Every homeowner and apartment dweller knows that incandescent bulbs simply aren’t worth the few measly dollars and cents they save you at the cash register—these old-fashioned bulbs waste energy, create excess heat, and burn out quickly. Until recently, however, the only alternative has been compact fluorescent (CFL), which produces a quality of light that some people find disagreeable. But today, LED technology has almost caught up with CFLs. Learn more about these bulbs of the future below.
What Are LEDs?
LEDs are light-emitting diodes, which have been used in flashlights for decades and car headlights for the last few years. To generate the same light output as an incandescent light or CFL, a bulb must contain dozens or hundreds of tiny LEDs, but since they each consume a miniscule amount of energy, the bulbs themselves still consume less electricity than other types.
Pros of LEDs
Much more efficient than incandescents, LEDs consume a small amount of energy, similar to a CFL. An unlike CFLs, LED’s can be dimmed and also instantly switch on and off without the lag time characteristically associated with fluorescents. Also, LED’s don’t contain mercury, which is an essential component of CFLs, so an LED bulb won’t release this toxic element if it’s broken.
Cons of LEDs
Right now, LED bulbs are extremely expensive. They can range from $30 to $50 in price for just a single bulb. But, manufacturer’s project that LEDs can last more than three times as long as CFLs without burning out, plus the quality of the light is more natural and pleasing to the eye.
While LEDs may not be practical for every homeowner in every application, they can be useful for hard-to-reach outdoor fixtures where the bulb is a pain to replace. Also, as manufacturing costs go down, keep your eyes peeled for more affordable household LEDs in the near future.
Ready to Make the Switch?
Here are a few LED bulbs for you to consider:
- Philips 17-Watt LED Household Light Bulb, Dimmable - $36.02 on Amazon
This dimmable bulb has a projected 25,000 hour life and emits a soft, natural white light.
- Philips 10-Watt 60-Watt L-Prize Award Winning LED Light Bulb - $29.49 on Amazon (pictured)
This LED bulb won a prize from the Department of Energy and its manufacturer claims that it is the most energy-efficient bulb on the market today.
- Philips Dimmable AmbientLED 12.5-Watt A19 Light Bulb - $18.05 on Amazon
Great for normal home lighting purposes – plus it’s dimmable!