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New LED bulbs are promising but expensive

February 9th, 2007

Treehugger notes a new 9W LED Bulb that produce 308 lumens of light (the equivalent of a 70W traditional incandescent bulb). This variety of LED bulb is designed to plug into an ordinary bulb socket making it an easy transition for most homeowners. As far as I know, this is the brightest LED bulb (for typical homeowners) available to date, so it’s great to see progress being made with this technology.

Unfortunately, at $65 per bulb, it would take over 10,000 hours (or over 7 years at 4 hours per day) of operation before the investment would break even.1 While LED bulbs last far longer than 8000 hours, at these prices it’s still a very long term investment.

1 Break-even was calculated assuming a regular 8000 hour bulb costs $1; Energy savings were 61W per hour or 16.39 hours to save 1kWh. If 1kWh is assumed to cost 10 cents, one would save $1 in electricity for every 163.9 hours of runtime.

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