Author Topic: Best Value LED Lights?  (Read 7405 times)

Teacherstache

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Best Value LED Lights?
« on: December 13, 2015, 10:58:06 AM »
We are wanting to get our electric bill down and have decided to begin the switch to LED lighting (we have CFL right now). We want to keep the cost as low as possible, while getting decent lighting. What is the best place, online or physical store, to buy LED's right now? How much are they per bulb? Thanks for any help you can give.

Spork

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Re: Best Value LED Lights?
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2015, 11:13:37 AM »
I am going to suspect that on a month-to-month basis, you're not going to just save a ton with LED vs CFL.  They're going to be pretty similar in wattage.  I doubt it makes a big difference to the electric bill.

That doesn't mean LEDs are not superior.  CFL was a crappy transitional product.  You certainly would do well to replace them with LEDs when they burn out.  LEDs will, in theory, last a lot longer.  But... since they really haven't been around 30 years, we shall see if lab conditions predicting 30 year life will actually pan out in the real world.  I'm skeptical... but I suspect they'll still outlast CFL and most incandescent.

As to what is best... this is going to be all over the place.  It will vary regionally and sales will make one deal seem like a steal... then it will dry up.

It will also differ by what type of bulb/fixture you are replacing.  If we're talking a generic A19 bulb, the best I have found around my neck of the woods is WalMart's store brand.  $2.50 for 40w equiv and $3.50 for 60w equiv.  They're 15 year bulbs instead of the normal 30 year bulbs... so that may be part of the lower price.

I've also put in quite a few 6inch recessed lights.  The ones I got were Commercial Electric CER6730AWH27 through Home Depot.  It is a 2 pack for $30, so $15 each.  My store has them but I CAN NEVER EVER FIND THEM.  They'll have very similar looking bulbs: same brand, same wattage, same everything, but will be 2x the price.  The only way I can find them is to go online and buy them in my store.  They find them and package them up and I just pick them up at the order desk.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2015, 11:38:55 AM by Spork »

NorCal

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Re: Best Value LED Lights?
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2015, 11:23:20 AM »
Yea, do the actual math using your electricity rates.  If I remember correctly, my CFL's used about 25 watts and the LED's used about 10-15 watts.  Even with high CA electricity rates of ~0.19/kwh, an LED bulb would only save a few dollars in electricity per year.

The math will most likely tell you to replace your CFL's with LED's as they burn out, but not to replace all of them immediately. 

I've found excellent value for money with the TCP bulbs sold through Amazon.

reader2580

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Re: Best Value LED Lights?
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2015, 03:35:35 PM »
For 60 watt equivalent bulbs I used a combination of Philips Slimstyle and Cree.  The Slimstyle I got for $4 each and use them where they will work.  They are a flat bulb so they won't work for everything.  I paid between $4 and $8 each for the Cree bulbs.  I am 100% LED except a few lights in the basement that are rarely used.  No idea how much electricity I am saving as I put in LED bulbs in all new fixtures when I moved into this house.  During the winter I use about 300 KWH per month for about $50 a month.

A good LED bulb to check out is the GE cylindrical 60 watt bulbs at Home Depot.  $9.99 for three of them.  If you need the look of regular light bulbs, or you have a clamp on light shade they won't work for you.

flyingaway

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Re: Best Value LED Lights?
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2015, 05:09:08 PM »
The energy saved from LED to CFL is minor. Light bulbs have changed a lot in the past few years. When LED is advertised to run for 22 years, I wonder what will happen in the next 22 years.

Clean Shaven

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Re: Best Value LED Lights?
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2015, 05:27:09 PM »
Anyone have any recommendations for inexpensive LED bulbs for track lighting, that fit a MR16 GU10 size? I bought some cheap ones from Amazon but they didn't last long.

jda1984

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Re: Best Value LED Lights?
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2015, 08:31:37 AM »
I've had decent success with the Costco 60W equivalent LEDs.  Seem to be about the "right" color (at least to my eyes) and have held up well.  Obviously I haven't had them for 20+ years or whatever the rated life is, but around here you can get a three pack for less than $10 and they are the typical shape of an incandescent bulb so work will with lampshades that clip on the bulb.

Teacherstache

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Re: Best Value LED Lights?
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2015, 05:51:28 PM »
Thanks for the input. Now I know a price range to look for. We aren't going to replace them all at once. We have installed our final existing cfl, and are going to replace all lights with LED lighting as they burn out. I want to have some on hand for when the old ones die.

CCCA

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Re: Best Value LED Lights?
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2015, 05:54:07 PM »
I just bought a 60W replacement bulb at IKEA.  Haven't installed it yet, but they are relatively inexpensive there ~$5/bulb.


CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Best Value LED Lights?
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2015, 06:03:41 PM »
I just bought a 60W replacement bulb at IKEA.  Haven't installed it yet, but they are relatively inexpensive there ~$5/bulb.

The IKEA CFL bulbs were such bad quality. Let us know what the quality of their LED bulbs are.

MrsPete

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Re: Best Value LED Lights?
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2015, 07:25:54 AM »
Every now and then we get flyers from our electrical company offering LED bulbs at a good price -- like less than $2 per bulb.  Because they're not available all the time, my husband ordered a bunch of them, and they arrived shortly in the mail.

Rubic

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Re: Best Value LED Lights?
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2015, 02:11:47 PM »
I've noticed major differences in the quality and longevity of LED lights.  For standard fixtures, I'll tend to go with whatever is cheap, but for special fixtures I've had good success with:

https://www.superbrightleds.com/cat/led-household-bulbs/

Sid Hoffman

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Re: Best Value LED Lights?
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2015, 03:30:39 PM »
If we're talking a generic A19 bulb, the best I have found around my neck of the woods is WalMart's store brand.  $2.50 for 40w equiv and $3.50 for 60w equiv.  They're 15 year bulbs instead of the normal 30 year bulbs... so that may be part of the lower price.

Same thing I was going to post.  I recently had one of my $9 Lowe's OSRAM LED bulbs burn out after almost precisely 1.5 years of use.  It was a 5W exterior light that I'd guess sees about 4000 hours a year of use.  So it lasted 6000 hours out of its 25,000 hour rating.  This is in a hot but dry climate and the bulb did say it is rated for outdoor use.  Seeing as my $9 bulb lasted only a quarter of its rated life, I went with a $2.44 Great Value (Wal-Mart) brand bulb for its replacement.  Same lumens, rated to 20,000 hours, and a fraction of the cost of any of the home improvement store bulbs.

v8rx7guy

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Re: Best Value LED Lights?
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2015, 03:40:59 PM »
I buy the "Amazon" brand (not sure if they actually are or not) named TCP.  So far I really like them...

sisto

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Re: Best Value LED Lights?
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2015, 09:30:25 AM »
For regular style bulbs Costco is the best bet and bang for you buck. Costco even has nice ones for chandelier style. If you need some fancy bulbs or special applications like vanity bulbs for a bathroom then I would go to Ikea. I also agree about it not reducing the cost much, but they are far better and last way longer than CFL.

kudy

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Re: Best Value LED Lights?
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2015, 09:43:24 AM »
I also went with Costco 6 packs, and then sent in scans of my receipts and packaging to my utility, and they sent me a check for 50%!

chops

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Re: Best Value LED Lights?
« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2015, 10:47:42 AM »
Great thread, following

bobertsen

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Re: Best Value LED Lights?
« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2015, 10:58:56 AM »
I've used TCP, Cree, GE, and Philips and liked them all.

I agree with the other posters that you should probably only replace CFLs with LEDs when the CFLs die due to ROI, and to look into any subsidies from your utility company.

reader2580

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Re: Best Value LED Lights?
« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2015, 11:11:35 AM »
I get my electricity from a co-op that doesn't subsidize LED light bulbs.  The for-profit electric company that most in the area use does subsidize LED light bulbs.  Anyone can walk into Home Depot and other stores and buy them at reduced prices no matter what electric company you use.

CCCA

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Re: Best Value LED Lights?
« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2015, 08:14:20 PM »

I just bought a 60W replacement bulb at IKEA.  Haven't installed it yet, but they are relatively inexpensive there ~$5/bulb.

The IKEA CFL bulbs were such bad quality. Let us know what the quality of their LED bulbs are.

The ikea LED bulb is in my daughter's room now. Light seems fine. It's a warm yellow light.

BigEasy

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Re: Best Value LED Lights?
« Reply #20 on: December 17, 2015, 08:33:19 PM »


We replaced ALL of our bulbs with Home Depot Cree bulbs. We bought one of each kind and "Wattage" and tried them in various locations to make sure they were the right color and power.

Then bit the bullet and changed em all. Saves electricity and better illumination.

Couldn't be more pleased...

Big Easy

TomTX

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Re: Best Value LED Lights?
« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2015, 07:23:17 AM »
I just bought a 60W replacement bulb at IKEA.  Haven't installed it yet, but they are relatively inexpensive there ~$5/bulb.

The IKEA CFL bulbs were such bad quality. Let us know what the quality of their LED bulbs are.

Yeah, IKEA CFL bulbs were mostly crap.

I saw that Lowe's is running a special on LEDs @ $1.74 per bulb (in 2-packs)

Captain and Mrs Slow

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Re: Best Value LED Lights?
« Reply #22 on: December 18, 2015, 07:46:49 AM »
I really miss the old bulbs. I find that the LEDs don't throw out as much light and CFLs are even worse. Since electricity is super expensive here 25 Euro cents or so a kilowatt hour I made up for it by having loads of them, approx 40 bulbs through out the apartment - mostly lower brightness ones. What really gets my gaul is that I spent quite a bit of money finding good LEDs to replace the 60 watt ceiling lights I had and after after a few months they started dimming, they put out so little light I had to buy a decent LED ceiling lamp or you couldn't even read the paper.

One thing odd about the CFLs I've had under the counter fluorescent bulbs the straight kind and they throw off way more light than the equivalent CFL. In our kitchen under one cuboard I have a 15 straight fluorescent bulb and on the other I have 5 powerfull LED bulbs and they both push the same brightness

Edit: Realized that I like low wattage LEDs as background light, I have one lamp in each bedroom and several in the living room. The problem was when I need bright light, playing a game or reading a book so went out and bought several powerful LED lamps, work great and only turn them on when I need them
« Last Edit: December 18, 2015, 08:08:52 AM by Captain and Mrs Slow »

Spork

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Re: Best Value LED Lights?
« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2015, 08:13:07 AM »
I just bought a 60W replacement bulb at IKEA.  Haven't installed it yet, but they are relatively inexpensive there ~$5/bulb.

The IKEA CFL bulbs were such bad quality. Let us know what the quality of their LED bulbs are.

Yeah, IKEA CFL bulbs were mostly crap.

I saw that Lowe's is running a special on LEDs @ $1.74 per bulb (in 2-packs)

Around here Lowe's specials are usually Utilitech brand. I've had enough bad experiences with that brand that I'd stay away from them if that's what they are.

reader2580

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Re: Best Value LED Lights?
« Reply #24 on: December 18, 2015, 08:51:54 AM »
I really miss the old bulbs. I find that the LEDs don't throw out as much light and CFLs are even worse. Since electricity is super expensive here 25 Euro cents or so a kilowatt hour I made up for it by having loads of them, approx 40 bulbs through out the apartment - mostly lower brightness ones. What really gets my gaul is that I spent quite a bit of money finding good LEDs to replace the 60 watt ceiling lights I had and after after a few months they started dimming, they put out so little light I had to buy a decent LED ceiling lamp or you couldn't even read the paper.

One thing odd about the CFLs I've had under the counter fluorescent bulbs the straight kind and they throw off way more light than the equivalent CFL. In our kitchen under one cuboard I have a 15 straight fluorescent bulb and on the other I have 5 powerfull LED bulbs and they both push the same brightness

The straight fluorescent bulbs probably have more lumens than the CFL bulbs.  I have had LED bulbs in my house for a year and no issues with them dimming that I can tell.  I don't know if European bulbs are different, or if you just bought a bad brand.

40 bulbs for an apartment seems like a lot, but maybe not if you have undercabinet lights.  I only have about 30 bulbs in my entire house not counting exterior bulbs.

Captain and Mrs Slow

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Re: Best Value LED Lights?
« Reply #25 on: December 18, 2015, 01:21:12 PM »
Our ceiling lights were one of those multiple halogen types, 4-5 bulbs each, changed them out for LEDS a while ago. Our living room lights are an Ikea paper style lights, each holds 3 bulbs.

Main complaint were the standard 2 bulb ceiling lights, the LEDs I bought are as bright as I thought.

BrickByBrick

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Re: Best Value LED Lights?
« Reply #26 on: December 18, 2015, 02:38:57 PM »
Most of my house is currently still incandescent and I am looking to switch everything over to LED.  My biggest hangup is not so much the initial price (although I am looking for a bargain if possible), it's the longevity.  I know many people who have bought $10+ bulbs that are supposed to last forever and they burn out after a few months or around a year.  Others have had more success, but even so it's so varied by maker.  It doesn't help that most manufacturers don't seem willing to stand behind their product when confronted with early failures, as many people I know who tried to return them were shot down.  I'd be interested to see statistics on actual failure rates.

I was excited recently when I saw that Lowe's was selling their Utilitech 60W equivalent LED bulbs for $1 on black friday (figuring even with failures it would be a cheap option), only to find when I got there it was a bait and switch - they had replaced the ones rated for 25K hours with ones that are only rated for 2K hours.  I figured at that rate they weren't even really worth a $1.  Worst, the advertisement was intentional misleading, giving the product code # for the ones that are rated for 25K hours.  Anyway, that has made me very leery of LED bulbs lately, even though I really do want to switch over to LEDs.

I think it would be interesting here for people to list their longest lasting LED bulb and what brand it is.

robartsd

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Re: Best Value LED Lights?
« Reply #27 on: December 18, 2015, 02:46:46 PM »
Thanks for the input. Now I know a price range to look for. We aren't going to replace them all at once. We have installed our final existing cfl, and are going to replace all lights with LED lighting as they burn out. I want to have some on hand for when the old ones die.
If there's any particular fixture that is used much more than others, it might be worthwhile to put the LED there and holding the still working CFL as a spare to reduce your inventory costs.

robartsd

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Re: Best Value LED Lights?
« Reply #28 on: December 18, 2015, 02:54:11 PM »
I recently had one of my $9 Lowe's OSRAM LED bulbs burn out after almost precisely 1.5 years of use.  It was a 5W exterior light that I'd guess sees about 4000 hours a year of use.  So it lasted 6000 hours out of its 25,000 hour rating.  This is in a hot but dry climate and the bulb did say it is rated for outdoor use.
Heat is the enemy of electronic longevity. CFL and LED lamps typically have an integrated electronic ballast of some sort (to produce a high-voltage arc in CFL or low voltage current in LED). Higher ambient temperatures, poor power quality, lamp orientation, and fixture ventilation can all have signficant impact on the life of a CFL or LED lamp.

TomTX

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Re: Best Value LED Lights?
« Reply #29 on: December 19, 2015, 05:25:18 AM »
I just bought a 60W replacement bulb at IKEA.  Haven't installed it yet, but they are relatively inexpensive there ~$5/bulb.

The IKEA CFL bulbs were such bad quality. Let us know what the quality of their LED bulbs are.

Yeah, IKEA CFL bulbs were mostly crap.

I saw that Lowe's is running a special on LEDs @ $1.74 per bulb (in 2-packs)

Around here Lowe's specials are usually Utilitech brand. I've had enough bad experiences with that brand that I'd stay away from them if that's what they are.

Thanks. I haven't tried them - I bought a bunch of the $2.50/bulb 2-packs of Phillips from Home Depot and have been very happy with them.

TomTX

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Re: Best Value LED Lights?
« Reply #30 on: December 19, 2015, 05:26:59 AM »
Most of my house is currently still incandescent and I am looking to switch everything over to LED.  My biggest hangup is not so much the initial price (although I am looking for a bargain if possible), it's the longevity.  I know many people who have bought $10+ bulbs that are supposed to last forever and they burn out after a few months or around a year.  Others have had more success, but even so it's so varied by maker.  It doesn't help that most manufacturers don't seem willing to stand behind their product when confronted with early failures, as many people I know who tried to return them were shot down.  I'd be interested to see statistics on actual failure rates.

I was excited recently when I saw that Lowe's was selling their Utilitech 60W equivalent LED bulbs for $1 on black friday (figuring even with failures it would be a cheap option), only to find when I got there it was a bait and switch - they had replaced the ones rated for 25K hours with ones that are only rated for 2K hours.  I figured at that rate they weren't even really worth a $1.  Worst, the advertisement was intentional misleading, giving the product code # for the ones that are rated for 25K hours.  Anyway, that has made me very leery of LED bulbs lately, even though I really do want to switch over to LEDs.

I think it would be interesting here for people to list their longest lasting LED bulb and what brand it is.

I would send an email to Lowe's corporate complaining about it. That's something that probably violates the law. Tell them they should send you 2 dozen of the advertised long-life bulbs.