Light Bulbs for Saving Energy and Money

Note: This is mostly specific to North America, somewhat specific to the US.
New file 4/4/2022, update 5/20/2022.

General Purpose LED Light Bulbs that Cost Less

Especially Economical Extreme Efficiency LED Light Bulbs

LED lightbulbs for use in downlights and small enclosed fixtures

General Purpose LED Bulbs that Cost Less

General purpose LED light bulbs of A19 style (usual shape and size of medium base lightbulbs) are available for low cost at Dollar Tree and at Ikea. Ones at Dollar Tree are now generally available in nominal equivalents of 40, 60, 75 and 100 watt incandescent lightbulbs. My experience so far with the Dollar Tree ones is that they are usually useful for a few thousand working hours before they fail or noticeably fade in light output. Even though this is much less than they are rated for, they are still a bargain because they consume a little less electricity than CFL lightbulbs and about 21-24 % as much electricity as even the improved-efficiency incandescents that became common in 2012-2014 (which are a kind of halogen bulbs) while costing only $1.25 each.

Especially Economical Extreme Efficiency LED Light Bulbs

Ikea's Solhetta series of LED light bulbs have extremely high overall luminous efficiency / efficacy of mostly about 136-138 lumens out per watt in. I know of two exceptions, both of which have higher claimed efficency of 152 or 160 lumens per watt. I tested both of those models, and with the test equipment I have on hand I confirmed at least 138 lumens per watt and was not able to refute the higher claims.

LED lightbulbs for use in downlights and small enclosed fixtures

To decrease problems with heat buildup Light fixtures that have light bulbs enclosed in small enclosures, or that have light bulbs pointing downward (in a base-up position) while being closely surrounded by downlight fixtures, usually have heat build-up issues that are often a problem for LED and screw-base CFL lightbulbs, especially if claimed light output is more than "60 watts incandescent equivalent". I have recently seen Ikea's Solhetta series of LED lightbulbs as consuming less electrical power and producing substantially less heat than all other general household use LED lightbulbs up to and including "100-watt-equivalent" that I have seen so far. The 100-watt-equivalent Ikea Solhetta LED light bulb is so efficient that it has localized heating only like that of 60-watt-equivalent LED lightbulbs with actual power consumption about 8.5-9 watts.

UPDATE 5/20/2022: Ikea's Solhetta series 60 watt equivalent LED light bulb produces 800 lumens from 5.9 watts, and runs much cooler than similarly bright light bulbs that have actual power consumption ( rate of energy use ) of 8 watts or more.

There is the matter of R style floodlights, that are preferred in most recessed ceiling fixture downlights. I have not paid a lot of attention to this in recent years, and I have been disappointed by lightbulb technologies in general having less energy efficiency in R type (and related) floodlamps than in other lamp types.


Written by
Don Klipstein.

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