Department 56 Village Light Bulbs – In case you haven’t given the field of lighting much idea recently that’s likely because, in common with the majority of people, the phasing out of traditional incandescent light bulbs hasn’t been exactly uppermost on your mind. That is not really all that surprising; having the ability to switch the lights on at will hardly appears to be a major thing. We do it all the time and as priorities move the entire company of light is comfortably off the radar. Yet the passing of the incandescent light bulb continues quietly yet relentlessly and in under a couple of years now the sole products carried on shelves will likely be low energy light bulbs, of which there are two kinds: CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) and LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes).
Currently, nearly all low energy light bulbs available are CFLs which are some 4 times more efficient than incandescent bulbs (i.e. they only waste about 25% of their energy as heat, compared to 90%). However, CFLs are commonly disliked by consumers, manufacturers, and environmentalists. They have quite poor aesthetic qualities (not actually want you to want for light), they are awkward to eliminate safely thanks to their mercury content, and they are complex and costly to fabricate.
LEDs on the other hand score well on all these points and quite a few more besides, the most evident of which is that LEDs aren’t only 10 times more effective than incandescents at current, however they double in performance every 18 months or so. |} The implications of this (called Haitz’s Law) are astounding; in 3 years we must expect to determine LED light bulbs that are 40 times more effective. It is no surprise that the lighting business has en-masse elected to abandon CFL growth and concentrate on LEDs.
So should you be purchasing LED light bulbs right now? And because modern LEDs last over 50,000 hours (compared to 2,000 for routine light bulbs) the yield on investment only keeps rolling in.
Now some people will assert that it is sensible to wait until LEDs are both more economical and much more effective, but if you run the mathematics you may find that in actuality, it’s better to substitute perfectly usable light bulbs with LEDs today and then aim to replace them in a couple of years, even though they will still have years of life. How so? Because the price of electric lighting pretty much equates to the price of electricity – it’s all in managing costs, not the hardware price.