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Sustainability Consultant

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LED sizes and bases

LED sizes and basesLED lamps intended to be interchangeable with incandescent lamps are made in standard light bulb shapes, such as an Edison screw base, an MR16 shape with a bi-pin base, or a GU5.3 (Bipin cap) or GU10 (bayonet socket). LED lamps are made in low voltage (typically 12 V halogen-like) varieties, and as replacements for regular AC (e.g. 120 or 240 V AC) lighting. These lamps typically include circuitry to rectify the AC power and to convert the voltage to a level usable by the internal LED elements.

Many LED lamps have become available as replacements for screw-in incandescent or compact fluorescent light bulbs, ranging from low-power 5–40 watt incandescent bulbs, through conventional replacement bulbs for 60 watt incandescent bulbs (typically requiring about 7 watts of power), and as of 2010 a few lamps were available to replace higher wattage bulbs, e.g., a 13-watt LED bulb which is about as bright as a 100W incandescent. (A standard general purpose incandescent bulb emits light at an efficiency of about 14 to 17 lumens/W depending on its size and voltage. According to the European Union standard, an energy-efficient bulb that claims to be the equivalent of a 60W tungsten bulb must have a minimum light output of 806 lumens.)

Most LED bulbs are not designed to be dimmed (although some models are designed to work with dimmers), and are usually directional. The lamps have declined in cost to between US$30 to $50 each as of 2010. These bulbs are more power-efficient than compact fluorescent bulbs and offer lifespans of 30,000 or more hours, reduced operated at a higher temperature than specified. Incandescent bulbs have a typical life of 1,000 hours, compact fluorescents about 8,000 hours. A LED light bulb can be expected to last 25–30 years under normal use. The bulbs maintain output light intensity very well over their life-times. Energy Star specifications require the bulbs to typically drop less than 10% after 6000 or more hours of operation, and in the worst case not more than 15%. They are also mercury free, unlike fluorescent lamps. LED lamps are available with a variety of color properties. The higher purchase cost than other types may be more than offset by savings in energy and maintenance.

The technology is improving rapidly, and new energy-efficient consumer LED lamps have been announced from three of the lighting industry's largest producers, Osram Sylvania, Philips, and General Electric, so these listings should be taken as not necessarily representative of what is currently available.