Background

Ok, back in November 2012 I stumbled into my local 'big-box' home improvement store with an extra $1,000 USD to burn and without any research or pre-planning I purchased 35 LED bulbs to replace my incandescent and CFL bulbs. I was way tired of continually replacing a couple CFLs time and time again and the 25,000-50,000 hours of lifetime sparked my interest and put a $1K hole in my wallet. At a burn time average of 3-hours per day that is 22-45 years of life. Ok, I am in.

With my 35 LED SSL (Solid State Lighting) bulbs and $885 UDS later, I exit the big blue home improvement store and headed the 2 miles back to my Plano, Texas home to begin changing out light bulbs. And, to later find out a few dimmers will need to be replaced as well.

You see a dimmable LED does not mean it will work on your existing incandescent light bulb and may be the cause of my premature CFL bulb failure. CFL and LED lights require a different dimmer - so, be forewarned. The conversion to SSL (solid state lighting) requires a lithe more than than screwing in a few bulbs. It also lead me to the LeGrand Adorn light switches (subject a future blog).

Outside of the dimmer issues. I had two additional issues: 1.) LED light flicker on 4 recessed can lights in the living room; and 2.)  RF Interference: Garage Door Opener.

Mostly, I purchased the Sylvania Ultra LED and a few Phillips LED bulbs. Like I said earlier. I did not pre-plan or do any online research - it's only a light bulb right?

Yes, but why do you think you are paying $25 (now six months later $15) for a LED lamp/bulb vs a $1.50 for an incandescent? Because, I have learned (post purchase), there is a whole lot going on inside the new LED A-19, 8-watt (40-watt replacement) bulb - 6, 8 10 LEDs, power driver, heat dissipation, RF shielding, etc...

Results

Post installation of my 35 LEDs I am VERY happy with my home's lighting. Combined with my other Home Energy Projects (Nest Thermostat, new windows, R30 attic Insulation, etc..) my home energy bill for my 2,000 sq ft Northeast Texas home was less than $95.00 for the month of February 2012.

I have not changed out ONE light bulb in the past 6-months. A first for me living in this home the past 3 years.

Quality of lighting: Much improved over CFL and VERY, very satisfied with my LED efforts~!

Now it is time for me to tackle the 20 or so 50w Halogen bulbs in the home - and, trust me, I have been doing a little reading before I jump into spending another $400 to replace those.

Recommendation:

With A-19 60w-replacement LED Lamps (bulbs) approaching the $10-15 USD price range - go ahead and start saving energy. With the 3-hour/day burn rate you will be looking at a less than 12-month pay back. (just do your research - the cheapest bulb my not be your best investment - Various LED A-19 bulbs)

Good Luck~!

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Comment by Bob Blanchette on March 28, 2013 at 7:35pm

I don't see $885 in energy savings when compared to CFL happening in this lifetime. Lumen per watt is similar for both technologies. LED's are still in the "cool toy" stage for the most part, not a practical replacement for CFL. price needs to drop considerably before they become mainstream.

That being said LED lights are cool. I wish they would list CRI ratings on CFL and LED lamps so consumers would have something other than lumen per watt and color temperature for comparison. CRI is listed on 4' lamps, why not other lights?

Comment by Dennis McCarthy on March 28, 2013 at 6:12pm

Dale-

I'm happy you're satisfied with the solid state lighting you got- more should emulate your

actions - as for doing additional due diligence on more purchases - WAY to SET THE EXAMPLE !

 

Should you decide to contact me I have a group of questions for you to ask your SSL product provider

that should put a finer point on discerning salient facts. It's info that can better position you (or anyone) before

shelling out hundreds of dollars for additional LED retrofit  lights.

Comment by Tom Delconte on March 26, 2013 at 12:20pm

Hello Dale,

You are to be lauded for going to the store with your $1k instead of the casino! I agree with you that research stinks! If we felt like doing research we might have settled on the phillips l-prize, its 2013 successor whatever it's called, or what have you. This article came out too late for you and me, here's the fresh read from the liberal nytimes or the conservative ny times, whichever way you call it: Cheaper LED bulbs .

Congrats in order for running your own real world test your own way!

More fresh info for you:Early test of low cost bulbs .

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