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Published December 1, 2008 09:19 AM

New LED Light Bulbs Can Replace 100W Incandescents

I recently had the chance to test two state-of-the-art LED light bulbs fromEarthLED. LED bulbs have many advantages over incandescents and compact fluorescent: LEDs 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. They can also save you money in the long term despite costing $50 (for the 100 watt equivalent Evolux) and $90 (for the 60 watt equivalent Zetalux).


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 incandescent bulbs solely on lumens is tricky because LED bulbs tend to make better use of their lumens. EarthLED says the bulbs are equivalent to a 50-60 watt incandescent bulb.

The Zetalux currently sells for $89.99. 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 priced at $50, which makes a pretty compelling alternative to both incandescents and compact fluorescents. Check out the cost timeline on the Evolux page for more details.

EarthLED says the Zetalux and Evolux will become the first FCC andUnderwriter’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.

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