Guide to LED

Prices of LEDs and the cost to our future

Prices of LEDs and the cost to our future

As many have approached us in saying that LEDs will drop price with the economics of scale and that we should make the product cheaper for people to go green. Lets start with the following.

Fluorescent then and now.

A typical incandescent bulb currently sells for about RM 1.50 while fluorescent goes for about RM 10 which is about 6x the price. Even until today fluorescent bulbs with its economics of scale globally cannot be as cheap as an incandescent.

In the 1990’s, an 18W E27 bulb costs about RM 25 and the brightness and lifespan can last 6 years with some use up to even 10 years.

Can the current RM 10 18W CFL last the same? If not, why not?

Surely because of the economics of scale with fluorescent lamps, it should be RM 8 but also with the same quality and lifespan as those RM 25 fluorescent purchased 25 years ago.

Why is it cheaper but not lasting? Why can’t it be cheaper than incandescent?

If fluorescent bulbs can be as cheap as incandescent and lasts for 6 years and beyond, would be most ideal but until today this can’t be achieved.

The 18W CFL today, yes it is cheaper not because of economics of scale but cutting cost by using cheaper lower grade components and the quantity & quality of the materials used such as phosphor and mercury.

Cost Cutting Measures

The same happens with LEDs. There are many ways to cut costs as well such as: –

1. Using aluminium scraps or plastic.
2. Using copper wire bonding compared to the expensive gold wire bonding.
3. Substituting other components with poor quality raw materials.
4. Using low quality LED drivers.
5. Using low grade LEDs (low brightness and inconsistent colors)
6. Even the glue/silicon has different quality and grades. Ever purchased an LED strip with a horrible smell from the silicone cover and even turns brown after a while? eLED’s silicon strip doesn’t smell and maintains its transparency.

A typical batch of LEDs doesn’t come in one single grade, its sorted to many different grades of color accuracy and brightness. Imagine the cost of buying the top 10% of every batch made. Out of 100, you have only 10 that is of grade A quality. The lower grades are sold cheap to recover costs of manufacturing while the Grade A is the most expensive.

There are products in the market that uses branded LED chips at a cheap price. How can this be done?

Use the cheapest grade from the branded LED and cut costs in other areas such as cheaper drivers.

Summary

Quality products will always be more expensive due to the cost and quality of materials. No matter the economics of scale, the price of raw materials such as gold used in our wire bonding process costs the same. Even fluorescent has to cut cost to make it cheap, what makes LED any different?

There will never be a time that you can buy 1,000,000 sport cars with a bulk purchase discount that will end up being cheaper than a normal car.

Saving the environment 

It is cheaper for our wallets today but our children are the ones that pays the rest in their future.

In the end, buy products that will: –

  • Saves more than 80% compared to fluorescent
  • 3 years warranty and above (helps you recover your investment)
  • Easily maintainable (doesn’t require you to throw away the entire set every time it fails due to high wastage)
  • and most importantly a reputable LED company with a renown track record and that recycles their own products.

Lets save the environment together the right way. Invest in an eLED product today.