Thursday, April 19, 2007

Are LEDs Ready for Prime Time?

Is there an alternative to CFL lights for residential lighting? I know CFLs are the alternative to traditional incandescent light bulbs, but is there another option to CFLs? I heard LED light bulbs are, but is that true?

CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) and other fluorescent shapes are the only viable option at this point, and a very viable one at that!

LEDs are not "there" yet.
Eventually (within a year or two experts say) they will be.

But right now you get more lumens (light) per watt (unit of energy) with fluorescent than with LEDs.
If you match them watt for watt, the LED fixture will be too dim to give you enough light for your tasks.

That's why California's Title 24 does not yet recognize LED fixtures as equal to fluorescent ones.
You CAN get an LED fixture bright enough, but only by adding more LEDs...and that adds more energy usage and HEAT; making them less efficient.

You see LED fixtures are made up of many tiny LED light bulbs.
Just like you see looking at a traffic light...all those little green dots are individual LEDs.

A Japanese inventor just created the first bright white LED last year, which made them a lot brighter.
It's only a matter of time...but not yet.

On the other hand; fluorescent lighting, in the hands of a creative designer, is a very energy smart, cool and long lasting lighting choice.

In the last few years new fluorescent colors have become available that are very close to incandescent in appearance (very warm), or approximate sunlight, or several color stages in between.

Designers also have the option of using lenses and photographic gels ( like colored cellophane) to alter the color temperature of fluorescent lights. So even the wide range now available is customizable!

My web site has a great article on lighting at: