How energy efficient are LED bulbs?
- The various classes or types of energy efficiency of LEDs can be found on the individual packages. They range from class E (worst) as with incandescent bulbs to A+ and A++ (best) for LEDs. The more energy that goes into creating light, the higher the rating.
- A high rating of efficiency comes at other costs. A particularly efficient cold white LED is lit by a high proportion of blue in the spectrum and has rather poor color reproduction values. A higher quality bulb comes at the expense of efficiency.
- Correlation: LEDs that flicker less are more expensive, pay attention to the quality of the bulb
- The life expectancy predictions for LEDs (e.g. 15 to 20 years) have only been tested in laboratories simply because they have not yet been on the market long enough.
- According the Munich Environmental Institute, there are no independent studies available regarding life expectancy. A study conducted by the company Philips and Osram and a Stiftung Warentest (PDF), a German consumer foundation, state that the greatest environmental impact come from the power consumption during use, not the production or the transport of a bulb.
- 7% of the rare earth minerals are presently being used for lighting, mostly in LEDs and the long term effects remain unknown.
- It is clear that permanent LEDs come at high ecological costs since they cannot be exchanged, and this includes headlight. Read more, in German: tz.de/auto/led-scheinwerfer-ausfall
Even though LEDs are undoubtedly energy efficient, they need to be treated with caution.