New LED Bulbs Have Reached “Foolish Not to Upgrade” Prices

A belated Earth Day post for you… you didn’t think I’d miss it, did you?

Back in October, I purchased my first A19 LED bulb and wrote that an LED vs. CFL cost analysis proved that LED’s had reached a mass market crossover point. But, there was a bit of a caveat that I made:

Until you see the discounted LED’s, it’s probably in your best financial interests to hold on to CFL’s in seldom used lights. But for heavy use LED’s, the economics are finally there. And in short time, with LED lifespans, there will rarely be a scenario where CFL’s come out ahead on purchase/energy pricing.

Philips Everyday A19 Home Depot 455576Well, I think that point has arrived just a few months later. Last week, Philips introduced a 10-year A19 60W equivalent soft white LED bulb for $4.97 (without rebates). The Philips Everyday is a 8.5W, 800 lumen LED bulb with an estimated yearly energy cost of $1.02 (based on 3 hours/day, 11¢/kWh).

Update: the cost of the Philips bulb is now just over $1 per bulb at normal price on Amazon, which leads to me now believing that every light bulb bought should now be LED. We’ve reached the point where every cost analysis favors LED in a relatively short time frame, if not immediately.

8.5W LED’s are about 35% more efficient than 13W CFL’s and 86% more efficient than 60W incandescent bulbs. The result is an LED savings of $62 over its lifespan compared to an incandescent bulb. Compared to the CFL’s, bigger savings will likely come from the replacement costs (or lack thereof). I’ve yet to meet a heavily used incandescent or CFL that lasted more than 2 years. These Philips bulbs are rated to last 10 years.

And, no mercury or shattering.

This also puts significant downward pressure on the entire LED market. I noticed that the CREE A19 and Philips Slimstyle have since already gone on sale to $6.97 and $4.97 each. And I don’t expect them to revert to the old price.

With this new market entry, the cost-efficiency of common LED bulbs should shift consumer attitude toward LED’s from “maybe in heavy use areas” to “I’d foolishly be shooting myself in the foot not to replace any bulb with an LED”. The reality? We’ll see what happens.

Personally, I’m going to stop by and purchase 5 packs of these bulbs while they are on sale to replace all the CFL’s that will likely fail me in the next year or two. And you would be wise to as well. While you’re at it, Home Depot has free CFL recycling.

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