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LED Light Bulbs vs. Fluorescents

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For decades, 110-watt incandescent light bulbs have lit up bedrooms and hallways; 60-watt incandescent has shone softer light from closets and reading lamps. But incandescent lights have some difficulties. They are inept, wasting lots of energy as heat, and have shorter lifespans than fluorescent lamps. Newly, CFL (compact fluorescent) bulbs have turned out to be popular replacements to incandescent bulbs appreciations to lower power consumption. Where incandescent lights last an average of about 1,500 hours, CFLs can last 8,500 hours. Regrettably, CFLs contain poisonous mercury that makes them possibly dangerous and a pain to dispose of.

Enter the LED light bulb. LEDs offer the benefits of CFLs; lower power ingesting and longer lifetimes; without the disadvantage of poisonous mercury. For instance, a 60-watt incandescent light bulb pulls more than R3000 worth of energy per year and provides about 1000 lumens of light; a corresponding compact fluorescent uses less than 20 watts and costs only about R800 of electricity per year. LED bulbs are even better, drawing less than 9 watts of power, costing about R250 per year, and lasting 50,000 hours or longer. There is only 8,760 hours in a whole year, imagine how long an LED bulb will last in the average home.

That makes LEDs sound pretty great, and they are, but there is a reason compact fluorescent and incandescent bulbs are still around. LED bulbs present a high up-front cost in relation to other bulbs. Incandescent bulbs sell in packages for only a few Rands. As of mid-2011, LED bulbs sold for more than R650 a piece. Though, due to their longer life spans and radically lower power usage, LED bulbs make up for the high barricade of entry. Since there is no poisonous mercury in an LED, they are also stress-free and cheaper to rid of than CFLs. And since LEDs can be made to light up in a variety of colours, they do not need filters like the other bulbs.

LED lighting clearly is not flawless yet. Furthermore to the high cost barrier, LEDs are susceptible to high temperatures. If the LED motherboard gets too hot, more current will pass through the connection. When too much current courses through the connection, it will cause permanent burn-out frequently referred to as LED meltdown. LED’s have made a huge difference in today’s world and benefitted us in so many ways. They are truly the way forward.


Wayne Simpson  
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