Energy & Sustainability
LED vs CFL

21Led Balls
NYTimes article about LED lighting, it’s interesting that Philips is pretty much only betting on one horse…

The problem, though, is the price. A standard 60-watt incandescent usually costs less than $1. An equivalent compact fluorescent is about $2. But in Europe this September, Philips, the Dutch company dealing in consumer electronics, health care machines and lighting, is to introduce the Ledino, its first L.E.D. replacement for a standard incandescent. Priced at $107 a bulb, it are unlikely to have more than a few takers…

“L.E.D. performance is there, but the price is not,” said Kevin Dowling, a Philips Lighting vice president and past chairman of the Next Generation Lighting Industry Alliance, an industry group that works with the Department of Energy. “Even at $10 to $15, consumers won’t buy L.E.D. bulbs,” Mr. Dowling said.

While compact fluorescents are beginning to replace standard light bulbs in many homes, lighting executives see those as an interim technology. They say the large size of the bulbs, the inability to dim many of them, the unpleasant color of the light and the five milligrams of mercury in each bulb will limit their appeal.

Philips is working to decrease the penetration of compact fluorescent bulbs. “We are not spending one dollar on research and development for compact fluorescents,” said Kaj den Daas, chairman and chief executive of Philips Lighting. Instead, the bulk of its R.& D. budget, which is 5.2 percent of the company’s global lighting revenue, is for L.E.D. research. Philips is betting the store on the L.E.D. bulbs, which it expects to represent 20 percent of its professional lighting revenue in two years.

Pictured here, “The full spectrum of color, design and programming available for the Times Square ball. Photo: Ian Hardy”. Wow, this should be the blinkiest New Years yet!

12 thoughts on “LED vs CFL

  1. What Philips may mean is that they haven’t found a way yet to make the kind of profits they are accustomed to, in light bulbs.

    In Asia Engineer’s eBay store I find an LED with a buy-it-now price of $2 rated for 91 lumens. (Starting auction price is $1.) A dozen of these would equal the light output of an old incandescent 75-watt bulb. Actually you could use fewer, because the LEDs include a lens to focus the light, while the old-style bulb wastes it in all directions. So, you could maybe get away with $10 of LEDs. Now, these LEDs need 3.5 volts DC and take 700mA each. So if you use, say, eight of them, you need a 6-amp power supply–although actually you could wire the LEDs in series-parallel and run them off 12 volts at around 3 amps. Just the thing for a recreational vehicle. Or use them at home with the kind of 12v DC system that people used to install for early halogens.

    Moreover the eBay price is retail. Buy in bulk, pay less.

    I’m guessing that Philips wants to manufacture a bulb for under 50 cents. In the meantime Makers have many creative options for using LEDs.

    Note that when I wrote a feature about an LED Desk Lamp for Make a couple years ago, LED prices were considerably higher and output was much, much lower. Another couple of years will make even more of a difference.

  2. ‘“Even at $10 to $15, consumers won’t buy L.E.D. bulbs,” Mr. Dowling said.’

    Not so. I won’t call myself broadly representative, but my wife and I first bought into CFs fifteen years ago, when bulbs were still $20. Frankly, I’d consider a $10-$15 LED bulb quite doable. I just wouldn’t buy a houseful at once, that’s all. It took us about 10 years to convert our whole house to CFLs (what isn’t halogen, anyway). I could be persuaded to convert to LED much more quickly.

  3. Cree makes LEDs that put out as much as 240 lumens each. This will likely be surpassed later this year or next year by others. In the meantime, manufacturers such as Cree and Seoul Semiconductors are stuffing multiple dies into a single package putting out at much as 900 lumens per part!

    The issue of making a cheap, reliable, long lasting regulator circuit that runs off 110-240 volts, and can withstand a wide range of temperatures is not so trivial, but it certainly can be done.

    I suspect the main cost issue is dissipating the heat generated by LEDs. It takes an aweful large heatsink to disspate the 7-15 watts of heat that likely will come off the back of these LEDs. A bulb repalcement must operate under all conditions that a normal bulb would, so figure 120 degrees F, and no real movement of air for the worst case. This I think is where the real challenge lies.

  4. Yeah they’re a lot more expensive, and only last 5 times longer than CFL, but I’ve been slowly replacing the bulbs in our house with bulbs from EarthLED. The thing holding me up until recently was that I couldn’t get any of them to work in the recessed lights, but it seems they have an option for that now too.

  5. Remember the early days of CFLs? They were expensive , didn’t fit into regular lamps, had strange shapes and there’s that mercury questions. It just take times to replace LED from CFL.. It took time too when CFL replace Halogen . fluorescent led tube T8 cost will come down sooner or later

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