Today we installed our first LED light bulb. We got it as part of a national action by the ‘Nationale Postcodeloterij’ (‘national zip-code lottery’ where your zipcode is your lottery number). In this action all 2.5 million households that take part in the lottery get a LED lamp. That means that 1 out of every 3 households in the Netherlands will be able to replace a 60 Watt incandescent light bulb with a 6W LED.
Each lamp installed will save about 90% of energy use, or 45kg of CO2 output from burning fossil fuels per year, compared to regular incandescents. On top of that a LED lamp has a longer lifespan than both regular incandescents (up to 50 times) and CFLs (up to 8 times). And that times 2.5 million if everybody who gets a light bulb this fall installs it. With almost 20% of energy usage for ligthing this can have significant impact. With the European Union wide ban on regular light bulbs being implemented in several steps since September 2009, it also means a lot of people will already know if and how using LED technology feels different, and lower the threshold for them to replace more bulbs with LEDs over time.
I can’t show how it looks on the outside, because it fell to the floor while unpacking it, and the light bulb shattered as all glass bulbs do. This being LED technology though, even with the glass bulb removed it of course still works. So after I took a picture and removed the remaining glass shards I installed it anyway, and it works perfectly.
The lamp is created by a Dutch company and comes in two types a 4 Watt (40 Watt replacement) and the 6 Watt (60 Watt replacement). The last one is dimmable.
An issue with LED technology currently is of course the price tag. The retail price of these bulbs is around 25 Euro. It still means that you earn the price difference back within a year or two (both by saving energy and saving on buying regular replacements).

As you can see in this close up the lamp contains 4 LEDs

8 reactions on “We Installed Our First LED Light Bulb Today

  1. Mine is broken as well. It lasted for like 2 hours ๐Ÿ™‚ I can still replace it. 2 hours versus 20 years is bit weird, ain’t it? ๐Ÿ™‚
    It’s a bright light though. A little to bright for me.

  2. I commented before but maybe got spamblock or such
    agree that LEDs are interesting,
    I like the ones where you can choose colour temperature
    Still too weak and directional though…
    … and a bit costly, pity about that breakage!
    I disagree about
    EUs decision to ban normal light bulbs
    the savings (as shown by EU governments own institutional research) aren’t there, light bulbs don’t give out CO2 gas, power stations can and wikl be dealt with directly, while taxation is anyway better -compared to bans- keeping choice while giving government income on the reduced sales, income that can in turn give environmental spending if needs be.
    2 billion annual EU light bulb sales (=like USA) shows, or showed, the potential income possibilities just on light bulbs.
    See onwards
    About the unpublicised industrial politics that led to the EU ban:

  3. Hi Peter,
    well the good thing is that LEDs still work even without the glass bulb. The bulb only serves to spread the light more even.
    You mean that the one you can set color on are to weak still? Because this white one gives a lot of light with just these 4 LEDs in it. I agree that the programmable ones are interesting, as they make completely new lighting designs possible.
    I disagree with your sentiment that cutting back on power usage is not needed because we’ll attack the CO2 problem at the source of power generation. Bringing back power consumption will be a benefit in its own right. Leaving more room for load balancing, dampening peaks when it gets dark, making it easier to more quickly move to a situation where a large percentage of power comes from renewable sources, or simply use the surplus power for other things. Because our lamps are burning 95% of their energy usage to create heat not light. Waste is waste each way. We’ve been strifing to make lots of things in our work more efficient for decades, it would be strange to stick with lighting schemes a century old. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Thanks Ton,
    light bulb energy as heat is not necessarily a waste as shown by numerous research
    – and see list of all other referenced reasons why the supposed energy savings aren’t that great
    I certainly agree that people might want to save energy and money.
    The point is that they don’t have to be forced.
    Even if assumed that dealing with power supply is too slow, new international grid connections can bring in low emission power from suitable locations,
    and as said taxation on light bulbs etc (if required) helps pay for any supply changes.

  5. Hi Peter, thanks for coming back.
    I looked at the pointer you gave me. I am not impressed by the ‘secondary heat’ argument. I am well aware that by replacing all the regular lightbulbs by LEDs I will need to heat our home a bit more.
    However that doesn’t mean that the heat lights give off aren’t waste. The problem is in the chain to how that heat gets generated.
    Heat from light bulbs: burn fossil fuel to create electricity, use electricity to create heat with a device not optimized for that
    Heat from heating: burn fossil fuel to create heat with a high yield device.
    Heat from lightbulbs is created through an additional transition of the energy involved, instead of the regular direct way. That is inefficient and a waste of resources. Every transition increases entropy, so less transitions are desirable.
    Apart from that very basic physics argument, the savings of a LED compared to a normal lightbulb is not just in its energy usage while switched on, but also in its lifespan, and thus energy for production. LEDs don’t burn through like lightbulbs (because of the heat mostly, even for the lightbulb itself the heat is a bug not a feature). One LED means replacing not 1 lightbulb, but slightly over 50 in its lifetime.

  6. Using LED light bulbs has to be the way forward for the whole lighting industry, certainly for the next 30 years until something else develops because of the extremely low consumption and long lifetime. If you consider the life cycle cost of a LED bulb vs CFL vs incandesant they win easily even considering the high cost of purchase. And therein lies the problem with any new technology, the short runs and high development costs mean prices are high to start with! Once enough people take the plunge to purchase these bulbs it will make production more efficient and utimately lower the cost price. In the UK the whole market is starting to increase but many people are put off by the high purchase cost of ยฃ20+ for a top quality replacement for say a halogen bulb.

  7. this is very helpful to all Netherlands’s household the Led Lights installation brings hope and inspiration to them. Thanks to them…

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