Flashing LED lights save energy

Save 80 percent energy with LED lamps

The LED (light emitting diode) has only been used as a means of lighting for a relatively short time. The normal consumer is much more likely to know them as a display element, for example on the charger. This is due to the fact that the first LEDs still emitted comparatively little light, so that they were unsuitable for lighting. Thanks to numerous developments and links between several light-emitting diodes, the LED lamps can emit more and more light, so that the newest ones shine as brightly as 75 watt incandescent lamps. The lamps consist of several LEDs and were developed to replace conventional incandescent lamps.

LED lamps save around 80 percent energy

The new lamps already offer a great advantage in terms of energy efficiency, which a glance at the manufacturer's information proves. With the same brightness, a conventional incandescent lamp consumes around 60 watts, whereas the new LED lamps only consume twelve watts: an energy saving of around 80 percent.

Stiftung Wartentest tested LED, compact fluorescent and halogen lamps in August. The testers also looked at the life cycle assessment of the lamps over their entire life cycle. In the life cycle assessment, both the energetic values ​​in the company as well as the environmental pollution and the consumption of resources during production play a role. Michael Koswig, the editor responsible for the test, explains that the LED lamp does the best here. "The decisive factor, however," says Koswig, "is that the lamp has a high light output (lumens per watt) and a long service life, otherwise a good ecological balance cannot be guaranteed."

With an operating time of three hours a day, an incandescent lamp lasts around a year, an LED lamp, on the other hand, can be operated for up to 25 years, depending on the model. Only with such a long service life is the complex production justified.

High purchase cost

However, consumers still have to dig deep into their pockets for LED lamps. A lamp costs between 30 and 80 euros. This means that one hour of operation costs around 1.4 cents or more. On the other hand, if you operate a compact fluorescent lamp, one hour of operation costs around 0.05 cents.

That is why Stiftung Warentest recommends only using the lamps where they shine for a long time and often. Christian Bölling from the lamp manufacturer Osram also says: "LED lamps are particularly worthwhile in places where you often need light and where the light stays on for a long time. This is where you save even faster." Bölling also assumes that LED lamps will become cheaper in the future; currently only a small number of LED lamps will be produced compared to energy-saving lamps. "If more LED lamps are sold, an LED lamp will also become cheaper," he believes.

But not only the high price can be a problem for the consumer. In a current test by the Öko-Test magazine, the testers found that the LED lamps were exposed to high levels of electrosmog. Maren Klein, editor at Öko-Test, therefore recommends not using LED lamps for bedside or desk lamps: "Here, the electrosmog can cause damage because the head is very close to the lamp."

In the test, some LED lamps also had a negative impact because they did not achieve the desired brightness. Here, however, Klein has bad news for consumers: "In principle, you cannot tell whether a lamp is good or bad. Consumers have to rely on tests here."

In principle, consumers should think carefully about where they want to use the lamp before buying a lamp. With the brightness of the lamp you should pay attention to the specified number of lumens. This number indicates how much luminous flux the lamp gives off to the environment. For example, 700 lumens correspond to the brightness of a 60 watt light bulb.

Future of the LED lamp

In conclusion to the test of LED lamps at Öko-Test, Wolfgang Maes, building biology consultant, believes in the potential of LED lamper: "LED can really become the light of the future - it offers us the possibilities, it just has to be to be worked. "

Manufacturers also believe in the future of LEDs as a means of lighting. This is shown by the collaboration between Steinberg Leuchtmittel GmbH and the Fraunhofer Institute. On behalf of the company, Rasit Özgüc and Volker Heil only recently developed an electronic circuit that enables conventional fluorescent tubes to be replaced safely with energy-saving LED tubes. Up until now, the lamps had to be modified and there was a risk of short circuits or electric shocks.

Christian Bölling also sees the future in LED lamps. The energy-saving lamp is still economically superior to the LED lamp, but it has, for example, poorer color rendering, so objects look less natural in their light. But he also believes that the LED lamp with a base is only a transition lamp: "Complete lights - for example desk lights - with individual LEDs will also establish themselves." In such constructions, the LED can show its advantages in terms of energy efficiency and light quality even better.

In the future, LEDs will probably not only be found in the decoration department, but also increasingly in conventional lighting and shine in our homes.

Nele van Leeuwen // Editor: Philipp Lomme