Do the words Going Green, cause you to roll your eyes or open them? I fall into the eye opening group as I’m a self-proclaimed tree hugger that hates to hear about the the polar ice caps melting and oceans warming. We are big on recycling at my house and we’ve switched 90% of the incandescent light bulbs over to compact fluorescents. CFLs don’t use as much electricity, which good for the planet and good for your electric bill and your wallet. What about LED light bulbs though, are they better than CFLs? Let’s take a look at the HydraLux-4 bulbs from EternaLEDs and see.
Saves on average $13.96 per year*
Costs $1.75 to run per year*
Saves $157.00 over lifetime in bulb and electricity costs*
Lasts 35,000 hours or 35x longer than incandescent bulbs
Contains No Mercury or Hazardous Substances
Approved for Outdoor and Indoor Use
No Flickering, No Headaches
2 Year Warranty & 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
* At 8 hours usage per day, 365 days per year and $0.15/kWh
They sent me a Warm White and a Daylight White version of their bulbs. Both look exactly the same and are direct replacements for any standard threaded light bulb socket (E27 medium base socket) indoors or outdoors.
The first thing you notice when you pick up one of these bulbs is the weight. They are heavy little guys. The next thing you notice is that they are filled with liquid. Unlike CFL bulbs that contain Mercury, the liquid inside the HydraLux-4’s is harmless paraffin oil that has been tested and certified safe to UL and ROHS standards. This liquid keeps the bulb cool to the touch.
These bulbs use 4W to put out as much light as a 25W standard “A-Shape” incandescent bulb while lasting 35x longer. 25W doesn’t sound like a lot though… Most of the bulbs in my lamps are at least 100W.
Here you see one of the HydraLux-4 bulbs installed in one of my floor lamps. As I feared, by itself, it does not put out enough light to really be useful all by itself. I was surprised how cool they run though. I left it on for an hour and it was just warm to the touch.
As for the difference between the Warm White and Daylight White bulbs, it’s not a lot. The only difference is the brightness. In order to get Warm White, the white LED’s are covered with a phosphor coating to make them “warmer” and thus reducing the light output slightly.
Here are a couple of questions that I asked Jeff of EternaLEDs:
Q: Is 25W the max wattage bulb you sell of this type? Just wondering because they really don’t put out enough light to be used all by themselves (in my opinion).
A: 25W equivalent is the max at the moment but we’re planning on coming out with 8,12, & 16W versions by the end of the year. The 16W version may not be available because we want to keep the costs low enough to be practical – but 8 &12W versions are very likely a go. We realized that these weren’t very bright to begin with – they’re not meant to replace every light in a home but more for low-light/ task lighting applications like a desk lamp, wall sconces, accent light, chandelier etc where incandescents are normally being used or Compact Fluorescent Bulbs would just look unattractive in the fixture.
Q: What is the lifetime for a bulb? Is there a difference in the lifetime of a cool vs. warm light?
The lifetime is 35,000 hours. Many manufacturers prior, when LEDs first came out were listing 100,000 hours and 50,000 hours for 1st and 2nd generation bulbs. 1st generation would be something like this: http://www.eternaleds.com/PAR16_LED_Spotlight_2W_Halogen_JDR_48_LED_p/hjdr-jdr.htm uses what’s called 5mm LEDs. (low-power) 2nd generation bulbs – using heavy metal heatsinks like this: http://www.eternaleds.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=HP-7 uses high power LEDs (1W – but heatsink isn’t very efficient) These ratings were simply inaccurate and since then, after being able to test for 2-3 years, we’ve found that the lifetime is closer to 35,000 hours. Note after this time, the bulbs are supposed to be at 70% of their original brightness – they don’t just “burn out” like regular lightbulbs. 3rd generation designs – include a number of more efficient designs – from plastic housings, less metal being used with a larger surface area to increase airflow…. like the HydraLux or this: http://www.eternaleds.com/PAR38_LED_Floodlight_18W_Eternaleds_Quanta_18_p/quanta-18.htm
Besides the fact that these LED light bulbs are not available in higher wattage (brighter) versions, they are currently too expensive for an average person to buy to replace all the bulbs in their home. I look forward to the time when LED bulbs are less expensive and can provide the same light as a 100W incandescent bulb. In the mean time, I’ll continue using my CFLs and make sure that I take them to the recycle center instead of just throwing them away when they burn out.