A variety of people are claiming that LED lights are going to be the next big thing in lighting. Well, if their efficiency is as planned, I sure hope so, but I think a bit of caution is in order here.
For example, the standard lightbulb in our country, the 60W, produces about 1100 lumens. Here's a link to an 1100 lumen LED bulb. Notice anything?
Yeah, it's $54 plus shipping and handling, and it works off 12V DC instead of 110V AC. In other words, the user must provide a power supply (say $10), integrate it in to house wiring ($100 if you're not an electrician), and then you're good to go.
So when does it pay for itself? Well, given that you can get a 60W equivalent CF bulb for $2 or so, never if you don't break the CF bulbs and require cleanup. If you're comparing to incandescents, after 12000 to 32000 hours if you don't count the opportunity cost, never if you do.
In other words, these things need to come down in price by about a factor of five before they're cost effective. Oh, and by the way; I haven't even factored in the reality that power supplies don't last that long, either.
The Two-Income Trap - The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers & Fathers are Going Broke, by Elizabeth Waren and Amelia Warren Tyagi. Published in 2003. Hardcover, 272 page...
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