Poorly Designed LED Lamps Waste Power

I just purchased a new reading lamp for my beside table. Mostly I wanted one that would let me direct the light better, but I was pleased to get a model that used LEDs. 6 W of power is a nice improvement from 80 W. I only use this lamp for about half an hour a day, but it’s a small step in the right direction.

Or is it.

LEDs use DC power so there needs to be a power supply (wall wart) to convert from AC power at 120 V to DC power at 6 V. The trouble is, this converter never turns off. According to my Kill-A-Watt my new ‘efficient’ lamp is drawing 3 W when idle. 23.5 hours at 3 W plus 0.5 hours at 6 W is 73.5 Watt hours a day. With the same usage pattern my old incandescent lamp was using 40 Watt hours a day (80 W for 0.5 hours).

  Incandescent LED
Idle power (per day) 0 Watt hours 70.5 Watt hours
Active power (per day) 40 Watt hours 3 Watt hours

It makes me sad that my new and ‘efficient’ LED lamp is going to use about 83% more power. It doesn’t need to be this way. Lamps can be designed so that when they are turned off the power supply also turns off. I’m taking this one back and I’ll wait for one that works. It’s only a few dollars a year, but I feel an obligation to push back on such unnecessarily wasteful design.

The lamp is an Izzy Task Lamp (5 W LED) from Destination Lighting. If you agree that this is poor design, drop them a line at customerservice@destinationlighting.com.

Update: Destination Lighting responded, promptly and politely. However my reading of their response was that wasting a few watts saves them money, so it may take a while for their designs to change. Polite pressure could speed up the process.

About these ads

About brucedawson

I'm a programmer, working for Google, focusing on optimization and reliability. Nothing's more fun than making code run 10x faster. Unless it's eliminating large numbers of bugs. I also unicycle. And play (ice) hockey. And juggle.
This entry was posted in Environment. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Poorly Designed LED Lamps Waste Power

  1. I would like to thnkx for the efforts you have put in writing this website. I’m hoping the same high-grade web site post from you in the upcoming also. In fact your creative writing skills has inspired me to get my own site now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a good example of it. Take a look at my site . ty!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s