The concept of a light bulb dates back to the early 19th century, but it has evolved into more advanced machine than the first simple one. Today companies are trying to produce bulbs that are more effective and last longer. The three most common types of bulbs in used today are LED, CFL, and incandescent. (Hamm, 2010) LEDs or light emitting diodes recombine electrons with holes in the bulb. This releases energy in the form of photons. Photons are the smallest possible particles of light. ("Light-emitting diode", 2014) Incandescent bulbs push electricity through a filament until it begins to glow. Compact fluorescent bulbs drive an electric current containing argon and a small amount of mercury vapor, and thus producing ultraviolet light. ("Learn about cfls")
The amount of light that a bulb produces it measure in lumens. A typical bulb can produce anywhere from three hundred to a thousand lumens. The amount of electricity a bulb uses in normally measured in watts. A watt is equivalent to one joule per second. These two measurements can be put into a ratio to find the efficiency. The more lumens the light produces per what used, the more effective the bulb is. (Lombardi, 2011)
Electricity comes out of a bulb, and the bulb converts it into two other types of energy. They are light and heat. The lower the watts to lumens ratio, or less effective the bulb, the more heat is expelled from the bulb. ("Science projects: Heat produced from light bulbs") This is because the energy is not being released as light, so it comes off as warmth. This heat means that the bulb is wasting energy. Light bulbs are created to create light, not heat. (Lombardi, 2011) Heat is commonly measured in BTUs or British Thermal Units. Nine BTUs equate to one degree Celsius. The heat not only wastes energy from the bulb, but also creates heat that air conditioners have to cool down. (McKeough, 2013)
Most packaging has an estimated yearly operating cost based on three hours of use per day at eleven cents per kilowatt hour. The LED's cost is estimated to be $1.32. The CFL's cost is $1.56. The incandescents yearly operating cost is $7.20. Obviously, it is much cheaper to operate an LED than either bulb. ("Learn about cfls")
For this experiment I will be using sixty watt incandescent and sixty equivalent watt CFL and LED bulbs. This means that the lumens produced by the bulb are approximately the same. ("What does 'wattage equivalent' mean?") However, if an incandescent bulb uses sixty watts, a CFL will use approximately one fifth of that, and LEDs will use a small amount less that CFLs. The incandescent bulb in this experiment produces eight hundred forty lumens with sixty watts. The CFL produces eight hundred twenty-five lumens with thirteen watts. The most effective bulb, the LED, uses only eleven watts to produce eight hundred watts. ("Science projects: Heat produced from light bulbs")
This produces a question. How does the efficiency of light emitting diodes, compact...