Monday, January 27, 2014

Price of LED light bulbs in Sabah

LED lighting was once considered luxury, simply because the cost to purchase a single LED light bulb can buy you 50 to 60 pieces of incandescent light bulbs of the equivalent lumen (loosely translated as brightness of the bulb).

They are still 'luxury' bulbs today, but prices are dropping fast as more manufacturers are producing better and improved versions. Cree, Philips, Osram, Panasonic, GE, and many lesser known brands are starting to flood the market, which is actually good for the consumers.

Compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) are the energy saving lamps that did very well in replacing the energy-hungry incandescent lamps as well as the 36W/18W fluorescent lamps in the homes of many.

Philips 24W CFL (equavalent to 125W) was selling for RM21 last year.

The price of CFLs has dropped to almost 50% in the last 2 years. Re-sellers are now offering 25W bulbs (equivalent to 150W) at as low as RM12.50 and other outlets are offering RM20.90 for a pair of 23W CFL. Quite a good deal as it cost you only RM10.45/pc.

Panasonic's 19W CFL (equivalent to 100W) is now available at RM9.50

I bought quite a number of these recently.

Of course there is downside to using CFLs: there is a small amount of mercury in each bulb you purchase. Disposal of spent bulbs would be an issue, not to mention the accidental breakage that would definitely expose you to the dangerous mercury fume.

LED bulbs - safer, more environmentally friendly
With LED bulbs this is a non-issue. No toxic gas, no heat and they last much, much longer than CFLs and incandescent lamps. 

So, how much is an LED light bulb? Well prices vary but one thing is for sure - they are dropping and many average guys would be able to afford them now.

For a start, towards the end of last year, Cree introduced a 75W equivalent LED bulb for US$24.00 (around RM77.00) which is pretty steep.

LED lamps compared with the soon-to-be-banned incandescent lamps:
Saving per year per lamp = 23 kWh (quoting Panasonic)
Saving with 10 similar lamps = 230 kWh,
or RM42.55 / year         - assuming you use not more than 200kWh of electricity monthly.
or RM75.90 / year  - assuming you consume more energy, hence the higher tariff bracket (RM0.33/kWh)

Earlier on, LED bulbs don't seem to be that affordable. This MiNT LED bulb is an example.
7.8W LED bulbs: RM49.90/ pc (Parkson Kota Kinabalu) - as at August 2013

During PC fair at 1Borneo in Novermer 2013, ACI Technology was selling this Panasonic LED bulbs at:
LED 8W (equivalent to 60W incandescent)  = RM35.90/ pc
LED 10E (equivalent to 75W incandescent) = RM40.90

Slightly lower than the one at Parkson.

Recently, I checked and found that they are sold cheaper albeit a lower wattage and lumens.
OSRAM LED 5W bulb = RM29.90/ pc

TheGreenMechanics: Fancy this - Panasonic claimed that their LED bulbs can last up to 40 years before they need to be replaced. What? Are you kidding me? I'd be happy if mine can last 10 years.

Do you think you can find lower priced LED bulbs near you? Please share with us in the comment section.

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