Thursday, January 20, 2011

Some heat on the matter of light

Compact fluoresecents not the brightest bulbs, says someone who does not like those CFLs. And why not? They look funny, they sometimes make noise or otherwise misbehave, and the light sometimes can flicker or be annoyingly off-color...

The good news is that CFLs will not be bugging us for long. I predict that LED-based lighting will, within 5-10 years, be a very cost-effective replacement for all other forms of light. Here's why: LED lights last for 50,000 hours, about 8 times as long as CFLs (6,000 hours). LEDs can now get over 120 lumens/watt instead of 60 lumens/watt for CFLs and about 15 lumens/watt for old fashioned incandescents. CFLs have topped out, but LEDs have room for improvement and will get to 200 lumens/watt in the next 5 years. So a single LED light bulb that replaces the 60 watt traditional will need only 4 watts and will last as long as 50 traditional light bulbs. In about 5 years, these will cost around $4 each, and such an LED light bulb will save money over the other forms. In the meantime, LEDs will be finding plenty of uses where the longevity, low energy use, and flexibility are paramount.

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