Personally, I’m generally not a subscriber to fads unless they’re backed up with indisputable proof. There are certain laws of science and mathematics that need to be factored before something is truly too good to be true. The tornado air intake attachment for a vehicle air-intake is one that isn’t true; like swirling the air into your engine gets better gas mileage, please!
But take LEDs for example, there is a measure of proof that can accompany them that is rooted deep in the science of electricity and science. Basically, they just take less power to produce the same amount of light. Here is a simple expression that anyone can understand:
(1) 100 watt incandescent uses 100 watts of power for every hour of illumination
(1) 6 watt LED fixture uses 6 watts of power for every hour of illumination
The surprising thing is that both of these lighting sources put off around the same amount of light. The footnote is that the LED light would need to be in a configuration to provide 360 degrees of light and require anywhere from 50-100 LEDs on a single fixture. I won’t bore you with all the details, but the number of LEDs required generally make them more expensive up front. Their several thousand hour lifespan makes the investment about the same over the same period of time though.
I for one would pay more for an LED light replacement because the savings resulting from having to replace them less often coupled with the savings in my electric bill over the lifespan of the LED light outweighs the up front cost. The U.S. is also phasing out standard incandescent light bulbs by 2014-ish, so we really won’t have a choice anyway.
What made me want to post about this in the first place is the fact that I personally saw my first LED that was as bright as a standard headlight. Striking in the light output from a single LED, and using 1/8th the total power of a headlight, it was brilliant. I realized at that moment that this one LED, once mass produced and made cheaper simply by a greater supply, would help revolutionize how we light our lives.
This really is impressive technology! The street lights in our development were recently replaced with drop in replacement rings of LEDs that plugged into the socket of a standard Sodium Phosphor lamp (those yellow lights that we see on all our Interstates) but use only 1/4 of the 600 watts the old lights used to use. So I turned my A/C down 2 degrees to use up the energy savings! I’m kidding…
Unfortunately I get stuff like this stuck in my head and need to get it out or I can’t get to sleep…. 🙂