Yes, $50. I can imagine most of you area saying “never” or “not a chance.” But don’t dismiss it out of hand without considering the benefits. (and not all of them are $50) LED lighting is the next wave of lighting technology, and one of these bulbs might actually be worth it. Why?
- It’s LED – so it lasts for years and years. That means while you’re paying more up front, you’ll save more later (and no changing light bulbs!).
- It looks like an incandescent bulb - no otherworldly blue tint of previous LEDs or cold white light of the CFL.
- It doesn’t have the problem of mercury like CFL bulbs do. No more difficulty in disposing of those old bulbs (because you don’t put them in the garbage, do you? Find local recycling options at this site: www.earth911.org)
- You don’t have to change the bulbs as often – terrific, especially for those hard to reach lights over stairwells.
- It requires nothing other than that you screw it in – no special adapters or anything. Some are a little longer than most bulbs, but they anticipate it will fit most lamps.
- You can now find them at hardware stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot, as well as Amazon. With their economies of scale and improving technology, the bulbs are getting cheaper (some of the lower wattage ones are $10-$15). And until it’s as cheap as you would like it, you can get the feeling of contributing to a better planet now…
There are two drawbacks currently:
1) They don't seem to have produced LED tri-light bulbs (the ones that have three light settings). LEDs can dim (which is great), but for our table lamps without dimmers, it’s the CFL or the good old incandescent bulb for now. So for now put these in your pot lights, hard to reach lights, and lights with dimmers!
2) The highest output is equivalent to a regular 100W bulb at the moment. I am sure it will change quickly as the technology improves, but for now we'll just have to enjoy looking better in low light.
Tips on picking LED light bulbs:
If you want to change but aren't sure what level of bulb you need, manufacturers for the most part have put the wattage equivalent clearly on the packaging. But in case you run into a website that only talks about lumens (the measurement of light output), I am re-printing below the best selection guide I have found, produced by the Lighting Association. They haven't published a new one which catches up with the fact that you can get LED light bulbs up to 100W, but it gives you a sense for the lumen output you're looking for.