Posting in Energy
Lighting Science Group says it will have retrofit LED bulbs out later this year that can pay their replacement costs in one year. Purdue scientists recently demonstrated a way to make LEDs on metal-coated silicon wafers, saving on manufacturing costs.
It's not mandatory in the U.S., but it saves energy. In places where it is mandatory, like England, protests and hoarding are breaking out.
Turns out this may be an interim step. Bulbs based on Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are coming on fast. (Diagram of how LEDs work from the U.S. Department of Energy.)
Lighting Science Group (formerly Lamina Ceramics) was at the Clinton Global Initiative this week saying it will have retrofit LED bulbs out later this year that can pay their replacement costs in one year.
LEDs claim to last 10 times longer than conventional bulbs and save 80% of their energy costs.
The problem for LEDs against fluorescent bulbs has been one of cost. LEDs cost a lot to make.
Early this year Purdue scientists demonstrated a breakthrough, making LEDs on metal-coated silicon wafers, dramatically cutting manufacturing costs. This follows by two years another breakthrough in North Carolina that dramatically increased the light output of LEDs.
LEDs have been around for 50 years. A layer of electron-rich material is placed on a layer of electron-poor material, creating a junction. Run electricity across the junction and photons are created, which can be in a variety of colors.
Both conventional light bulbs and fluorescent lights, like those I just installed, are essentially tubes. LEDs are more like transistors.
About 14% of all the electricity generated in the U.S. is used for lighting. That's about 526 billion kilowatt hours. Lighting Science says that if we replaced just one common bulb in our homes with one of their LEDs we could save 9.6 billion kilowatt hours.
A drop in the bucket compared to total U.S. electrical consumption, but you won't have to change the LEDs very often, either. So add a savings to your knees.
Sep 24, 2009
We could save just as much by outlawing stupid technology such as Plugins..Can you think of a worse waste of energy???
Lighting fixture manufacturers have yet to produce fixtures compatible to CFL's. I think LED fixtures are years away. CFL's are best left on 24/7. I use CFL's for accent lighting and Exit fixtures and helogene lamps for task lighting. T12 flour. are best if mounted 8-10'above task,T8 at 10-14' and T5 at 16-20' I have to agree to building more Nukes.
Only in America does one get so much whining. Why all this fuss, move with the times folks. I have replaced almost all the incandescent bulbs in my house with Compact Fluros and have no problems with them. In Australia, incandescents are on the way out, I doubt if there are many places selling them now. As for the life of them, well the room I am sitting in typing this has had the same CF bulb for 7 years now. I am almost 60 years old and my old eyes are not so good. The light from this 7 year old CF bulb is as good as the day I installed it and I have no problems reading with the light I get. Despite power cuts and electrical storms the CF's keep on going without a hitch and I have not yet replaced a single one of them. So here is a question for my yankee cousins, why do my CF's work faultlessly and yours don't. I will be very interested in the answer. John in Oz
I understand that people are stoking up on light bulbs in Europe because the bureaucrats at the European Commission are going to make them illegal in favour of low energy lamps. 5ft fluorescent lights correctly placed are fine and legal in the UK. But in many public buildings lighting is illegal and totally inadequate. I understand Intel have a LED that is as powerful as a street lamp. I need some of those. The LED brake lights on some new cars are difficult to see. I think they are a good idea in principle; but this stuff doesn't work in practice. It is all in the imagination of the bureaucrats. they should be the first to try them, if they can't see to write they will send out less bullshit!
LED's are a better product solely on basis of their efficiency to produce the same light as HID. I think there is a future for LED if they could control the reliability issues in high temperature environments. They do cost significantly more, however, they are very reliable in cooler temperatures and are proving themselves in exterior lighting due to the lower temperatures after the sun sets. A couple of companies are guaranteeing them for five years and if you have Pressurized Sodium or Metal Halide in your parking lot then LED pays for itself in maintenance.
I believe Tony R. is correct that ESL will take some time to perfect and be able to produce more than just R30 bulbs --- like something we can actually use in a standard lamp (if ever). But, hopefully, competition in its development, or buyout by a larger company with more resources, might speed it up. I also agree about proceeding with nuclear plants. While not the norm for the previous era, the last nuke plant I worked on (south of Ft. Worth, TX) took 17 years to complete and go fully functional. Most took much less, but at the rate we're going now, if we don't start now, it might be too late.
@escapepod, even thought ESL lamps look intriguing, as far as I can tell, they're just vaporware so far. They have a few prototypes running in a test facility, but none available for purchase. To ramp up production to the quantities needed to supply Europe and North America will take huge amounts of capital, which may be difficult to raise in the present economic environment. Other promising technologies never materialize, or take 10 years and more to materialize. Do you remember sulfur lamps? They were ballyhooed in the early 1990s, but by the late 1990s were all but forgotten. The developer, Fusion Lighting, stopped production in 1998 and closed its doors in early 2002, after having used up approximately $90 million in venture capital. Sulfur lamps are being produced in small quantities by others now for use in select commercial applications, but you can't buy them at your local home improvement center. I'll be surprised if you'll be able to buy ESL lamps from Vu1 or anyone else before 2019. In the meantime ... well, we may need to put up with LEDs, CFLs -- and gaslight.
Forget CFLs and LEDs. Build nukes instead. If we start now, within 8-10 years we can commission a sufficient number of safe, modern nuclear plants to run all the incandescent bulbs and traditional fluorescent tubes we care to use, and alternative lighting technology still won't be ready for prime time and deployed to our hardware stores and home improvement centers.
JimboNobody, I've never seen an LED bulb that cheap, I don't think you can judge the reliability of the average LED by that cheapie.
Please consider not printing letters from adornoe until he goes back to kindergarten and learns the value of politeness, courtesy and respect. So, you want to send me back to kindergarten and you consider that being "respectful"? Are you the kind that practices the complete opposite of what you preach? Politeness is a two-way street. And so is courtesy. If the original poster shows disrespect and arrogance towards the readers and posters in this forum, why should the readers and posters just ignore the original poster? Also, consider what you just did with your own post pointing your finger at me. If my post irritated you, then all you needed to do was to point where I went wrong without asking that I be banned from commenting. Wasn't your post also disrespectful of my right to express my opinion, even if I sometimes express them strongly? He is on a rant and is making personal attacks on other writers. Why do you need to call it a rant? Why not just call it my "strongly worded opinions". And where was the personal attack? If a person has no respect for his readers and displays his arrogance in his post, why should I or anybody else "respect" that kind of expression? The chip he has on his shoulder is making him mistake courtesy for a mocking attitude. Perhaps you didn't understand the part of the post that I was replying to. So, why don't you go back and read it carefully before making your uninformed judgments? I'm not trying to be disrespectful in this case; I just want you to understand where I was coming from. Though "sending his incandescent bulbs" to the people who disagreed with him may sound innocent to you, to me it was an insult. He was mocking the people who disagreed with his post for the "energy" saving bulbs. That's typical of those who can't tolerate differences of opinion. So, again, it's not about a "chip on my shoulder"; to me it's about getting all different opinions expressed and the truth told. Some people here are only tolerant of those that agree with them, and everyone else is just wrong. I don't follow along. If he is in fact telling the truth then others will recognize it, That's where you're wrong. If I don't express my difference of opinion and my disagreement with the points being made by an article or a post, then there are many who will take the articles' points as being facts. If the whole story is not told, or other facts are left out, or different points of view are not allowed, then there will be those who will believe that because the original article had nobody disagreeing with it, that it then represents the truth or the facts. That is the way the global warming nonsense has been presented to people and anybody that disagrees with global warming is called a "denier" or uninformed, or uncaring about the environment. Sorry, I will not sit idly by while the truth is prevented from being heard. he does not have to include insults as a means of convincing other people. So, what part of my post was "insulting"? You keep making the charge but you're not giving the details about how I was insulting somebody. My take is that you didn't like my opposition to the original post. If that's the case, then why didn't you make your supporting argument and leave it at that? Why get personal by singling me out?
when led tech allows spectrum as borad as "visible" part of sunlight, >and< has surge tolerance, and undercuts current watt usage, it will take over.
I hear you - let's do nothing! Current consumption will leave our children without resources - but by then we won't be here to worry about it!
When the stock incandescents in our ceiling fan burned out, I bought a package of new ones (4 for $2), one CFL ($3) and one LED ($6). They gave out in opposite order from their packaging promises. The LED lasted less than 3 months, the CFL lasted a year (but shattered and who know where it spewed the mercury contents) and the incandescents are still burning. I'd love to go all LEDs, but they're not reliable. CFLs are not reliable and seemingly toxic, so I'm saving electricity by leaving the lights off more and using lower wattage.
The light from CFLs is unpleasant and seems to take longer and longer to warm up to full power, so I've had to mix a few incandescent in fixtures with multiple bulbs. ESL is just too far away from real world utility and they currently make even the priciest LED look like a bargain. So, LED wins by default. I'm just beginning the process of replacing with LED, but even that has shortcomings which are apparent. It is encouraging, though, that so much work is being done to create efficient lighting. It's a shame more efficient batteries aren't getting the same level of attention, but that's another topic.
I am from Minnesota...you can take your CFL's and put them..well you get my drift. During our frigid winters, any CFL's installed in a garage, barn or other unheated building is absolutely worthless. I am stocking up on incandensent bulbs because until something that works in -10 to -40 degrees comes along I will not switch. I also tried the CFL's in the house and in addition to not giving off enough light, the bulb burned out within one week. Now I'm driving around town with three burned out CFL's looking for a place to recycle them.
I noticed a lot of comments about LED flashlights not being as bright as 'regular' MagLite type's. Check out Fenix flashlights (http://www.fenixlight.com) they've got VERY bright flashlights, but be prepared to pay for them...I've got the L1D model, and they're on Amazon.com for about $55. It's listed as putting out 90 Lumens, but they've got models up to 250+ lumens!
I built high intensity LED enclosure for every light in my house, works fantastically, cost about 2usd a light, bright as any of the 'high efficiency' bulbs I was using previously. I even built an indoor hydroponic garden using them.
CFL's a poison, give terrrible light, and are unsuitable for many application. LED's are weak. ESL? first time I've heard of them, so it will be years before they drift down to my level of the food chain. How about improving on proven technology? Increase the efficency of the incandensents,useing modern technology. It is already being done, by bounce a laser off the filiment, they have increase the efficency of the incandenscent bulb to nearly 100%. See: http://scitation.aip.org/getabs/servlet/GetabsServlet?prog=normal&id=PRLTAO000102000023234301000001&idtype=cvips&gifs=yes. Never heard of it? I am not surprised. The "Green Weenies" are so wrapped up in pushing their philosphy into everyone elses lives, they are wearing blinders to anything that detracts from their planned takeover of the world. Don't worry, though. It is for your own good, they know better than you do.
As eco friendly policies are encouraged by all governments across globe; I think it will have impact on bottom line of energy & petrochemical companies. Consumers will start investing into so called eco-friendly new technologies with the hope to reduce their consumption and hence reduced bill for them. But instead of passing on savings to consumers, they (energy companies) will lobby to increase their profit. As this will happens gradually; I will not be surprised to see savings vanished into thin air before anyone realises it. Vinnie
I have had fluorescent lights in one form or another for over 20 years. I started with the $20 circle lights, changing out the light bases to porcelain (yes, ugly but functional.) My oldest bulb burned out after 12 years of use (and 3 house moves.) Instead of 4 60 watt bulbs in my ceiling fan, I use 1 13 watt fluorescent and screw more in when I need to read the paper. In Hawaii, the average electrical bill is over $200 /month. Mine runs at about $160 or less (not to mention my solar water heater at 140 degrees.) Currently trying leds on my outside lights. Concerned about heat building up in a normal fixture and decreasing the life span (don't put the covers on the fixture.) Eventually, the light fixtures may be brought up to speed to deal with the leds or whatever succeeds them.
Please consider not printing letters from adornoe until he goes back to kindergarten and learns the value of politeness, courtesy and respect. He is on a rant and is making personal attacks on other writers. The chip he has on his shoulder is making him mistake courtesy for a mocking attitude. If he is in fact telling the truth then others will recognize it, he does not have to include insults as a means of convincing other people.
While the idea of saving energy is admirable, doing so with known deadly and toxic materials is not. The myriad problems that plague CFL's (color cast, slow on, mercury, cost, premature failure, harmonics) will eventually doom them. For those people who carefully read the information with the CFL's, they state that the bulbs are designed turned on for at least 15 minutes per cycle. How often do you go into a room to get something, then leave? More frequent "on-off" cycles on CFL's burn out their electronics faster than what is "rated". That increases the initial cost even more. And Dana, according to the information I have from various sources, sales of incandescents are due to be stopped in California in either 2010 or 2011. There was a move afoot here in Illinois to ban them by 2012, but I never heard if it passed the legislature. One of the other posters made notice of the fact that power companies can't seem to let go of their profits. Any reduction in usage we make merely causes them to escalate their rates. In any other publicly traded business, the stockholders are supposed to assume at least some of that business' financial risk. Unfortunately, that isn't the case any more with the energy utilities. That needs to change.
First off, keep your incandescents. Your offer is not worth it and the cost of postage might end up more than the bulbs can be purchased for. You're just mocking the crowd out here who are not buying your "the world is ending and we need to save the planet" garbage. That's being petty and frankly, childish. Another point is that, though there may not be legislation directly mandating that people convert to LED or ESLs or CFLS, that's not the approach that many legislators take. They may not mandate that people change from incandescents, but they could legislate or regulat that no new incandescents be produced. What happens if the people then don't have a choice? I'll leave you to think of the answer. Here's a suggestion for you: why not try to give the people out here more credit for their intelligence and their general knowledge and stop being so arrogant with your single-minded and condescending posts?
I want to thank everyone for their points. I have seen no move to legislate, force people to CFLs yet, by the way. I think the reason is in the discussion thread. I was under the impression, from my research, that they were more reliable than they may be. I like the idea of ESLs, and I also like the idea of some market regulation. I have seen no problems with the light output of fluorescent bulbs, however, and if someone wants my old incandescents write me off line and you can have them for the postage.
If they can get the cost down that much, LEDs will catch on very fast. The efficiency claimed for ESLs is not as good as LEDs, but the technology may improve, so I wouldn't count it out.
power grab and let free market technology take care of it,You make a product that works just as well as incandescants, less pollutive(ie no mercury) and costs less, people will buy it. Keep government freedom hating goons out of it.
The mandation (its a word, I said so) of CFLs is further proof of how a large portion of the "green" movement is a bunch of legislated money making BS! Not a single CFL I have used has lasted as long as an incandescent and at half a gram of mercury a piece it better damn well perform as advertised. The crap the ESL site said about LEDs is mostly untrue. It was true at one time, but hasn't been for a while. I've bought 3 LED bulbs over the years. The first one was KIND of like the ones they showed in the video (on the vu1.com site) and was about $70. The color was decent, about as good quality as a CFL. It was MUCH smaller than the ones they showed in the video (this was 8 years ago). The second one I bought did not have a heat sink. It was equivalent in size a regular light bulb, but the color was really blue, I didn't like it, so I put it in the kitchen. The last one I bought, a few months ago, was the same size, shape and color as a regular light bulb, the best part is the "bulb" is plastic and only used for diffusion of the direct LED light. LEDs are 100% dimmable, the new LEDs have good color, they can be a LOT brighter than any regular incandescent a person would put in their home and do NOT require giant heat sinks. That said the ESL technology is pretty fascinating. It seems to be essentially a single pixel tube TV, thats why I'm kinda surprised it's efficient. But I'm sure the simple nature of it allows for considerably higher efficiency. I didn't see any actual specs on the website, so I'm gonna reserve final judgement till I can buy one. Cool stuff though. (to the guy who had lightning take out his LED lights, if you have problems with that you need to put some protection on your HOUSE, cause a surge can take out anything, including whatever you typed your comment on.)
I have actually replaced about half of my lightbulbs with the CFLs, and for the same amount of wattage on the bulbs. I have not seen any savings in my electric bill. I would say that my consumption hasn't changed; I still have the same number of computers and the same number of TVs and the same number of appliances , and the same number of rooms which need lighting. And, I don't use any of those "electricity users" any more than I used to. But, in the last couple of years, since I changed to those new bulbs in about half the house, my electric bill has actually gone up. Now, it's also true that the electric company has also raised their electricity rates and that could account for some of the increase in my bill. But, the electric company gets used to having a certain amount of gross revenue from what they charge, and if they notice a net decline in the amount of electricity used, they almost always ask the government for a rate increase. So, why the "f" bother? Should I do it to save the globe from global warming? I would if it could be proven, without a shadow of a doubt and with true science, that we humans are causing the globe to warm. As it is and as I've read and studied up on the issue, the "global warming" science is not based on the facts and true science. Yeah, they do use some facts withing their "science", but that's mostly to try to give that science some credibility. But, most of it is JUNK. Having said that, if a product is developed which can give me the same amount of lighting that the incandescent bulbs give me, for a lower use of electricity and a lower cost for that electricity, and which product is not going to cost me an arm and leg to purchase it, then I'm all for it. I don't want to make the changes because of some junk science or because the government "mandates" or dictates it. As it stands, the light that I do get from a same wattage bulb is much lower than the light that I do get from a same wattage incandescent bulb. In fact, in one of my rooms, I had to use two 60 watt bulbs to give me the same approximate lighting as the single 75 watt bulb which I replaced. I'm sorry, I'm not buying the crap about the new bulbs.
Certain applications have worked in the LED vs Fluorescent scene. Krogers food chain has had some success in their refrigerated lighting, but the true problem is not the undisputed savings of energy cost. The problem thus far is the true application of the lighting delivery and the UL listing that accompany the bulbs. The current fluorescent bulbs decrease their lumen output by 50% in 5 years. They (for the most part) need ballasts which add to the maintenance cost. The LED (fluorescent tube retro-fit) retains 95% of it's lumens over a 10 year period, has no ballast and puts out more lumens than the fluorescents! The problem is that the lighting delivery is poor. Most people do not like looking directly at an LED. Some work is being done in the area of diffusers that mimic the fluorescents. Last, LED's,( while they pay for themselves) still require the initial capital expenditure and this cost is keeping the ROI,s up there.
Something to think about with CFL's... Public utilities have been strong advocates of CFL's in the past, even offering huge rebates. The problem is that CFL's create poor harmonics, which in turn is causing utilities to increase the supply of power to users. Ironically the utilities are now charging for this extra supply! The users are responsible for their own harmonics within a system. The CFL era was a futile attempt to band-aid the need for energy efficiency.
Lighting uses amount to "526 billion kilowatt hours. Lighting Science says that if we replaced just one common bulb in our homes with one of their LEDs we could save 9.6 billion kilowatt hours." I don't see the math working there. At LSG's quoted 80% lower power consumption, that's the equivalent of replacing around 1 in 50 lamps throughout the US. One lamp per household has got to be far less than 2% of the US lighting load. Add in industrial, street lighting, and advertising, and that one per house is a drop in the bucket.
I looked into ESLs last year to offer to my handicapped, mobility challenged (or whatever the current PC term is) customers and the startup kit, I think was $300 - WAY to expensive to pass on so I went back to LEDs. Great concept but I was advised that it was primarily for deep pockets (at that time) and prices would come down once production. . .
CFLs are an environmental disaster in waiting. Why it's better to throw mercury in the dump than waste electricity as heat doesn't make sense to me. Besides, I really hate the spectrum anything other than conventional bulbs give off. I'm very sensitive to light, sort of like what they now call "seasonal affected disorder," I call it "dark bums me out." When I'm in fluorescent light I can feel myself being pushed the wrong way emotionally. I've done experiments on this, I'm pretty sure the nature of the light is causing the effects. I have not been in the presence of pure LED light, but from what I've seen of them the light spectrum is even narrower than CFL. And maybe I'm nuts but I sense LED is constantly applying a pressure of sorts, as if trying to shift toward the blue. (higher frequency) I bought an LED flashlight to replace my old maglite that broke. It has 5 LEDs in it and it's no where near as bright, is bluish and doesn't illuminate a subject as well. It's far more difficult to work with than the light a maglight puts out with that tiny, high tension bulb. I'm all for reducing pollution and energy consumption, but I am not looking forward to a time when I can't use good old incandescent bulbs, at least in my house.
I am concerned that all these alternatives may not offer either the flexibilty or form factors needed to replace current lighting. For example, in my kitchen I have a pendant style lighting fixture hanging over an island. That fixture takes 3 candleabra based 60 watt bulbs. Those bulbs have to be small enough to fit inside the shades and they have to be capable of dimming. I can't find a flourescent bulb small enough to fit the fixture nor are there any alternative that small that can run on a dimming switch. I do not want to replace a fixture that looks right for the spot and for which I paid hundreds of dollars just to accomodate some government bureacrat who doesn't understand my needs.
I bought two LED bulbs a few years back for a hefty chunk of money per bulb. They each lasted two to three months before a lightning storm took each out. Bottom line is, unless standards for lightning protection are provided for edison and candelabra based bulbs, LED bulbs are going to get a bad wrap in little or no time!
i am all for the changes, but the problem still remains in that the newer light sources replacing the incandescent bulb just do not give enough usable light. the fluorescent may say 100 Watt output, but the light emitted is far less that a 100 Watt bulb and it shows whn trying to work or read by the new light sources. i have yet to see an led flashlight that can come even close to competing with a regular one using a krypton bulb. when i turn on a flashlight, i want light that goes some distance.
I have been using CFLs for about 8 years. Too high of a failure rate to suit my taste. I don't think they are best suited for a consumer situation. A business with this type of lighting running all day is better suited. Let's face it...those ballasts required work best if left on. I have too many bulbs that don't last the years that they are advertised for. I now have 3 LED bulbs so far.....paid $5 for them and that was tolerable. I have to check out ESL bulbs !
CFLs suck. I used to be a fan of LEDs, and they still have their purpose, but the real light bulb of the future is the ESL (Electron Stimulated Luminescence). Link to the site of the company doing the most research and development: http://www.vu1.com/ Includes documentary video from YouTube.