A "hobo" clown at heart, down on my luck (previously but not now), but eternally optimistic :o)
Dec 1, 2010
Science Scene - CFL or LED?
Not yet made the transition from incandescent to compact fluorescent, no worries - LED is on the horizon.
For years we have been watching as LED technology has improved and the cost of LED replacement bulbs has gotten lower and lower. Compact fluorescent bulbs have become commonplace, which has been instrumental in saving energy and lowering electricity costs for millions of consumers. But still, we've been waiting for LEDs to reach the point where they start being widely used. And now, it looks like that point may be here.
By the middle of 2011, a new 12-watt LED bulb from Osram Sylvania is scheduled to be available from all Lowes stores.
The Osram Sylvania Ultra A-Line LED bulb produces 810 lumens. This compares quite well with a standard 60 watt bulb (the one I checked is listed at 830 lumens). The LED bulb uses 12 watts, versus the 60 watt incandescent, wich is an 80% energy savings. And the LED bulb should last 25 times as long as a conventional bulb.
The biggest remaining question will be consumer acceptance. Does the LED bulb provide an adequate distribution of light, without the "hot spots" and dim areas characteristic of some earlier LED bulbs? And, is the color rendering of the LED good enough to make it an acceptable substitute for an aincandescent bulb? The A-line bulb has a color temperature of 2700 Kelvin and a color-rendering index (CRI) of 91. (An incandescent bulb has a perfect value of 100.) Most fluorescent bulbs have a CRI ranging from the low 50s to the high 80s, so the quality of the light should be quite good.