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View Diary: UPDATE x3: LED Lightbulbs Finally Ready for Prime Time! (282 comments)

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  •  Sounds good (0+ / 0-)

    But I DO wish that instead of comparing "75 watt equivalents", people trying to prove the superiority of high-efficiency bulbs would clearly state the lumens provided by each bulb.  There has been a notable tendency for the substitutes to be SIGNIFICANTLY DIMMER than the older incandescents, which has been fudged by progressively reducing the lumens produced by incandescents as well.  Whereas a standard 100 watt bulb in produced 1875 lumens when I was in college, the standard when they took them off the market was 1575 lumens, and the CFL "equivalents" often produced as little as 1375 lumens.  The same "efficiency" could have been produced in 1980 by substituting 75-watt bulbs for 100-watt bulbs throughout the house, but that doesn't mean you could see as well with them when doing fine needlework and drawing projects.

    There's also a tendency to calculate the energy costs saved on the basis of higher price per kilowatt-hour than I've paid at any time in the last two decades, so I really don't know where they come up with these "average" electricity costs.  One possibility that came out in a budget discussion with a friend was that they count not only the per-kwh cost of energy use per se, but the fixed costs of distribution and billing as a purely proportional usage charge. This isn't the way that electricity is billed any more, and it means that fixed costs are carried regardless of whether you use 10 kwh per day (my typical use) or a more typical 20-30 kwh per day.  At the lower level, the contribution of your actual power usage to the bill is often less than half of the bill, and thus the maximum amount I would save by completely replacing all lighting comes up to $3 per month, total -- less than the cost differential of switching out one incandescent for a CFL.  Finally, we know that the supposed lifespan of CFLs is over-estimated by a factor of ten; in my real-life use they generally last twice as long as an incandescent, not ten times as long.  The claims for LEDs are stupendous; I'm waiting to see whether they come anywhere close to this in real use.

    My plants and I like LOTS of light, so we really would like some cheap, efficient bulbs that provide high-level lighting and no extraneous heat.  But 75-watt equivalents don't do it for us, let alone wimpy little 40-watt equivalents.  I require roughly 10,000 lumens in my workroom just to stay awake, and that's barely enough light to keep English Ivy happy, let alone anything that blooms.  I'll be watching.  But get back to me when they decide to make an LED bulb for under $20 that will put out 2,000 lumens.  I'm not willing to live in a cave lighted by Christmas-tree twinkles.

    •  You have a point about lumens, less so about rest. (0+ / 0-)

      You don't have to change all of your lights.  In fact, I kept some incandescent bulbs (stairs, closets) when I switched many bulbs to CFLs.  Now, I've switched my highest use, highest wattage fixture to dimmable LED.  It was impossible to find a dimmable CFL to fit that tiny 'chandelier base' fixture, but the LEDs are beautiful and brighter than the incandescents they replaced.

      As far as your comment on bulb lifetime, some makers are a lot better than others.  This is also true for LED bulbs, so look at reviews and e.g. Consumer Reports ratings.  Some locations (high humidity or cold or both) also hurt CFL lifetimes badly.  You should not take your own single bad experience with CFLs and extrapolate it to LEDs.

      The first line of your last paragraph, however, makes me think you're holding out for a tame unicorn to deliver the LED bulbs to you wrapped with a bow.  That may not happen...  :)  But you could switch a few bulbs in higher-use non-plant areas, if any exist in your home, to give LED bulbs a try.

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