What Wikipedia Can’t Tell You about LED Replacement Bulbs

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Performance and technology behind LED replacement bulbs is constantly improving. At the same time prices are going down which makes LEDs an affordable solution for many homeowners.

Did you know that traditional (incandescent) light bulbs are actually electric space heaters that give off light only as a by-product? Simply because of low price, people tend to tolerate their extreme inefficiency, wasting more than 90% of the power they consume.

When comparing purchase price only, LED replacement bulbs are still far more expensive than traditional incandescent bulbs. In order to get the full picture, you'll need to calculate the running costs as well:

  • The costs of maintenance - When using LEDs, this means less time spent climbing ladders in order to replace bulbs installed in "hard to reach" places or high ceilings.
  • The costs of energy consumed over a period of time - When using LEDs, this means more energy  converted to light rather than heat.

Carefully chosen LED replacement bulbs can be a great alternative both in terms of energy saving and light quality. In general, LED retrofit lamps can easily replace any conventional 40 - 75 Watt incandescent bulbs.

3 Things to Consider When Buying LED Replacement Bulbs

  • Lumens - This is the first thing to look for when choosing LED. The higher the lumen rating - the brighter the bulb. For example, a 60 watt incandescent bulb gives out around 800 lumens, while LED replacement bulbs can give the same brightness at only 10 watt.
  • Color Temperature - This is the second thing to check when choosing LED. Lower values give warmer light, for example values between 2700 - 3000 K will deliver "warm white" that is closest to incandescent light. Higher color temperatures like 5000 K will give a cold white, which is blueish like "stark trek" light.
  • Lumens per Watt - Wattage of a bulb in combination with number of Lumens gives you an estimate of how efficient LED bulb is. If you divide the number of Lumens declared on a LED bulb with the number of Watts it consumes, you can easily see what you are buying.

LED Replacement Bulbs and Energy Savings

LED lighting is a very efficient technology in terms of power consumption. Comparing to incandescent lighting, LEDs use at least 70% less energy and last > 20 times longer. For example, LED lamps are expected to last 25,000 to 50,000 hours. On the other hand a conventional incandescent lamp lasts only about 1,000 hours, while a CFL lasts from 8,000 to 10,000 hours.

You can usually replace conventional 60 Watt incandescent bulb with a single 10 Watt LED retrofit. It is obvious that potential savings can be huge. For each hour the bulb is running, you are saving 50 Watts of electricity. It means that if you replace a bulb that is running 10 hours a day, you could be saving 500 Watt/Hours per day, which is 15 KiloWatt hours saved per month.

Multiply that with the number of LED replacement bulbs you will actually install, and you can see how easy it is to save up to 90 KW/h each month - that's more than 1 Mega-Watt hour per year!

Benefits of LED lights and Basic LED Characteristics

  • Very long life - 20 times longer comparing to incandescent
  • Clean technology, does not contain mercury
  • No ultraviolet and/or infrared emission
  • Resistance to vibrations and breakage
  • Compact size and easy maintenance
  • Works in cold temperatures
  • Very low energy consumption
  • Instant-on performance
  • Dimmable options exist

Now on to you - let us know your opinion, experience or questions regarding installation of LED Replacement Bulbs in the comments section below.