Remember when you could stroll down the lighting aisle when you needed a bulb and grab a couple of sixty-watts without even thinking about it? Those were the days! But times have changed. How many times over the past couple of years have you found yourself in that same aisle, scratching your head, puzzling over the myriad of confusing selections that are now available? It’s confusing. We know.
Despite the confusion, there have been huge leaps in lighting technology over the past few years that have produced bulbs that are far superior and much more cost-effective than incandescent bulbs. There was a lot of shifting and shuffling among the various technologies, such as halogens and CFLs, or Compact Florescent Lights, but now a clear winner has emerged: LEDs.
CFLs are extremely cost-effective, when compared to incandescents, but the light can be relatively stark and takes a few moments to reach full brightness, especially in cold weather, which is a distinct disadvantage. Also, they contain small amounts of mercury, which means that they have to be handled carefully during disposal. Lastly, many people don’t like the look of a spiral bulb.
LEDs, on the other hand, light instantly, are wildly energy-efficient, and are usually dimmable. Like CFL bulbs, LEDs are far more efficient than incandescent bulbs. But, where LEDs pull away from the pack is their lifespan. LEDs can last anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 hours. That is almost five times longer than CFLs, and they even use 30% less electricity! Couple that with the fact that LED lights, which were prohibitively expensive a few years ago, have drastically plummeted in price, and they are now the obvious choice for consumers. The benefits of LEDs over CFLs are so dramatic that major manufacturers, such as GE or General Electric, have decided to stop making CFLs by the end of this year.
If you are still confused as to your lighting options, don’t be. The clear winner is LED. They are far more cost effective and last much, much longer than any other lightbulb technology. The price has fallen enough that, although they still cost slightly more than CFLs, it really is not that much more when you look at performance. Let us help you find the LED that best replaces your old bulbs, whether they are burnt out or you are looking to save on electricity costs.