This guy is obviously an environmentalist and he doesn't appreciate that there is a real cost to speeding up research simply as a result of government regulations. In any case, even he mentions that there are some weaknesses to these new light bulbs. For some, these light bulbs might make sense, but they are the ones who are best able to judge the costs and benefits
The downside of LEDs, feature-wise, has always been the light color--the blueish light LEDs traditionally have feels cold, particularly compared to the warm glow from incandescent and halogen bulbs. The other knock (or feature, depending on your usage) on LEDs has been that they direct light. That makes them great for spotlights but not good for a desk lamp. And LEDs for everyday use are pricey and unlikely to be stocked in your neighborhood hardware store.
However, all that is changing. Prodded by a federal mandate to boost lighting efficiency, consumer lighting companies are producing LED bulbs with the familiar screw-in bottom for general lighting. At this point, the amount of light that these LED bulbs produce is still a bit low, at least for my tastes, but the light quality is good. And of course, whether these bulbs last for decades as manufacturers say is still unproven.
Thomas Edison wouldn't recognize most of the products in the EcoSmart line--they are cone-shaped bulbs with fins that act as heat sinks, and they have flat tops where the light source goes. These are spotlights, great for casting a beam of light from above your kitchen counter or perhaps for an outdoor flood light.
In the past year, though, lighting manufacturers have introduced LED bulbs in a shape Edison would recognize that put out a decent amount of good quality light. They still don't give off light from all sides as incumbent technologies do, but this latest generation of LEDs does a better job dispersing light, which means that you could use one (or a few) for overhead lighting.
The best part is that the prices are coming down. The 40-watt equivalent general light bulb from Lighting Science Group, which is dimmable, costs just under $20. You can buy it online now and in Home Depot stores later this month, along with the LEDs from other manufacturers, including a ceiling down light from Cree. . . . .
Labels: Environment, GlobalWarming, Regulation