Replace or wait? Study says swap all incandescent bulbs now, but hold on to CFLs

Originally published: 
November, 2017

BY JIM ERICKSON, MICHIGAN NEWS

READ THE FULL STORY HERE 

ANN ARBOR—LED light bulbs are getting cheaper and more energy efficient every year. So, does it make sense to replace less-efficient bulbs with the latest light-emitting diodes now, or should you wait for future improvements and even lower costs?

A new study from University of Michigan researchers recommends replacing all incandescent and halogen light bulbs in your home now with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or LEDs.

But immediate replacement is not advised for existing CFLs and LEDs, unless your main concern is helping to reduce power-plant emissions, according to the study scheduled for publication Nov. 15 in Environmental Research Letters.

"Estimating the right time to switch over to LEDs is not a straightforward problem. If your goal is to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions, then maybe you should switch to LEDs now," said Lixi Liu, first author of the study and a doctoral student at the U-M School for Environment and Sustainability and at the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

"But if your main concern is lowering costs and home energy use, then holding on to existing CFLs and LEDs, and waiting until LEDs use even less energy and are even lower in cost, may be desirable."

READ MORE