If you’re looking for long-lasting, energy-efficient lighting, 60-watt replacement LEDs are on the way to big box retailers. These lights screw in just like typical incandescents, but they use less than a quarter of the energy and have no mercury, unlike CFLs.
For example, if you shop at HomeDepot.com, the Philips Ambient LED 12-watt bulb (top right) is backordered online for $39.97, while if you shop at Lowes.com, the Sylvania Ultra LED 12-watt bulb (top left) is set to sell for $39.98 online by the end of this month.
With this kind of competition, LED prices are dropping steadily. According to Martin LaMonica of CNET, “some lighting company executives forecast within two years, LED bulbs in the 800 lumen category will cost less than $10.” Now that would be incredible.
The dimmable Philips Ambient LED has an output of 800 lumens, uses 12.5 watts, lasts 25,000 hours, and contains no mercury. The light has a color temperature of 2700 Kelvin (warm colors have a low temperature of 2700-3500 K, while cool colors have a higher temperature of 3600-5500 K). The color rendering index, a measure of the accuracy of color rendering, is 80.
The dimmable Sylvania Ultra LED has an output of 810 lumens, uses 12 watts, lasts 25,000 hours, and contains no mercury. Like the Philips light, this one has a color temperature of 2700 K, though the color rendering index is higher at 90.
In other words, for about $40 bucks a piece, one could retrofit 60-watt lamp lights as they die out and get the same kind of performances as an incandescent. Plus, since the lights last roughly 25,000 hours, there would be no replacement necessary for something near 15 years.