Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What Nobody Tells You About LED Bulbs

There's no way I'd pay $30 for a light bulb, but now I am finally seeing some reasonable prices for LED bulbs. This week Menards has a 7.5-watt 500-lumen LED bulb for only $6.99 (after store-wide rebate). That's equivalent to a 40-watt incandescent so it isn't bright enough to use everywhere (most of my bulbs are 60-watt equivalent CFLs), but I can replace a few CFLs with the more efficient LEDs, especially in multi-bulb fixtures.

I installed the bulbs in our living room ceiling fan. CFLs were a pain in the ass because the bulbs are exposed and it was hard to maintain four matching bulbs (I used enclosed CFLs for appearance, and they tend to burn out a lot faster than bare tubes).

With these new LED bulbs I won't have to worry about that. The bulbs have an estimated life of 25,000 hours, which works out to 22.8 years using their average of three hours usage per day. We don't use the living room three hours a day; several nights per week we don't use that room at all.* So that means our bulbs could last even longer, maybe even 30 years.**

And that brings up the thing nobody tells you about LED light bulbs.

I'm 42 years old. Although thus far I've been much healthier than I deserve to be based on how I live, there is a reasonable chance that these LED light bulbs will shine longer than I will.

I never dreamed I would be pondering my own mortality while changing a light bulb!

* Of course, that means we won't see a lot of savings on our electrical bill, but as I mentioned, I also had aesthetic reasons for installing them.

** Now that I've said that, they will probably fail within a few months.

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