Put away those clunky fluorescent bulbs. LEDs for home use are finally here. Just one catch: Price
I know I’m not the only person who would just as soon skip right past the compact fluorescent interregnum and move straight into the promised land of LED lighting. Yes, my CFLs last much longer than incandescents and use far less power, and I’m not nearly as put off by their unique glow as are other other critics. But LEDs use even less power and last even longer. So let’s get on with it, already! I want my solid-state, semiconductor, mercury-free LEDs!
I was skeptical that they’d be any better than the several I had tried already but, well, something has definitely changed in this technology. The 3W Econic spotlight is a direct replacement for the ubiquitous 35W halogen bulb and claims to have the same light output. When I tried it out, I found that Philips wasn’t exaggerating. This is brighter than any other LED I’ve come across. Putting two in our small shower room, after a while I forgot that the bulbs were not halogens.
The new bulbs — some of which can be screwed directly into incandescent sockets — promise 80 to 90 percent electricity savings over comparable incandescents and are reputed to last 15-25 years. There’s just one catch: they cost around forty dollars a pop (if you can find ‘em — they don’t appear to be for sale in the U.S. yet and are out-of-stock at Amazon UK.) That’s a serious up-front commitment for a bulb that is only equivalent to a 30 or 40 watt incandescent.
I’m not quite ready to take the plunge. But like Jha, I’m fully confident that the price will continue to come down and the technology will continue to improve. When my former colleague Farhad Manjoo wrote about LEDS for Salon five years ago, no one could tell him exactly when white, natural-light LEDS would be available for household use. Now they are here, raising the very real possibility that in just a few years, no one will be telling “How many [fill-in-the-blank]s does it take to change a lightbulb?” jokes… because none of us will be changing lightbulbs, period.
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Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
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Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
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Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
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Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
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O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
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Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
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When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
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A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
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