Compact florescent light bulbs, or CFLs, are thought of as the energy-efficient light bulb. However, light-emitting diode light bulbs, or LEDs, are actually much more efficient. Researchers have been at work on this green technology to make it more affordable to the consumer market before the 2014 deadline, when 40-watt and 60-watt bulbs will be phased out, according to the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.
This research is also critical because LED light bulbs are very expensive. The newest LED light bulb from Lighting Science Group and Dixon Technologies cost $15, but that’s almost eight times the incandescent light bulbs that are to be gone by the end of next year. Even though LED light bulbs typically go for anywhere between $30 and $40, it’ll still be difficult to convince the regular consumer to spend that much money on one light bulb, when four incandescent light bulbs are a fraction of the cost. The light-emitting diode was invented by General Electric in 1962. The reason why these things are so expensive is because they are very difficult to produce, and need an extra coating so the light is white (originally, LED lights were red, blue, and green).
Despite cost, LED light bulbs do have several benefits over the CFLs and the incandescents. They don’t have mercury like CFLs and supposedly last for decades. There’s, of course, the energy and cost savings in the long run. A seven watt LED home light bulb (60-watt direct replacement) will cost $2.00 a year to run left on for eight hours a day vs. an incandescent, which will cost $20.00 and you will still have to change it 2-3 times every year. Consumer Reports conducted testing of several LED light bulbs, and found that they burn nine times as long as the incandescent light bulbs.
Even the Capital building is “supposedly” making the switch from CFLs to LEDs. None of the sources positively confirmed that the switch was going from CFLs to LEDs, and not to the old incandescent light bulbs. Could easily be written off as Republicans being finicky about the whole issue. However, LED light bulbs are looking like the solution that will replace CFLs and incandescents in the coming years while making everyone more energy-efficient with their lighting.
Overall, LED light bulbs are the way to go. They may be very expensive now, but if the Energy Independence and Security Act stays in place, then in a few years, consumers may not have a choice among LEDs, CFLs, and incandescents. By then, they may not be very expensive at all.
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