So I am a green purist at heart. However like most dreamers we have to come out of the cloud and balance green environment with green in the wallet. I have been doing a lot of research lately about energy savings, specifically because we have been hired to install a combined Solar PV and Wind generation system for a home in Bellevue.
I started looking at lighting, and I have been swapping our home over to the CFL light bulbs. I recently read about the unreported discussion on mercury used in the CFL bulbs and that did bother me. I have broken several of the long florescent bulbs in my life but I think only one or two CFL bulbs. The CFL are pretty sturdy in comparison.
Recently I have looking into LED lighting, as everyone is saying it is the wave of the future. Well on paper it looks great, and it pencils out for a flood light it uses about half the energy that a CFL bulbs uses. The problem they are almost 20 times more expensive. I did a search and the LED pushers are showing that hey over the life of an LED bulb it is significantly cheaper.
Well I started contemplating the data. Well first the life of an LED bulb is around 60,000 hours. Than i though well what is that in years? Well if I used a light bulb for 8 hours a day (not likely in my habits, but for arguments sake) it would take almost 20 years for that bulb to burn out. I would have used 6 CFL bulbs. But I would break even on the wallet. CFL bulbs cost about $3 on average. LED bulbs cost $55 on average according to a quick scan of online retailers.
CFL looks like the winner for now, until LED comes down in price next year…