Thursday, September 03, 2009

LED astray by CFLs


LED astray by CFLs

Just a very short post on energy saving bulbs. If you have been reading this blog, you will know that I have taken a great interest in the development of LED (light emitting diode) lamps. I have however reached a point where I have, for the time being, tired of LEDs as a viable alternative.

The reasons are:

1. LED bulbs are way too expensive, with prices between 2 and 6 times that of equivalent output CFL (compact florescent lamps) energy saving bulbs.

2. Only the top of the line LED bulbs, costing $20 to $50 a piece, can hope to match the colour and output of a similarly rated CFL bulb.

3. The cheaper LED bulbs are just plain rubbish. The multi-led types (those with lots of little LED lamps stuffed into the front) are the worst offenders. The light output is miserable, the colour is generally poor, and they last no time at all. I have 4 such bulbs that the light has turned almost purple in and faded to a quarter of the original poor light. I have several more that have LEDs that died in the middle of the bunch.

4. I have just bought a bunch of GU10 CFL bulbs some rated at 7 watts and some at 9 watts. The colour is spot on, the light output is VERY good, they cost me under $5 a piece, they fit perfectly into every fitting I have tried them in. The size 58mm means they don't stick out like bean tins the way some of the earlier GU10 CFL bulbs did. The only negative thing I can say is that they take 20 to 30 seconds to brighten fully.

Regular GU10 bulb on the left - The CFL on the right almost exactly the same size!

For me, for the time being, it is CFL bulbs all the way in my house. When LED bulbs get to half or one third of their current high price, and when they can outlast a CFL for consistency of colour and output, I will consider the game is on again.


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