Bulbs no bargain

Energy-saving bulbs save a whole lot less than one might think

I have a concern with the apparent phasing out of the incandescent light bulb.

A regular 60 watt bulb costs about $0.50, sometimes even less. An LED bulb giving the same level of illumination will cost at least $19.99 — 40 times as much.

Knowing that the energy required to manufacture a product is proportional to its price, it is safe to say that an LED bulb has a far larger carbon footprint than its incandescent counterpart before it is turned on. Of course we are told that once the LED light is installed its benefits start to take effect, notably much lower running costs and a much greater life.

Does anyone question when lights are used in their home? In my house it is usually in the evening and mostly in the winter time when my heating is on at the same time.

Although only 10 per cent of the energy used by an incandescent bulb goes to producing light, the rest is not wasted as we are led to believe. The other 90 per cent produces heat (however insignificant) and goes towards heating our homes. The result is that not one iota of energy is wasted by an incandescent bulb during the times of highest use.

If you are not convinced and still must have LEDs, please consider how much time some of your light fittings are actually used. The lights that I have in my guest bedroom for example, are used less than 10 hours per year.

It would take over 400 years to recoup the extra cost of an LED light, and that is assuming that all the energy used by a conventional light bulb was wasted, which I have shown is not the case.

Let there be light and an even greener world.

Edward A. Mott