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. ."
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