Hint: Thomas Edison isn’t taking home the gold in this one.
A new DOE report finds that LED lamps have a significantly lower impact on the environment than incandescents and a slight edge over compact fluorescents (CFL). Score one for the diodes.
The report studied the three sources from the beginning to end of their life cycles comparing manufacturing, operation, and disposal. This study, which is the most in depth of it’s kind for LEDs, went beyond just analyzing energy and took into account the environmental impact of manufacturing, assembly, transportation, operation and disposal.
So what makes the LED Mother Nature’s newest BFF? Here’s some of what the completed study (Parts 1 & 2) found:
1. When measuring electricity consumption over an equivalent period of time the incandescent lamp is far greater than either the CFL or LED–a dominant contributor to the environmental impacts
2. The incandescent has the lowest efficacy, making it the most environmentally harmful
3. The CFL is slightly more harmful than today’s LEDs on all impact measures except one…hazardous waste landfill. The LEDs large aluminum heat sink causes a greater impact because of the energy and resources consumed in manufacturing it. This produces significant waste disposed in landfills.