Don’t Waste Your Money: LED Lightbulbs

Posted at 8:33 PM, Aug 23, 2012
and last updated 2012-08-23 20:33:29-04

When it comes to lightbulbs, nearly 75 percent of Americans are now using CFLs, according to a Consumer Reports survey. Far fewer have tried LEDs. They’re expensive, but Consumer Reports tests show they’re well worth considering.

Deciding which lightbulb to buy has gotten a lot tougher.

Consumer Reports tests both types and says LEDs have some real advantages.

Unlike CFLs, some LEDs can be dimmed as low as an incandescent bulb.

Another plus — they come to full brightness instantly.

But not all LED bulbs are stellar. The Miracle-LED claims to be equivalent to a 60-watt incandescent. But it’s not as bright as a 40-watt bulb. And while it’s long lasting, it gives off a strange bluish-white light.

With all LEDs, the big disadvantage is the price. Many cost 20 dollars or more per bulb.

“LEDs are more expensive, but they’re designed to last so long — 23 years or more — that you’ll likely save about 130 dollars over their lifetime,” says Dan DiClerico.

Consumer Reports says prices of LEDs are coming down and are expected to continue to drop. And here’s another plus. Unlike CFLs, LEDs don’t contain any mercury. That means cleanup is easier if a bulb happens to break.