It has been a long hard research road, but the goal posts are now in sight. I think that from initial recognition to this day, an entire lifetime has passed. So even when you know the goal, and you see the method, getting there is often very difficult.
Recalling that Edison used brute force to sort through the thousands of separate materials before he had the incandesant bulb working with tungsten does not make science any easier.
That is why I have no problem counseling patience for the guys over at EEStor. We all know what the goal is, but getting there will be a technical tour de force on the same scale as Edison’s achievement.
We are on the road to mass produced LED white lighting comparable to incandesant and using a fraction of the energy.
August 4, 2009, 12:01 am
LEDs Are As Energy Efficient as Compact Fluorescents
By Eric A. Taub
While there’s no question that LED lamps use a fraction of the energy to produce the same amount of light compared with a standard incandescent bulb, several Bits readers have pointed out that that’s only half the story.
If the energy used to create and dispose of the LED lamp is more than that for a comparable standard bulb, then all of the proclaimed energy savings to produce light are for naught.
Until recently, no one knew if that was the case. In March, a preliminary study reported by Carnegie Mellon indicated that LED lamps were more energy efficient throughout their life, but the researchers pointed out that not every aspect of the production process was taken into account.
A new study released on Tuesday by Osram, the German lighting giant, claims to have confirmed the efficiency findings.
Conducted by the Siemens Corporate Technology Centre for Eco Innovations (Siemens is the parent of Osram and Sylvania), the report examines the energy needed to create and power an LED lamp. Even the energy needed to ship a lamp from the factory in China to an installation in Europe was taken into account.
The study used a 25,000-hour LED lamp life as a constant, comparing the energy needed throughout its life to that used for 25 1,000-hour incandescents and 2.5 10,000-hour compact fluorescents.
The findings, according to a summary of the study: today’s LED lamps are essentially as energy efficient as compact fluorescents, in the amount of energy needed to create, recycle and provide light. Osram said it expected those numbers to improve as LEDs become more energy efficient.
The company issued no in-depth information to support its claims. It said that confirming data will be released this fall, after review by three independent analysts.
But assuming the numbers hold, this total Life Cycle Assessment should put to rest any lingering doubts about the overall “greenness” of LEDs.