While Compact Fluorescent Lighting (CFL) is popular because it is an energy-saving light bulb that fits into a standard light bulb socket, the light it casts still doesn’t compare to incandescents and there is much concern about the toxic elements that are contained within the fragile bulb. Breaking these bulbs in the home is not to be taken lightly (see What to do if a CFL breaks) and the disposal of these bulbs is thought to contaminate the environment with 30,000 pounds of mercury waste each year in US Landfills alone according to www.lightbulbrecycling.com. These concerns are prompting companies to find an alternative that has less of an impact on our immediate and global environment. LED lighting is currently the frontrunner.
LED (light emitting diode) lighting is becoming more popular as it is eco friendly, more affordable than in previous years, available in an increasing variety of sizes and colours, do not contain mercury, and are long-lasting which actually saves you energy and money.
Here is a look at some of the latest LED products to choose from.
The N200 delivers solar-powered LED lighting for off-grid areas. Very cool. The product consists of five LED lights inside, four solar panels, and a rechargeable (and replaceable) battery. Depending on usage, the battery and product should last approximately two and five years respectively. It has two settings to deliver more or less light. Depending on the setting you use the bulb will give you 2.5 to 6 hours of light after charging for six hours in the sun. The battery stores the energy until you turn it on and turns itself off in bright light to save charge. It currently retails for $20. To find out more check out the Nov 2010 Press Release or visit www.nokero.com.
The Opal Prism LED delivers a 9.2 watt bulb that replaces a 75 watt incandescent. This bulb is offered in two colours, warm or cool white, is dimmable, comes with a 3-year warranty and lasts up to about 47,000 hours (30 years). Light is spread evenly from 7 LEDs arranged in a star pattern. It consists of a frosted glass top, a painted aluminum sink that cools the LEDs and electronics, and a ceramic base. As a result of its construction, it is much heavier than regular bulbs and will require a sturdy lighting fixture. It comes at a price of $55 (or $61 for the dimmable version) but offers the potential for 80% in energy savings and does not contain toxic gases or chemicals. Find out more at www.qnuru.com.
This 9-watt bulb replaces a 40-watt incandescent and lasts for 25,000 hours. The construction of this bulb allows light to be shed in all directions. To see some actual comparisons of light quality, check out this review. Although it fits with standard lamp and ceiling fixtures, there was no mention by GE of whether or not the bulb may be dimmed. The GE Smart Energy LED is pricey at a cost of $50 but you shouldn’t have to replace it for many, many years and GE claims that if every American household replaced just one 40-watt incandescent bulb with their Energy Smart LED, it would prevent 500 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year and save almost $400 million in annual energy costs.
This 12.5-watt bulb replaces a 60-watt incandescent bulb and lasts for 25,000 hours. It retails for $37.50, fits into standard table lamp and ceiling fixtures, and can be dimmed. You would have to replace your standard 60-watt incandescent bulb approximately 25 times in the lifetime of one Philips Ambient LED 12.5 watt bulb.