We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Yes, I guess I'm a early adapter (want to count the arrows in my back?)
My experience with CFL was that they are a crock, nowhere near the longevity claimed plus lousy looking light and that was before the mercury question came up.
LED are too expensive now but every year they get better, if only they weren't giving the Chinese the manufacturing business.
I use three of them on the side porch (which is really the main entrance) the oldest of the three is now 5 years old. They work with the standard dimmer and save enough power I am willing to leave them on longer in the evening.
I use a micro-watt night light in the bathroom which replaces a 5 watt blub. Six years on that puppy.
I just replaced my wifes reading light, I didn't tell her I had changed it to a LED and she never mentioned that she noticed the difference.
My only regret is that I can't find a source of supply that is made in the USA.
Yes - I had them in a track system above my desk and tying bench. They work fine - you get decent light, but you pay for it - they ain't cheap. And the light tends to be linear - meaning that they have a spot light effect rather than the softer wider lighting effect from incandescents or the florescent light bulbs.
I still have them in place, but I like low light for working on the computer or watching TV or reading - bright light gives me eye strain and eventually a head ache. So I use two desk lamps with 30 watt florescents.
I'd experiment with some smaller lamps first and see if you like the light. For some people, because of their particular eye rod and cone sensitivity can see a blue cast to the light which can be annoying. I don't see it, but some experiments with my DSLR confirms that they do have a bit more "blue" to them.
I'm an electronics engineer, and I have some reservations about high power incandescent-replacement LEDs. These units have a LOT of electronic components that can fail, and pressure on cost will push the Chinese manufacturers towards less reliable parts. For example, many units use electrolytic capacitors which have limited life, especially at elevated temperatures. And the shorter the life, the lower the cost.
Based upon past experience, it seems likely that circuit failure will occur on a great many units well before the LEDs themselves fail or seriously degrade in light output. So, as with CFLs, take the life rating with a grain of salt.
And, as with CFLs, there are many applications where they either can't be used or where early failure is more or less guaranteed. In particular, any fixture where the heat is contained near the base of the unit, near the electronics, is likely to reduce life considerably.
In other words, table lamps OK, recessed fixtures and those which can't dissipate the heat with natural convection air, bad. (in track systems, the electronics are usually separate, so they are a better bet on the heat issue.)
I have a pair of 40-watt-equivalent LED lights in a lamp beside my bed. The lamp mounts bulbs facing in opposite directions, so if I want full coverage, I turn both on. But usually, it's just the bulb facing my bed. It's fine for reading. I've had them at least 6 months, with no problems.
Yes, they generate a fair amount of heat - a surprising amount, considering the small amount of power consumed. It's interesting to see light bulbs with heat sinks and cooling fins.
Yes, the light is "cooler" than incandescent, and generally seems more "daylight" colored, although the rated color temperature suggests that it is between incandescent and daylight. It does seem to be balanced, though, unlike florescents, which I detest.
There's about a half-second delay between switching them on and getting light from them. I still haven't gotten used to that, but it's really not a big deal.
Yes, I'll buy more over time; this was a trial run, and as far as I'm concerned, they've passed.
I certainly hate giving my money to the Chinese, but until the US government decides that America needs more industrial jobs, "buy American" and five dollars will get me a cup of coffee at Starbucks, and not much more.
I've only bought a few LED lamps for testing and won't buy any more because there is no price at which Made in China makes sense.
We lost our house in a fire six years ago, naturally when we re-built we had to buy a lot of stuff in a hurry to move back in. Twenty percent of everything we bought failed or fell apart within the first year, forty percent after five years either looks or works like crap. I went through three cork screws, had them come apart in my hands (no, I'm not the Hulk). Finally found one made in Spain, so far two years still OK.
DO NOT buy any lighting from Akia if it uses transformers, every lamp or lighting system we bought from them the transformers dangerously overheated. We junked it all, one house fire is enough.
I have an LED flash light in my hunting pack. I put it in there after I saw that my grandkids could not wear out the batteries in the flash lights in the Christmas package I gave them a couple of years ago. So far I have skinned out 3 deer, 2 moose and 1 elk by the light of that flashlight. (not all shot by me). The guy that came up with that technology should get a medal or something.
As interior lights, they are probably still only for early adopters or people already running on 12 volts. But they make for great flashlights - long-lasting and very resistant to the rough handling that destroys incandescent bulb filaments.
I currently have about 10 of them. Two brought from Home Depot, 1 from BJ's Wholesale, and the rest from ebay. They all work well but...
And here's the big but. The ones sold by retailers advertise themselves as 40W or 60W equivalent. When you look at the actual lumen output, they're not close to an actual 40/60W bulb. But, the same is true of CFL's.
The light quality is prety good. I have purchased them with different color temperatures, and they all have pretty good CRI's.
I purchased the first about 9 months ago. None have failed yet. When they do fail, I'm sure it will be the same failure mechanism as the primary failure for CFL's- the cheap capacitors as mentioned by Gary above.
Phillips used to make good CFL's. they don't anymore- way too many people buy on price. On the outside, there is no visible difference between a good, long lasting bulb, and a cheap will soon burn out bulb.