The LED era has begunLED light-bulbs are on the cusp of going entirely mainstream. With every passing year, their energy-efficiency, light quality, and total lumens output is going up, while their cost keeps falling. Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) had their moment of glory, even sticking around long enough to be used in computer icon graphics...
But CFLs are a dying breed. A sign of that appears in the New York Times where respected tech columnist David Pogue tells his readers that they should "start buying LED bulb". Here are a few choice excerpts:
LED bulbs are a gigantic improvement over incandescent bulbs and even the compact fluorescents, or CFLs, that the world spent several years telling us to buy.
LEDs last about 25 times as long as incandescents and three times as long as CFLs; we’re talking maybe 25,000 hours of light. Install one today, and you may not own your house, or even live, long enough to see it burn out. (Actually, LED bulbs generally don’t burn out at all; they just get dimmer.)
LEDs are about as efficient as CFL, and both are much more efficient than incandescents (which only convert around 5-10% of the electricity they use to useful light vs. around 60% for LEDs and CFLs), but LEDs have other benefits that make them superior to CFLs (not as fragile, not mercury, last longer, turn on instantly).
Yet despite all of these advantages, few people install LED lights. They never get farther than: “$30 for a light bulb? That’s nuts!” Never mind that they will save about $200 in replacement bulbs and electricity over 25 years. (More, if your electric company offers LED-lighting rebates.)
Surely there’s some price, though, where that math isn’t so off-putting. What if each bulb were only $15? Or $10?
Well, guess what? We’re there. LED bulbs now cost less than $10.
Mr. Pogue then goes on to give his impression of various brands of LEDs (3M, CREE, Philips, Insteon, etc). You can read the whole thing here. But the thing to remember is: Now's the time to start buying LED bulbs!
Personally, about 90% of the lights in my apartment are LEDs, and I'm very happy with them. The remaining 10% are closet lights that are never turned on anyway...