The days of the original Edison light bulb that has been lighting our lives since the 1800s is now numbered. Congress has legislation making high volume incandescent lamps obsolete starting next year! The incandescent lamp turns most of it’s energy into heat instead of light. Without incandescent light bulbs to light up our lives, are CFLs the only options consumers will be left with?
Fortunately not! Due to advances in alternative technologies such as solid state or LED lamps, these are already soaring into popularity as the light bulb of choice. We have been using them for many years in car dashboards, tail lights, cell phones, computers, digital watches and clocks, flashlights, traffic signals, Christmas lights, and even televisions. Now, you can get an LED light bulb to replace most any other light bulb you use.
There are many reasons why manufacturers are focusing their resources on LEDs. They contain no toxic metals such as mercury and other components found in fluorescent lamps. They can last 50 or more times longer than incandescent lamps, and 15-20 times longer than most halogens. LEDs are also a very focused light source, which means their light can be directed to where it is most needed. Because they are directional, in many applications a 3 or 4 watt LED PL lamp can replace a 7 or 9 watt PL fluorescent lamp. They turn on instantly, and their lifetime is unaffected by cycling on and off. They render colors well, come in almost any color, and can be dimmed! LED light bulbs are also less apt to break than most other lamps. Hence the term “solid” state light bulbs!
While CFL lamps have been considered to be the answer in recent years, their time appears to be numbered also because of breakthroughs in solid state lighting. Many experts now expect LED lamps to exceed 200 lumens per watt. Lighting engineers have tried for decades to get more than 100 lumens per watt from fluorescent lamps, but they can’t seem to go much beyond that barrier. A really top performing CFL will provide about 70 lumens per watt. LEDs are now becoming available that are twice as efficient as a CFL, and can last 5 or more times longer. A 14 watt PAR30 LED can replace a 75 watt PAR30 or a 17 watt PAR38 LED can replace a 90 watt PAR38 halogen. Does 80% less energy consumption, and 15-20 times longer life sound like a good deal?
The potential uses for LEDs seem almost unlimited. First used by NASA to grow plants in space, LEDs can be tailored to produce the necessary wavelengths for chlorophyll absorption in plants to promote growth while emitting minimal light at wavelengths that plants do not require, making them the most efficient method in grow light technology.
Even with the initial much higher cost of LED lamps, consumers are seeing the cost effectiveness of purchasing them. The savings of buying far fewer replacement lamps, much lower labor costs, and greatly reduced energy costs give LED lamps key advantages over almost any other source of lighting.
Cornelius Vanderkolk having come to Hawaii over 10 years ago, jumped into the lighting industry for his initial career as a consultant in calculating ROI and providing energy efficient lighting solutions servicing home owners, businesses, and commercial properties. In Hawaii where Kwh rate is some of the highest in the nation, he has been instrumental in introducing leading edge LED light bulbs solutions into the markets as they became available and first viable. With the fast evolving developments in LED lighting, he is never short of sharing the fast changing technologies amongst client, colleagues, friends and family and presenting something new that the industry has developed.
Outside his professional interests, he is active in a variety of civic and cultural organizations including Habitat for Humanity, church affiliate welfare programs, and participating in the Hawaii Film Festival. When it comes to outdoor actives, one can often find him climbing trails, swimming, and posting adventures and scenery photos on Facebook.