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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 Christy March 2, 2011 at 10:56 pm

We haven't tried them yet. In fact, we still have a few incandescent bulbs that we're waiting to burn out so we can replace them. We probalby won't buy them until the prices come down.


2 Cori Westphal March 2, 2011 at 10:56 pm

Heck yeah! I use them all the time! I'm slowly replacing all my old bulbs with new efficient LEDs!

coriwestphal at msn dot com


3 Sophie March 2, 2011 at 10:56 pm

I would try the bulbs.


4 Scott March 2, 2011 at 10:57 pm

I have tried them in my kitchen track lighting.


5 Michelle March 2, 2011 at 10:58 pm

I tried them in my bedroom. They aren't as bright.


6 Jane March 2, 2011 at 10:58 pm

I will give them a try.


7 Norb March 2, 2011 at 10:59 pm

I will give them a try.


8 darlene p March 2, 2011 at 11:00 pm

We are slowely switching over!


9 Melba March 2, 2011 at 11:03 pm

i have not tried them yet but would if/when the price is reasonable.


10 Kathy March 2, 2011 at 11:03 pm

I haven't even heard of LED bulbs yet, except for LED christmas lights.
I would be open to trying them. I have concerns about the mercury in CFLs.


11 Elinore March 2, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Well, I would have to say I'm more hesitant to try them after you don't see a reduction in electric costs....but you never know! Thanks!


12 Tracy March 2, 2011 at 11:10 pm

We have been slowly switching over. I haven't noticed a difference in the bill, last year I questioned my electric company about it and they said it was because we know have more "stuff", shredders, computers, cell phones, etc.


13 Kristy March 2, 2011 at 11:13 pm

We haven't tried them yet just the CFLs.


14 Mari March 2, 2011 at 11:16 pm

I would love to try them but I have to wait to the price to come down!


15 Michele March 2, 2011 at 11:19 pm

I'll probably try them once we work through the extra bulbs we already have in the house.


16 Vickie March 2, 2011 at 11:32 pm

We have started using about 6 months ago. I found a great deal at Publix. We didn't get enough to do whole house though...because they are pricey...and, due to the deal at Publix the shelf was wiped so I got what was left (4).
Yep, will purchase more when I can get a deal. :)


17 Stephanie March 2, 2011 at 11:36 pm

There is soooooo much conflicting info out there that I just don't know what is right or wrong but would love to try them out


18 DEB March 2, 2011 at 11:41 pm



19 Linda Kish March 2, 2011 at 11:41 pm

I haven't tried them yet but, I'd like to.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com


20 April H March 2, 2011 at 11:48 pm

Haven't had to replace a bulb in a while, but will consider LED next time we purchase bulbs. Thanks for the opportunity to win!


21 Christina H March 2, 2011 at 11:51 pm

I will definitely consider the LEDs because I'm not a fan of the mercury used in CFLs


22 Kari March 2, 2011 at 11:57 pm

I love those lightbulbs... they are all over my house!


23 Kristin March 2, 2011 at 11:58 pm

I haven't used them before but I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to give them a try! :)


24 della mulvaugh March 3, 2011 at 12:09 am

i will try anything that would be good for the environment. i would love to try the leds.Bonus it would help my electric bill. i'm in.


25 Tammy March 3, 2011 at 12:23 am

Yes, we are using the new bulbs. i have already had a few go out with less than a year of usage. At $5 and up a bulb that gets mighty expensive.


26 Kathy Rambousek March 3, 2011 at 12:25 am

I haven't tried these lightbulbs yet. We have those curly energy-savings ones. I'm heading into twon tomorrow and lightbulbs is on my list. I think I may go take a peek at these


27 Amy E. March 3, 2011 at 12:30 am

When our stash of CFL bulbs run out, I'm sure LEDs will be next on the list to try!


28 Shannon D M March 3, 2011 at 12:55 am

Honestly I have never tried them. I have thought about it but since I haven't needed bulbs I don't have the money outside of our budget to purchase them


29 Anna Mae March 3, 2011 at 1:03 am

We haven't tried LED bulbs yet (except the holiday lights). We mostly use CFLs (including the more expensive dimmables). I actually changed light fixtures so I could use CFLs without them being as visible.

We're waiting for the LEDs to come down in price. Hopefully as our CFLs need replacing in a few years the LEDs will be more viable.


30 Shari March 3, 2011 at 1:08 am



31 Dot March 3, 2011 at 1:29 am

I haven't tried them yet but definitely willing to try them and $50 gift card to Home depot would help out with the expense of getting some. Thanks for the tip.


32 Samantha March 3, 2011 at 1:38 am

Haven't tried the leds yet, but will now after reading your posts. thanks.


33 Diana March 3, 2011 at 2:01 am

We've replaced all of our bulbs in the bathrooms; for starters. Love the LEDs!!


34 Johnny Counce March 3, 2011 at 2:07 am

I've looked some, but the prices are still too high. Plus they need to make it easier to compare light out-put.


35 Janine March 3, 2011 at 2:15 am

I haven't tried them yet but after reading about them I think I'd give them a try!


36 Renee Strange March 3, 2011 at 2:44 am

Gosh, I would have to buy 15 LED bulbs to replace all my large vanity bulbs. I cringe at the thought and will use incandescent as long as I can. I try to save money in other areas.


37 Zack March 3, 2011 at 2:54 am

Have not tried them, and your post has encouraged me to keep my CFL bulbs instead of trying the LED's. Thanks for saving me some cash!


38 Denise March 3, 2011 at 3:48 am

I have not tried them yet but after reading about them I will start.


39 Karen March 3, 2011 at 5:49 am

we haven't tried them yet, but we want to! still trying to switch over from the old style light bulbs we have here.


40 Maggie March 3, 2011 at 5:50 am

They are my fist choice for all my lamps. Have not tried overhead but will do so now. Got use to light difference very quick


41 Tracy T March 3, 2011 at 6:48 am

We have had all CFL bulbs for a few years now and we did notice a huge drop in our electric usage once we switched. I've been eyeing LED bulbs for a while and would love to make a wholesale change to them but it never seems to fit into our weekly budget.

I did get one 9W LED bulb that is supposed to be equivalent to a 40W incandescent bulb, but I felt that the LED was definitely brighter than an old 40W. Not *too* bright, per se, but I would suggest to anyone in the market for an LED that they might want to get the bulb with slightly less wattage than they think they need. :)

Thanks for offering this giveaway!


42 Candi L March 3, 2011 at 6:50 am

I use the LED bulbs! ANd I really like them. I even have a strip of them on the ceiling of my Explorer. That interior light just wasn't bright enough to dig around in my purse when it's dark out lol


43 jill March 3, 2011 at 7:04 am

I haven't tried them yet, I've been waiting for a great deal. We have a mix of CFL's and regular bulbs throughout the house.


44 Nancy Fortin March 3, 2011 at 7:10 am

Yes, we're switching over little by little. I wait for sales on the new product.


45 beth March 3, 2011 at 7:13 am

I haven't tried them yet but was interested to read your review!


46 Mary Ann March 3, 2011 at 7:31 am

We haven't tried them yet. We do have a few CFLS, but I am so worried about the mercury issue.


47 Aspenskidude March 3, 2011 at 7:49 am

I enjoyed reading your article but I'm curious if the new LED bulbs have the same or similar downside as CFL's - that they can be a trigger for migraines. If I knew that, it would affect my decision to try them or not.


48 Jennifer March 3, 2011 at 7:58 am

Haven't tried them in the house yet but we do have an LED flashlight. They are really bright.


49 Alina March 3, 2011 at 8:29 am

We have not tried them yet.


50 Liz M. March 3, 2011 at 8:41 am

I haven't tried them yet, but I'm planning to based on what I've been reading!


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