and pets from the room and keep them out of the room during the clean-up process.
    o Avoid stepping on any broken glass.
    * Ventilation
    o Ventilate the room for at least 15 minutes prior to starting clean-up by opening windows and doors to the outdoors. This will ensure that mercury vapour levels are reduced before you start cleaning.
    * Clean-up Directions for Hard and Carpeted Surfaces
    o Do not use a vacuum to clean up the initial breakage, as it will spread the mercury vapour and dust throughout the area and may contaminate the vacuum.
    o Wear disposable gloves, if available, to avoid direct contact with mercury and to prevent cuts.
    o Scoop or sweep up the broken pieces and debris with two pieces of stiff paper or cardboard. Do not use a broom.
    o Use sticky tape, such as duct tape or masking tape, to pick up any remaining fine glass or powder.
    o Wipe the area with a damp paper towel, cloth or disposable wet wipe to remove any residual particles.
    o Place the broken glass and clean-up materials in a glass container with a tight fitting lid to further minimize the release of mercury vapour.

    How comfortable does that make you feel? I’ll stick to my broom and dustpan. There is not one positive to CFL’s. Wanna save energy? Turn off things when you’re not using them including the lights.

  15. I am a professional lighting designer and have this issue on a daily basis. The facts as stated are mostly true, however, there are some things that are not mentioned because most people are simply unaware. LEDs, while certainly having a longer life span, do not maintain the same brightness over time; they usually lose brightness over 50,000 but there is no way to measure that on most fixtures or know when the fixture is too dim. Many LED fixtures that are available do not have replaceable parts, such as a regular CFL or incandescent lamp — you might have to buy a brand new fixture when the old one doesn’t work well anymore. LEDs are very susceptible to heat — they require an adequate heat-sink to dissipate that and enclosed ceilings will definitely shorten the life. There are standards (LM-79, LM-80) that regulate LED lighting, but many fixtures at your local home improvement store do not follow those guidelines, so it’s a crap-shoot as to what you are actually buying. I encourage anyone looking into LED as an alternative light source do some research to make sure you are buying what you want. If you are buying any recessed fixtures for your home, maybe in the kitchen or living room, I suggest locating a well known manufacturer that has made LED fixtures for at least 10 years, this will eliminate the fly-by-night people trying to make a quick buck.

  16. So, they said CFL bulbs would last up to 7 years (Don’t you just hate how abused that “up to” phrase really is?), but we soon discovered that they last only “up to” 2 years. It has been my experience to be forced to change CFL bulbs just as often as I did the Edison bulbs.

    Now, they’re saying the LED bulb will last “up to” 30 times as long as Edison bulbs and “up to” 10 times as long as CFLs, which means they’re being hyped to last “up to” (I’m not sure) … 20 years when compared to CFLs, and some time longer when compared to Edison bulbs. My Edison bulbs always last 2 years or longer, so are you saying LEDs will last “up to” 60 years?

    I must point out that the ad on your website from Solutions from Science says their LED bulbs will last “up to” 40 years. Already we’ve got different numbers. I am always suspicious of claims such as, “They will last ‘up to’ 40 years,” when there is as yet no track record for LED lifespans. When these bulbs have been marketed for 50 years, and they have burned for “up to” 40 years, then I will believe them. Until then, not so much!

    Makers and pushers of non Edison bulbs need to lay off of the “lifespan” claims and stick with the cost per lumen, efficiency, operability, spectrum, and other aspects. Yes, for those who want to get off the grid, which generally means valuing independence more than the cost of public utilities, then spending more for a light bulb might be a good idea (to conserve a costly resource), even if the cost:benefit ratio cannot be justified in absolute dollar terms.

    Missing from the article was a discussion regarding the spectrum of light produced by the various bulbs. Of particular concern is whether LEDs might work as grow lights. What needs to be done is to have a controlled experiment in which plants of various types are planted indoors and lighted solely by various types of light. If all factors are held constant (temperature, moisture, atmospheric composition, length of exposure to light, etc.), then it would be interesting to see a comparison of each growing venue.

    Experiments also need to be conducted to determine what, if any, impact different lighting has on mood. I am reminded of the time I spent in Asia (20 years total). The lighting in homes was Gotham City fluorescent green. Talk about forlorn darkness! Driving about at night, one could see the cold, ghostly green glow pouring from every open window in high-rise apartments and single-room shanties alike. I don’t know about you, but I hate LED Christmas lights, especially the bluish-white ones. They do not bring joy to my heart, but rather leave me feeling repulsed and disappointed. Distant stars feel warmer by comparison.

  17. I was in COSTCO a month ago and they had LED lights for sale. I bought one – $17.00. OMG! But I wanted to try it. The bulb simply did not shed nearly as much light as the CFL next to it. I wouldn’t want them for fifty cents apiece. And in spite of the 25,000. – 50,000 hour estimate it burnt out within two hours. COSTCO graciously gave me my money back. Those estimates likely are akin to the mileage estimates that the gummint gives with new trucks. My Dodge truck came with a 22 MPG estimate. It gets twelve with very careful driving.

    • Totally off topic here, but you might at least look into getting a performance chip for your truck. We have a 3500 diesel dodge and are getting 22-26 MPG with the chip in town. We get about 18 with a large camper and trailer (wife’s are going to shows). We also have a manual 6 spd NOT an automatic. Your mileage seems very low……

  18. We are off gridders with a pv system. We found a whole bunch of LEDs on clearance, $1/each. They have never been replaced and are in constant use for years. I am so happy with them and recommended them to everyone asking.

  19. CFL’s are ridiculous. On top of being a health risk, they don’t last. I found LED’s on sale, but they are still expensive. Plus one of those died in 6 months.

  20. I purchased CFL’s 18 years ago and was VERY dissappointed with the results then. Currently I have cfl’s throughout my house and have been very pleased with their performance. Home Depot, Costco, and OSH (in California) had P.G. &E. rebates taken at the checkout counter. I think a 4-pack ran less than $5.00. I have been looking at the LED’s but the lumen output has been low compared to the CFL’s and the prices are very high. It will be a while before I switch. As for the mercury…how many glass thermometers have been broken in houses, how many old school thermostats (with the bulbs filled with mercury have been broken to retrieve the mercury (because it was cool to play with). My guess is most of the ills of the people in our country are due to all the man-made chemicals in the food chain from fertilizers, hormones, additives and preservatives.

  21. Some of these new bulbs are $50! I imagine the government will give them away to the poor while the cost keeps going up for the rest of us taxpayers. It is a shame that a basic thing such as lighting has become a liberal nightmare set in the darkness of redistribution. We have bought plastic bins that we are going to fill with the old style incandecent bulbs and spot lights.I expect it to be cheaper in the long run.

  22. We had a CFL bulb burn out and it smelled badly. I couldn’t figure out at first what it was. Then we had a frightening experience with another CFL bulb. My husband said he smelled an electrical type fire – we searched and searched and found we could smell it only above the table area. We thought we had a fire in the walls and was about to call the fire department when he felt of the light fixture. It was so hot he could not touch it. He felt all over the fixture toward the ceiling and it was hot only where the light bulb was. With gloves, he removed it and it smelled just awful and remained hot for a very long time. We worried we’d have to replace the fixture, but we put in new old style bulbs and it was fine. Needless to say, we removed every CFL bulb from the house and took it to our local electric company. We wanted no more of those! Perhaps these are causing fires when no one is home and hear fires are ‘electrical’ by the investigators. We will not use any more of them!

  23. Folks with lupus or a sun sensitivity can also have an adverse reaction to these CLFs.

  24. I like LED flashlites as the batteries rarely need to be changed. Perhaps the high failure rate of the house LEDs is due to the AC-DC converter.?
    I use CFLs in some of my house. Best location is my porch light and stove light which I was replacing incadescents every couple weeks.
    Use the right tool, the right way, for the right circumstance.

  25. CFLs are horrible for your health. If you get a tester and check your home, you’ll find the amount of dirty electricity you have in your surroundings. The CFLs and other electronics in your domicile give off what is known as “dirty electricity”. LEDs do not. After sending for the tester and filters to negate the effects, I began to sleep all night and felt refreshed in the AM. I suggest reading “Dirty Electricity” to see how these electronics and bulbs are effecting you and how they can cause cancer if the readings in your home are too high.

  26. To Purchasing department.

    Out team at greenwired is proud to announce the arrival of our new LED light bulb for the off grid and mobile market. After years of looking for a LED solution that we could install and sell to our off grid clients we gave up. There was nothing out there that fit the bill. So, we went to the drawing board and designed and manufactured the perfect bulb.
    The Specs:
    Base: Standard Edison Screw Base
    Input Voltage: 10 through 30 VDC (yes one bulb for both 12 and 24 volt applications)
    Power: 6.5 Watt +/- .5 Watts
    Lumen: 470 Luminous (= 60 Watt incandescent)
    Color Temp: 2800-3200 Deg K (Warm White, not blinding blue, or stark white)
    Beam Angel: 280 Degrees

    This bulbs has been receiving excellent reviews from everyone. The bulb snaps on a full brightness and color, unlike the slow flickering warmup, and short life of the CFL.

    Ordering Information:
    Orders should be directed to
    Greenwired
    [email protected]
    (707)923-2001
    http://www.greenwired.net

    For Dealers sample orders of up to 2 bulbs can be purchased to get them in your hands and let you experience their beauty and excellence. Once you see them we are sure that you would love to offer them to your clients.

  27. There is nothing wrong with LED lighting. I’ve used 1.5 metre (5 foot) fluoro replacements for 4 years every day in my kitchen and office. 50,000 hrs is about 11 years at 12 hours a day! It gets back to usage to how long it will eventually last you, maybe will be 40 years! LED’s don’t just die like the others, they get dimmer. Therefore, you could get a LED light (not brilliant) last 100,000 hrs before they actually die. Again, you get what you pay for.

    To avoid brown-outs or over voltage, check to see what the voltage range is. Many available will work from 85v up to 250v, 50&60Hz. At no extra cost.

    Check to see if the LED’s used are well known brands such as Edfison, Cree, and so on. You can get warm white, cool white, changing colour and so on.

    It all gets back to the manufacturer on quality. Many retailers are making big margins, like 500%+ on some LED products for no reason other than greed. Buying in cheap imports, and to hell with quality. Buyer beware. Ask for at least a 2 year warranty, or walk away. Due to the economic downturn, the manufactures are doing good deals for purchasers.

    My suppliers now have a minimum of a 3 year warranty on a majority of their LED products. Try and get that from an incandesant or CFL. Confidence in/and manufacturing quality in the products is increasing.

    Shop around. Go on-line. Ask difficult questions. Go to the manufactures web sites, and check out what is available. Demand good customer service from your local supplier.

  28. I am not a fan of CFL’s. I have tried them mainly because of the cost savings on electricity, and the thought they would last much longer. I may have saved a small percentage of the initial price of the CFL’s, but they are not very good compared to the good old incandescent lights. They have not met expectations as far as lifespan, and now there is the what do you do with the damn thing when it goes out question. The biggest issue now is an obvious one. The more the guv pushes something, the more I don’t like it. All I buy now is incandescent bulbs. Knowing they are going to be outlawed makes me like them so much more. If the guv would stay out of these things and let the consumer pick the best product, things would take care of themselves. A company would improve or make adjustments to satisfy the consumer or they would go bankrupt. We would all benefit in the end with superior products. It seems like anything the guv backs anymore is something I have no interest in having.

  29. One major problem that I have with LED lights (and I’m going 100% LED instead of using any CFL) is that there are way TOO MANY options.

    What “temperature” lights do you need? 3000K? 2700K? What is the “temperature” of the light in the room already… darn, bought the wrong one (again…).

    And lumens vs. watts… and now we are starting to see the two-prong (12-volt native) bulbs on the shelves right beside the standard bulbs… If you aren’t careful, you end up with a bulb that won’t even fit the outlet..

    Ah, the price of progress…

    Good info here: http://eartheasy.com/live_led_bulbs_comparison.html

    -K

  30. Just like with a new model [vehicle] from any auto maker, I think I’ll wait a couple or three years to get LEDs. With the added benefit of a possible reduction on their price! We’ll see…

  31. I forgot to mention Consumer Reports has an analysis/article on CFLs and LEDs; I forgot what month/year it’s on, but you can search it by entering CFLs vs LEDs on their site.

  32. Buy cheap, store-branded CFLs and you will be disappointed. Buy a good name brand one that costs more and you’ll usually be satisfied. (Isn’t that true with most things in life?) I buy the ones made by Philips and have never had any problems.

    Regardless, don’t put any CFL in a fixture that has a sealed globe that traps the heat. That doesn’t bother incandescent bulbs but the heat will kill a CFL.

    When you buy a CFL, keep the receipts, and write the purchase date on the ceramic “tube” holding the bulb. Then, when it fails, you can develop an estimate of how much before the “10,000” hours it actually lasted and have “proof” to take it back to WalMart and make them replace it. Do it even for Philips bulbs as some times the internal electronics fails prematurely.
    .
    Right now, most LEDs are cheap Chinese junk and the MFRs often just plain lie about the light output. DOE has done some testing and many are barely more efficient than an equivalent fluorescent light and some are actually worse. If it doesn’t have the Energy Star label stay away. Period.

    Like florescent lights, LED light comes in “colors” – warm white, cool white, daylight. However, because of the technology its not exactly equivalent to a fluorescent. While not perfect, the best way to get some “good” LED light is to make sure that they have a CRI (Color Rendering Index) rating of at least 80. While 70 is “usable” no CRI rating generally means you’ll get some junk LEDs with terrible light. Ditto for CFLs.

  33. I see no reason to eliminate tungsten bulbs. In the cold months of the year, they provide heat as well asd light. Both are needed! In the summer warm months neither heat nor light are used as much. I totally agree with all of the arguments for not using CFLs. Also, due to some leakage of UV from them, they are not only hard on pigment in drapery ,and other furnishings in the home, but bad for your eyes, as well as pictures, etc.
    I use many LEDs for lighting and love them. But they have not been developed yet for all uses. So far, they do not give the aesthetically warm light that many prefer for their homes. Last, but not least, the Government is not paying for my heating and lighting, I am! So I would respectfully request them to butt out!

  34. Please be careful with your math used in the examples. Something cannot be “300 percent more efficient” or use “4 to 6 times less energy” than another object; this would indicate that the output exceeds the input, which is impossible.

  35. For all you griping about the cost of LED’s, I buy most things off ebay. I purchased 10 LED bulbs with 28 LED’s in each bulb from China for about $22. Although they are not quite as bright as CFL, they are sufficient and I leave them on all night, my power bill has dropped considerably. FYI: my 10 LED’s off ebay cost less than one bulb at Lowes or Home Depot!

    • With every little thing that seems to be dnvelopieg throughout this particular subject matter, many of your points of view are very stimulating. Nonetheless, I appologize, because I can not give credence to your whole suggestion, all be it exciting none the less. It would seem to everyone that your commentary are not entirely rationalized and in simple fact you are your self not even thoroughly certain of the assertion. In any case I did appreciate examining it.

  36. I have tried an LED bulb, and despite what all the environmental crazies are claiming, it is just NOT the same type of light as an incandescent bulb. It might have the same “color temperature”, but it puts out a completely different type of light spectrum. Colors in my room under LED light appear more dull and greyish. I need an incandescent bulb to read and concentrate.

    While LEDs may be better than fluorescent/CFLs, they still are not the same as incandescent.

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