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Green Building News

Future of LEDs: Lower Cost, Higher Efficacy

LED lamps are more expensive than incandescents and compact fluorescents, but the gap is narrowing

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Lower prices and higher efficacy will characterize light emitting diodes in the future, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Image Credit: U.S. Energy Information Administration
Lower prices and higher efficacy will characterize light emitting diodes in the future, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Image Credit: U.S. Energy Information Administration
Long life, high cost: This LED lamp draws 9.5 watts and produces 500 lumens of light, an efficacy of 52 lumens per watt. Newer versions are even more efficient. Output will rise to more than 150 lumens per watt by 2020 as costs continue to fall, according to the government's annual energy outlook.

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.

One Comment

  1. Colm O HAonghusa | | #1

    Greetings from Dublin
    An article (which is linked below) on what to look for when 'specifying' LEDs was discussed at a recent CIBSE/ASHRAE symposium in Dublin. I hope it will help

    http://arrow.dit.ie/sdar/vol1/iss3/2

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