Last week, we went for a market survey in order to update our data for lighting options in the market. We were very happy to see that the prices of LED lights have fallen substantially over the last year. Philips LED bulbs are now available for Rs. 399 ($4), down from nearly Rs. 1500 ($15) 2 years ago. In addition, a number of new LED brands have entered the market, increasing the competition and downward pressure on the existing market leaders like Philips and Osaka. The new brands include Yamao (a Metro brand) and Crest. Crest is a locally (Pakistan) produced LED brand.

On the other hand, we were disappointed to see that there was no further improvement in CFL technology. The efficacy (lumens per watt) of the CFL, or “energy saver”, bulbs has not changed since our last survey nearly 2 years ago. So at 70 lumens/watt, the Philips Tornado still has the highest efficacy in its class, whereas the 36W Philips Brightboost Super 80 T5 tubelight has the highest efficacy in tubelights at 90 lumens/watt.

Similarly, the technology of the Philips and Osaka LED lights has also not improved compared to 2 years ago, although the severe cut in prices more than make up for that. The Crest brand has introduced LED bulbs that are offering 112 lumens/watt, which is a significant improvement from the 95 lumens/watt offered by the high-range LED bulbs. However, it is still lower than the 137 lumens/watt Osaka claimed for its C37 Candle Bulb 2 years ago.

The long and short of it is that our updated lifecycle costs on LED lights show that the time has now come to switch to LEDs, but only to those brands offering the highest efficacy at the lowest prices. Please check out our updated lighting page for more information.