Most people rely on about 50 lightbulbs to brighten their living space. And you may be asking, "Why buy energy-efficient bulbs if my old incandescents are going strong?" "Incandescent bulbs are really only cheap if you never turn them on. They cost about eight dollars a year to power. And that's compared with only a dollar seventy for an LED or CFL." Most C-F-Ls cost under three dollars. L-E-Ds are more expensive, 20 to 30 dollars a bulb. Celia Lehrman "But even at that price, they still save you about 125 dollars over their lifetime on electrical costs and on the cost of replacing bulbs." And L-E-Ds have advantages. They can last for decades, more than twice as long as C-F-Ls. L-E-Ds light instantly, unlike C-F-Ls that can take 30 seconds or more to reach full brightness! And many L-E-D bulbs are dimmable. Most C-F-Ls are not. Mark Thielking with the Energy Improvement Corporation has switched to L-E-D lights throughout his home. Mark Thielking "The light's great. The turn-on time is very quick, and the fact that I don't have to change bulbs very often is even better." Consumer Reports has tested more than 750 C-F-Ls and L-E-D bulbs. The lab measures warm-up time, light distribution, and how long the bulbs last. And testers use this sphere to measure brightness and color temperature. The best L-E-Ds outperform the C-F-Ls on all counts. For 60-watt equivalents, Consumer Reports named two 20-dollar L-E-D bulbs "Best Buys." This one from 3M and this one from Utilitech, which is sold at Lowe's. Both produce a white light that's dimmable. ."
More On Your Side Stories
- Back-to-school shopping is the second biggest spending spree of the year, according to the National Retail Federation.
- 44 children died last year from heat stroke inside cars.
- Can you get away with spending less on laundry detergent?
- Consumer Reports tested a 20-dollar device that promises to unclog drains without caustic chemicals or a costly plumber visit.
- Who doesn't love ice cream, especially in the summer?
- a just-released Consumer Reports' survey found that 59 percent of people look for foods labeled "natural" when they shop. But Consumer Reports says it's essentially meaningless claim.
- With grilling season heating up, all kinds of gadgets promise to take your grill to a new level.
- Flying with a carry-on bag can save you fifty dollars or more per trip. No wonder sales are up.
- Summer is salad time, and supermarkets have shelf after shelf of salad dressings.
- If you think there's no such thing as free lunch, think again. There are lots of products you can get online without having to pay a cent.