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First LED Lightbulb

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June 05, 2009 – Comments (31) | RELATED TICKERS: COST , GE

So I bought my first LED lightbulb. It is a Lights Of America LED Flood light. It is a rated as replacing a 45 watt bulb and uses 3.5 watts. I put it in the kitchen near the oven, replacing a standard 65 watt flood in a ceiling can. It was made in China and was packaged by (and bought at) a Costco. I paid $11 something for it.

 My first impression is that it is ok, but not fabulous. The light is a little too blue for my tastes and the bulb acts a bit more like a spotlight than a floodlight. On the other hand, the fixture is somewhat hard to get at (due to placement), so not having to replace that bulb for years will be cool. I wrote the date and place of purchase on the outside of the reflector, so I will see how long it lasted when I finally have to replaced it. Another plus is that it reaches full light instantly, unlike the CF bulb it replaced which could take a while if the room was cold.

 I knew going in that LED bulbs are just starting to get some traction and that later models would be better. But I am an early adapter on some items (bought a Prius in '03) and wanted to see how well it would work. One driver here is that I really dislike CF bulbs. The last thing we need to be doing is add more mercury to the environment. I am compulsive about recycling the dead CFs, but many people just throw them away.So some technology that buldozed CFs out of the way would rock.

 I know that GE is working on this sort of technology and hope they come up with some really kickbutt designs that have a visually appealing color spectrum that last a long time and use little energy. I'm kinda hard of thinking and it helps to have the house well lit and I'd like to do that on a budget.

Chris - no position in COST, long GE

31 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On June 05, 2009 at 9:31 AM, EnigmaDude (95.08) wrote:

Hey Chris,

I read recently that flat panel display technology is moving to LEDs, replacing LCDs.  Do you think LEDs will be the next big thing? 

-Damon

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#2) On June 05, 2009 at 9:33 AM, JakilaTheHun (99.94) wrote:

I've wondered for awhile if a major company, like GE, might eventually try to acquire CREE.  Of course, GE has its own problems right now, so maybe that holds them back.

I'm surprised the LED only cost $11.  I imagined it would be much more expensive.  $11 doesn't sound too bad given the longevity. 

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#3) On June 05, 2009 at 9:43 AM, chk999 (99.97) wrote:

Update on the bulb. Mrs. CHK doesn't like the color (too blue) so I am going to move it this weekend to a different location and put the old CF back. I knew this was a possibility when I bought it and had a number of locations in mind for it.

EnigmaDude - it wouldn't surprise me if LEDs replaced LCD in the long run (then you could get rid of the backlight and you'd get a wider viewing angle) but they are going to need to get better color rendition. I'm a late adapter on TV equipment (I don't watch it much) so may wait until my current CRT TV dies and then buy whatever is got the best value at the time.

JakilaTheHun - I've been watching various LED bulbs, but they were up in the $40 range, so I skipped. I am a cheapskate after all.

 

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#4) On June 05, 2009 at 9:55 AM, GNUBEE (28.41) wrote:

Has anyone already done any research on LED's? I always thought that they would become the standard for most lighting in the not too distant future because of size and efficiency. I agree they are too expensive, but once cost comes down I think they'd be the standard. Who wouldn't want to get a piece of a market for a product everyone (will) uses (use)--maybe 

Any thoughts?

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#5) On June 05, 2009 at 9:58 AM, SkepticalOx (99.43) wrote:

EnigmaDude

Right now, LCD's are moving towards LED backlights, which is decreasing their thickness ALOT, and increasing power efficiency. The next step for TV's is OLED Displays (the O: Organic, is the important part here). 

I also can't wait till LED bulbs become more useful (right now it's mainly for spot lighting). More energy efficient, lasts longer, and not toxic like those dang CFL bulbs. 

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#6) On June 05, 2009 at 12:46 PM, portefeuille (99.60) wrote:

You might want to have a look at AIXG (see comment #462 here)(1,2,3(pdf))

Aixtron: LED market boom not before 2013

lightimes.com

 

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#7) On June 05, 2009 at 12:47 PM, portefeuille (99.60) wrote:

chart

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#8) On June 05, 2009 at 12:50 PM, portefeuille (99.60) wrote:

another chart (long-term, in EUR)

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#9) On June 05, 2009 at 12:50 PM, BuildingWings (< 20) wrote:

I'm invested in OLED technology...the stock is PANL...I am also invested in GE...

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#10) On June 05, 2009 at 4:47 PM, darroj (33.40) wrote:

LED screens can also provide a better brightness, so there is no doubt in my mind they will become increasingly popular.  Even automobiles should see the incorporation of LEDs within the next few years.

Portefeuille, do you have any other LED production companies on your radar? Why do you like AIXG compared to others? Yahoo Finance doesn't have much information on it and I'm feeling too lazy to look... :)

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#11) On June 05, 2009 at 4:57 PM, portefeuille (99.60) wrote:

Yahoo Finance doesn't have much information on it and I'm feeling too lazy to look... :)

you shouldn't be.

Portefeuille, do you have any other LED production companies on your radar?

none that I like better.

Why do you like AIXG compared to others?

Part of it might be home bias (they are a spin-off of my university). And it is the "pick and shovel" thing. Do look at the presentation. Lots of pictures, really easy going ...)

 

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#12) On June 05, 2009 at 5:14 PM, portefeuille (99.60) wrote:

Part of it might be home bias (they are a spin-off of my university).

Actually I have spent around 30 minutes of my life waiting at LED traffic lights that they sponsored. I think it was they were the first in the world at the time!

Actually I despise "on the ground" research (see comment #14 here). But I just could not help notice it since a sign next to the traffic lights told you about it. And it was usually at night and I was the first and only one waiting for the red light to fade. It was somewhat disturbingly bright. okay enough of that ...

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#13) On June 05, 2009 at 10:58 PM, ajm101 (32.03) wrote:

@portefeuille - thanks for sharing the suggestion on AIXG.

I looked at the LED field a while ago briefly and didn't see much publicly available besides CREE and PHG (via CLRK acquisition).

The alternative energy stocks site had some interesting comments regarding (and I hope I remember this correctly) that LED had better get it's act together because there would be much less of an incentive to migrate from CFLs to LEDs from incandescent bulbs.

Thanks for bringing the subject chk999!

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#14) On June 05, 2009 at 11:11 PM, portefeuille (99.60) wrote:

For displays I would guess that LEDs and OLEDs win.

An (O)LED ceiling would be nice!

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#15) On June 05, 2009 at 11:12 PM, portefeuille (99.60) wrote:

reminds me of that woman in "men in trees" sitting in front of her light screen ...

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#16) On June 05, 2009 at 11:18 PM, Toxin (25.87) wrote:

As an electrical engineer and specifier of all types of lighting, my personal opinion is that LED's replacing CFL's is a long way off.  The lumens which is basically the way your eye interprets light is never even close to that of CFL's.  The only applications in which I have found LED's to be acceptable is basically accent lighting.

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#17) On June 05, 2009 at 11:27 PM, portefeuille (99.60) wrote:

The only applications in which I have found LED's to be acceptable is basically accent lighting.

The traffic lights were alright. Actually a little to bright, but I guess they did that on purpose. You don't like LED screens? Or was that just on the CFL vs. LED issue?

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#18) On June 05, 2009 at 11:28 PM, portefeuille (99.60) wrote:

a little to bright

a little too bright

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#19) On June 05, 2009 at 11:34 PM, Toxin (25.87) wrote:

CFL vs. LED, what i was referring to was actually using LED's to light your home or a commercial building. 

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#20) On June 07, 2009 at 10:27 AM, chk999 (99.97) wrote:

Update on the update.

I put the CF back over the oven and moved the LED bulb to the downstairs library. This is really a glorified hallway with bookshelves and no seating. It seems ok there. The color tempreture is still too blue, but you can read the book titles better than with the CF it replaced and it comes on instantly when you hit the switch.

I won't be buying another flood style until they have a warmer light. If they come up with a standard bulb style LED light, I may buy a few of those, I have a few places where the long life and low power drain outweighs the strange color.

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#21) On June 07, 2009 at 10:56 AM, NOTvuffett (< 20) wrote:

chk999, do you have any info on the relative efficiency between LED lamps and CFL's?  I like the CFL's but I have found that the bulb life is much shorter than advertised.  I know that the mean time before failure is much longer for LED's. I guess what I am asking is has anybody done a cost/benefit analysis on this?

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#22) On June 07, 2009 at 2:10 PM, chk999 (99.97) wrote:

NOTvuffet - LEDs win on all fronts. They use much less power. They have no mercury in them. They last much longer. The only downside is that the light is too blue and the light tends to be pretty directional. Once they get a warmer white, LEDs will take over.

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#23) On June 11, 2009 at 8:45 AM, chk999 (99.97) wrote:

Update to the update to the update:

Wow, I can't believe this is still here after all these years. The bulb finally burnt out last night and when I took it out of the socket I saw the old note written on it and remembered this blog.

The bulb lasted 19 years, 3 months and 22 days. It's amazing to think back over all the changes that have happened in that time. The biggest is the youth serum. Who would have thought that that small pharma company would create it and grow to be one of the biggest companies in the world. If only I had gotten in when it was small, I'd be a multi-billionaire today.

Similarly that company that created the cheap film solar cells went from a penny stock to an enormous valuation. I'd even looked it over a time or two. If only I had invested in it at just the right time, it was over a thousand bagger at one point. 

Well, gotta go, I'm training for the next Iron Man and am running in the rejuvenated category.

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#24) On June 11, 2009 at 1:53 PM, lighthouse99 (< 20) wrote:

LED lights are interesting especially as the first commenter Damon says,if in flat form like screerns ... might cover the ceiling or wall in future!

 Really it brings out the point that all lights have advantages!

It's unprecedented to ban a simple safe product like the ordinary light bulb
- it's not like banning lead paint or strange fireworks.

There is no energy supply shortage in society, and consumers could decide for themselves between the advantages that all types of lighting have, including of course light bulbs with their quick response bright broad spectrum light.
As for emissions, why should emission-free households have their choices banned?
Light bulbs don't give out gases, power stations do, and their emissions can be dealt with directly in several ways, as described on
http://www.ceolas.net/#em1x

Overall energy/emission savings are low anyway for all reasons given on http://www.ceolas.net/#li13x  onwards.

Even if light bulbs needed to be targeted, taxation would be more logical, as it lowers use and gives government income that could be used to further lower emissions more than any remaining light bulbs cause them.

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#25) On June 12, 2009 at 12:08 PM, devoish (98.42) wrote:

Siemens owns Osram. Exterior automobile lighting is already substantially LED (All the brake lights with the tiny bulbs inside them are LED).

The lower energy demand is worth more in autombiles which have to meet mpg standards (bulbs burn electricity converted from the gasoline).

Using LED's also allows smaller diameter wires, less copper, less weight, less space.

Hope that helps.

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#26) On June 23, 2009 at 6:01 PM, TigerPackFund (< 20) wrote:

chk999-

I hope you can participate in the new "collective" picking system portfolio we have devised for a small group of Top CAPS members.  Click below to read the blog under the new TigerPackFund member name explaining our effort: 

http://caps.fool.com/Blogs/ViewPost.aspx?bpid=215551&t=01008389776301665428

We could absolutely use your smarts and experience to generate a higher return for readers.

We are basically asking you to pick up to 5 stocks at time, under the normal CAPS rules and scoring system.  Our goal is to find a solid group of 40 members who have proven themselves already, to be our regular contributing stock pickers.

-TigerPack

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#27) On October 13, 2009 at 9:44 PM, portefeuille (99.60) wrote:

I have written a post on Aixtron (AIXG) and "LED stocks" here.

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#28) On March 14, 2010 at 11:00 AM, portefeuille (99.60) wrote:

an update is here.

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#29) On March 14, 2010 at 11:50 AM, RLAprof (22.49) wrote:

An interesting shortcoming of LED's came to light (excuse the pun) this past winter up here in the north. During a few of the first snowstorms, some locales in MA had to keep sending workers out to wipe the snow off traffic lights. Because the LED does not give off enough heat to keep the snow melted off, the amount of labor used to keep the snow cleared likely outweighed the electricity cost savings from using them.

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#30) On March 14, 2010 at 12:13 PM, portefeuille (99.60) wrote:

#29 oh come on, please ...

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#31) On March 14, 2010 at 12:15 PM, portefeuille (99.60) wrote:

Maybe we should burn down all remaining forest to lower the heating bills in MA ...

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