So what is this magical bulb? Remarkably, it’s nothing more than a standard LED replacement bulb. Consumer Reports recently released its 2011 study on CFL and LED bulbs, and the LED scored remarkably well. These energy-efficient light bulbs last anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 hours, consume a lot less energy than the old familiar incandescent (which is basically a heat source that gives off light as a byproduct), and can save consumers a load of cash over the life of the bulb.
I should hasten to add, however, that LED bulbs don’t come cheap. LED bulbs range from about $20 to $40 or more each. Considering that you can buy an incandescent bulb for less than 50 cents apiece, $40 for an LED looks alarming high. And the fact is it takes on average of about four to 10 years to recoup the cost of an LED through lower energy bills and fewer bulb replacements. In contrast, you break even on a CFL in about a year.
But if you are a long-term investor, LED bulbs are great way to save money. Consumer Reports estimates that you can save between “$65 and $400 over the 18- to 46-year life of the LED compared with an incandescent bulb.” Just remember to take the LED bulbs with you when you move!
Source: US News and World Reports