May 1, 2012

LED Bulbs are Still Too Expensive

fivecentnickel recently asked Is it Time to Switch to LED Lightbulbs?  My answer to that question is 'no'.

In short, LED bulbs are still to expensive.  Nickel pointed to one bulb for sale on Amazon with a cost of $32.99 (+6.99 shipping).  It claims to last 50 times as long as conventional lighting.    I found another bulb for under $19 (+2.5 ship).   That one has a lifetime guarantee.   Whether they cost $20, $30 or $40 thats still too expensive.

A typical CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) can be bought for around $1-2 nowadays.   The CFLs last around 5-10 years. 

You could buy a 10 pack of CFL's for $10 or $20 and they would last you 50-100 years total.    On a cost per year basis the CFL is still cheaper than the LED even though the LEDs last several decades.

Theres another good reason to delay on buying a LED.  In the future the cost of LEDs is likely to drop further.  As the technology matures and they become more commonly used the prices will drop.   Its quite likely that in a few years LED prices will be well under $10 and may approach the cost of CFL's today.

LEDs may be a great technology but right now they simply cost too much.  

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