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30 June 2007

Looking at Light Bulbs

After doing some reading about fluorescent bulbs, it turns out they are full of mercury & you'd just better not break them, so Andy and I took at look at LED bulbs.

We looked at this LED bulb, which according to the lumens rating, is approximately the same brightness as a regular 60-watt bulb. It costs $67.95. My first thought was "There is no way that's going to be competitive, call back in a few years." Then we started doing some math.

The LED bulb lasts for 30,000 hours. The 60-watt incandescent lasts for 1,000 hours. So you need 30 blubs to last the same amount of time as just 1 of the LED bulbs. That's $56.18 right there ($1.83 per bulb was the price we found online), just to get the same amount of hours from your bulbs. Not sounding so outrageous anymore.

Then we did the math for what the electricity would cost. The incandescent bulbs will cost 179.79 at our current electric rate. The LED bulb would cost 96.41 for the same amount of time. I can think of a few things to do with an extra $80 or so, per bulb in my house!

Clearly, the LED is cheaper to have. It's just gonna hurt more up front.

PS. Andy, after doing some more looking around says that:
1. GE says the mercury's not dangerous, and
2. LEDs use less electricity than fluorescent.


Keeley said...

I read somewhere (sorry I can't be more specific) that on the fluorescent bulb package it says to not throw the bulb away in the garbage. Is this correct? I don't suppose in all your research you discovered how we're meant to dispose of them, did you?

Ritsumei said...

The article I read (I'll have to look & see if I can still find it, since I wasn't smart enought to just link to it.) said they're toxic waste & talk to your city's hazardous waste folks. Andy wandered over to GE (I think - it was definitely a manufacturer's site) and they said that the trace amounts of mercury are bonded to something else & very safe. I'll look around again in the next few days & see if I can find it again.


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