The Re-Fire Strikes Back

Cree 4flow LED lampAgain, welcome to 2015.  And a happy 2015 it is, at least in energy.  Not only have LED lamps fallen in price drastically from just a few years ago, but they continue to improve, in multiple respects.  Cree, one of the bigger names in LEDs, didn’t just release their groundbreaking lamp about a year ago.  They’re now on their generation-2 product, and yes, competition has improved the breed.

I’ve just installed Cree’s “4flow” LED lamp.  I bought this standard Edison base (“A19”) in 40-Watt equivalent.  Actual consumption is 6W, saving 34 nega-watts, or 85% less than an incandescent bulb of the same light output.  That’s also a savings over a compact fluorescent, though far less.  The big trick is getting rid of incandescents, which have only a few percent light efficacy.  The other ~97% of the electricity you put in is wasted as heat.  Basically, incandescents are little heaters that, oh by the way, make some light too.  But unlike fluorescents, LEDs turn on instantly.  They’re vibration, cold, and cycling resistant.  Their lives aren’t shortened by on-off cycles, such as bathroom and hallway installations.  Nor do they contain any mercury, though the mercury level of CFLs has been exaggerated. Continue reading


I’ll Give Them Credit

Out with the old...

Out with the old… with the new!

…in with the new!

Again, almost 2015.  My bank tossed their old bulbs and installed LEDs because… they’re a bank, and it’s almost 2015.  Obsolete lighting technology wastes energy, and thus money.  LEDs make money, as banks are supposed to do- certainly any bank of mine. Continue reading

Philips Followthrough: SlimNotShady

That was fast… Philips said they would respond to Cree’s sub-$10 40W-equivalent LED.  Their initial model was competitive, but didn’t push the technology or price point forward.  Philips had then shown test units of their newer LED design to reviewers, but the final price had yet to be announced by them and retailer Home Depot.s6

Now in the new year, Philips’ SlimStyle 60W-incandescent equivalent (10.5W actual), below $10, puts the ball squarely in Cree’s court.  Cree’s “60W” LED is ~$13 before rebates.  This broke the $10 barrier in 60W, the biggest seller in the US.  Rebates will almost certainly cut that further.  So far, it seems to be online only; no store by me had any.  It also seems units will hit shelves soon, maybe in days.  The warranty’s 3 years, in a 25,000 hr life claim.  For three years, at these savings, it makes sense even if it dies the day after the warranty expires.  So I might drop $10, get 49.5 negawatts, and give you my opinion.  Can’t lose as long as I have my receipt.

The future is here, folks.  Some people still insist on being stuck in the past.

4 Light Bulbs… Philips Followup

When Cree dropped a bombshell in March (a sub-$10 LED lamp), Philips had to respond.  They promised it by the end of the year.  It didn’t quite break the $10 barrier, sure.  An instant rebate now got me an 8 Watt LED (40W in incandescents) for 37djust under that mental barrier.  $10 now got me 32 more negawatts.

Who doesn’t like the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007?  People who can’t do math.  Idiots who don’t get TCO (Total Cost of Ownership).  The LED’s about $9 more than an incandescent, sure.  But it’s built for a 20,000+ hour life, versus ~1000 hr incandescents.  You’d buy ~$19 in new bulbs versus one LED.  Meanwhile, at 8W you save $4.20 a year vs. 40W incandescents (assuming 3 hrs a day, at the US average 12¢ a kW-hour).  Thus, power-bill savings alone will pay off sometime in year 3.  Will pay off- the warranty is 6 years.

It’s a no-brainer, folks.  Now combine its power savings with no replacements, and in its 6 years, it saves over 30 bucks- $6.50 in replacements, $25.20 in juice. Continue reading