Print 96 comment(s) - last by sleepeeg3.. on Apr 3 at 2:59 PM

LED light bulb promises to last for 10 years of typical use

Energy efficiency is a big area of research around the globe. One way to ease our demand for natural resources like oil and coal and reduce our environmental impact is to use less power. One of the biggest areas of research when it comes to using less natural resources and creating less pollution is in the hybrid auto industry.

However, one very common area of research for saving power is the common light bulb. Traditional incandescent light bulbs in most homes around the world today consume relatively large amounts of power and put off heat as a byproduct.

Research focusing on using much more energy efficient LED bulbs for household lighting is underway around the globe. Lighting using LED bulbs not only consumes less power, but also lasts much longer than the incandescent bulbs we use today.

However, an LED light bulb produced in California by a company called C. Crane Company promises to last for 30,000 hours or ten years of typical use. Company president, Robert C. Crane told the Times Standard, "It's best light bulb in the world. It's the most efficient and the longest-lasting."

One of the biggest problems with moving to other types of bulbs for lighting in homes and business is that most produce a different color light than the incandescent bulb. Anyone who has used the typical fluorescent light bulb to replace a standard bulb can tell you that the color of light produced is markedly different from an incandescent.

The LED bulb is offered in three different color spectrums to allow users to choose the color that best suits their needs. The bulb comes in cool, soft and warm spectrums; whether or not any of the three colors offered matches the light from an incandescent bulb is unknown.

Light color aside, the single biggest problem with the current LED light bulb form the C. Crane Company is that each bulb costs $119. The company points out that if you had an electrician come and replace fixtures in the home with more energy efficient ones your costs would be more than simply using the new light bulb. The cost per bulb is one of the issues that the company is focusing on for future products.

Director of sales and marketing Jessica Gillette for Crane said, "It's [using the LED light bulb] not anything different from what you're used to doing." The company's LED bulb needs only 7.5 watts to provide as much light as a 60-watt incandescent bulb.

Household lighting isn’t the only place that LEDs are being used to replace more traditional light fixtures. Some new vehicles are getting LED lighting including the Lexus LS 600h L and the Audio R8 V10. The R8 uses LED lighting in all places lighting is needed from the interior to the headlights and running lights.

Researchers are also focusing on ways to eliminate issues associated with LED lighting including a common problem with LED lighting known as efficiency droop.

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So in reality....
By marvdmartian on 3/30/2009 12:13:02 PM , Rating: 5
....this bulb uses ~1/2 the power of an equivalent compact fluorescent bulb? The same bulb that costs ~2% of what this new LED bulb runs?? The same bulb that could potentially last just as long as this new LED bulb???

Someone show me where the savings start, please?

RE: So in reality....
By StevoLincolnite on 3/30/2009 12:24:43 PM , Rating: 5
Someone show me where the savings start, please?

When Supply/Demand/More Reasearch/Better Manufacturing/Cheaper Materials are used.

I remember when a small LED light used to cost 10 bucks, and now you can get them for 10 cents, if not less.

RE: So in reality....
By sprockkets on 3/30/2009 6:45:23 PM , Rating: 5
Read: When the bulbs stop saying "Made in USA" or another developed country and say "MADE IN CHINA"

RE: So in reality....
By Spivonious on 3/31/09, Rating: 0
RE: So in reality....
By callmeroy on 3/31/09, Rating: 0
RE: So in reality....
By Spivonious on 3/31/09, Rating: 0
RE: So in reality....
By Machinegear on 3/31/2009 10:55:07 AM , Rating: 1
No you can't.

The rule is public school kids hate other public school kids. :-)

But regardless, keep up the posting as the truth always lies outside the public school!

RE: So in reality....
By h0kiez on 3/31/2009 11:48:57 AM , Rating: 3
Lets not forget that China is MASSIVE. Parts of it are certainly developed (anybody watch the Olympics?). Other huge parts of it aren't really developed at all.

RE: So in reality....
By TheDoc9 on 3/31/2009 8:17:27 PM , Rating: 2
At which point the 10 year warranty is changed to a 90 day.

RE: So in reality....
By sleepeeg3 on 4/3/2009 2:56:41 PM , Rating: 2
Show me a CFL that lasts 10 years. Those suckers burn out every 3 months. Hello mercury!

RE: So in reality....
By bjacobson on 4/1/09, Rating: 0
RE: So in reality....
By GTVic on 3/30/2009 12:25:56 PM , Rating: 4
I bought four CF bulbs recently and they definitely don't last 10 years, not even close to 5. The only situation in which they seem to last is in the most optimal conditions (room temperature, non-enclosed fixture, vertically mounted).

Never mind the hazardous materials when it comes to disposing of them...

RE: So in reality....
By kmmatney on 3/30/2009 1:06:58 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. While CF bulbs have lasted me longer than normal ones, I've never gotten the "7 years" that they advertise. Overall, though, I've been pretty happy with the compact flourescents. I would agree that they tend to last longer in optimal conditions. I've had teriible luck trying to use them outdoors, even when well protected.

These LED bulbs need to last longer than 10 years. I have a 18 foot ceiling in the family room, and it would be great to never have to change those light bulbs again - ever.

RE: So in reality....
By ebakke on 3/30/2009 1:59:23 PM , Rating: 3
I have a 18 foot ceiling in the family room...
I'm glad I don't have to heat and cool that!

RE: So in reality....
By kmmatney on 3/30/2009 3:37:07 PM , Rating: 2
It's not so bad - I'm in Colorado, so you just turn on the attic fan for 45 minutes in summer to cool things down a bit. Doesn't seem to be a problem to heat the house in Winter, but there is a ton of insulation in the attic. I lived in California for 26 years, in a much smaller house, and our heating and cooling bills are a lot less in Colorado, despite a much bigger house.

RE: So in reality....
By h0kiez on 3/31/2009 11:51:45 AM , Rating: 3
Gotta love Cali. Highest cost of living and highest taxes in the country and they're still bankrupt. It's a great model for the where the rest of our increasingly socialist country is heading.

RE: So in reality....
By Teh Interwebz on 3/31/2009 5:10:01 PM , Rating: 3
...and Louisiana is a great example of going in the other direction.

RE: So in reality....
By sleepeeg3 on 4/3/2009 2:59:35 PM , Rating: 2
No, they’re still a welfare state. It’s just no one wants to pay massive taxes to live in a bog!

RE: So in reality....
By Ammohunt on 3/31/2009 2:24:42 PM , Rating: 2
Two words "swamp cooler" I cool my house in northern Colorado in the summer for pennies a day.

RE: So in reality....
By Spuke on 4/1/2009 3:32:37 PM , Rating: 2
I have a huge swamp cooler plumbed into my HVAC ducting. Saves me a ton of money in the summer versus running the AC.

RE: So in reality....
By Parhel on 3/30/2009 4:15:25 PM , Rating: 3
I replaced nearly all of the light bulbs in my house with CF bulbs about 4 years ago, and haven't had a single one burn out yet. I didn't notice a difference on my energy bill, which I was hoping for, but I love not having to replace bulbs all the time.

RE: So in reality....
By martinrichards23 on 3/31/2009 11:42:25 AM , Rating: 2
I've had CF bulbs for ages now as well, must be approaching about 10 years, and I've not once had one stop working.

I also have a handful or halogens which seem to break after a matter of months.

RE: So in reality....
By Spuke on 4/1/2009 3:40:55 PM , Rating: 2
I probably change regular light bulbs every year to year and a half, hardly "all the time". I have been replacing them with CF bulbs mainly for the cost savings but there hasn't been ANY savings not to mention when they do go, I'll have to keep them in a box until I can get over to the hazmat disposal place. Good thing we actually have one relatively close to the house or I'd be pissed.

RE: So in reality....
By plowak on 3/30/2009 10:00:11 PM , Rating: 2
You think that's bad, our swimming pool extends into our family room and it's loaded with special lighting at that end, end we have to drain the damn thing to change a bulb. Life is a bitch!

RE: So in reality....
By feraltoad on 3/31/2009 1:38:42 AM , Rating: 5
This funny whether it's tongue in cheek or not. Hard times brother, hard times.

RE: So in reality....
By The0ne on 3/30/2009 3:28:46 PM , Rating: 4
Same here, the bulbs just doesn't last long. All of my bulbs don't last more than 2 years, half not even a year. It's something worth looking into as how they come up with these numbers.

RE: So in reality....
By Alexstarfire on 3/30/2009 6:51:53 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe you just have some crappy wiring, we've had 1 lightbulb in our entire house go out in...... I don't even know how long it's been. We had some extra bulbs from when we replaced the lightbulbs the first time and we still have the box.

RE: So in reality....
By Bruneauinfo on 3/30/2009 7:47:35 PM , Rating: 4
that's what the CF boxes should say -

"They last... oh we don't even know how long!!"

RE: So in reality....
By StinkyWhizzleTeeth on 3/30/2009 11:50:43 PM , Rating: 3
The hours rating they give to bulbs is the time it will take for half of them to burn out.

However in my experience with CFL bulbs they do seem to sometimes go out way early. This is probably because of there need for cheap ballasts.

RE: So in reality....
By bhieb on 3/30/2009 12:56:48 PM , Rating: 5
I've not had the best of luck with CPF most of them die quickly (almost yearly), and I rarely keep a receipt for such things so I'm SOL.

So if this addressed my biggest concerns it may get the nod in difficult to reach areas of my home.

1 - longevity the whole point for me on a premium would be so I don't have to deal with hard to replace areas of my home.

2 - Dimmable? If they are not dimmable then they are of no use in several areas of my home.

3 - is it instant on (I would assume so).

These 3 are quickly become deal breakers in parts of my home for CPF. I have actually went back to incandescence because of 2 and 3, add in the price issues of #1 and it is becoming a tough sale. I've found that I simply cannot get the ROI with a CPF unless I go through the hassle of returning them for warranty.

RE: So in reality....
By Screwballl on 3/30/2009 1:11:42 PM , Rating: 3
I have replaced a majority of bulbs in and ouside of my house with 40 and 60W equivalent CFLs. The only ones I have not replaced yet use a non-standard base (like the candelabra base).

1 - The longest running ones have been in my house now for 2 years, yet incandescent bulbs tend to last 1-3 months. the power surges take out regular bulbs fast. I have had some last a few days before a surge burns it out. The only incandescent bulb I found that lasts long in my situation are the appliance bulbs (25 and 40W variations).

2 - No they are not dimmable and there is only one room where I myself use that (on rare occasions), but those use candelabra base (not the standard bulb base) anyways so no CFLs available yet.

3 - all of mine are instant on except my outside porch light which takes 1-2 seconds to come on when it is below 40 degrees F. Otherwise over 40 they are always instant on.

RE: So in reality....
By kmmatney on 3/30/2009 1:17:10 PM , Rating: 2
That is also what I found. Power surgaes can wipe out the incandescent bulbs - however using "long-life" 130V incandescents allows them to last longer - at least at my house. The CF bulbs last the longest, though, although I've never had one last the 7 years asd advertised. I don't think any have lasted 5 years yet.

I'm going to start dating them so I can chart how long they last. I have over 60 bulbs in the house, so the data should be interesting.

What brand do you use that are instant on? Mine come on right away, but they take over a minute to readch full intensity.

RE: So in reality....
By ZmaxDP on 3/30/2009 1:50:33 PM , Rating: 5
I always wondered what it would be like to go out with a light bulb. They're very bright I hear, though I've never found them to be particularly attractive. The incandescents at least seem to warm right up to me, the CFLs always seemed so cold. Of course, dating 60 of them seems a bit excessive, but probably realistic. I hear they're easy, they'll let just about anyone screw them, in or out. As for filling us in on all the "data"...
No thanks.

(Sorry, couldn't resist...)

RE: So in reality....
By TA152H on 3/30/2009 2:48:00 PM , Rating: 1
Long-life incandescent bulbs are really bad, because they give off less light per watt than normal ones. I'd say go with the CF bulbs if you need long life.

I hate the color of incandescent lights too, and find the bluer light much easier to read with. I don't buy any new incandescent bulbs anymore, and as they die, I replace them with CF bulbs. So, far, going on five years, I haven't replaced a single CF bulb yet, and the one in my bedroom is on an awful lot (at least 10 hours a day, since I fall asleep a lot reading, and don't shut it off). Two years ago, I replaced my outdoor lights with flourescent bulbs, and they are still alive and well. However, if it's very cold out, one of them is very, very dim when it's first put on, but eventually reaches normal brightness. The other, strangely, doesn't exhibit this behavior to the same degree.

When you factor in the savings, particularly in the summer because of the heat, I don't see how people can justify incandescent bulbs anymore, except in rare situations (dimming, for example).

I'd pay for the LED light if it paid for itself over time, but I don't see how it could at this price. Clearly they are going to have to get to the $20 or less price with this thing, except where longevity is critically important. Against incandescent bulbs it's easy to see where it can pay for itself, but against CF bulbs, I think the price has to come down quite a bit. Who wants to make an investment in a light bulb after all? "Hey, Hon, I've saved up some extra cash for a new light bulb". I just can't see it.

RE: So in reality....
By psychobriggsy on 3/30/2009 1:33:40 PM , Rating: 2
I've been using candelabra base CFLs for years...

Also only had one die on me, a month or two old so probably just a duff bulb. I have CFLs in this house getting on for 8 years old.

What the hell is wrong with your electricity supply?

RE: So in reality....
By chmilz on 3/30/2009 1:17:03 PM , Rating: 2
I have some similar issues. My bathroom fixture uses six 40W globes. I recently replaced half the globes with CFL globes. Bathroom doesn't get nearly as hot now, and I still have some instant on light for quick transactions.

I don't believe the longevity guarantees of CFL's for a second, so I kept the old globes in the box with the receipt tucked inside.

RE: So in reality....
By manoj252 on 3/30/2009 1:44:24 PM , Rating: 2
I'd leave a copy of the receipt in there too :) Receipts have a tendency to fade rather quickly depending on the printing method used.

RE: So in reality....
By Jimbo1234 on 3/30/2009 1:52:48 PM , Rating: 2
The worst fading receipts are from Best Buy I've noticed. Even tucked away in a filing cabinet with no light exposure they fade in a couple years.

RE: So in reality....
By PitViper007 on 3/30/2009 3:02:40 PM , Rating: 4
Probably because it's printed on thermal paper with is heat sensitive rather than light sensitive. And yes they do fade rather quickly.

RE: So in reality....
By StinkyWhizzleTeeth on 3/31/2009 12:00:04 AM , Rating: 2
The longetivity guarantees might be based on turning the lights on and off only a few times a day. CFL's are stressed a lot more than incandescents when being switched off/on. So CFL's in bathrooms and other areas where they're used every day for short bursts of time won't last nearly as long as a bedroom.

RE: So in reality....
By superflex on 3/30/2009 2:54:45 PM , Rating: 2
If you want a dimmable bulb, try cold cathode fourescents (CCFLs). They use 1/2 the power of CFLs, are dimmable, offer instant on tech, and last twice as long.
Again, quit buying your bulbs from big box retailers. The best CFLs and CCFLs are sold online and are generally cheaper than what your B&M stores sell for.

RE: So in reality....
By kmmatney on 3/30/2009 3:19:49 PM , Rating: 2
Makes sense - that is what most LCD screens use as a backlight, and they of course are dimmable.

RE: So in reality....
By StinkyWhizzleTeeth on 3/30/2009 11:53:37 PM , Rating: 2
Concerning point 2, if the LED doesn't adjust color temperature (White to Yellow to Red) as it becomes dimmer then you'll lose light quality when switching from Incandescent to LED.

RE: So in reality....
By Spivonious on 3/31/2009 8:12:12 AM , Rating: 2
#1. It all depends on the quality of the CFL you get. My parents jumped on the CFL bandwagon very early on, when the bulbs were still $15 each. They did a room where the lights are on pretty much all evening every day and they lasted for 8 years. I've had the same CFLs in my most frequently used lights for the past 4 years. Maybe you have a wiring problem.

#2. That is one of the big problems with flourescent lights, but the only dimmable light in my house is the dining room chandelier, so I just stick with incandescents in that one.

#3. It is true that they take a minute or so to come up to full brightness, but CFLs are not designed to replace bulbs in those places where instant light is needed. My rule of thumb is that if the light will be on for at least 15 minutes, I'll replace the bulb with a CFL when it burns out.

RE: So in reality....
By Hieyeck on 3/30/2009 1:43:00 PM , Rating: 2
This argument sounds very familiar... kinda like with CF bulbs first came out. We just need to remember someone has to start somewhere. Give them time.

RE: So in reality....
By bobny1 on 3/30/2009 1:54:06 PM , Rating: 2
I never thought of light bulb insurance!. Specially against BB guns. LOL

RE: So in reality....
By melgross on 3/30/2009 5:56:25 PM , Rating: 2
The cheap compact bulbs aren't very good. A good article was in the NY Times about that the other day. I've got some Panasonics' that cost between $15 and $20, depending on the output level, and they are very good, lasting for over five years so far. Cheaper ones have not done very well. Some only lasting a few months, while their output dropped quickly.

There are some other LED models on sale that fit R30 fixtures that use 12 watts and put out 650 lumens. They last for 50,000 hours.

These cost $89 for five, and they were just on sale for less, at:

RE: So in reality....
By fic2 on 3/30/2009 6:51:33 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't see any PAR30 LED models outputting 650 lumens. My building would certainly buy those instead of the CFLs I talked them into buying a couple of years ago. We have 39 PAR30 24x7 fixtures so switching to the CFLs is saving us about $1700/year. The bulbs we switched to are rated 10,000 hours which is 2x the long life incandescent bulbs we were using. Since they are never turned off I am pretty sure we are getting longer than that out of the bulbs.

If we could go to LEDs then the life would be closer to 5-6 years and wouldn't have to deal with the mercury issue. Since their 7 watt 420 lumen PAR30 is $46 I have trouble believing that they sell 5 12-watt 650 lumen for $89. I would believe $89 each for quantity 5+, though.

RE: So in reality....
By melgross on 3/31/2009 12:57:18 AM , Rating: 2
Why don't you go to the site? There are other sites with similar bulbs. A lot has been done in the pst year. Efficiencies are now over 80 lumens per watt, and rising. The best are over 95.

RE: So in reality....
By PlasmaBomb on 3/31/2009 4:46:47 AM , Rating: 2
He did go to their site - he is referencing this page

Comprehension Fail.

RE: So in reality....
By Avitar on 3/31/2009 1:05:02 AM , Rating: 2
Break the Florecent bulb. It cost $1600.00 to clean up after one of those broke to a level that children could be allowed un restricted access. Those bastards are TOXIC.

RE: So in reality....
By Spivonious on 3/31/2009 8:21:53 AM , Rating: 2
The amount of mercury in a CFL could barely cover the tip of a ballpoint pen. Not to mention that liquid mercury will flow right through your digestive system without causing much harm. It's only inhaling mercury vapor that is really toxic.

There's more mercury in tunafish than there is in a CFL.

RE: So in reality....
By PlasmaBomb on 3/31/2009 4:44:36 AM , Rating: 2
It doesn't use half the power of a CF bulb.

CF bulb equivalent of 60W is 11W
The LED uses 7.5W, so it only saves 3.5W. It could however last much longer, as most of the CF bulbs are rated around 8-10k hours, rather than 30k hours.

RE: So in reality....
By Aloonatic on 4/1/2009 3:53:55 AM , Rating: 2
Ignoring price and electiricty usage (done to death in other comments) are there not other advantages that LED lights offer.

Namely, dimmer friendly (some people seem to love to dim) and a brighter/whiter light?

I'm not sure about the second point however, I've never seen a large household grade LED "bulb" before, but I have heard it said that the light is rather harsh and too white, if there is such a thing. Has anyone had a chance to use one in their home?

RE: So in reality....
By callmeroy on 3/31/2009 8:33:36 AM , Rating: 2
You have CF bulbs that last 10 years? I've never had a CF bulb last 10 years, granted I'm talking about a workshop area that has one on for about 8 hours a day / night nearly 7 days but still....

RE: So in reality....
By overlandpark4me on 4/3/2009 1:47:31 PM , Rating: 2
You already know the answer or course. No different than buying a hybrid never gets you your money back, unless you drive the wheels off it for 8 years. That's assuming the batteries last that long, although some have warranties that help part of the way through the cars life. If you get a different car every 4 or 5 years, you will never make up the cost premium you pay up front.

By kattanna on 3/30/2009 12:12:00 PM , Rating: 4
1/2 the power usage for 24 times the price of a CFL

let me buy 20 of these!


By Kuroyama on 3/30/2009 1:02:15 PM , Rating: 4
A 60 watt incandescant is equivalent to roughly a 13 watt CFL. sells a 6 pack of 8000hr GE 13watt CFLs for $10, so say $6.50 for 30000 hours worth of bulb. My latest electric bill had charges of 17.3 cents per kWh when transmission related charges are included. So 30K hours of energy and bulb would cost $6.50+13*30*0.173=$74 with CFLs. This LED would run around $120+7.5*30*0.173=$159. So "only" double the cost.

The break even point is then $35 here in Boston, and a bit cheaper in coal power country. Should be possible to cut the cost of these $120 bulbs to $35 if they were produced on a large enough scale.

So even if these cost 21 times the cost of a single 13watt CFL then it would be worthwhile to buy these babies. If your 24 time estimate had been accurate then it'd almost be worthwhile.

By d0gb0y on 3/30/2009 1:33:25 PM , Rating: 2
So even if these cost 21 times the cost of a single 13watt CFL then it would be worthwhile to buy these babies.

$6.50 * 21 (your number) + (13*30*.173) = 203.97

$203.97 > $74

What are you smoking? If the LED was 5 times the cost your statement would be correct.

By hyvonen on 3/30/2009 1:41:46 PM , Rating: 3
I don't get it. Why is this news? has been selling LED light bulbs for a couple of years already - I got some in my bathroom.

I should note, though, that one of them is dead, and another has only half the LEDs still on (I think it might be a control circuit issue instead of LED longevity problem...)

By geddarkstorm on 3/30/2009 2:51:31 PM , Rating: 3
His statements are completely correct, you need to re-read his post. Also, you're using the wrong numbers, horribly so. For one, the 13 in that equation is the wattage of the CF, not the LED. For two, he said 21 times a SINGLE CF bulb, his $6.50 was for 300k hours (the LEDs lifespan) worth of 80k lifespan CF blubs, which would require 4 CFs from that $10 pack of 6. Notice the plural. Again, his $6.50 number works out for the 4 CFs, not for a SINGLE CF.

A SINGLE CF is only $1.67. So if this LED was 21 times that SINGLE bulb, as he put it, or $35, then its long term cost would be:

$35+(7.5*30*0.173) = $73.93

And now the LED saves you seven cents verses the CFs over it's life time, for his situation. Obviously, we need the LED to come down to that and cheaper to be really worth while from a strictly costs and savings point of view. And likely it'll get there in a few years as more companies come into the mix, production optimizes, and demand goes up.

By geddarkstorm on 3/30/2009 2:54:34 PM , Rating: 2
Oops, it's 30k hours for the LED and 8k for the CFs. Added a zero :P.

By menace on 3/31/2009 1:21:23 PM , Rating: 2
You should be willing to pay any price to cut down on CO2 "pollution" and save the planet from certain doom.

By melgross on 3/31/2009 1:05:31 AM , Rating: 2
No, you're not getting the numbers correct. These cheap compacts that some here are loving, are not very good. They don't last the 6,000 hours they are claimed to have. You'll be lucky if you get half that.

The bulbs mentioned in the article aren't the best ones around either.

Others cost much less, like the $89 ones I linked to. They are also rated for 50,000.

Also, remember that most bulbs are rated for lifetime, when they blow out.

LEDs are rated for a 70 to 75% light output at 50,000 hours. They are rated to 100,000 hours at a 45 to 50% output.

Most of the new LEDs can be used with dimmers. Buy a brighter LED than you need, drop the level down, and you can extend the lifetime up to 200% for a 25% drop in initial output.

That would give you 100,000 to 200,000 hours of useful output.

Try that with a compact!

By gmyx on 3/30/2009 1:54:51 PM , Rating: 2
Minus the mercury. I use CFL because of cost to use but hate to use them because of the mercury in them.

Power supply efficiency?
By blowfish on 3/30/2009 2:29:44 PM , Rating: 2
Any meainingful comparison of power consumption needs to take account of the power supply efficiency - since the LED's work at at low (dc) voltage. I suspect the claimed efficiency has not allowed for anything less than a 100% efficient power supply.

I date all my CF bulbs, and have yet to get more than 3 yrs out of any of them - and feel that a CF 100w equivalent bulb seems actually to be equivalent to a 60w incandescent.

RE: Power supply efficiency?
By bakerzdosen on 3/30/2009 2:54:09 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I just bought 2 LED lights last month from Costco. They were 45 watt equivalent spot light bulbs and "only" cost around $10.50 each (and run on about 3.5 watts of energy).

I'd love to say they were perfect, but honestly, they're not. They are definitely instant-on which is a far cry from any CFL I've used. However, the light is VERY directional. We have 45-60 watt spot bulbs in our kitchen, and installing the two of them in there showed that replacing all of them (6) in the kitchen just wasn't going to work. The light is pleasant enough, but just not bright enough - let alone spread out enough. The massive difference in color temperatures would have been a big deal as well.

I ended up placing them in fixtures that point at the wall (portrait fixtures above the fireplace.) They are actually ideal in that we sometimes don't want a LOT of light in the middle of the night with young twins, but you still need to see.

They work, they're cool, they use very little electricity, and they don't produce much heat. However, until I wire the whole house for LED's, I feel stuck with CFL's.

RE: Power supply efficiency?
By Parhel on 3/30/2009 5:39:42 PM , Rating: 2
Spot lights are supposed to be VERY directional, hence the name. You probably meant to buy flood lights. Those have the same bulb shape as spot lights, which confuses people, but the light is more spread out.

RE: Power supply efficiency?
By Kary on 3/30/2009 5:49:09 PM , Rating: 2
I bought a 3-pack of LED 40 watt equiv/ 1.5W actual bulbs from SAMs club

... a 25W incandescent in the hall way cast a shadow in the room with 2 of these... I used 1 to make it instant on and stuck a CFL back in the other socket.

The bulbs were pretty nice for lighting my porch dim the bugs couldn't see it :)

RE: Power supply efficiency?
By melgross on 3/31/2009 1:20:04 AM , Rating: 2
You have to be careful when buying LEDs. They have been having the same problems CFLs did when they first came out, which is overrating.

In a number of my catalogs, many LED bulbs had lumen ratings, but they were all removed last year. The ratings weren't standardized. Now that they are, many older bulbs can't measure up, so the numbers have been removed.

Newer bulbs do have lumen ratings, and that's what should be used. Cheap bulbs are using parts from China which aren't proving to be reliable. The same as the cheap CFLs that people are buying, and as we see here, complaining about. The best still cost over $10.

Also, the problem with the cheaper CFLs is that their lumen ratings are only good for about a month. Then they begin to drop. I've tested more than a few in my kitchen, which has 10 cans. My lumen meter has shown very disappointing results over the years. Many 650s drop to about 500 after 6 months, and are at about 450 after a year. they also progressively get pinker as they turn on.

RE: Power supply efficiency?
By highlandsun on 3/30/2009 3:11:58 PM , Rating: 2
DC power supplies for LEDs are in the 98-99% efficiency range these days. It's amazing how good you can make a buck/boost converter with off-the-shelf parts. (I suggest anyone interested check out, the place for lighting nerds... I've built a lot of lights using LEDs - pocket flashlights, automotive signal and fog lights, etc., and there's really no competition on the efficiency front.)

RE: Power supply efficiency?
By kmmatney on 3/30/2009 3:24:53 PM , Rating: 2
I wish I had been oputting dates on my bulbs - my feeling is that I've only been getting about 3 years out of them, and many of the bulbs a lot less - some have gone after a year. I'm going to place dates on them and put into a spreadsheet (and keep my reciepts!). I have been happy with CFLs, but they don't last as long as they claim.

RE: Power supply efficiency?
By MrPoletski on 3/31/2009 6:12:07 AM , Rating: 2
if you step down your lighting circuit voltage to 24v and use 24v DC LED's then you can do really funky things like have battery backup (use a car battery) for the lights in your house.

you could do more too, bung a solar panel on your roof and have it constantly charge this battery.

Blackout? what blackout?

not to mention how much safer it is running 24v DC through your house instead of 120/240v AC...

RE: Power supply efficiency?
By Dystopic on 3/31/2009 12:28:08 PM , Rating: 2
When I built my house a couple of years ago, I had a low voltage (24v) grid installed for lighting. Was very simple and cheap, I use only 12 or 24V lamps for general (ceiling mounted, permanent) lighting.

My main reason for this is that I have solar PV arrays on the roof, and hate the inefficiency of conversion from 24VDC to 120VAC for lights. with the battery system I have in place, I can run ever single general light in my home for 5 days without the sun shining on my PVs, or hitting the grid.

I would prefer being able to run everything on that LV grid.

I don't have any data that shows how much I am saving on electricity with this, I doubt it is much.

obselete already !!!
By Soulkeeper on 3/30/2009 12:27:35 PM , Rating: 2
100+ yr old technology offers 10x more longevity and only uses 53% of the power

nice try.

RE: obselete already !!!
By kmmatney on 3/30/2009 1:19:37 PM , Rating: 3
That's not a light bulb - that's a toaster filament enclosed in glass!

RE: obselete already !!!
By Chernobyl68 on 3/30/2009 3:55:33 PM , Rating: 2
its also very low wattage - like 4 watts IIRC.

By kmmatney on 3/30/2009 1:13:08 PM , Rating: 2
It would be nice of they can make the bulbs have a switch where you can change the colors (cool, soft, warm). Even better if you could make them any color on demand.

btw - hte C crane light bulb on "soft" color (medium) puts out 303 lumens, while a standard 60W candescent or a 15 watt CF bulb puts out 800 lumens.

RE: Colors
By mindless1 on 3/30/2009 3:28:37 PM , Rating: 2
Good point, I don't see how they can lie about these LED bulbs and keep a straight face.

I had to disagree though, that they should be adding more features to the bulb. Right now priority #1 should be reducing the price to what is fair, which would be closer to $35 considering parts needed and type of product, manufacturing requirements.

Too much tiny print on CFLs
By dilmonen on 3/30/2009 3:56:01 PM , Rating: 2
Has anyone actually read the fine print on the CFL bulbs? The multi-year lifetime they report has a lot of stipulations attached.

Average time used per day is under 4 hours, humidity & temperature are within a certain range, etc.

I've had multiple types & brands CFLs start to "fade" after 6-9 months of use, even with being under the four hours per day limit.

And these bulbs don't get near the color temp of "regular" bulbs. They get to around 3000K & the light output is less than a 60W bulb.

Besides which, EarthLED is another company that's been selling high output bulb replacements for a while as well.

The article sounded more like an advert.

RE: Too much tiny print on CFLs
By Fritzr on 3/30/2009 8:39:34 PM , Rating: 2
Life is also affected by on/off cycle. That instant on is provided by shocking the bulb with a power spike when it is turned on. Each time that happens it shaves a bit of life off the bulb. The listed hours on the box assume that the bulb is cycled once every 4 hours. If you turn it on and forget it, you extend the life. If you turn it off when you leave the room and on again when you reenter, then that bulb will die quickly unless there is very little traffic.

By tjr508 on 3/30/2009 4:23:25 PM , Rating: 2
This could be a very good thing when price goes down. The bulb life could be very promising if fitted with a quality power supply.

As far as CF bulbs go, as an electrical engineer I would be extremely careful about where I employ those things. Not only are the life expectancies of CFs completely bogus, but by near their EOL, they have less efficiency than an incandescent bulb when considering PF and harmonics and half of them are dead. They're also unsuitable (dangerous) for use with any non-mechanical switch and the only products I know of that have "normal" failures involving smoking and burning.

UL pretty much lost the last bit of creditability they had when they drew guidelines for these things.

That being said, they work great in temperature controlled areas with standard switches and no fixtures around them, but you sure don't see that stamped across the packaging.

RE: Progress
By superflex on 3/31/2009 10:22:10 AM , Rating: 2
I disagree about CFL life. I use 13w GE CFLs in all my exterior house fixtures and I have yet to replace one (six total)in the 2.5+ years they have been installed. Outdoor temps swing from 0f to 90f in Ohio and 5 out of 6 bulbs are turned on and off daily.
I do have problems with the 23w GE bulbs not lasting more than 2-3 years, but the 13 watters have been very reliable.

Audio R8 V10
By Zingam on 3/31/2009 6:49:54 AM , Rating: 2
Audio R8 V10 - now that's a car I'd like to drive! Does it use CDs instead of rubber wheels? Or the hi-tech engine is based on 200kW subwoofer?

RE: Audio R8 V10
By Zingam on 3/31/2009 6:53:40 AM , Rating: 2
Light waves.
By Uncle on 3/30/2009 12:57:06 PM , Rating: 1
"whether or not any of the three colors offered matches the light from an incandescent bulb is unknown."

They better know.
You have to have the proper light waves coming from the Led. They did a study here in the schools after they installed Florescence. Many of the children were falling asleep in class accept the ones closest to the windows. If the proper light wave isn't produced the mind thinks its dark so the kids start to fall asleep, and that goes for us to. If you work indoors and you find yourself constantly tired, I would be checking your light system, By the way the schools changed the bulbs and lo and behold the kids were more alert and awake.These studies were done over twenty years ago,How soon people forget.

RE: Light waves.
By TomZ on 3/30/2009 1:39:19 PM , Rating: 2
Here, I found this for you:

Background. Full-spectrum fluorescent lighting (FSFL) has been credited with causing dramatic beneficial effects on a wide variety of behaviours, mental health outcomes, and physical health effects, as compared to other fluorescent lamp types. These effects are hypothesized to occur because of similarity between FSFL emissions and daylight, which is said to have evolutionary superiority over other light sources.
Method. This review, covering the period 1941-1999, critically considers the evidence for direct effects of FSFL through skin absorption as well as indirect effects on hormonal and neural processes.
Conclusions . Overall, the evidence does not show dramatic effects of fluorescent lamp type on behaviour or health , nor does it support the evolutionary hypothesis.

Spectral Output
By buckeyeman on 3/30/2009 12:22:17 PM , Rating: 2
Finally, someone is addressing the spectral output!

I await real world reviews
By psychobriggsy on 3/30/2009 12:27:34 PM , Rating: 2
"The company's LED bulb needs only 7.5 watts to provide as much light as a 60-watt incandescent bulb."

Yeah, like CFLs at "60W equivalent (15W)" actually emit light more like a 40W bulb.

At $12 a year to own, it would have to be used to replace a light that was on a lot - and it's competing against CFLs as well. As for light mixing, why don't they have a mix of the cool/warm LEDs to generate a more mixed spectrum?

By legallink on 3/30/2009 12:31:00 PM , Rating: 2
In the second to last paragraph "Audio R8 V10" is most likely to read AUDI, sans "o".

Is DT now working for C-Crane?
By superflex on 3/30/2009 2:50:29 PM , Rating: 2
How is this overpriced LED bulb news-worthy? has been selling LED bulbs for years, and 2 years ago they were $120. A 20 watt (60 watt equvalent) PAR 38 flood now sells for $67. A 4 watt (30 watt equivalent) PAR 30 bulbs is $36.
They also sell Cree retrofit downlights for recessed cans for less than $100, and I guarantee C-Crane bulbs do not use Cree emitters, which are by far the brightest and most reliable LED on the market.
Furthermore, to say CFL bulbs are not accepted because of the innability to mimic the incandescent spectrum is assanine and shows the writers inability to research what is available in CFLs. You can buy most CFLs in 4-6 different spectrums ranging from 2700 to 6500 kelvin.
Maybe DT editors need to quit shopping at Home Depot and their limited selection of crappy bulbs.

Not Newsworthy
By mindless1 on 3/30/2009 4:05:43 PM , Rating: 2
Anybody can made an overpriced LED bulb, even the readers here at DT. What to watch for instead is high efficiency LED production increases so that what now should cost $35 (not over $100) drops down to $25.

Looking forward to LED
By CalWorthing on 3/30/2009 6:20:12 PM , Rating: 2
CF bulbs are great if you never turn them off. A few too many off & on's and their life is shortened. I've had seven 'pop' & smoke after a couple of months when used as room-lights. Then it's a trip to the disposal spot. (if you're doing the right thing and not dumping mercury)

Maybe for $20 but not $120
By vzemployee on 3/30/2009 8:27:38 PM , Rating: 2
None of my CF bulbs last long, never lasting more then a year. My lights are turned on/off regularly and the CF bulbs burn out. I don't honestly see ANY life improvement over incandesant bulbs.

I don't know what the big fuss is with LED bulbs. I have purchased a bunch of LED bulbs from ebay that work great. They've been around for a few years.
And, after seeing numerous burnt out "LEDs" in street traffic lamps, I don't expect LED's to last too long in 'home' usage with our dirty electricity national centralized power grid. Just a hint, how much power will you waste on a/c line-conditioners or online UPS's to keep those LEDs safe and happy??

Maybe my CF's would last longer if I left them on 24/7? then how would I save electricity?

Now I need 30 LED bulbs for my dwelling. So, thats ~$3500 to save $10 a month in electricity. Anyone price a whole-house UPS?

Longest lasting bulb
By hellcats on 3/31/2009 2:57:39 AM , Rating: 2
I have a fluorescent desk lamp that I have used for 40 years, WITH THE SAME BULB. I have never had to change it. Probably couldn't find a replacement bulb at this point. I turn it on and off multiple times per day. I guess it's going to outlive me...

Line Conditioning
By CalWorthing on 3/31/2009 12:51:50 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the reminding me of a pet-peeve: spikes, surges etc. The local mega-utility (PGE) is reactive, does a little as possible, and has not maintained or improved residential lines in my area in the 20 years I've been here. They do have a new 25 mil. Embraer corporate jet to fly execs around the state.

A breath of wind and it's flicker, flicker, and off the power goes. A neighbor across the street using a radial-saw causes my lights to dim. Two calls to PGE had an annoyed lineman at my door saying there was no problem. A neighbors Microwave literally exploded after an outage and restoration.

Of course I've long had three APC backups and line conditioners for the PC's etc, but the 'fridge motor is getting beat-up. Wonder how much this shortens the 'life' of such?

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