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Have Affordable LED Light Bulbs Finally Arrived?

Have Affordable LED Light Bulbs Finally Arrived?

Thanks to a partnership between Lowes and OSRAM SYLVANIA, competitively-priced, energy-efficient light bulbs could be hitting hardware store shelves very soon.

When the compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) became popular a few years ago, it was a welcome alternative to the toxic, energy-sucking incandescent bulb used around the world.

The light emitting diode (LED) bulbs were fast on the CFL’s heels, and even though they’re more durable and efficient, many people have avoided upgrading to LEDs because of the high price.

In late November, the two companies announced plans to introduce what they say is the brightest LED replacement for America’s most popular light bulb, the 60-watt incandescent (Intelligent Energy Portal).

The SYLVANIA Ultra A-Line 12-watt LED bulb provides 810 lumens of light while using only 20 percent of the energy required by its predecessor and lasts 25 times as long as a conventional bulb.

Best of all, the current price of the A-Line LED is around $20 – a small price to pay for a light bulb that will probably burn for 20 years without having to be replaced.

The new SLYVANIA bulb is already available on Lowes.com and will be avialable in all Lowe’s stores by mid-2011.

According to Buildaroo.com, “Phillips is now selling a similar LED bulb for one penny less than Sylvania’s bulb. Philips’ bulb, called the Ambient LED, also uses 12 watts but gives off slightly less light than Sylvania’s.”

If you’re determined to stick with cheap and convenient CFLs for a little while longer, you should know that some manufacturers are attempting to branch out from the three generic designs you’ve seen in stores.

Read more: , , , , , , ,

Image Credit: Sylvania via buildaroo.com

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133 comments

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6:41AM PST on Dec 20, 2013

Ruth, LED operation is more complicated than I can detail here due to the subatomic physics of semiconductor junctions. The information is easily available online however, and I encourage anyone with questions to Google it to their hearts content. Wiki has a good starting point. The salient point to take away is that LED's are somewhat dirty to make due to the chemical processes inherent in semiconductor manufacturing but with proper controls those chemicals are re-used or recycled. Trashing a worn-out LED doesn't cause issues because any nasty chemistry is locked into the crystal structure of the semiconductor. As to the light produced, white LEDs and CFLs are relatively similar in that they both use phosphors to convert one wavelength of light into make to produce an analogue of white which is why they are available in many different colors, measured on the "Kelvin" scale. CFLs produce Ultraviolet light and (white) LEDs produce Blue light to excite the phosphor.

12:10AM PST on Dec 20, 2013

Now that I got your attention -- the answer is not the kind of light bulb that you use -- the answer is to USE SOLAR-WIND-TIDAL-WAVE -- in ways that do not hurt mankind and the earth.


At least let's let -- people have a choice -- about what kind of light bulb they use !
After reading more comments -- it sounds like people need the choice !

Yes a minute amount of mercury in CFL's.

NO mercury in LED lights.

Thank you for the article ! Sorry for the mix-up.

Please what is in LED Lights -- that mankind may know -- what we are getting into?
1.) What are the material and the chemicles?
2.) How does the process work to form light ?
3.) What effect on people's eyes will LED light have?
4.) Do people truly have the anwers yet ?

At least let's let -- people have a choice -- about what kind of light bulb they use !
After reading more comments -- it sounds like people need the choice !

Still nothing like a good incandescent light bulb !

10:34PM PST on Dec 19, 2013

Thank you for the article ! Sorry for the mix-up.

Please what is in LED Lights -- that mankind may know -- what we are getting into?
1.) What are the material and the chemicles?
2.) How does the process work to form light ?
3.) What effect on people's eyes will LED light have?
4.) Do people truly have the anwers yet ?

10:26PM PST on Dec 19, 2013

SO, LED's do not have mercury. Are they good for mankind and the earth and all that lives on earth? What do are in LED lights ?

6:56AM PST on Dec 10, 2013

The majority of these articles are about CFL's -- and LED's -- so some people are mixing information. I hope that people get some true information.

6:38AM PST on Dec 10, 2013

Ruth: No, LEDs do Not contain mercury. I don't know where the person got that info but it is flat-out wrong. Yes, CFLs contain tiny amounts of mercury, as mentioned in the recent reply to your post.

6:37AM PST on Dec 10, 2013

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/love-your-light-bulbs-easy-greening.html
From the article. " Mercury
Alas, the beloved CFL isn’t perfect. All fluorescent lights contain mercury. The good news is that the new generation of CFLs posses only a trace amount of mercury (4 mg), far less mercury than in thermometers (500 mg) or old thermostats (3000 mg). In terms of environmental mathematics, a power plant actually emits 10 mg of mercury to fuel the power needs of an incandescent light bulb compared to 2.4 mg required to produce the electricity to power a CFL for the same amount of time. There has been a lot of fear (and a few urban myths) circulated about toxins released from a broken bulb. Again, the amount of mercury is minimal, but you should take precaution in cleaning up a broken CFL.

TIP: How to clean up a broken CFL
• Using gloves, carefully scoop up the fragments and powder with stiff paper or cardboard and place them in a sealed plastic bag. DO NOT USE A VACUUM!
• Place all cleanup materials in a second sealed plastic bag.
• Take to a recycling center.
How to Recycle CFLs..."
Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/love-your-light-bulbs-easy-greening.html#ixzz2n5CNv9cG

6:35AM PST on Dec 10, 2013

YES! Mercury.
"Mercury
Alas, the beloved CFL isn’t perfect. All fluorescent lights contain mercury. The good news is that the new generation of CFLs posses only a trace amount of mercury (4 mg), far less mercury than in thermometers (500 mg) or old thermostats (3000 mg). In terms of environmental mathematics, a power plant actually emits 10 mg of mercury to fuel the power needs of an incandescent light bulb compared to 2.4 mg required to produce the electricity to power a CFL for the same amount of time. There has been a lot of fear (and a few urban myths) circulated about toxins released from a broken bulb. Again, the amount of mercury is minimal, but you should take precaution in cleaning up a broken CFL.

TIP: How to clean up a broken CFL
• Using gloves, carefully scoop up the fragments and powder with stiff paper or cardboard and place them in a sealed plastic bag. DO NOT USE A VACUUM!
• Place all cleanup materials in a second sealed plastic bag.
• Take to a recycling center.

How to Recycle CFLs
Well, I have been using these bulbs for years and haven’t had to replace one yet (you gotta love that seven-year life span). But when the time comes to dispose of a CFL, it’s important to note that some states, cities and counties have outlawed putting CFL bulbs in the trash, but in most states the practice is legal. (Which just doesn’t seem right.) Recycling is the best option. But even most cities that have curbside recycling won&#

6:30AM PST on Dec 10, 2013

Sorry -- made a mistake -- people are telling me that LED bulbs have mercury in them -- do they?
Do LED bulbs contain mercury ?
CFL Do- right ?

6:04AM PST on Dec 10, 2013

WARNING:
WSRNING:
Possible hazard to vision[edit]

" Tests performed at the Complutense University of Madrid indicate that prolonged exposure to the shorter blue band spectrum LED lights may permanently damage the pigment epithelial cells of the retina. The test conditions were the equivalent of staring at a 100 watt blue incandescent source from 20 cm for 12 hours; researchers say additional testing is required to ascertain what intensities, wavelengths, and exposure times of LED lighting devices are lethal and non-lethal for retinal tissue.[37][38] "

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LED_lamp

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