LED bulbs save substantial energy, a study finds
(New York Times, 29 Nov 09) Does the latest generation of energy-saving light bulbs save energy? A comprehensive study conducted by Osram, the German lighting company, provides evidence that they do.
While that may seem self-evident, until the release of the report on Monday the answer remained unclear.
That is because no one knew if the production of LED lamps required more energy than needed for standard incandescent bulbs. While it is indisputable that LEDs use a fraction of the electricity of a regular bulb to create the same amount of light, if more energy were used in the manufacturing and distribution process, then the lighting industry could be traveling down a technological dead end.
The study results show that over the entire life of the bulb - from manufacturing to disposal - the energy used for incandescent bulbs is almost five times that used for compact fluorescents and LED lamps.
The energy used during the manufacturing phase of all lamps is insignificant - less than 2 percent of the total. Given that both compact fluorescents and LEDs use about 20 percent of the electricity needed to create the same amount of light as a standard incandescent, both lighting technologies put incandescents to shame.
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