New LED Light Bulbs Can Replace 100W Incandescents

Zetalux LED Light Bulb

Update: See our latest post on LED Light Bulbs For The Home.

I recently had the chance to test two state-of-the-art LED light bulbs from EarthLED. LED bulbs have many advantages over incandescents and compact fluorescent: they use very little power, they last 10 years or more, and they contain no hazardous substances. They are also tough: they can be dropped and turned off and on repeated without damage, they can operate in very cold or warm temperatures.

LED bulbs can also save you money in the long term, because an incandescent bulb requires about $300 worth of electricity over ten years of use. The LED bulbs cost $40 (for the 60 watt equivalent Zetalux) and $50 (for the 100 watt equivalent Evolux), and their cost to run over ten years is about $38.

The Zetalux

The first EarthLED bulb I tested was the ZetaLux LED (pictured above). This bulb produces a pleasing warm white light.

Until recently, LED bulbs were only capable of producing a stark, cool white light, so I was happy about the color temperature of this bulb (it’s rated at 3000K). The bulb didn’t need to warm up like a compact fluorescent, and there was no flickering at all.

The Zetalux uses a CREE LED engine and features a high CRI or Color Rendering Index (75 for cool white and 80 for warm white). The bulb is rated at 7 watts. However, when I tested it with a Kill-A-Watt meter it was drawing only 5 watts.

The warm white version of the Zetalux produces 350 lumens, and the cool white produces 450 lumens. Comparing LED bulbs and other bulb solely on lumens is tricky because LED bulbs tend to make better use of their lumens in recessed fixtures (see this page for more details). EarthLED says the bulbs are equivalent to a 50-60 watt incandescent bulb.

The Zetalux LED Bulb illuminating my hallway.

The Zetalux currently sells for $40. The bulb costs about $2 per year to run, assuming it’s left on 8 hours a day and the cost of electricity is $.10 per KWh.

The Evolux

The second bulb I tested was a cool white Evolux. This 13 watt bulb produces 1075 lumens, and according to EarthLED is equivalent to a 100 watt incandescent. This bulb is definitely bright — it illuminates my garage quite well.

EarthLED says the Zetalux and Evolux will become the first FCC and Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) listed LED light bulbs on the market at the end of 2008. Both bulbs are RoHS compliant.

EarthLED will be releasing a dimmable version of the ZetaLux, and a new version of the Evolux in early 2009.

These bulbs are available from GoGreenSolar

Comments

  1. says

    You might try your local WalMart, heartland or donsgreenstore for 1 – 3 watt versions, about 1-40 Watts incandescent equivalent, at $10.00-$15.00 — I got one, and they work, but of course were under powered re: 100 watt

  2. Martin says

    Strange that you would have “… can replace 100W incandescents” in the title, when the manufacturer says that the bulbs is rated for 50-60W. I was expecting a rationale or justification for putting 100W in the title, but there was none. Why? Why would you do this?

  3. Martin says

    Hmmm, they’ve priced it way too high. At these prices, it will take 71 months (nearly 6 years) with my usage pattern before this bulb will pay for itself (vs. incandescents or halogens).

    Granted, this isn’t only about cost, there is the Hg-Free-factor, but I think I’ll just stick with my CFLs (which will pay for themselves in about 12 months) and make sure I dispose of them properly.

  4. sr20de says

    I really really really want LED bulbs all over my house but the cost is still too high. Keep ‘em coming so the prices keep falling. I’d say for a 100W equivalent that $20 is the price point for me. For a 60W, I’d say $10 is the sweet spot.

    • Curtis, Cleveland Ohio says

      Start small. (Changed out my curly light bulbs)I first started buying the 2w LED bulbs from Walmart (two at a time) every payday for less than $6 each, about the same as a 25w bulb. My bathroom fixture used 3 bulbs but I only used one 60w bulb because of the size of the room. I switched it out with three 2w LED’s which gave me about 70w to 75w’s of light but only used 6w’s of energy. Because of the size of my apartment, I used three in my living room, one in the hallway, (which is also good for a night light for when your kids have to go to the bathroom), Three in my dinning room, and two in the bedrooms. I didn’t have any in the kitchen because it only had one bulb and I didn’t want to spend $30 at the time for a higher wattage LED build. My highest electric bill was about $89 in the winter. After switching all my bulbs to LED, my very next bill was $17, and the one after that was $10, and I have a 50″ TV, but I always made sure not to leave lights on that wasn’t needed. My bill jumped to around $20 a month because I started having more gathering because I was saving so much money. Now, living in a single home, I have a hanging light fixture that uses seven bulbs. I switched each out with 2w LED bulbs which gives me about 175w’s of light but only uses about 14w’s of energy. Because of so much light, I twist three of the bulbs off. I found a site called Heartland America, that had 2 9w LED bulbs for $25 a set with a $5 coupon. They’er about the same as a 75w bulb. I first had one in my driveway and the other on my porch. Then I became paranoid that someone would still them so I put them both in the basement in place of the first two bulbs that come on. My light bill at my current single home is between $25 to $40 depending on the weather and how many parties I have a month. Now, I am looking into the best Solar light solution for my driveway and porch. Hope all that helps your decision making. Another thing, not all LED bulbs are equal. They don’t all use the same quality LED’s, so the out put will differ depending on the manufacture.

  5. Robert Fernando says

    Costco in New York (Long Island) periodically offers Long Island Power Discounts on their 6 packs of CFL Reflector bulbs (14 w reflector equiv. to 65w) and 10 packs of 13w CFL 60w equiv. bulbs. Prices are $12.99 with $10 instant rebate and and $17.99 with $15.00 rebate, respectively.

    The light btw, is excellent – not too blue, wavy or harsh on the eyes – compares very well with traditional bulbs. . . How they can sell these things for as little as $0.29 each you ask? All are mfg. in China -like everything else- but at govt. these subsidized prices who cares?

  6. Alan says

    I have to wonder how much of the cost is power conversion circuitry coupled with recouping development costs. I think I may stick with LEDs for my flashlights and use my current mix of CFL and incandescent lights in the house for now.

  7. says

    Cool! Still a bit much… How well does it fill a room with light? I was thinking of using them in my garage, where it is too cold for most CFL’s to work well. Also Do they handle power fluctuations well? My saw makes the lights dim a bit, and kills cfl’s

  8. cephoe says

    Andy,

    The room is brightly lit, but it is a cool white light. I wanted to test the warm white version too to compare. LEDs handle power fluctuations much better than CFLs.

    Justin

  9. says

    Justin – Great article. It looks like EarthLED is coming out with some very innovative bulbs and solving the directional light issue with LED’s.

    A correction for you:

    I think you meant to use this link when you said: “LED bulbs tend to make better use of their lumens in recessed fixtures (see this page…”

  10. Mischa says

    check out the luxetera, 400 lumens and 5 watts, also a bit cheaper by $5!
    I wont post the site cuz I aint trying to sell them.
    They say equivalent to a 40-50w incan.
    I would like to see them a bit cheaper too of course…

    One terrible thing about CFL if the flicker doesnt strike you is they don’t go to full brightness instantly for motion detector lights. I am getting one of these bulbs for that right away.

  11. Nate says

    Martin>Strange that you would have “… can replace 100W incandescents” in the title, when the manufacturer says that the bulbs is rated for 50-60W. I was expecting a rationale or justification for putting 100W in the title, but there was none. Why? Why would you do this?

    The Evolux is rated to replace a 100 W incandescent lamp.

  12. woodyp says

    There are really only three things to consider when comparing bulbs:
    Output (commonly expressed in lumens)
    Efficiency (lumens out/watts in)
    Color temperature

    The current efficiency champs are rgb led’s (red, green and blue). can be mixed to provide whatever color you want. “White” led’s are actually fluorescent led’s – an led can only put out one color, the fluorescent coating converts blue light to white by absorbing some of it.

    The best available white led’s operate at about 30 lumens/watt compared to 30-40 l/w for fluorescent tubes and 120 for rgb led lamps optimized for “white” light.

    I have a pair of rgb floods w/ 99 leds consuming 5 watts and putting out 600 lumens, cost me $15 each.

    “white” led’s are not the answer.

  13. where says

    “I have a pair of rgb floods w/ 99 leds consuming 5 watts and putting out 600 lumens, cost me $15 each.”

    how about a link on those chum?

  14. Tonya says

    I bought LED lights to replace my halogen MR16 bulbs the other day from a website called LEDinsider.com that I would recommend enthusiastically.. They had good service (good phone and email support), excellent FAQs so I knew what I needed, very competitive prices, and their shipping was fast and the LEDs were just as advertised. http://www.LEDInsider.com. A pleasure to deal with!

  15. evilpenguin says

    “they contain no hazardous substances.”

    Not quite. I’m assuming you mean they do not contain mercury (unlike CFL light bulbs), but I assure you that there is lead in there. And moreover every method of manufacturing semi-conductors (such as LEDs) involves a number of toxic materials. I’m not knowledgeable enough to know what is in these modern ultra-bright white and blue LEDs, but even the most commonplace semiconductors use highly toxic organic solvents in their production. Thin film semiconductors are made with highly toxic gasses like silane.

    Moreover, it sure looks like there is plastic in that enclosure and the manufacture of plastic of any kind involves toxic substances and solvents.

    Note that none of this is meant to disparage the manufacture or use of these devices. I have high hopes for LED bulbs in the home. But just about every manufactured good has a pile of toxins hidden in its manufacture.

  16. Doug Irvine says

    “The best available white led’s operate at about 30 lumens/watt compared to 30-40 l/w for fluorescent tubes and 120 for rgb led lamps optimized for “white” light.” – woodyp

    Cree’s high for white light presently is 161 lumen’s per watt and available! And it will just keep getting better. Check out their web site.

  17. sailajanandan says

    LED Lamps though score over CFL s their high cost limits their use.In India one less than 1watt single led white lamp with its driver costs about 10$. and they are only available in big metros.The sellers claim that it will last a life time and vertually costs nothing in power consumption no written specification is given.The product comes from china

  18. Rich says

    I bought 2 LED puck lights for under my kitchen cabinets in Stop N Shop. They were $15 each and do a good job. They stick to underneath the cabinet and are out of site. You just need to wave your hand under it to turn it on and off. The light will also go off automatically after an hour. Use three rechargeable AAA batteries. Gives off decent light- just got them so I don’t know how long the batteries will last before a recharge yet.

  19. Ivan says

    I think the idea of using LED bulbs at your home or office is to help the environment and your wallet. Imagine the amount of watts NOT used by this lightbulbs each year will be traduced to less coal\fuel burning, I think you have to be willing to sacrifice a little to win a lot, If you compare the prices from incandescent, flourescent, and led; they are not far one from from each other, With this I’m not triying to sell anything, and I’m not trying to justify Led’s like other posts, LED is the future in illumination without wasting a lot of energy. At my home I bought 21 led light bulbs and spend $200 for that, I didn’t sacrifice brigtness, I’m very happy now, Do not leave other people scare you or dismiss this awesome technology.

  20. Mike says

    Not all states are gona ban the old light bulbs. In fact here in NEW YORK CITY, i think whats gona happen is that they’re only gona ban the 100watt and 60watt bulbs. the only thing they require here is that all buildings use cfl bulbs to save energy. i still think that the thought of the government banning these bulbs is unbelievable. If they wana use these crappy cfl bulbs for their homes, fine. but why should we be forced to use something we dont like. this is suppose to be the land of the free which means FREEDOM OF CHOICE. does anyone know i can write a letter to congress about this issue?

  21. says

    Our main business is solar energy systems, but we cannot stomach installing a system to offset electric usage without first addressing energy efficiency first. LED lighting can help to conserve so much energy that it is definitely the first change we recommend to customers. However, we have also been frustrated with the limited options available on the store shelves, and the prices are exhorbitant.

    We’re now dealing directly with manufacturers so we can can offer a variety of product styles at low prices. Check out our site TERPLLC if you want more info.

  22. SAroj kanta Nayak says

    its is intresting to see that 13 watt LED can replace 100 Watt in candascent bulbs. But the cost factor is worrying factor . if it will decrese then one completely new chapter will begin on the bulb sector. where all most all bulbs used may be LED and which have a longer life and have highest energy savings.

  23. Gary Sellars says

    This article is really a load of crap on several levels.

    Let’s take just the second paragraph: “LED bulbs can also save you money in the long term, because an incandescent bulb requires about $300 worth of electricity over ten years of use.”

    An incandescent bulb will not use $300 worth of electricity and neither will one last ten years. There’s two glaring errors and the guy has just started.

    My electricity costs me about .14 per KWH. That means I spend .14 to run a 100 watt bulb for ten hours, which means it would cost $1 to run the bulb for 71.4 hours, a little less than 1/10th of the bulb’s expected life. To spend $300 running that bulb, it would have to burn for about 71.4 x 300 hours or about 21,428.5 hrs. That’s not going to happen. Since the expected life of a 100 watt incandescent bulb is 750 hrs., I’ve used not one, but 28.5 incandescent bulbs.

    You might say, “What’s your complaint? That means it’s even more expensive than he said to use incandescent bulbs. He simply saved space by not including the fact that you’d have to go through 28 bulbs to spend the $300.”

    No, that means the guy who wrote this report is careless with the facts. In one sentence he tells you one fact and two very significant misrepresentations. The other facts he’s not telling you don’t all make incandescent bulbs look badly. There are some facts that explain well why some people are still using them even though they’re more expensive to use. (I’m not one of them.)

    To start an article this badly made me not even want to finish it… and I didn’t.

    He needs to rewrite the article and this time pay close attention to relevant details because I mentioned his first two errors that occurred in only the second paragraph and don’t want to go through the whole list for you. It’s his report; he needs to learn how to properly represent details when he writes.

    Credibility is important and as one man once said, “Once you lose it, with what will you replace it?” Justin lost it in the second paragraph.

  24. says

    Lets keep this discussion going. The last time I looked, almost 2 years ago around when this article was written, the price per bulb was still too much. I thought I would re-visit the idea of changing my home and office to the more energy efficient bulbs and see if I could justify it with the lower prices… they have come down, haven’t they? Where is the best place to shop online for the led bulbs? The more of us that buy them, the lower the prices are and better for the environment.

  25. says

    our company have the patented 5W and 7W LED bulb ,using aluminum 6063 for the heat sink material and extensive area for heating ro ensure the lifespan of LED ! I t has succefuly been used for Malaysia goverment project ! If any interest pls feel free to contact :velvet8706@hotmail.com ,Mob:86-15013621787

  26. Vitalio says

    I have been shopping for one, but they are all low Watt and formed as spot light, not so great for my Post Light. Any advice where I can get nice one that lights up like incandescense?

  27. Ivan says

    For all those looking for bulbs, try eBay, I bought 4 with the SMD led’s wich are brighter than the traditional and have a wide range, I paid 17.99 for each one S/included, I’m not going to lie they are as bright as a 60w incandecent or a 18 CFL. But they consume 1/5 of the energy of the CFL, and 1/12 of the incandecent. PD. I’m no the one selling them.

  28. Curtis, Cleveland Ohio says

    Start small. (Changed out my curly light bulbs)I first started buying the 2w LED bulbs from Walmart (two at a time) every payday for less than $6 each, about the same as a 25w bulb. My bathroom fixture used 3 bulbs but I only used one 60w bulb because of the size of the room. I switched it out with three 2w LED’s which gave me about 70w to 75w’s of light but only used 6w’s of energy. Because of the size of my apartment, I used three in my living room, one in the hallway, (which is also good for a night light for when your kids have to go to the bathroom), Three in my dinning room, and two in the bedrooms. I didn’t have any in the kitchen because it only had one bulb and I didn’t want to spend $30 at the time for a higher wattage LED build. My highest electric bill was about $89 in the winter. After switching all my bulbs to LED, my very next bill was $17, and the one after that was $10, and I have a 50″ TV, but I always made sure not to leave lights on that wasn’t needed. My bill jumped to around $20 a month because I started having more gathering because I was saving so much money. Now, living in a single home, I have a hanging light fixture that uses seven bulbs. I switched each out with 2w LED bulbs which gives me about 175w’s of light but only uses about 14w’s of energy. Because of so much light, I twist three of the bulbs off. I found a site called Heartland America, that had 2 9w LED bulbs for $25 a set with a $5 coupon. They’er about the same as a 75w bulb. I first had one in my driveway and the other on my porch. Then I became paranoid that someone would still them so I put them both in the basement in place of the first two bulbs that come on. My light bill at my current single home is between $25 to $40 depending on the weather and how many parties I have a month. Now, I am looking into the best Solar light solution for my driveway and porch. Hope all that helps your decision making. Another thing, not all LED bulbs are equal. They don’t all use the same quality LED’s, so the out put will differ depending on the manufacture.

  29. Fleta Doward says

    I am so happy with what Paver Light did that I just had to tell someone. They installed these EXCLUSIVE lights that are solor power and see through on my house !! Such an amazing job that I am at a loss for words! I really hope someone reads this and checks them out. almost forgot here is the website http://paverlightdepot.com/ !! HUGE THANK YOU TO THEM VERY NICE COMPANY !

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