The false economy of in home LED lighting

I was in Home Depot today and I went outside to get my camera because there is something that I noticed that I needed to share with you all. Of course right now we are in the beginning stages of the LED revolution. It is an exciting time for us and we are really into LED’s and flashlights and what not. HOWEVER…….

First up a display of 60 watt equivalent CFL’s Notice the special price of 4 for $0.97 that is less than 25 cents each! The reason being that the State of Connecticut is subsidizing the regular price of $6.97. Our tax dollars at work.

Now this next pic shows the lumen output of the CFL’s 900 lumens using 14 watts, about 64 lumens/watt

The next pic is of a display, nearby, of LED light bulbs. Notice the price of $9.97. That is because the State of Connecticut is, once again, subsidizing the regular price of $23.97.

But in the same pic, notice the lumen output and wattage. 800 lumens using 13 watts, about 62 lumens/watt

I am posting this, not because of the great prices, but because the CFL’s actually are more efficient than the LED’s
Bottom line is a 25 cent bulb gives more lumens per watt than the $10.00 bulb!
Now let me ask everyone, HOW is that being GREEN.
BTW, it could be argued, anytime one spends MORE to be green, they are, actually being LESS green. It actually takes MORE business activity to both produce the more “green” item, and more economic activity to earn the money to pay for it.
The fact that the government gets involved will all this just makes it worse.

Someday factories will be churning out LED bulbs for pennies, I know, but until then LED bulbs are just a toy for people who have the need to feel good about themselves while they “save the planet”

As I said earlier, during this early stage of the LED revolution, It is both fun and exciting to witness the rapid advances being made. It’s just that we need to be aware of the practicality of it all as it advances.

I've noticed this LED vs. CFL phenomenon in charts in hardware store ads where they show the cost of the bulb, the lifetime, wattage consumed, and cost per year (maybe some other stats) and it's right there in front of you to show you how darn cheap the CFL's are compared to the LED equivalent (even without subsidized prices). Nobody in their right mind would buy the LED bulb unless they are what I call "Enviro-Nazis" and think they are going to save the world because their bulbs consumed 2 watts less energy!

And don't the LED's home bulbs still have issues with "beam pattern" for use as area lighting?


CFL bulbs are catastrophe that should never had happened. Not only they use harmful substances but most of them have really bad CRI, they tend to flicker, whine, die-out much before they should, not usable for high count on/off cycle applications, they need warming up…

Actually I belive that CFL’s are more complicated to produce that average LED bulb but whole industry chain has adopted them and this is the reason why are they relatively cheap.

Most importantly they cannot be recycled efficiently and are long term problem. All of this time we could of been using halogen variants that are approx. 30% more efficient than standard bulbs but are simple and cheap to produce. If all of the energy to push CFL’s were directed to LED from beginning things would look much more different by now.

If it has to be fluorescent technology then T5 lamps with efficiency od 100+ lm/w are way to go.

the CFL contain hazmat, and you are not even allowed to just throw them in your trash. you will get a fine if they find out you are. also, not good if you break one. i have never liked the performance of CFL, price is good now, but they were once ridiculously priced too.

I personally like LEDs both for the efficiency and because I like LEDs. :P Fun to take them apart and see what LEDs they use.

I just started buying the led bulbs because you can get them for $10-15 each. I have never liked the CFLs and will be glad when LEDs are the standard. That being said, I don’t think the LEDs I have been buying are anything special.

I think I will go back to CFLs until the price/performance improves to the point where they are worth the investment.

Right on dchomak. It makes no business sense at all to buy led bulbs yet. Give it a few years though and things will probably change for the better.

Currently it’s hard to argue for LED over CFL. Even if you’re buying them at Costco here in Montana without any kind of store discount you’re paying less than $1 per bulb (again, taxes at work).

BUT… they’re annoying. They often flicker and they have to warm up. If you’re not so much going for cost savings as opposed to convenience and energy savings, then LED is still the better option. However, if cost is a major factor then you’re stuck with CFL’s for a few more years. I can hardly wait to ditch my CFL’s in the kitchen and living room because of the two disadvantages I listed. It would probably be about a $100 investment. I should probably just pull the trigger.

LED bulbs are mostly profit, but not for the retailer, a $20 LED costs the store maybe $18.
I agree that right now they are very overpriced, in time with more competition the profit margins will fall as well as prices, and hopefully in a generation or two the led chips will be 100lm/watt at 15 watts, when i can replace a 100W bulb with an led for under $10 (preferably closer to $5), then the full scale LED revolution will happen!
CFLs are ok, the made in china bottom of the barrel garbage that dies in 6 months has been mostly weeded out, but gave the technology a bad name, and the mercury in them is arguably less then what is emitted into the atmosphere from a coal burning plant.

Ah yes, the wonderful GREEN scam movement! Don’t we all just absolutely adore totalitarian ideas and ideals of all kind?

Last week, they had a radio play for children on the radio. Guess what they told the little listeners? Not using any electricity or cars or modern technology at all would be the answer. Yus, what a marvellously irresponsible way to teach children a false idea about how the world is NOT working. Ill propaganda at its best.

As far as CFLs are concerned, can’t say that I like them much. I can’t operate my scroll saw properly, the oscillating blade gets all blurry in my vision and I can’t see where I am cutting. They are good for lighting up my brother’s garage, though.

Do CFL and LED luminaire manufacturers measure output in-house? Does ANSI regulate testing for home illumination products, or what…?

Flashlights have FL-1, so you’d think home illumination would be under greater scrutiny due to the huge market, energy impact, and so on.

In my books going GREEN => Do nothing LOL.

The best part of home LED unlike CFL is, easy to DIY.

CFL and LED efficiencies are equivalent or near today,
but in future, LED will be more efficient. Then paying extra for it may be reasonable.

They both include a circuit, and one of my LED bulb just failed because of the circuit malfunction.
I have retrieved 6x1W leds from it. They work ok with a 24V supply.

One of my CFL bulb was exploded in a closed fixture, the CFL part was broken because of a capacitor on the circuit that has exploded.

So their life do not depend on it’s technology but the quality of the complete product.

The CFL’s we get here now are instant on no flicker (this coming from a brit, we don’t seem to notice pwm either), I can cope with them but miss in-cans tbh.

I didn’t realize there was such a thing as instant on CFL. I guess I’ll have to look around.

As for flicker, I’m not sure if it’s the individual bulb or the amount of voltage going to that bulb. Currently I only have flicker issues in the living room.

CFL are pretty good compared to incan. That 4mg of mercury ain’t so bad considering the pollution companies do illegally.

AFAIK at least in tubes, the “old” thumb sized strikes / ignitors are pretty slow but newer electronic ones are the way to go.
They light up faster and last longer.

What I understand in CFL-tubes vs. LED is:

  • With LED you can achieve smaller power consumption - but you will sit in a little bit darker room.
    -With LED you can probably pretty soon AFFORDABLY get same lm/W BUT you will still most likely get not-so-good color rendering as in 9xx tubes.

You can dim LED.

There was some recent tests of CFL bulbs that showed that they can emit a rather high level of UV radiation. Plus they contain all that yummy mercury. Also, the lm/watt of CFL bulbs drop much faster than LED bulbs. They may say that they have a couple more lumens/watt than LEDs. but that doesn’t last very long.

My whole house is now lit by LEDs… all 300+ bulbs! CFLs were considered… for about 10 milliseconds…

after years of replacing my incans with cfl i am just disgusted with cfl’s! lousy light, longevity is a joke, messy or difficult to dispose of properly. i agree that in the past led bulbs were pricey with unpleasant light temp however my wife decorates with strings of xmas tree string lights, i was going broke, now she has switched to led strings and i could care less how many she uses. i put in some of the older 3 watt versions of the cree bulbs that are high temp and really not usuable for interior lighting but only cost $3 from china. now have them in several outdoor and inaccessible locations some running 24x7. lets see, 3watts divivded into 1000 multiplied by 24h by what? 15 cents a kwhh? pretty cheap. meanwhile for interior use phillips has now introduced a new application which addresses many concerns, warm color temp, dimmable, reasonable light distribution. see here:–1&storeId=10051

these prices are really coming down, i am now going to replace those hard to access lights in my ceiling fan (20 feet up) and remove the cfls (2 of 4 which are still functional plus the dead one and the one that flickers constantly). government subsidies? please! the feds subsidize, farms, crops, foreign nations, dictators, why not promote technology that will ultimately overtake all the incans and cfls and provide us poor slobs that are not rich with a way to light our houses and environs with leds? i dont hear anyone bitching about the government subsidizing 123!

sorry for the rant but i just had to replace another 4 cfls in my kitchen. enviro-nazi? ahh geez, c’mon guys, take a walk and get out some. :slight_smile: btw: some day i am going to compute how many lights i need to replace with leds to balance of the kwh’s i use for my hot tub! :slight_smile: right now i realize it is perhaps not cost efficient but i like leds and spend my money on lots of things that do not rise to the level of providing my home with essential lighting for instance my growing collection of led flashlights.