I’m going to be honest, I hate my CFLs.  After blowing all sorts of cash on these things, I’ve yet to find one that performs the way I’d like it to.  Plus, since lighting accounts for some 11% of residential energy use on average, it’s an area that deserves attention.  In doing so, I’ve been playing with various options and think LEDs may just be the ticket.

In the old days, I loved those GE Reveal incandescent lights with “clean, beautiful light.”  In an attempt to get something like Reveal, I purchased some Smurf-like CFLs and quickly learned to go after the warmer versions (this lighting facts label is helpful, if you want to understand bulb details).

These days, I’m using mostly IKEA-brand CFLs.  They’re adequate, but my eyes feel so grainy and strained sometimes.  It’s hard to explain, but I don’t feel like I’m getting enough light.  Plus, there’s the delay – I feel like it’s taking longer and longer for these lights to warm up.

So, I decided I was tired of waiting for the lights to turn in the entry area of my house.* I gave $80 to Home Depot in exchange for a couple of Philips Ambient LED 12.5-watt bulbs and my entry never felt better.

When I flip the switch, these LEDs turn on.  It’s hard to tell in the photos, but the light is great.  I feel like I can see the colors in my rug and in people and their clothing.  It’s just different.  These will last something like 25,000 hours, so I’m not so concerned about the up-front cost.

Long story short, if you’re on the fence with energy-efficient lighting, or if you had a bad experience with it in the past, keep your eye on the LED options.  If you get a good bulb that provides adequate lumens and light color, I don’t think you’ll regret it one bit.

*You may be surprised to know that last year I purchased a 1958, split-level home.  After months of searching, I turned down a solar-powered modern home in a bad location for this existing one in a great location.  Over time, I expect to modernize the place, but forgive the old-person ceiling fixture.

PS – I understand these LEDs are not made for enclosed fixtures, so I pulled the LEDs from here.  They’re still awesome lights.