Home Depot is selling its EcoSmart LED A19 40-watt equivalent bulb either online or in stores. I recommend buying one, or more.
You are going to have to find replacements for many incandescent bulbs prior to 2012 when they will no longer be manufactured in the U.S. and certainly by 2014 when most will be discontinued.
Your current alternatives include compact fluorescent lamps and LEDs. CFLs have improved quite a bit–more color, control and wattage choices and lowering prices–but they still have two drawbacks. They all contain mercury, which is a hazardous toxin that eventually ends up in our waste stream, and lamp life is shortened considerably when turned on for short periods. Think closet light or fumbling around in a dark kitchen because you ran in just to pick up your keys. I’ve been there, done that.
A LED (light emitting diode) lamp works differently. It produces light when electrons inside the diode, excited by the flow of current, release energy in the form of light photons. They do not contain mercury and are up to 85 percent more efficient than incandescents and over 10 percent more efficient than CFLs.
The EcoSmart LED A19 40-watt equivalent bulb is dimmable and delivers a color temperature of 3000K, which makes it cooler than an incandescent at 2700K. However, I found the color very pleasant in my bedside lamp. The bulbs face down; those facing upwards will not work as well. LED bulbs, including this one are still primarily directional.
The bulb has an average life of 50,000 hours versus 1,000 hours for the typical incandescent. It’s pricey at $18, but translates into a $200 savings over its life. Here is the problem with that. Depending on its daily usage it could last over 15 years. As one reviewer commented:
“The cost vs. benefit is not good. The selling point for these LED lights is that they will pay for themselves over time. They are advertised to last more than 15 years with regular use. However, the LED technology will advance VERY quickly. Prices will drop. Lumens will increase. Size and weight will decrease. The quality of the light will advance. In other words, there’s NO WAY anyone will have these current LEDs in their sockets in five years let alone 15. In just a few years, MUCH better LED lights will be on the market and most people will discard these for the newer ones. Thus, it’s a waste of money.”
article by Penny Bonda for Interior Design Magazine