A New Language - Learning to Love the LED Bulb 

LED bulbs have been on the market for a while. So why did most of the light fixtures in my home still have incandescent bulbs? The cost per bulb can cause sticker shock, but the cost has come down and the energy savings more than offset the cost. What were we waiting for? While visiting a Batteries + Bulbs store to have a battery diagnosed, I took a look around. I noticed a display board with an energy cost comparison of incandescent, compact fluorescent, and LED bulbs. I also noticed that my local utility was offering an instant rebate on the purchase of the featured LED bulbs. I spoke to one of the staff, asked some questions, and said I'd be back to take advantage of the savings.

LED DisplayAfter doing an inventory of the light fixtures we used the most at my house, I returned to Batteries + Bulbs and found out, for the month of March, a rebate had been added by the bulb manufacturer. What had been the instant rebate price of $4.99, for a 60 watt equivalent LED bulb, was now reduced to $1.99 per bulb, after the mail-in rebate. The decrease in the energy used to light my home would equal a lower utility bill, plus the incredible savings on the purchase of LED bulbs, lowered the initial purchase price. I felt I couldn't go wrong.

But, whoa, wait a minute. What about that space alien, blue-white glow that I was experiencing with the one LED bulb I had at my house. For the most part, that glow has been eliminated unless you have a need for an intense white light. Batteries + Bulbs has a display box with three, lit, LED bulbs where you can see and compare the different types of light appearance and brightness. I was able to see how the light might look in the recessed fixtures at my house. However, I wanted to do a comparison in my home, too, so I chose a 10w Soft White and a 10w Cool White (both are the equivalent of a 65w flood type incandescent bulb) and took them home to compare. The Cool White provided good light but was too harsh for the colors in my kitchen. The Soft White looked good and provided the best light. I will return the Cool White bulb and get another Soft White before the end of March. I also purchased some 8.5w Soft White bulbs (equivalent to a regular 60w incandescent bulb) for some pendant fixtures over my kitchen island. The light is as good as or better than the incandescent bulbs we replaced. We installed a slide type dimmer switch for use with LED bulbs. The new switch allows us to experience the full range of light from the dimmest to the brightest setting. With our regular dimmer switch, the LED bulbs came on when the switch was at the half way position.

LED DimmerThe only positive of waiting to purchase LED bulbs for my home was being able to take advantage of the PPL Electric Utility instant rebate and the manufacturer mail-in rebate. If you haven't done so already, go out and take a look at LED bulbs. Ask questions. Look for a display to compare brightness and color. Are the bulbs dimmable? Are they UL listed? Check the Estimated Energy Cost and potential savings.

Batteries + Bulbs has a helpful staff who will guide you through the process and they have a large inventory of LED bulbs. But no matter where you go, be sure to ask questions and look for any rebates offered by your utility and/or the manufacturer. Your household world can be bright and comfortable, and you will enjoy big energy savings.


A Translating 'Sustainable' Tip - After cutting out the UPC symbol on the bulb box, to send in with your manufacturer's rebate form, be sure to recycle the cardboard packaging.