Diving into LED Lighting

Posted by mitch on February 06, 2011

I’ve recently taken the plunge on LED light bulbs. I never found CFL bulbs that I liked enough to put into living areas of my house, so I have been using GE Reveal incandescent bulbs and GE Reveal halogens throughout most of my house.

However, I’ve recently found Philips AmbientLED bulbs, which have excellent color temperature and brightness. I tried a few of the bulbs and liked them so much that I’ve upgraded all the bulbs in my office to these bulbs. I am using 3 x 5 watt bulbs and 6 x 12.5 watt bulbs in the 9 lamps in my office. These lamps were using about 520 watts of electricity before the upgrade, but now that has been reduced to 90 watts. These bulbs aren’t cheap (total cost for the 9 bulbs was $300 before sales tax!), but the light quality is excellent. Electricity costs me $0.16 per KWH, so I’m looking at around 10-11 months for break-even. This estimate does not include reduced air conditioner costs in the summer, since the AC will not need to remove as much heat from the lights.

Beware not all LED bulbs are created even. I bought some cheaper bulbs for my front porch, since the front porch light isn’t on a sensor and we sometimes forget to turn it off. Those bulbs use far less electricity–about 4 watts instead of 120–but the color temperature is very similar to CFLs.

I am pretty new to these Philips bulbs and don’t have comprehensive experience with them, but I have observed that the metal parts of the housing take far longer to cool off than incandescent bulbs and they get far hotter to the touch, so be careful if when changing bulbs.

All in all, I am very excited about these bulbs and looking forward to reduced prices on them as the LED market matures.

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