Is it time to switch to LEDs?

Left to ourselves, we might pick the wrong health insurance, the wrong mortgage, the wrong school for our kids; why, unless they stop us, we might pick the wrong light bulb.
~Mitch Daniels

I’ve mostly ignored LEDs up until now. They were simply too expensive. But I’ve been spending a lot of time at Home Depot and Lowe’s recently, and LEDs have starting popping up on my radar.

Specifically, I saw a security light that was powered by a small solar panel and an LED bulb, which I thought was pretty fantastic, if expensive. It doesn’t work well for my house, because my front door is in shade all day and all night, and my back porch is shaded by trees, but I love that it’s an option for people who don’t live in houses that resemble large, benign tumors.

Right now, LEDs are at about the price point CFLs were when I started paying attention to them. I’m not buying yet, but I’m checking prices. Once they start getting a little cheaper, I’ll probably start to slowly replace the CFLs and few remaining incandescents.

But right now? Still too expensive. I just bought a house…even getting the shower rod I want for the bathroom involves a lot of hemming and hawing and “Should I really shell out for this now?” Nevermind buying multiple LED bulbs when I’ve still got several CFLs in box and the house came equipped with numerous still-functioning incandescent bulbs.

Yeah, yeah, switching those incandescents out would save me money and use less power, but I can’t bear throwing away perfectly good light bulbs, even if they are incandescent. They’re not new, they probably won’t last long, and then they’ll be replaced by CFLs until I run out of those and then maybe I’ll be in a spot where I can start to buy LEDs. Same with my CFLs. I’m not going to throw away a perfectly good bulb because something better came out. Fuck that.

On a related note, since the quote at the top of the page references it, I am against litigating what products people buy, unless said product is directly harmful. I don’t know anyone who still purchases incandescent bulbs except for old specialty fixtures that require them. Eventually, CFLs will phase out in much the same way, and perhaps even faster now that CFLs have “primed” the market. Different people have different price points, and as we well know from plastic bag bans, much less hostility is generated when you let people decide when and where and why to switch on their own.

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