Chapter 6. Buying an LED Bulb

If you are in the market for an LED bulb (and, for argument’s sake, let’s keep the medium screw base bulb separate from LED lighting overall, such as lamps with built-in, non-replaceable LEDs) then there are a number of factors to consider. We’ve covered some of them, and many will be obvious to any consumer: price, appearance, brightness level, power consumption, whether they are dimmable or not, and so on. These are all points that any buyer would consider before purchasing a bulb, regardless of the underlying technology. However, because of the scrutiny applied to solid-state lighting, an examination of the product can be much more in depth than just a casual price/shape/brightness check.

Aside from the aesthetics of any one particular bulb, all buyers should consider something businesses are already acutely aware of: ROI. This is a simple consideration of the fact that while LED bulbs are initially expensive, they are generally cheaper in the long run. This might not have been the case with CFLs—take for example, running in short durations could negatively affect lifespan—but it’s generally the case with LEDs because of two factors. These, as you know by now, are their longevity and their efficiency. What buyers also need to consider, though, is replacement cost. If you have a light that is 25 feet high and you need to rent a scissor lift or hire a handyman with a extendable ladder to change the bulb, then the fact that a bulb should last 20 years ...

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