Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have been more expensive than compact fluorescent lamps, but the gap is narrowing and the cost of these two types of lights should be comparable in roughly a decade, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s annual energy predictions.
At the same time, the efficacy of LEDs — the amount of light in lumens per watt of electricity — will continue to go up, more than tripling by 2020 as the efficacy of CFLs remains about the same.
Incandescent bulbs that meet new federal energy standards will be cheapest option on the market until new standards taking effect in 2020 eliminate them entirely, the EIA said. In the meantime, incandescents will continue to have the lowest efficacy of the three.
A typical 60-watt incandescent light bulb produces about 16 lumens per watt and lasts an average of 1,000 hours. Halogen incandescents produce about 20 lumens per watt. An equivalent CFL produces about 67 lumens per watt, the EIA said, and lasts 10 times longer. LEDs currently produce about 83 lumens per watt and last about 30,000 hours.
The full report, the EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2014, will be released in stages during the month of April. The final parts of the report will be out by the end of the month.