LED Light Bulbs: Comparison Charts

LED light bulbs will eventually be what we use to replace incandescent bulbs – CFLs are a temporary solution to energy-efficient lighting. The reason LEDs have not yet displaced CFLs from the market are twofold: the first generation LED bulbs had a narrow and focused light beam, and the cost of the LED bulbs was too high.

Recent developments in LED technology, however, have been addressing these issues. LEDs have been ‘clustered’ to provide more light, and mounted within diffuser lenses which spread the light across a wider area. And advancements in manufacturing technology have driven the prices down to a level where LED bulbs are more cost-effective than CFLs or incandescent bulbs. This trend is continuing, with LED bulbs being designed for more applications while the prices are going down over time.

The ‘sticker shock’ of the new LEDs remains a deterrent to their widespread acceptance by consumers. The following comparison charts illustrate the value of the latest LED bulbs when compared with CFLs and incandescents for overall efficiency as well as cost-effectiveness.

Cost Comparison between LEDs, CFLs and Incandescent light bulbs

LED CFL Incandescent
Light bulb projected lifespan
50,000 hours
10,000 hours
1,200 hours
Watts per bulb (equiv. 60 watts)
6
14
60
Cost per bulb
$35.95
$3.95
$1.25
KWh of electricity used over

50,000 hours

300
700
3000
Cost of electricity (@ 0.20per KWh)
$60
$140
$600
Bulbs needed for 50k hours of use
1
5
42
Equivalent 50k hours bulb expense
$35.95
$19.75
$52.50
Total cost for 50k hours
$95.95
$159.75
$652.50

Energy Savings over 50,000 hours, assuming 25 bulbs per household:

Total cost for 30 bulbs
$2398.75
$3993.75
$16,312.50
Savings to household by switching

from incandescents

$13,913.75
$12,318.75
0

Notes:

– Cost of electricity will vary. The figures used above are for comparison only, and are not exact.


The cost per bulb for LEDs may vary. We used the figure of $35.95 (for a 6 watt LED) as an average among lighting retailers. Eartheasy’s retail price for a 7 watt LED is $39.95.

Estimates of bulb lifespan are projected, since it would take about 6 years of continuous lighting to test. Some manufacturers claim the new LED bulbs will last up to 25 years under normal household use, but this is not proven.

– Bulb breakage and bulb replacement costs have not been factored into this comparison chart. Incandescent bulbs and CFL bulbs are more easily broken than LEDs, which increases their cost of use.

– Most LEDs come with a minimum 2-year guarantee. Any defective LED bulb will usually fail within this time.

Comparing the top LED lightbulbs for household use

LED bulb Price Watts Lumens Incandescent Equivalent Watts Dimmable CRI Lifespan
ZetaLux Warm White
$39.95
7
350
40 – 50
no
80
> 50,000 hrs
ZetaLux Cool White
$39.95
7
450
50 – 60
no
75
> 50,000 hrs
DesignoLux NX8
$43.95
8
300
40 – 50
no
80
> 50,000 hrs
EvoLux SH Warm White
$49.95
13
1000
75 – 100
no
80
> 50,000 hrs
EvoLux SH Cool

White

$49.95
13
1075
75 – 100
no
75
> 50,000 hrs
DesignoLux Candelabra
$27.95
3
150
20
no
80
> 50,000 hrs
EarthPAR-20, R-20, Spot light, Warm White
$54.95
7
400
40 – 50
no
70
> 50,000 hrs
LumiSelect MR-16 PRO, Warm White, Dimmable
$54.95
5
350
40 – 50
yes
75
> 50,000 hrs
LumiSelect PAR-16 Warm White, Dimmable
$65.95
6
300
40 – 50
yes
80
> 50,000 hrs
LumiSelect PAR-20 Warm White, Dimmable
$85.95
9
450
40 – 60
yes
80
> 50,000 hrs
Cree LR 6 Bulb and Module, Warm White,
Dimmable
$124.95
12
650
50 – 60
yes
92
> 35,000 hrs
Cree LR 5 Bulb and Module, Warm White,
Dimmable
$159.95
10.5
540
40 – 60
yes
94
> 35,000 hrs

Notes:

– Dimmable LEDs cost about 40% more than non-dimmable LEDs of similar wattage.

– Estimates of bulb lifespan are projected, since it would take about 6 years of continuous lighting to test. Some manufacturers claim the new LED bulbs may last up to 25 years under normal household use.

Terms:

LumensThe unit of measurement of the flow of light, or ‘luminous flux’. With light bulbs, it provides an estimate of the apparent amount of light the bulb will produce.

Coloring Rendering Index (CRI) . CRI represents the quality of light and its ability to render colors correctly. The EvoLux bulb, for example, features a CRI of 75 for Cool White and 80 for Warm White making it one of the highest in the industry.
Equivalent wattages and light output of
Incandescent, CFL and LED bulbs

Light Output LEDs CFLs Incandescents
Lumens
Watts
Watts
Watts
450
4 – 5
8 – 12
40
300 – 900
6 – 8
13 – 18
60
1100 – 1300
9 – 13
18 – 22
75 – 100
1600 – 1800
16 – 20
23 – 30
100
2600 – 2800
25 – 28
30 – 55
150


Comparing the features of
Incandescent, CFL and LED bulbs

LEDs CFLs Incandescents
Frequent On/Off Cycling
no effect
shortens lifespan
some effect
Turns on instantly
yes
slight delay
yes
Durability
durable
fragile
fragile
Heat Emitted
low (3 btu’s/hr)
medium (30 btu’s/hr)
high (85 btu’s/hr)
Sensitivity to temperature
no
yes
some
Sensitivity to humidity
no
yes
some
Hazardous Materials
none
5 mg mercury/bulb
none
Replacement frequency

(over 50k hours)

1
5
40+

Choosing an LED light bulb

Many different models and styles of LED bulbs are emerging in today’s marketplace. When choosing a bulb, keep in mind the following:

• Estimate desired wattage – read the package to choose desired illumination level. For example, a 3W LED is equivalent in output to a 45 W incandescent.

• Choose between warm and cool light – new LED bulbs are available in ‘cool’ white light, which is ideal for task lighting, and ‘warm’ light commonly used for accent or small area lighting.

• Standard base or pin base – LEDs are available in several types of ‘pin’ sockets or the standard “screw’ (Edison) bases for recessed or track lighting.

Choose between standard and dimmable bulbs – some LED bulbs, such as the LumiSelect series, are now available as dimmable bulbs.

The common styles of LED bulbs available for household use include the following:

Diffused bulbs

In this style LED bulb, clusters of LEDs are covered by a dimpled lens which spreads the light out over a wider area. Available in standard Edison bases, these bulbs have many uses, such as area lighting for rooms, porches, reading lamps, accent lamps, hallways and low-light applications where lights remain on for extended periods. more info



Diffused high power bulbs

Designed for standard household use, these bulbs produce light equivalent to a 100-watt incandescent bulb. The EvoLux (pictured), and ZetaLux (pictured above) are the first UL Listed and FCC approved LED light bulbs for general household illumination. more info

Track Lighting

Available in pin base or standard (Edison) base, LEDs are ideal for track lighting. LEDs do not contribute to heat buildup in a room because no matter how long they remain on, they do not get hot to the touch. Also, because they are 90% more efficient than incandescents, and last 10 times longer than CFLs, the frequency of changing bulbs is greatly reduced. more info

Recessed Downlight and Spotlight bulbs

LEDs are now available for standard recessed lighting pots and housings. The light output and color quality are similar to incandescent downlights, but draws only about one-fifth of the power. Also, because they are 90% more efficient than incandescents. and last 10 times longer than CFLs, the frequency of changing bulbs is greatly reduced. more info

Spotlight and Floodlight LEDs

The spotlight LED lacks a dispersing lens, so it appears brighter as its light is directed forward. It runs cool and will last over 50,000 hours due to advanced thermal management design. The floodlight model gives a spread-out dispersed light. Well suited for ceiling lights, outdoor floodlights. retail display lighting, landscape lighting and motion sensors. more info

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