Iâ€™m going to be honest, I hate my CFLs.Â After blowing all sorts of cash on these things, Iâ€™ve yet to find one that performs the way Iâ€™d like it to.Â Plus, since lighting accounts for some 11% of residential energy use on average, itâ€™s an area that deserves attention.Â In doing so, Iâ€™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 â€œclean, beautiful light.â€Â 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, Iâ€™m using mostly IKEA-brand CFLs.Â Theyâ€™re adequate, but my eyes feel so grainy and strained sometimes.Â Itâ€™s hard to explain, but I donâ€™t feel like Iâ€™m getting enough light.Â Plus, thereâ€™s the delay â€“ I feel like itâ€™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.Â Itâ€™s hard to tell in the photos, but the light is great.Â I feel like I can see the colors in my rug and in people and their clothing.Â Itâ€™s just different.Â These will last something like 25,000 hours, so Iâ€™m not so concerned about the up-front cost.
Long story short, if youâ€™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.Â If you get a good bulb that provides adequate lumens and light color, I donâ€™t think youâ€™ll regret it one bit.
*You may be surprised to know that last year I purchased a 1958, split-level home.Â After months of searching, I turned down a solar-powered modern home in a bad location for this existing one in a great location.Â 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.Â They’re still awesome lights.