Reducing Electricity Bill With New Lighting Technology—LED

Led light. Safe to touch.
It is actually safe to touch the light bulb.
LED has been around for several decades now. In fact, the concept was first discovered in 1907 by H. J. Round. About five decades later, the first practical visible red LED was developed. Now, there are some more interesting historical facts about LED like the first LED flashlight was actually conceptualised in 1984,  but I don't want to risk putting you, my readers, to sleep with history lessons at this point. For those interested, you can read all about it over at wikipedia.

LED, however, have yet to become a mainstream household lighting solution. You cannot even buy them from the local supermarkets here in Australia, at the time of writing. Correct me if I am wrong. Even if you can, they will be very expensive.

So a few weeks ago, I ordered 2 LED light bulbs from ebay to test if it can replace my current compact fluorescent lamp (CFL). Not that the CFL has died on me, but I am curious to see if I am able to reduce my carbon footprint. And to my surprise, the results are not what I had expected...

LED light bulb and CFL
Here is the LED light bulb on the left and my CFL on the right.  

How is it constructed? You wonder. Well, here's some clue below:

Close-up view of 2.5W LED Light Bulb
Close-up view of 2.5W LED Light Bulb
Close-up view of 6W LED Light Bulb
Close-up view of 6W LED Light Bulb
As you can see, the light bulb itself consists of a few surface-mount device (SMD) LEDs. There is an additional circuitry inside (rectifier) that converts the AC from the power outlet to the required DC voltage.

How Well Does It Perform?

2.5W LED Light Bulb
2.5W LED Light Bulb
6W LED Light Bulb
6W LED Light Bulb
Apart from the colour difference, can you spot difference between the lamp's brightness or luminous flux?

The 2.5W LED is most suitable as a study lamp, but for a room light it is too dim.

The 6W LED is slightly dimmer than my current CFL. It is able to light my room. But, because I am sharing a room, my room-mate thinks that the lighting is insufficient. So, we ended up using our room's ceiling CFL instead sometimes.


Type SMD No of LED Watt Lifespan Purchase price (Estimated)
CFL - - 20 ~8,000 h 3 AUD
LED 5050 7 2.5 ~20,000 h 3 AUD
LED 5050 30 6 ~20,000 h 5 AUD

Final Word
Currently, I had made the 6W LED light bulb as my room light. It is installed on the study lamp. This reduces my energy consumption by 70% to light my own room. In case you are wondering, it is sufficient. I like my room cozy and I usually read my books during day time.

I had kept both the 2.5W LED light bulb and the CFL in a safe place for now. When a need arises, they will be used :)

For those looking to replace their current household lighting to LED light bulbs, I would encourage you to do your own cost analysis. Try to vary the lumen across different rooms, according to your needs. You would not need a very bright toilet, would you?

Do note that these light bulbs use SMD 5050 LEDs. They are brighter than SMD 3528 LEDs. So a 6W  SMD 3528 LED light bulb may be dimmer than a 6W SMD 5050 LED.

Next, I look forward to getting my hands on a SMD 5630 LED light bulb. They are currently slightly more expensive than the SMD 5050. But, I believe that their cost will go down within 1 year as technology progresses.

LED lighting is the very near future of lighting.

What are your thoughts? Any questions?

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