General Question

Yellowdog's avatar

Which kind of lightbulb is more energy efficient / cost efficient to operate for the same amount of light: those twisty spiral florecent bulbs or LEDs?

Asked by Yellowdog (4549points) March 18th, 2017

I don’t need too many specifications or technical detail but LEDs I think DO last longer. But what about the cost to operate?

Those LEDs look better to me and the spectrum of light seems more natural. So, cost of the bulbs aside, should we stop replacing the twisty florescents?

I never liked them. But if they are less energy for the same amount of light as an LED I’ll use them where they will work.

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10 Answers

kritiper's avatar

I believe the LED’s also produce less heat so your A/C costs in summer would be lower.

jwalt's avatar

LEDs both last longer and use less energy than their compact fluorescent counterparts. There is at least one article link that shows it is cost effective to even replace your working bulbs with LEDs. Be careful to get ones that work with dimmers if you have them. Standard ones (both CF and LED) will not work with dimmer circuits, and can fail catastrophically.

cazzie's avatar

I have LED’s in my kitchen and they work brilliantly. From IKEA.

LuckyGuy's avatar

LEDs are more efficient, last longer and do less environmental damage upon disposal than CFL bulbs. However, if I recall correctly, you live in a colder climate and use much more heat than air conditioning. If that is the case then it is not worth switching from one bulb to the other. Every watt of heat the CFL (compact fluorescent light bulb, “the twisty bulbs”, put in to the room directly subtracts from the heat your heating system puts out. If you already have working CFL bulbs you should not replace them all with LEDs. You should wait for them to burn out and replace them individually as they burn out.
The price of LED bulbs are dropping quickly while the output is increasing. A couple of years ago you could expect to pay $10 for a 60 Watt equivalent LED bulb. Now you can buy packages of 6 for that price. In two more years the price will be even lower and the output higher. Save your money and keep what you have until they need to be replaced.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

There is at least one article link that shows it is cost effective to even replace your working bulbs with LEDs

That chart compares two new bulbs, not replacing an already-purchased bulb.

It also says you would save only a few pennies after seven years at 12 cents/kwh.

You would have to do the actual math to be sure, using your particular number of bulbs, electric cost, hours of usage, and bulb cost.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay The analysis ignores the fact that in cold climates, for 10 months of the year, the heat “wasted” by the old, inefficient bulbs is being used to heat the house thereby replacing some heat generated by the heating plant. A watt is a watt is a watt.

If someone lives in a warm climate and uses A/C then it is (maybe) worth changing out existing bulbs. But that generates more waste. In a cold climate it is definitely better to wait.

LED bulbs are getting better every day. Wait a year or two until the old bulbs are dead. Then replace them with the new LED bulbs that will make today’s LEDs look like fossils.

Yellowdog's avatar

I am well pleased at the plethora of colours and spectrums of light and great-lookingness of the LED bulbs and the efficiency of light even with today’s LED bulbs. Some LEDs look like warm incandescent lights— some like Daylight (a little more work needed there, however) .

.. I hope someone will consider doing LEDs that look like the blue-green-white-blacklight spectrum of Mercury Vapour (Mercury Vapour bulbs were banned in 2009 in the states but Compact Florecents with chunks of mercury were forced on us by the same EPA that banned Mercury Streetlights

Unfortunately I do NOT live in a cold climate but wish to hell I did. For 9 months of the year in Memphis, even the African animals at the Memphis Zoo are in misery—well, in July and August at least they are.

cazzie's avatar

I only run my heat for about half to 7 months of the year. My problem with the non LED’s in my house right now is that my kid leaves them on when we are out of the house. I will be replacing them as they burn out, but the weird thing is that I moved in 3 years ago and none of my spots have burned out yet, but the florescent coil in the hall and bathroom have both burnt out.

Yellowdog's avatar

I never liked CFs. They go dim and unstable. They look like novelty bulbs but without anything novelous about them. They delay coming on long enough to wonder if they are going to come on. They break more easily than standard glass bulbs and you’ve got mercury dust in your wound. They only look good in globes and shades where they can’t be seen. The light decays and deteriorates. I guess I’ll miss them when they’re obsolete and out of production.

They look like the dark decayed future in dystopian or apocalyptic fiction,
and years in the future their yellowing, flickering dim and grizzly forms will flicker single, dim and low in decrepit,ancient, seedy no-rent apartments..

I guess I’ll miss them when they’re gone

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