Is the Price of LED Light Bulbs Dropping?

BEHOLD THE LED!

In June of this year, Lux Research released a report predicting that LED bulb prices will be cut in half by 2020. If Lux’s prediction is correct, a 60-watt LED bulb could cost just $11.06 by the end of this decade. Given the efficiency of LED bulbs, that low price could definitely provide a cost incentive for consumers to use LED lights more frequently in their homes.

To come to this conclusion, Lux studied the various components of LED lights, and how costs for each part can be reduced. LED chip packaging, which holds the chip in place, has the most potential for savings. We could see up to 70 percent cost reductions in this aspect of LED design. Lux Research also found that LED designers and manufacturers could slash bulb costs by focusing on thermal management, dimming capabilities and secondary optics, which control the shape and direction of LED light beams. Thermal management is important because semi-conductor materials are sensitive to heat; LEDs are powered by changes in electrical charges across semi-conductors.

Today, LED lights are favorites for outdoor and recreation purposes, since they’re tougher and longer-lasting than their incandescent counterparts. Tactical LED lights are also popular among law enforcement and emergency professionals. And LED bulbs continue to illuminate digital readouts, as they have since the 1980s.

As LED lights become more affordable in the next eight years, their popularity will multiply. It’s likely that we’ll see more LEDs used in street signs, shopping displays, automobile lights, jumbo-tron displays and homes. But you don’t have to wait to enjoy the cost savings of LED lights. Even today, an LED bulb will provide light at a lower cost over its lifetime. A Solid State Technology blog, for instance, lists an incandescent bulb as costing $6.17 per year to operate. In comparison, an LED bulb runs for just $2.16 per year. However, few consumers take this long-term approach to bulb shopping. As the cost of LED lights drops, we’re excited to see their use in homes increase.

[ Photo by: trenttsd, on Flickr, via CC License ]

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