Ask the EcoGeek: LED Lights

Dear EcoGeek
I did a survey and I have 33 recessed
bulbs in the house (120W)!  I’ve switched all my non-recessed bulbs with CFLs, but I need something for our recessed lighting. So my question is why aren’t these ultra-efficient LED lights being produced
in greater quantities (and this bringing the costs down)?

 – David

three 120 watt bulbs will keep your house competing with a small star
for both power consumption and light intensity, but I’m not here to
judge. If you’ve got the sockets, they should have high-efficiency bulbs in them.

The good news is
two-fold. First, you don’t have to wait for LED bulbs to show up at
Wal-Mart to find a high efficiency alternative because they’ve started
selling excellent recessed CFLs. I’ve actually got one shooting down on
me right now! To match a 120 watt incandescent, you should look for a
23 to 26 watt CFL.

The bad news is that
LED bulbs would likely be a better choice for you, but a good one won’t
be easy to find. LED lighting is facing a few barriers that will take
some time to overcome. First, LEDs are currently fairly expensive to
manufacture, and while their extreme long life and efficiency will
eventually pay for the extra
cost, it’s hard to get folks to cough up 30 bucks for a bulb when
they’re so used to paying 30 cents. You might be able to find a good
one somewhere like Ace Hardware or specialty stores online, but be
ready to cough up some change.

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