LEDs are replacing CFLs which replaced incandescents. Some buying tips.


I was looking at lightbulbs at a Las Vegas Lowe’s. A baffled woman asked me for help in understanding the formidable array of choices. I said, go with LEDs. They last way longer than CFLs, the price is now affordable, light quality is superior, and they don’t put out heat. Here in Vegas, especially in summer, that’s important. Old school light bulbs like incandescents, halogens, and to a lesser extent CFLs, heat up the room forcing the air conditioning to work that much harder. Thus, LEDs save money two ways; by using less power and by not generating heat, which saves on cooling expenses.

LEDs come in various types of color temperature. You probably want Warm White (2700-3000 Kelvin, it should be listed on the box.) which matches incandescents. You might also look for Day Light (5000K), and experiment which you like the best.

I swapped three 60w equivalent CFLs in the bedroom for three 60w equivalent Warm White LEDS. The difference was dramatic. The LED light was stronger, clearer, and yes, warmer. The room is now vastly better illuminated. I also replaced two incandescents in a closet with the same type of LED with similar results. It’s much easier to see in the closet now.

Incandescent light bulbs have been phased out in the US except for specialty bulbs. Halogens produce strong light, along with substantial heat (and have been banned as fire hazards in some retirement homes because of this.) CFLs contain mercury and many complain about the quality of the light. Clearly, CFLs were a transitional product. I don’t see anything replacing LEDs. The quality will continue to improve as prices drop.

Plus, you can do way-fun things with them, like remote controlled LEDs that change color, etc.

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