By Mark Halper
Posting in Energy
Mass market LED bulbs appear on the horizon, as prices plummet in India, Far East chip glut continues, and Chinese manufacturers face a shake out.
LED bulbs augur great energy and CO2 savings because they require only about 20% of the electricity that incandescent bulbs do.
But prices of $40 in the U.S., and comparable retail tags in other countries, have dampened sales, even though the bulbs save on fuel bills and supposedly last for 25 years.
The price barrier is beginning to tumble.
A report today in India’s The Economic Times says that in that country, “prices of LED lamps and luminaires have almost halved in the past 6-9 months.” Lamps – by which the article seems to mean “bulbs” -have declined to “as low as Rs 600 ($13), down from above Rs 1,000 ($22),” it says. Luminaires “now start at Rs 2,000 ($44),” it states.
The article attributes the decline to local production by Dutch manufacturer Philips, and also to “a fall in global prices of their chips", referring to the light emitting diode chips around which the industry builds LED bulbs and lighting products .
As reported here, the price of those chips is tumbling because Asian manufacturers have overproduced.
In its latest update on the glut, market research firm LEDinside has predicted a possible shakeout among Chinese LED manufacturers. Beijing’s tightening of monetary policy and banking restrictions will make it harder for some Chinese manufacturers to land the subsidies and capital on which they rely for expansion and daily operations, LEDinside says. That, combined with rising labor costs, could drive some “second tier” manufacturers out of business, it notes.
Chinese, Taiwanese and S. Korean manufacturers are all either curtailing expansion plans or slashing prices to clear inventory, LEDinside has reported. The research firm has blamed the inventory glut on a slow down of LED sales to the backlit TV industry. It predicts the oversupply will last into next year.
LED bulbs are failing to catch on significantly in all countries other than Japan, it claims.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Jul 18, 2011
The extra cost of the components needed to reduce the voltage from 110V 60hz AC to the say 10V DC that are built into each fitting. Increase the cost and reduce the overall reliability. If we use a dedicated LED supply line from a single adaptor in the home. The lighting and power costs will be substantialy reduced.
we are led lights manufacturer. now we do much in the field of improving the efficiency of led lights. now our led lights are selling to all the world.i think the led lights will replace the CFL asap. Aslo the price of led lights is cut down much now.so if you buy the lights directly from china, is much cheaper, and safer. you got the sevice directly from chinese manufacture, not distributer or other middleman.
Why are they panicky just because cost of LED is falling ? Bad attitude. Just concentrate making affordable LED bulbs...everyone needs it. You make more money this way. There are some inventors in Youtube who used just one diode, one resistor, one capacitor to bring down 230 volts to 3.5 volts to light up a LED bulb. Cheap and efficient. Can you do that for the whole world to save on everything ?Someone please do something.
Hi everybody, Its about the LED Lamps, i just baught a lamp for INR 890 ( and 1 $ ~ 44 INR ) it is 8 watts and is warrented to last me ~ 10 years of normal usage !. But the relevent point is what about the light inside my room - that is visibility ? can i use single bulb to read a book ? I dont think ! cause- avarage room size is ( L-B-H ) is 13 feet- 12feet-11 feet and perfect white color walls to reflect all the light . so if the bulb is in a holder at about 10 feet hight, then the "lumen" is not that great ( I am using in this condition); and in my guess i would need at least 4 such lamps to have 400 Lumen ( about the light inside a room in a 11 AM sunny day) . So this means 4 X 8 watts . But a CFL of 23 watts rating gives equivalent (if not better) light. so what about the energy saving for which i bought it ? still not sure about its future. I live in Eastern India. regards KC
"LED bulbs augur great energy and CO2 savings because they require only about 20% of the electricity that incandescent bulbs do." As in the case of the long lasting bulbs now so popular, has anyone worked out the TRUE cost of these bulbs? You have to include the Carbon cost of production, the chemicals involved in production, the energy cost of production, and the costs of disposal. As mentioned previously, there could also be environmental costs in disposal where toxic chemicals are used. It simply is not good enough to say they augur energy savings just because they use less electrickery to switch on. I agree quality is also paramount. I removed all the Halogen light fittings in my house and replaced with standard fittings after I found that I was replacing the halogen bulbs at two to three a month! The oldest bulb in the house is an energy saver and coming up for six years old now. Then again, has anyone done any studies to see if longer lasting bulbs degrade? This whole area is very complicated, so one should be careful of making sweeping statements or assumptions based on titbits from financial sources :)
The house I'm in right now back in the mid to late 70's my dad converted most lighting fixtures to 4' Florescent Fixtures. The bulbs last 5 to 15 years. They use to be natural Sunlight color corrected, but those are hard to find. Are the LED lights color adjusted to offer normal or natural spectrum light. I know the light spectrum can effect sales of meats and vegetables.
Five years ago I bought a LED demo light, Looks just like the photo except it is Blue LEDs and only has 20 watts of Incandescent bulb light output. I used it to replace the 40 watt bulb that was in my closet. I know it was a demo and only cost me $8.00 but said to last at least 33 years and use 1.4 watts of juice. The one advantage is if you break on you do not need a HASMAT clean up team, like the Feds say.ow if they would only correct or readjust their luminance scales so their 100 watt bulbs produce the same amount of light as a 100 watt Edison incandescent bulb. To me a a 100 watt CFL bulb only puts out about 72 watts of light. And my Dad was a light bulb salesman. You want light get a 1500 watt Mercury vapor light. They use these in Sports Stadiums. And they also make toast very well.
I have exchanged all my light bulbs at home with LED bulbs, 3 years ago. There was no failure until now, even all of them come from China. But, I took care which ones to take (I am in that business by myself, and know where to look for...) The only failure I had was on a lamp with built-in LEDs: The external power supply failed after little more than one year. Exchanging that solved the problem. That LED lamp took the place of an FL tube which had to be replaced every 3 months (because of frequent switching in a bathroom). Recently, an HPS street lamp bulb in our living compound was replaced by an LED retrofit bulb. The light now is much more comfortable, lighting the road with less glare to our windows. So far, I am happy with my LED lights.
Whether failure comes from the LEDs themselves, or from the associated electronics, the LED lights I've bought have seldom lasted for more than six months. Even at half the price, I won't buy any more until they are shown to last longer under use.
what are the pollution problems associated with manufacture/discarding LED's? One little covered story is that millions of the newfangled fluorescent lamps that will be discarded carelessly here in the third world are a possible source of future mercury pollution related illness. Is there any similar "hidden" problem with LEDs?
LED lights are much more efficient than traditional bulbs because more of the energy is converted to light rather than heat. But it's that heat the keeps traffic light lenses from being covered with snow and ice during the winter. The simple solution is to continue using incan bulbs in this application. What I suspect will happen is the manufacturers will develop some sort of heater for the lens, thus wiping out any savings from the more efficient LED's.
I agree that quality is the issue here. Of the 10 115v spotlight Led bulbs that use high power LEDs which I bought from China over the past year only 6 are still working. The problem is not with the LEDs but with the electronic circuitry that powers them. Most of these bulbs do not have enough heatsinking to dissipate the heat generated by the LEDs, and run much too hot. They will never run for 25 years at those temperatures. let alone 25 weeks. Perhaps the name brands are better, but they are still expensive as the bigger aluminum heat sink is more expensive. So a good part of the price is aluminum which is not going down in price very much. Bulbs using ordinary or SMD LEDs may not be as efficient and as bright but they are more reliable. However, they are wired in series so if one blows a good section of the bulb will be darkened, like the old series Christmas tree lights. Here is where LED quality becomes very important.
I have two 1.2 Watt LED bulbs that get used every day for a few hours (essentially home theater lighting). I've had them for about 4 months. One started flickering a couple of days ago and had to be replaced. So much for 25 years. The LED night-lights are working fine (so far). And they are still too costly.
Good article. Do you need more info about LED lighting in USA? Are you interested in giving the children a free pamphlet that teaches them about how LED lighting (energy efficient lighting) can reduce their carbon footprint? The story was written by a student at Lincoln Park HS in Chicago. It???s very cute and informative. The pamphlet has been approved at the Illinois Governor???s Executive Mansion in Springfield as a handout to the students taking tours. Please contact me for more info! Thanks! ???Elley D Saves the Planet, One LED at a Time!??? http://ledcoalition.com/Education.html
Good post on LED light. Already LEDs are catching up in India. But what is needed is quality. Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India Wind Energy Expert E-mail: email@example.com
....it makes perfect sense, but the devil's in the details not only on the specifics of the system but how it holds up over time--anyone?
Aaah ! this I like. someone in this industry speaking up. what I want to know is : is it possible to bring down the voltage from 220 volts to 2 - 3 volts to light up a row of leds just like the picture in this article..using something like a phone charger... just one resistor, one capacitor, one diode one a heat sink to absorb heat ? no step-down transformer involved ? just make sure there is quality standard. we are now using too much electicity to light up our homes, streets. I am experimenting with various gadgets to do it at home. onesimple lighting I 've got is a $2 USD made in China led torchlight to light up my room, and the batteries still lasts for weeks, then I use a simple pulse charger to recharge the batteries. any opinion Jess ?
IMHO the heat associated with the led and circuitry seems to destroy the light in short order if heat management not designed correctly. We have a retrofit E27 base 40 watt led made by Phillips that has lasted over a year and has never been turned off. The cost was a bit high (29.00 USD), but we will see if it lasts.
That's an untested conclusion about snow and ice on led vs incandescent traffic lights. In some below zero cases, the warmth of the incandescent will cause the snow to stick to the bulb where on a colder bulb, the snow would stay completely frozen and bounce off and fall to the ground. I've seen myself snow covering the bulbs of east facing traffic lights when the weather was right, most of them incandescent. Anecdotal reports of LEDs being covered and older not are not helpful. In fact, the cycling on and off of the hot bulbs likely encourages snow to stick, it warms, snowflakes stick, then light changes and it cools, and snow freezes as ice, when it warms again it's not quite enough to melt the harder ice, but more snow sticks. What's needed, if it hasn't already been done though not publicized, is testing of led and traditional fixtures, with a variety of temperature ranges, in different weather conditions. Even if heating was determined to be needed in certain conditions, it would only be needed in those conditions, 90% of the time year round, the heating would be off.
I realize now, that many of the early adopters who have complained about this kind of issue may have bought low grade items direct from china or Hong Kong. Ebay, etc. They could be counterweights made with cut rate chips, factory rejects or anything. The LEDs don't generate most of the heat, its the voltage regulator chips in the base that heat, and that are likely to fail first. LEDs don't run on 115v, they run on somewhere between 1.5-5v DC. A better system would be low voltage wiring off a larger, heatsunk DC power supply
My locale (SJ, CA) started installing LEDs for traffic lights ~10 years ago. I noticed that in less than a year many of the individual LEDs had failed and after a while the light itself was nearly useless. Lately, though, I have not noticed any LEDs not functioning in the traffic lights so someone must have improved the quality on an order of some magnitude
I agree. In Montreal traffic light conversion to LED is almost complete, and there are no problems in the winter. As a matter of fact we do not see those icicles that used to hang off the old incandescent ones. I wonder how long it will be before street lights start using LEDs as the colour would be much better than HP sodium.
A typical LED might produce 15% visible light and 85% heat. Especially with high-power LEDs, it is essential to remove this heat through good heat sinking.