Buying LED Lights at The Home Depot
Affordable LED Lights Are Finally Here
You might be surprised to learn that LED lights are now within reach both financially and technologically for your home. LED (Light-Emitting Diode) Lights have been around for quite some time but the technology wasn’t quite ready for home applications until recent manufacturing advances created affordable options. I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon at The Home Depot recently learning all about LED lighting options for the home.
I spent some time with Bill Dulanney and Lauralee Evans at the Claremont, NH Home Depot store earlier this week learning about the LED options that are available and which bulbs would work best in our home. Bill and Lauralee did an excellent job pointing out the features of the different LED bulbs. In yesterday’s article we discussed how to select LED lights for your home based on fixture type, brightness and light color.
Options, Options, Options
When it comes to LED’s for your home there are quite a few options to choose from. Our home has a combination of overhead chandelier type fixtures and recessed light fixtures. Those fixtures currently use a combination of incandescent, halogen and fluorescent bulbs. For the recessed fixtures we currently have a mixture of open trim rings and some reflective air tight trim rings on the 2nd floor adjacent to the attic space.
As you can see above we ended up selecting three different LED bulb/fixture types for our home. From left to right we have selected:
- EcoSmart A19 40 watt equivalent LED bulb which uses 9 watts of power while producing 429 lumens.
- EcoSmart PAR38 75 watt equivalent LED bulb which uses 18 watts of power while producing 850 lumens.
- EcoSmart 65 watt equivalent LED bulb with integrated trim which uses 10.5 watts of power while producing 575 lumens.
All three of those bulbs are dimmable and fit into the standard fixtures. We have decided to use the A19 LED bulb type in some of our chandeliers, the 75 watt equivalent LED bulb in our recessed fixtures with reflective air tight trims and the 65 watt equivalent with integrated trim in our open trim recessed lights.
LED Investment = Long Term Savings
There is some amount of sticker shock at first when you look at the cost of the LED lights. The bulbs that we selected are priced as follows:
- EcoSmart A19 40 watt equivalent LED bulb = $18.47 each. Buy online Here.
- EcoSmart PAR38 75 watt equivalent LED bulb = $44.97 each. Buy online Here.
- EcoSmart 65 watt equivalent LED bulb with integrated trim = $49.97 each. Buy online Here.
Now hear me out before you dismiss the opportunity to save money by using LED’s. While the initial investment is significant the savings comes with a combination of two factors.
- Power Consumption – LED lights use up to 85 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs, and up to 50 percent less energy than CFL bulbs.
- Longer Lasting – LED bulbs also have an exceptionally long life expectancy that is 100 times longer than incandescent bulbs. Each bulb can last up to 100,000 hours, or 11.42 years.
Stay tuned as we show you how to install the new LED’s from EcoSmart in our next article and lastly we’ll have a final article on our impressions and a review of the new EcoSmart LED bulbs. Trust me when I say you don’t want to miss the review and how these LED’s stack up against our older traditional light bulbs.
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Todd, I was hoping to see that LED offered a much better price/use ratio than CFLs. The $50 bulb you show here claims 35,000 hrs of life. Comparable CFLs in a 6-pack will cost about $7-8 / piece and run for 10,000 hours.
Also, I don’t know if you mentioned this. Are these bulbs dimmable? If so, that would be a big plus, because the dimmable CFLs tend to cost 70% more and also have a shorter life, so if these are dimmable, the price/performance ratio is pretty much better. If they aren’t dimmable, that would be a drawback in our home (and I suspect in other’s) as we just invested in Lutron Digital Fade dimmers from Home Depot for all of our overhead lighting.
Final thought – what’s the color tone of these bulbs? Are they “bright white” or “soft white” – more like incandescent. We found that the dimmable CFLs we tried had a very red tone, and most LEDs are very white.
Fred – Good questions.
1. The entire line from EcoSmart is dimmable and that was a huge issue for me.
2. The color is much better than the CFL’s. I’d put the color in between the regular incandescent bulbs and cfl’s. Closer to the regular bulbs in my opinion.
Can the LEDs be used outdoors in cold weather? And what kind of light output (watt equvalents) is available in a non-directional bulb? Those are some of my big issues with CFLs. I’m not sure what to use in outdoor porch light fixtures when incandescents are banned in a few years.
I’m also leery about the high cost of the LEDs. CFLs always justified higher prices based partly on lasting many times longer than conventional bulbs too, but my expereince has been they last nowhere near the claims. And I have been using them (and replacing them) in varied applications for quite some time.
So I guess it is a matter of opinion, but I am not ready to declare LEDs as affordable yet. Thanks for the information though. It is something I like to keep an eye on.
DeeJay – The cost is certainly still at a price point where some folks won’t want to make the investment. However, I would imagine the price will continue to drop as the technology advances and manufacturing capacity increases.
Some of the fixtures do say indoor and outdoor on them. The “regular” shaped bulbs (no directional) are limited to 40 watts equivalent right now. Those need to develop a bit before I see them being used in outdoor fixtures much.
I purchased 8 EcoSmart BR40 18 watt LED flood lights. 144 watts total. I installed a Lutron Maestro 3 way dimmer, approved for this bulb.
On full power, no problem.
Dimmed even just a little, there is an hum from the fixtures, making them unusable.
Any help to eliminate this would be appreciated. Different dimmer?
I’d even return the bulbs and replace them with something else (if the wattage was the same, and the appearance of the bulb was similar. We like that they look like a standard bulb)
I hope you can respond to my email address above!
Sorry but I have no solution to offer.