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. Traditional incandescent bulbs use a lot of energy to produce light. 90% of the energy is wasted as heat. That lost energy is money we are throwing away.
Newer energy-saving light bulbs provide the choices in colors and light levels you've come to expect. The new lights are also much more efficient — so they save you money.
Three of the most common energy-efficient lighting types include halogen incandescents, CFLs, and LEDs. You can find these in most hardware and home improvement stores, and they are all more energy-efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs.
- Halogen — about 25% energy savings
- CFLs — about 75% energy savings
- LEDs — about 75% – 80% energy savings
The lightemitting diode (LED) uses the same technology as the little indicator light on your cell phone, but designed to light your home. It is one of today's most energy-efficient and rapidly developing technologies. LEDs use only 20% – 25% of the energy and last up to 25 times longer than the traditional incandescent bulbs they replace. At the same time LEDs do not contain mercury, which makes CFLs not a 1-st priority due to difficulties in recycling.
LED bulbs are currently available in many products such as replacements for 40W and 60W traditional incandescents, reflector bulbs often used in recessed fixtures, and small track lights. While LEDs are expected to be more expensive at this early stage, their long life and energy savings cost less to operate. Prices are also expected to come down as more products enter the market.