I'm shopping around for LED lights and want to know about your experience if you bought LED lights before.

  1. Where did you buy them and why?
  2. Did price have much to do about your decision?
  3. Do you have any tips after going through the whole process?
  4. If you're Canadian, I'd like to know too!

Thanks for your help energy pros!

Tags: buying, guide, help, led, tips

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1000 light bulbs.com  or I buy local supply shops mostly.    If I buy A LED/ CFL/supply that goes bad in less that 12 mo I just take it back to the supply shop and they give back  a new one.    If I get it on line its shipping and BS.  I stay away from box stores.  I try to support local if all is same. 

Thanks for your input Eric. I think everyone close to you benefits buying local.

I've bought them from several sources. Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Amazon. The best price isn't always in the same place each time. Narrow down exactly what you are looking for, then price shop. You have "round bulbs", Reflector lamps, mini bulbs, etc. Consider changing the entire fixture instead of just the lamp. LED fixtures are becoming competitive in price with retrofit lamps. When a fixture is designed for LED from the beginning it tends preforms better than a fixture designed for "A bulbs".

Also consider light color, you are no longer stuck with the yellow look of 100yr old Edison technology. I prefer the daylight lamps, but YMMV.

Hey Rob, yeah yellow lights just don't seem to output enough light. I'm thinking I'll go with the 3000K or 4000K or 4100K temperatures.

King (and others re:color of light)

For what it's worth, the same question and answer applies to LED flashlights..

I have 2 LED flashlights, and one produces noticeably yellow light while the other is a neutral white.

Hi King, the color temperature about 3000k to 4000k is warm white.the brightness depend on Lumen,so you can choose one warm white bulb with high Lumen,i like the warm white bulb, it looks more comfortable and also so bright.

Connecticut provides a subsidy on  the retail cost of certain LED/CFL lighting  purchased at participating  big box retailers. These bulb  products are priced with an "Energize Connecticut" logo and meet Energy Star requirements. Similar bulbs without the logo are sold at the retailer's regular price.  As an example, a 60watt equivalent Cree A19 LED is offered at $4.98 in any CT Home Depot store.

Keep in mind LED lighting today is about lumens, Kelvin color temperature, and Color Rendering Index (CRI).

Most LED's provide a diffused light which may not be suitable for some task lighting or retail display.

subsidy and rebates are great, its too bad not every state or province offers them. I found a site, led rebates, they have good amount of information about rebates.

Rebates are nice to get, and they make it easier to do fix-ups and upgrades.

What everyone forgets about rebates is that the $$ for them does not fall from the sky like rain.

The taxpayers of the state or province pay for them, so when I get a rebate for an LED or insulation or a new high efficiency furnace, you and all the other taxpayers paid something to help me buy that bulb or insulate my house or get my new furnace.

You would think that if I will reap the economic and comfort benefits that come with these new more energy efficient upgrades I just did, that I ought to pay for them, but because I got rebates, everyone gets to help me pay while I get the benefits…  It's a great deal for me, but it seems a bit unfair to the rest of the taxpayers.

I purchased my LED lamps 3 years ago, and 40/60/75 watt equivalents were not yet widely available in local retail outlets.

  1. I purchased mine at walmart and HomeDepot, because that's where they were in stock and I only wanted one.
  2. Yes, cost mattered. I specifically wanted a LED lamp for my porch light, and I didn't want to pay more than $10 (USD).  
  3. Read the product packaging to:
  • Be sure the lamp you select is appropriate to the fixture.
  • Make certain the lamp's light output in lumens is adequate to provide the amount of light you want in that location.
  • Get the "right" color. If you like "warm" light, choose lamps which produce 2700ºK. If you like "cool" light, choose 4000ºK. If you like "daylight", choose 5500ºK.

The first LED I purchsed was a "cool" white with 110 lumen output...which is how I came to educate myself as to "what the heck is a lumen?"

After I purchsed my first LED, I learned a light output of 110 lumens is approximately the same amount of light as a 15w incandescent appliance bulb...and therefore not the ideal replacement for the expired incandescent on my porch light. (if you need a reminder to not be sucked in by packaging which pictures the product used in outdoor fixtures, there it is.) 

The second LED I purchased was a "party" bulb with a variable color setting--it was in my price range, produced 600 lumens or so, and I thought it would be fun to change the color throughout the year for various holidays. I was disappointed when the LED didn't work...which is how I came to discover that the burnt-out incandescent I was replacing was due to bad wiring. The socket doesn't draw enough "juice" to light up the LED, and my landlord doesn't think it's worth fixing.

I now light my porch & walkway with four LED solar stake lights I purchased on sale for $2.50 each in the garden department at a discount department store.

I didn't switch out my holiday light strings to LEDs until the product improved and the price came down. The early multicolored LED light strings have a weird strobing effect which I can't tolerate and the "clear" lights were available in "cool" white only, which I don't care for.

First,  always check with your utility.  Sometimes the utilities have made arrangements with various retailers for discounts.  Occasionally they run programs with EFI.ORG for lightbulbs and other energy efficiency improvements.

If the utility has a rebate program on going, sometimes they work with the Costco's, Sams and other membership type retailers for discounts... often with prices far lower than the other big  box home improvement stores.

For specialty bulbs,  I've used EarthLED and SuperbrightLED  (landscaping bulbs,  T8 tubes, etc.)

My home is now 88% LEDs inside and out.  Most of the lamps were purchased from Home Depot.  Price always matters, but energy efficiency trumps that.  Always look for ENERGY STAR certified.  ENERGY STAR assures you because the products are tested in a third-party accredited lab and that lab is certified by an accreditation body.  The new specification for lamps effective September 30, 2014 tests for: http://www.energystar.gov/ia/partners/product_specs/program_reqs/EN...

ENERGY STAR certified lamps have longer warranties.  In my experience Philips or CREE have performed the best and the prices are becoming much better.

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