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LED Bulbs at Costco
I just got some LED Bulbs at Costco. They use 1.5 Watts and say they are equivalent to to 60 Watt incandescent bulbs. They definitely aren't as bright as 60 Watt bulbs, more like 30 or 40 watts but the light they put off is much nicer than the CFLs, they use much less electricity than CFLs, they are dimmable and they don't take time to warm up like CFLs. I really like them just wish I could find brighter ones at a reasonable price. Everything I've found online is really expensive. Does anyone know where I could find brighter LED bulbs without giving up a kidney?
Greener People for a Greener World TM
My company manufacturers LED luminaires primarily for the retail, industrial and commercial markets (low and high bay, flood lights, spot lights, parking lots, etc...), and we do have a spot light solution that replace a PAR20 60W Halogen, but they are expensive relatively speaking. You need to look at not only the energy savings but the entrie value propostion. Our PAR20 saves the end-user approximately 95% in energy (highest in the market), kicks our 400 lumens and last as long as 50,000 hours.
You're obviously aware of the lifecycle difference between incand, CFL's and LEDís; LED's lasting as long as 50,000 hours but most in the mass market advertise only 20-30K hrs. Itís because they're not able to manage the heat properly (for starters). The product you purchased as well as products currently available on the mass market are not very good in many regards via either old technology being marketed or quality. The larger chains are getting in on the "go green" band wagon for obvious reason, but buying on price, not quality thus you do NOT see a published lumen level (something to compare it to). They're able to get the consumer a more efficient lighting product for not much more than a CFL, but like you they do not want to ask the consumer to pay $40-$80 (today) for a light because this would require an education process. They're not in the education business; they're into moving product off the shelves quickly business.
I on the other hand am in the education business. I manufacturer a 400W MH/HID parking lot retrofit that my customers pays $1200 for. Bulb replacement for HID is letís say $100.00. Why would a car dealership owner spend $240,000 (on 200 light fixtures) when he can spend $2000? Because my product will not only reduce his energy by 70-80% at the flick of a switch, but it will also last 50,000 hours plus, not 2,000 or 10,000 hours.
Hereís what 50,000 hours equates to:
24 hours a day 5.7 years
18 hours per day 7.6 years
12 hours per day 11.4 years
8 hours per day 17 years
Keep in mind, at 50,000 hours the LED has only reached 30% lumen depreciation. Would you replace it at this level? Most likely not. With residential use, you're more likley to replace the fixture, home or whatever before it burns out.....
Back to the dealership: In addition to savings and life expectancy, he now has removed the service element which can account easily for 33% of his overall lighting cost (bulb replacement and electricians ringing up fee's exceeding $65/hour plus cost of lift), risk of security and safety. Add on bulb disposal costs (mercury), downtime, and a 2 year ROI, it makes perfect business sense when I ask a business owner to cough up 240 large, he does.
A few other benefits:
"Instant On" with no delay in re-strike
Solid-state, high shock/vibration resistant
No RF interference
Emits no UV or IR radiation
Unaffected by temperature
High color index
High lumen output
No toxic mercury
No Audible Noise or Flicker
As time goes by, one would assume the LED product on the shelves would drop in price relative to improvements in technology, like all other products of this making? This is only partially true. The reality is as the consumer becomes more educated, the retailers will introduce a better product at a higher price from manufacturers of greater technological and quality worthiness. We're seeing this today already via referals from restaurant owners. One gentelamn told me he can buy A Bulb at Sams Club for X price. He went and bought 10 of them, hooked ours up side-by-side and then simply returned the units to Sammy Boys. Sure, he paid more but he gained higher lumen output, CRI, longer life, etc....
Keep in mind as you commendably move forward w/your LED/Green amibitions, lumen levels can also be deceiving when comparing incumbent lighting sources to LED's. Just remember LED luminares have "directed lighting" whereas the others spray light everywhere; hence the dark sky initiative and other groups trying to reduce lighting pollution.
A client of mine recently told me, "I'll wait to the prices comes down...." Its real simple: He can wait for costs to drop but in reality its counterinuitive to any common sense based on what he's loosing during the interim. Pay me now, or pay me later? How much is too much for a light? Well sir, this is relative to how hard your kidney is being taxed isnt it?
If you purchase CFL bulbs, be certain if one is damaged or broken you IMMEDIATELY hit the web and follow the clean up protocol to the exact directions! They do contain mercury and are dangerous if not cleaned up or disposed of properly!!!
My best regards to you!
They have inexpensive ones on Ebay, but they're manufactured and sent from China. The price is low, but the quality might not be too good. I've ordered a few and am now waiting for it to arrive. Oh, and shipping from China takes forever (it's been a month already), but I can't complain because of the price.
I actually find that all the energy saving bulbs that I have used are quite dim, of course I would never use anything else but does anyone know of some well illuminated energy savers as I have quite bad vision in dim light.
I had an energy audit done last year and they gave me some LightWiz CFL bulbs. The first couple times you use them they take a little while to warm up but after that I couldn't tell the difference between them and an incandescent bulb. They are bright, the color of the light is warm and they light up instantly. I can't say the same thing about the other CFL bulbs I have in the house. A lot of them have a delay while they warm up and have a harsh very white colored light. I think I saw the Lightwiz bulbs at Home Depot last time I was there.
Greener People for a Greener World TM
Awesome, thanks for the tip.
I agree with that. Starting when we uses led lights, we have save big bucks from electricity. at the kitchen area, we have fixture that is really good in the eye and the ambiance is great. i encourage people to use led lights.
The price of LED has dropped over the years and the price of it can no longer be used as an excuse now but rather it should be viewed as an investment. We are spending a little more than the price of incandescent but we are having more as we give value to the world and more value to the money we pay with the electric companies. We must all be vigilant in making the right choices to help save mother earth and to help save ourselves from wasting money on bills.
Thank you JoeLED for a very detailed and enlightening post.
I have had my eye on LEDs for a long time. My point of hesitation is not so much price as light output. It still drives me nuts how long it takes for a CFL to come to full brightness, and I still haven't seen any that produce as many lumens as a 100w incandescent bulb. The brightest LED I have yet seen is the equivalent of a 75w incandescent. What I most lack is really good reading lights. LED doesn't seem ready for prime time.
I have noticed that LED bulbs have become both brighter and smaller than when they first hit store shelves. Of course, by the time I see any that I can use, they'll be replacing CFLs with quite a lot of lifetime ahead of them, and I'll have to treat them as hazardous waste.
Nothing's ever perfect, is it?
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