July 10 2018
I have replaced almost all the light bulbs in my house with LEDs. The old style incandescent bulbs that Edison invented and have been with us over 100 years are woefully inefficient. They waste most of the energy as heat (which you know if you ever changed one right after you turned it off!) I went with the screw in fluorescent bulbs when they first came out but the technology was flawed. They didn’t stay bright and did not last as long as they predicted. The new LED bulbs are much brighter, cooler and last a lot longer. They say for every 5 incandescent bulbs you replace you save $75 a year in electricity usage. They are more expensive up front to buy but more than pay for themselves in the long run. I changed all my flood and track lights too including the ones on dimmers. Just make sure they are marked “dimmable.” I have also changed out the fluorescent tubes in my garage and basement. 48 inch T8 LED bulbs are now available but make sure you get the ones that are ballast bypassed. This means you can cut out and throw away the old style ballasts that went bad every few years and wire the new bulbs directly. It’s not very hard to do and you’ll get brighter, cheaper & longer lasting service. The Big Box stores don’t have the ballast bypass tubes in stock yet, you have to order them there. The ones you do find on the shelf now still require a special electronic ballast. I also changed out the 24 inch fluorscents in my closets. Some of these are “plug & play,” meaning that they will work with existing ballasts. I got the ballast bypassed tubes. Even though these are half the size, they are twice the price. We changed out a majority of our fluorescent bulbs at work as well. They are all available at Reynolds Lighting in Bristol. I’m sure they will become more readily available as time goes by.