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led light bulbs


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.

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I asked you all last week what your favorite benefit of LED light bulbs is, and I think it's pretty safe to say that the longevity of them came in first. But the facts that they're mercury-free, glass-free, don't give off heat, and use far less electricity were all mentioned repeatedly as well. And check out those savings pictured above!

These were all benefits that I was also excited about, so I was really looking forward to shopping at The Home Depot to check out the selection and learn more from an expert. They provided me with some tips to review before we went shopping.

Shopping for LED light bulbs:

  • Identify Your Fixture Type: With so many bulbs to choose from, it's important to educate yourself about your fixture and lighting needs before you make a purchase. Light fixtures can dramatically alter the look of a room, so be aware of where shadows will fall and how that will affect the atmosphere. To ensure safety, and the maximum life of your bulb, review the information on the package to be sure you have selected the correct bulb shape for your light fixture.
  • Choose Your Desired Brightness: Watts, a measurement of power, is a common way traditional light bulbs are identified (ex: 60-watt, 75-watt and 100-watt bulbs). Since CFL and LED bulbs use less energy than traditional bulbs, be sure to look at the measurement of light output, known as lumens, instead of watts to select the right bulb.
  • Understanding Color Temperature and Intensity: When selecting an LED light, choose a color of light that suits the mood and activity taking place in your room.

With these tips in mind, we made a quick tour of our downstairs fixtures to assess our lighting needs and then headed out to The Home Depot. Upon our arrival we first had to grab one of the infamous Home Depot race car carts of course...

And then we were met by EJ, our local Home Depot Master Trade Specialist. He was extremely knowledgeable about the LED light bulbs and also shared a number of other tips for decreasing the energy consumption in our home. I never knew there was such a thing as a water heater timer! Definitely something we need to check out further.

I was impressed at the large selection of light bulbs carried by our local store. We have a few fixtures that call for some unusual sized bulbs, but The Home Depot has an even larger selection of LED light bulbs online.

EJ made finding the LED light bulbs we needed a snap, and we filled our cart and checked out in record time. The real challenge was prying the kiddos our of their hot rod to head home.

Next week I'll share the installation process and hopefully whether we've been able to see any savings on our electric bill. But in the meantime, you can win a $50 gift card to The Home Depot!

To enter: Just leave a comment! Do you have any lighting fixtures that call for an unusual size light bulb or wattage? If so, were you able to find a suitable LED light bulb on HomeDepot.com?

This giveaway will close at noon EST on 1/21/11.

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.

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I'm sure you've all heard that one of the ways you can reduce your energy bill is by replacing your incandescent light bulbs with CFL bulbs, but if you're like me, you're probably also worried about the possible risks associated with doing so. CFL bulbs contain mercury, a neurotoxin that can cause kidney and brain damage, turning a minor mess of broken glass into a HazMat situation.

Because of this, we've been very hesitant to use CFL bulbs in our household, so I was very intrigued when The Home Depot contacted me about their new line of LED light bulbs. LED bulbs actually supply just as much light as traditional incandescent bulbs but use far less electricity -- a whopping 85 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs and up to 50 percent less energy than CFL bulbs.

I was also amazed to learn that LED bulbs an extremely long life expectancy that, 100 times longer than incandescent bulbs! Each bulb can last up to 100,000 hours or 11.42 years! I know we have several fixtures that are a real hassle to change, so my husband would be thrilled if he only had to do so every ten years or so.

More interesting LED facts:

  • Replacing incandescent bulbs with energy-saving lighting options, such as LED lights, is a simple way to reduce your energy bills.
  • Replacing standard light bulbs with energy efficient LED bulbs will bring you immediate savings on your electricity bill.
  • In fact, innovative LED technology uses up to 85 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs, without sacrificing lighting quality.
  • LED bulbs supply just as much light as your old bulbs but use far less electricity. In fact, the innovative technology uses up to 85 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs, and up to 50 percent less energy than CFL bulbs.
  • LED bulbs also have an exceptionally long life expectancy that is 100 times longer than incandescent bulbs. Each bulb can last up to 100,000 hours, or 11.42 years.

Sounds great, huh? So you're probably wondering what's the catch. The bad news is this great new technology comes with a price tag that's significantly higher than we're used to paying for incandescent bulbs. Expect to pay about $17.97 for an LED bulb that's a 40W equivalent.

However, the good news is that the price is rapidly coming down. In fact, just two years ago, a 60-watt equivalent cost $90 and a 100-watt dimmable bulb went for $360. Wow!

New legislation is requiring that most incandescent bulb production be discontinued by 2014, so it's definitely important to start looking at other options. While the initial investment may seem steep, it's important to consider the savings in energy coupled with the longevity of LED bulbs.

Next week I'll take you shopping with me at my local Home Depot to purchase LED lighting for several fixtures in our house. But in the meantime, you can win a $50 gift card to The Home Depot!

To enter: Just check out the LED lighting page on HomeDepot.com and tell me one cool fact you learned about LED bulbs. Would you purchase LED light bulbs? Have you already started using LED light bulbs in your household?

This giveaway will close at 2:00pm EST on 1/13/11.

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.

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