Eric Sandeen just posted about an inexpensive 40W-equivalent LED lightbulb — $10 at Home Depot. After writing a long comment on his blog, I decided I should post the comment here, too!

As the result of reading Eric’s blog, I bought three of these bulbs for an inside fixture (in which two of the old incandescent bulbs had burnt out) and it’s not terribly cold light; at 3000°K it’s noticeably warmer than some of my CFLs. Also, three 60W incandescent bulbs were too bright in that particular location, but three “40W equivalent” LEDs are quite bright enough.

This also encouraged me to finally do the math and determine that replacing six of the most commonly-used incandescent bulbs in my house (we had previously moved many lights to CFLs, though not as aggressively as Eric did) with the 12W $25 Philips Ambient “60W equivalent” would pay for itself in about 2-3 years, based on our estimates of how much we use the lights. The whole family was there when I installed them, and they agree that the light from the new LEDs is superior — brighter and more comfortable — than the incandescent bulbs that were there before.

I also worked out that our replacing the seven 75W flood lamps that were in our kitchen when we moved in with six 13W CFLs and one 7W LED a few years ago probably has been saving us over $100 per year, as well as making the kitchen more comfortable by reducing radiant heat.

I know that $$$ is not the only reason to do this, but it’s nice to see the LED bulbs drop to a price where the economics start to work at current electrical rates within short timeframes.

Replacing the most-used lights in our house with LEDs wouldn’t make sense because they are already CFLs, and the marginal return would be low and the cost high. I’m hoping, though, not to buy very many more CFLs on the theory that we have a few in boxes still, and by the time we run out of those I hope that LEDs are even more obviously cost-effective…

The last efficiency boost I did today was to install an infrared switch in a closet in which the lights are often left on. We’ll see how well that works.

The Perfect Porchlight? | Eric’s Blog

Pete Zaitcev October 29, 2011 17:46

The problem with all this is that Saneen was such a crazy agenda-pusher, and the CFL disaster was so vast, that when he started suggesting CFL alternatives, I tuned him out. Of course now I have no credible source of ideas to replace him. I’ll watch how it works out for you. BTW, I have one of those “matroshka” halogen bulbs. It seems working fine. Not as high-tech as LED, obviously.

Jes Sorensen October 30, 2011 11:44

I’ve done a fair amount of trying out different bulbs and replaced most of the lighting in my house with leds. The hardest ones to replace have been the incandescent bulbs. I tried something like the one in the picture, but the ones I got hold of never really compared. For those types of bulbs I have gone back to the many-led (like 108 leds) types. However for GU10 and MR16 spot bulbs I have had good luck replacing my old 20W 12V with 3W ones. The MR16 I have been the most happy with is this one:

I went from 280W in my living room to 48W (I added 2 extra spots, so went from 14 to 16) and from 180W in my bedroom to 27W.

I have ordered most of my bulbs from Hong Kong as I found the product you get in the shops here is pretty much the same, but at 3-4 times the price. I haven’t had problems with my orders so far, and I tend to order in small batches to avoid things getting pulled in by customs. Takes 3-4 weeks from order until they arrive.

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