Jul 6, 2011

the LED bulb has arrived

As Farhad Manjoo explains, a company called Switch Lighting will soon ramp up production on an LED bulb that looks as warm and inviting as an incandescent--at a fifth of the energy costs.
On average, an incandescent bulb lasts about 1,000 hours—that's about a year, if you keep it on for about three hours a day. Electricity in America also costs about 11 cents per kilowatt hour (that's the average; it varies widely by region). In other words, a 50-cent, 60-watt incandescent bulb will use about $6.60 in electricity every year. Switch's 60-watt-equivalent LED, meanwhile, uses only 13 watts of power, so it will cost only $1.43 per year. The Switch bulb also has an average lifespan of 20,000 hours--20 years. If you count the price of replacing the incandescent bulb every year, the Switch bulb will have saved you money by its fourth year. Over 20 years, you'll have spent a total of about $142 for the incandescent bulbs (for electricity and replacement bulbs) and less than $50 for Switch's 60-watt bulb.
Getting Americans to give up incandescents won't be easy, even with their 2014 phase-out. Migraine sufferers have a reason to be concerned: up until now, the least expensive viable option, compact fluorescents, were a known migraine trigger. As far as we know, though, LEDs are a safer alternative.

Now, if only they could find a way to salvage the Easy-Bake Oven.

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