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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well, I don't have a Volt (yet) that I can brag & write about. But I did just buy 3 Philips Ambient LED lightbulbs from Home Depot. Here's a pic:



They're quite pricey, about $40 each. But the appeal for me is that they can be used on dimmer switches (which effectively eliminated CFLs) and used about 1/8 the amount of power of an incandescent. As you can see from the photo, the bulb lens is bright yellow. I was concerned the light would be overly yellow, but when turned on, it emits a pleasant warm white light, nearly imperceptible from incandescent lights. The other nice thing is they're instant-on, without the sometimes annoying "warm up" you get from some CFLs. The odd design made me choose "hidden" applications (a table lamp and a ceiling fixture) since it's admittedly not the most attractive product on its own. I am curious to look at my power bill next month and see if it made an appreciable difference. I installed the bulbs in fixtures we use regularly, one of which had two incandescent bulbs in it. Anyone else had any experience with these?
 

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I applaud your action. I've been working on driving my Volt for free by doing various energy savings things as well.
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I'm a little confused about the $142 number on that package. I zoomed in on the picture which I found in google images but it says to see the back of the packages. Is that for a year and based on x number of hours per day.

Did you happen to calculate what a kWh cost you? Mine is about $0.12. So how many bulbs did you replace and how many hours per day (or month) did you have those on? That will give you an idea of there will be an appreciable difference.

Those are some price bulbs!!

I just switched out the ones in our bathroom on my wifes since with soft 60w (13w usage) CFLs and did every other socket and there were still like 9 sockets. I removed the dimmer as well on those lights. They had 40w bulbs that we dimmed. Bathroom lights are on an hour each morning so that adds up with all the bulbs being used there.

The CFL bulbs I bought are ridiculously cheap. Like about $1 each at Home Depot on sale.

Using calculator below:

$2.16 - Current Electric Cost Per Month ($)
$0.42 - Electric Cost Using CFL Per Month ($)
$1.74 - Energy Saving Per Month ($)
 

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http://e3living.com/cfl-savings-calculator

CFL and LED Savings Calculator

Use our handy calculator to see how much you could be saving by making the switch to energy saving and long last compact fluorescents (CFL's) or LED's.

Our calculator also shows how long it will take for a return on your investment. Be sure to click on the Check rates by state to find out what the average cost per kilowatt hour is in your state to get the most accurate calculations.
 

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The only big problem I've had with LED lamps is that they are not durable nor reliable. Very expensive and they conked out in months and not the years that they were overhyped with. Manufacturers tend to rate them based on their diode solid state life, which is in the tens of thousands of hours, but the electronics that support the LED are the ones that go out first, and they sometimes last only hundreds of hours.

Maybe in 5 years time, we will know how reliable they are. It used to be the same when CFL's first came out. They were also expensive and unreliable. Now I've had many CFL's and all have lasted more than 2 years without replacement so far in my new house.

I think the best strategy is to wait until manufacturers can sync the life span's reliability of the whole lamp as advertised, and not only their diodes. Prices will go down further and reliability will increase. Unless there's a rebate program for LED, then truly wait and see is your best use of your money.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, I've had the same conversation with several family members and a co-worker about these. You've got to be a pretty committed tech geek to be able to stomach the up-front cost. Even though the payoff may be several years off, I wanted to be pro-active in supporting an energy-efficient product. After all, if it weren't for the early adopters, a lot of cool products we take for granted today might have never gone mainstream. There are other forces at play here, including government efficiency mandates, but I know the more of these products that sell, the more the manufacturers will invest in R&D, and the price will eventually come down.

In terms of LEDs being unreliable, right now it's kind of the Wild West with LED products. There are a lot of no-name manufacturers in China cranking out some iffy products. Granted, these are made in China too (what isn't anymore?) But Philips is a highly-respected electronics manufacturer, and I don't think they'd deliberately release a schlocky product. I've only had them a day, so we'll see how they hold up longevity-wise.
 
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