Americans are saving more thanks to LEDs, CFLs


Lamp by lamp by lamp, I’ve been coughing up big bucks to put in LED bulbs at our home.

LED bulbs are frightfully expensive. While a traditional bulb might cost 33 cents on sale, an LED bulb costs me around $8 a pop to buy.

The reality is that each LED I buy will likely last beyond my lifespan. But the electricity saved during that time will be so large versus a traditional bulb. An LED uses maybe one-sixth to one-seventh of the energy consumed by a traditional bulb.

Now comes word that Ikea plans to make the transition to all LED bulbs in its products over the next several years.

As the volume and the learning curve continues, buying an LED will become something you don’t even think twice about. People particularly like that they don’t contain mercury, unlike CFLs.

Because LEDs are a computer chip based product, Moore’s Law will apply here.

Moore’s Law states that technological capability doubles every 18 months and gets cheaper in the process. Look for the capability and price to get dramatically better over a short period of time.

So maybe you shouldn’t follow me yet into the LED orbit. But in the next year or two, this will absolutely be a smart choice because of how much money you’re going to save.

Meanwhile, one of the local power companies is subsidizing the purchase of CFL bulbs — the kind that look like a twirly ice cream cone. So I’m getting those bulbs for about 25 cents a piece at a warehouse club. While CFLs won’t save you as much energy and money as an LED, they’re still worlds better than a traditional Edison lightbulb.

The savings are everywhere!


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