Things change slowly, until they change quicklyA few years ago, LED bulbs were hard to find and many cost around $100 per bulb. Their light quality wasn't always great either (though some were very good from the start). Fast-forward to the present and we're seeing price cuts after price cuts, improvements in efficiency and color quality, one after the other until soon there won't be any reason to not use LED lightbulbs except for more specialized uses (and even most of these can be converted to LEDs over time).
On the price front, the 800 lbs gorilla of the industry has just decided to throw its hat into the ring and start selling its own brand ('Great Value') of LED bulbs for under $10.
Walmart’s new Great Value line includes 26 LED lightbulb types, including a non-dimmable 60-watt equivalent LED that will retail for $8.88; a Great Value dimmable 60-watt equivalent LED for $9.88; a Great Value Indoor flood non-dimmable 65-watt equivalent LED for $14.88; and a Great Value indoor flood Dimmable 65-watt equivalent for $15.88. The Great Value LED packaging simplifies the transition to LED for consumers by clearly outlining wattage equivalency, estimated energy cost savings and incandescent cost comparisons on the front of the package.
Building on a history of collaborative innovation between Walmart and General Electric (GE), the retailer will also offer a new, dimmable 60-watt equivalent GE LED lightbulb for less than $11.
The bulbs are supposed to be available immediately in all of the company's U.S. stores and soon on its website. International stores will probably follow soon (no word on that yet).
The big question now is: How good will these be? I'd love to get my hands on some to test them and compare them to other brands. It's probably too much to expect the cheapest LEDs to be the best ones, but as long as they are "good enough" for most people and keep improving over time, these could be a big hit and save a lot of energy.
Above are some of the LED bulbs that I've tried... You can read the reviews here.