If your house is full of light bulbs Thomas Edison would recognize, it’s time for an update.
Manufacturers have been reducing their production of incandescent bulbs for years, and soon it may be hard to find them. Even though it's tempting to keep replacing low-cost incandescent or compact florescent lights with the same bulbs, it’s also short-sighted. Both are on the way out.
“You hear stories both ways. I think eventually they’re going to go away," Electrical Professional Gregory Wells said. "The CFLs, I believe, are going to go away as well because the technology is just not there. They didn’t keep up with the LEDs.”
L-E-D stands for light-emitting diodes. They’ve been around for decades, but earlier versions were very pricey and often had a blue hue that kept them from being a household staple. That's not the case anymore.
“L-E-D lights give off a warm glow just like an incandescent light bulb now," Angie's List Founder Angie Hicks said. "Also, the price of L-E-D lights have come down considerably over the last couple of years. These two changes have lead more consumers to invest in L-E-D lights because it’s better in the long run.”
Another benefit of L-E-D's is the longevity after installation. They can last 50,000 hours, going several years without being replaced.
“A lot of homes now have ceilings that are 20, 30 feet tall and dragging a ladder out every time an incandescent lamp goes out is just a pain in the butt, so this is something that you’re not going to have to worry about,” said Wells.
Wells says most homeowners now want L-E-D’s inside recess cans for their living room, family room and kitchen, and they can be stylish, not just functional.
“Over a kitchen, I recommend some pendant lights with the LED lamps in there just because the halogen lamps burn too hot and you go through them too fast,” Wells added.
Angie recommends using a licensed electrician if you decide to replace old fixtures with new L-E-D lighting. Installing recess cans will cost you about $140 apiece, and you should check with your local power company to see if any rebates are available.