So many light bulbs so little time


If you’ve been shopping for light bulbs lately, you know that you cant just go pick up a light bulb and go home. There’s incandescent bulbs, Compact fluorescent, and LED’s.  That’s just they types what about sizes? In my house I have 3 different size bulbs.  1 size definitely does not fit all.  Leaving sizes aside we will look at types today. 

  • Incandescent bulbs- You might have noticed walking through the light bulb section at the store. These are hard to come by.  Why is that? Well our government decided they would mandated that we make smarter choices.  Its called the incandescent phase out.  In 2012 they stopped selling 100w bulbs. 2013 75w bulbs will be phased out. 2014 all other incandescent will be phased out.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, the old 100-150 watt bulbs were terribly energy inefficient.  They could produce upwards of 350 degrees of heat.  How do you think your easy bake oven worked?  It was a light bulb. 
  • Compact fluorescent- aka CFL- Compact fluorescent bulbs are basically miniature fluorescent light bulbs like you see in commercial businesses. These bulbs have come a long way.  The technology is getting better with these bulbs.  They use to be notorious for making a humming noise and flickering.  MOST of the time these don’t do that any more.  The great thing about these bulbs are the fact that they are over 75% more energy efficient than their incandescent counter part.  That right there should be enough to make you want to change out your incandescent’s today.  These bulbs now come with the capabilities of 3 way lighting for lamps or dimming features.  The price is coming down also.  With the pricing getting better and the studies that show CFL’s are lasting up to 25 times longer, this decision is a no brainer, or is it?
  • LED’s- or light emitting diode- LED’s are my personal favorite.  LED lights use only 6-8 watts as compared to a 100 watt or 75 watt incandescent (if you can find one).  The incandescent typically last a respectable 1,200 hours, where the LED last a whopping 50,000 hours. The LED cost about $32 a year to operate, the incandescent cost $328. These are all wonderful features of the LED bulb, so what’s the down side?  Right now the down side is the price of the LED.  As technology gets better the price will continue to drop as it has been doing.  LED’s are new to the market for homeowner lighting. 

So what does all this mean?   Your going to have to swap to CFL or LED soon due to a lack of incandescent bulbs. Which bulb you choose is up to you.  Each one has its down falls, CFL’s aren’t made to flip off and on regularly.  They will last longer if they are on for 15 min. or more.  Flipping off and on will shorten the lifespan of the CFL.  LED’s are expensive, but will save you enough money to pay for itself eventually.  Try the different bulbs to see how you like them.  Your probably not going to replace them all at the same time so try them out.


Have you tried either of these and if so what’s your opinion?