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LED Light Bulb Results + Win a $50 The Home Depot GC!

by Tara Kuczykowski on March 2, 2011 · 449 comments


Back in January I shared some interesting facts about LED light bulbs and I took you shopping with me at The Home Depot as we replaced all of the fixtures on the first level of our home with LEDs. I'd hoped to wow you by reporting dramatic savings on my electric bill, but sadly our bill is actually slightly higher year over year. BUT I have some good theories on why this is the case which I'll share in a moment.

The installation process was easy as can be -- we just unscrewed all of our old CFL bulbs and screwed in the new LED light bulbs. Note that we chose not to discard our CFL bulbs since they're all still in good working condition. Instead we boxed them up and put them in the crawl space in the basement so that we can take our new LED light bulbs with us when we move. However, if have CFL bulbs that you need to dispose of, I'd encourage you to read the information here on CFL cleanup and disposal.

What immediately struck me after replacing all of the bulbs was the difference in the quality of light. It's not necessarily a good or bad difference -- it's just brighter and, well, different. I found it most noticeable in the bathroom where the light is forced out of the bulbs rather than being dispersed evenly from the entire bulb because of the way the bulbs are constructed. You can see in the image above that only the forward half of the bulb is giving off light. However, I quickly got used to this within a few days and now it's not even noticeable to me.

So I mentioned that our electric bill is actually up slightly year over year when I had anticipated it going down based on my research. I have a few theories about why this is occurring:

  • First, we already had CFL bulbs installed throughout the entire house courtesy of a great deal at Target a few years ago. Because our electric usage from lighting was already incredibly low, we're not seeing a noticeable decrease from switching to LEDs. We'll still see savings in the long run; however, they will come from the fact that we won't have to replace the bulbs for many, many years to come. I'm also glad to not have to worry about the complications of cleaning up the mercury if a CFL bulb should break.
  • Second, we also already have many electricity-saving measures installed in the house. Our kitchen light is on an automatic switch so it shuts off automatically after no movement has been sensed for five minutes. We also have a device that monitors our electric usage constantly so we can see how high our load is. And we tend to use our large appliances like our washer and dryer and dishwasher in the evening and early mornings outside of the peak load times which have a higher cost.
  • Finally, as our children get older we're naturally using more electricity as they start using more technology and such throughout the day, taking more frequent showers instead of baths, and increasing our laundry with sports involvement.

I found it interesting to note that my father's electric bill was roughly the same as ours. We have houses of similar size; however, he has a two-person household with a regular work schedule outside of the home. In contrast, we have a seven-person household where there are nearly constantly members home since I work from home and my husband is still unemployed.

Overall, I'm impressed with the LED light bulbs and I think they definitely have an integral part in saving on our electricity. I just believe that our savings will take more time to become apparent than a household that was not already somewhat frugal with their electric usage.

Thanks for following along with me as I gave this new technology a try, and I've got one more $50 The Home Depot gift card to give away!

To enter: Just tell me -- have you given LED light bulbs a try yet? Or after reading more about them, are they something you'll consider when making your next light bulb replacement?

This giveaway will close at 3:00pm EST on 3/3/11.

The Home Depot works with bloggers such as myself to conduct product reviews. They do not tell bloggers what to say about their products or how to say it. THD fundamentally believes that people should be free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. The Home Depot often provides product – free of charge – to bloggers for review as they did for this post. The Home Depot’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

{ 449 comments… read them below or add one }

1 BrandyU March 3, 2011 at 8:50 am

We have switched out some of our bulbs. I find it interesting that those bulbs are the first ones to go out though, especially since the CFL bulbs have been in for years.

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2 Rebecca K. March 3, 2011 at 8:57 am

We have replaced our bathroom and kitchen lights with the new LED lights. I believe our fan/ceiling lights are also LED. I haven't noticed a huge difference in our electric bill, but our home is only 4 1/2 years old. I do like the lighting in these rooms much better now that I have gotten used to it. Thanks for the giveaway!

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3 Karen March 3, 2011 at 9:07 am

We love LED lights. Thanks for the giveaway!

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4 kk March 3, 2011 at 9:12 am

Yes, we use LED's.

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5 Miranda March 3, 2011 at 9:14 am

Yes, we use a few LED but would love to make the whole household switchover like you have done. Our electric bill is currently outrageous.

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6 marie March 3, 2011 at 9:14 am

I haven't tried the LED bulbs but would love to!

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7 Simone March 3, 2011 at 9:18 am

I have not tried LED lightbulbs yet but i am considering it now.

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8 Quisicosa March 3, 2011 at 9:19 am

We have not tried them yet but I've thought it might be time to try switching some of the rooms over to see what we think.

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9 JOE T March 3, 2011 at 9:20 am

I HAVE SWITCH TO LED SOME YEARS AGO. I LIVE IN A SENIOR TOWNHOME COMMUNITY AND I HAVE CONVINCED ABOUT 90% OF MY NEIGHBORS TO USE SOME OR ALL LED LIGHTS.I KNOW FOR A FACT, MOST HAVE SWITCH TO LED ON THERE OUTSIDE LIGHTING.

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10 Amy March 3, 2011 at 9:20 am

We haven't tried them yet, but would really like to!

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11 Ursula March 3, 2011 at 9:27 am

My husband bought LED string lights. I didn't care for the white light.

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12 Robin March 3, 2011 at 9:32 am

We do have a few of the LED. I don't like the idea of having to wait for the bulb to warm up before it become fully - brighten. I heard that the CFL bulb were not going to be made after 2012. Is this true?

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13 Megan March 3, 2011 at 9:35 am

We have CFL's all through our house, but my husband is beginning to incorporate LED's mostly because they will last us so long. Great post and giveaway! Crossing my fingers :-)

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14 Kristen March 3, 2011 at 9:38 am

I haven't tried LED lights yet. Still making the transition to CFL.

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15 Debra March 3, 2011 at 9:45 am

We switched our
outdoor lighting to LED bulbs. When the lights switch on, the up-lighting gives our home a distinct modern look and we save $$. It's great!

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16 Carole Spring March 3, 2011 at 9:47 am

We have not yet tried the LED bulbs but have talked about doing so the next time one of our CFL bulbs burns out.
blondie_31971 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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17 Joy March 3, 2011 at 9:49 am

I haven't tried LED lights yet, except for some in Christmas decorations this year, but I do plan to switch as bulbs burn out...or before if I hit a good sale! Thanks for the info!

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18 Shannon March 3, 2011 at 9:50 am

We changed some of our Christmas lights to LED lights but have not changed any in our home yet.

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19 Jo March 3, 2011 at 10:02 am

I have not tried the LED lights yet but I would like to if I had a job.

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20 Tiffany March 3, 2011 at 10:12 am

We have LED lights, but sadly, I have not had a positive experience with them. I replaced two bulbs in my bathroom about 1 year ago, since then, both have died. I'm not sure why I'm paying so much for LED bulbs that are supposed to last a long time, yet they lasted only a little over a year. Very disappointing.

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21 Beth March 3, 2011 at 10:15 am

I haven't switched yet, only because I've been a couponer for years and am just now starting to run out of the regular bulbs. I definitely plan to purchase them in the future.

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22 Yvonne March 3, 2011 at 10:17 am

I still have not tried the LED. I know its so much better just have not done the makeover my house needs..

Thanks for sharing

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23 Katie March 3, 2011 at 10:20 am

I haven't tried them yet, but would like to try them in the future. We like LEDs in general, so using them in our home would be great!

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24 Erica March 3, 2011 at 10:20 am

i'd love to try the LEDs. I have mostly the CFL lights and did not realize the danger about the mercury! I work from home all day and have 2 little girls with a nanny at home all day as well, so I use electricity all day long

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25 brooke March 3, 2011 at 10:30 am

We live in an older house and it seems like lightbulbs in certain areas of the house burn out within a couple of weeks. We have switched our porch light to LED and it has lasted sooooo much longer than regular lightbulbs. The only downside is although it is "instant on", it still seems to take a few minutes to get up to full lighting capacity.

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26 Sarah March 3, 2011 at 11:05 am

Yes, we use LEDs in our living room, kitchen and bathroom. Hope to get them in the rest of the house soon!

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27 Jessica March 3, 2011 at 11:32 am

I love LED lights. Thanks for offering this giveaway.

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28 Anju March 3, 2011 at 11:34 am

Have not tried LEDs but after reading this would definitely like too!!!

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29 Louise March 3, 2011 at 11:35 am

I haven't tried the LED bulbs yet, but would love to switch over after reading your blog on the CFL's. I was unaware of the danger with breakage of the CFL's before and am glad you have posted this as we never read the package. If the LED's last 20 plus years.....................I guess that would be the rest of my lifetime!!

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30 Lisa March 3, 2011 at 11:36 am

I would be interested in trying the LED bulbs... with an 8.5-mo-old who will soon be crawling, I don't want to stress about the CFLs in our table lamps!!

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31 Chrisitine March 3, 2011 at 11:44 am

Have not tried LED yet, read your info, might give them a try soon!
Thanks!

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32 sheila March 3, 2011 at 11:49 am

i have changed my chandelier out with led bulbs and my bathroom but i have one light in my kitchen that is the old floresent buld and im in a quandry as too try and replace this if any has a solution please email me

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33 Laura March 3, 2011 at 11:53 am

Like you, we have always been aware of how much energy we use and so have taken lots of energy savings measures to cut our electric bill (though rates never seem to go down no matter how much energy cuts you make, hmmmm, interesting...). For people who couldn't be bothered, however and want to make a big difference in a very simple way, replacing bulbs WILL definitely get you significant savings nearly right away. I remember the first time I changed most (not all) light bulbs, my bill went down about $5 per month. And...I can't remember how long it's been since I replaced a light bulb! That's a blessing in itself - one more silly household chore I don't have to do.

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34 Dan March 3, 2011 at 11:57 am

I haven't tried them yet, but I'm thinking of pre-emptively replacing the bulbs in the lamps in my daughter's room with LED since they're so much cooler.

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35 Laura March 3, 2011 at 11:57 am

oh...and...Home Depot regularly has sales on energy savings bulbs and often sells them in bulk packs so it's easier to replace all of the bulbs in your home at the same time. Also, keep your eyes open to rebates offered through the Dept. of Energy! They often offer rebates when you buy a certain amount of bulbs, so pair that with a good Home Depot deal and you can't lose!

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36 Shanda March 3, 2011 at 12:01 pm

I have not used them yet, but sure would love to!

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37 Jessica S. March 3, 2011 at 12:29 pm

We use CFL's but I think we will try out a few LED's.

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38 Shannon March 3, 2011 at 12:37 pm

We've liked LED's since we've started using them, they're my favorite lighting.

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39 Cassandra G. March 3, 2011 at 12:37 pm

We have not yet tried LED's or any of the other energy-saving bulbs yet because the cost just doesn't fit into my budget right now!

I would definitely like to try them because i've heard so many good things! Thank you so much for the additional information : )

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40 Jen March 3, 2011 at 12:50 pm

I have not tried the led bulbs, yet. I would love to try them if they fit in my budget with a coupon some time, because I do NOT like the CFL's because they are so dim. I would love some bright light. The CFL's are where we use the most ~ the hallway, bathroom and basement steps ~ all the places you need bright light!

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41 Melissa March 3, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Yes we do use LED lightbulbs and they do seem to last longer and they don't heat up the room like regular light bulbs do.

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42 Brigitte March 3, 2011 at 12:59 pm

We actually use these in most of our lights in our house.

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43 Heather March 3, 2011 at 1:05 pm

NO, we have not tried the LED lightbulbs yet. We are looking to start changing them out soon.

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44 sana March 3, 2011 at 2:08 pm

Tried CFL but not happy with dim lights, hoping to try LED if i have budget to spend on it.

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45 Susan J March 3, 2011 at 3:11 pm

I don't even know what an LED lightbulb is! But now it looks like I really need to check them out.

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46 Nazy Meighan March 3, 2011 at 3:34 pm

While I understand the savings that comes with this, I often wonder if it is even worth the try when it comes to apartments. I am a single mom with 2 small elementary children and I work part-time so I am not home as much. I am very conscientious about electric usage and have tried to do everything in my power to lower my $179 monthly bill. I even cut off my ac and heat and open windows or close them depending on weather. And it doesn't go down. I'm hesistant to buy the bulbs because of that cost and doubt I would be able to see the long term savings that everyone talks about. I don't understant why the bills are so much higher in apartments when there is less to cover. And I sometimes want to install myself the motion switches but they will probably not be benefitial to me either since we are usually all in the same room trying to conserve. How do I work around this? How do I test out your theory? Does it really benefit people in my situation? Has it been proven? I'd love to try but afraid I'd be spending more money I can't afford to waste.

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47 Andrea March 3, 2011 at 3:38 pm

we recently switched and love them!

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48 Jennifer C. March 3, 2011 at 6:23 pm

We have tried a few but haven't totally replaced the old bulbs. I would definitely consider it.

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