Check your mirrors folks, Light Emitting Diodes are in your rear-view and they’re coming up fast!

LEDs have been touted for years as being the greatest thing since sliced bread.  They are ridiculously energy efficient, last just about forever, and don’t have the mercury issues that their sidekick Compact Fluorescents have.  Their journey up to this point has however been rocky, with high prices and cool light spectrums slowing down their progress to the mainstream stage.  Well friends, we’re getting close to that tipping point where LEDs are ready for their time in the limelight in America’s homes!

Leading the charge in this lighting revolution is the soon to be released Philips E27 bulb…. This mod looking piece of energy saving goodness will replace your standard 40W incandescents, saving you 80% on your lighting billz.

Mmmmm… never thought that the words ‘sexy’ and ‘light bulb’ could be used in the same sentence before!

The E27 is already on sale in Europe and will begin to light up the states sometime in July… projected costs will be between $50 – $70 per bulb… still a pretty penny I must admit, but when considering that lighting accounts for 20% of a homes’ electric bill, 80% efficiency sounds pretty nice!  According to Philips, payback can happen within a year if the bulbs are in high use areas… here’s more info from their site:


If y’all are too impatient and can’t wait ’til July for your residual savings, another proven LED bulb replacement that is currently available is a series by EarthLED… check out their 7 watt ZetaLux, which will cost you only $2 to run 8 hours a day for an entire year!  Short on wattage?  The EvoLux pumps out 13 of ’em, replacing a traditional 100 watt bulb.


As far as light quality and performance go, great improvements have been made to soften the harsh light LEDs naturally give off (you know what I’m talking about… that blue tinted light that makes you feel like you’re at a rave in Ibiza!)…. Each of the bulbs shown here can be purchased as ‘soft white,’ which is virtually identical to incandescent characteristics we’re used to.

Grinding home the cost savings, let’s go ahead and crunch a few numbers… Let’s say you drop $50 clam on an LED bulb (yes, I know that’s $49 more than you’d spend on an incandescent).  Electricity costs over 10 years time will be $20 for LED, $175.20 for incandescent!  Plus throw in $30 dollars for 30 replacement bulbs during that same period of time, your totals will be $70 vs. $206.20!… Go ahead, be a savvy investor and replace that initial sticker shock with some o’ that old fashioned long term savings!

Any first hand LED stories or insight worth sharing out there?  (I got a couple of my own if you’re interested).


About Joshua Foss

Joshua is a leading voice for transformational change. He is the editor of Metro Hippie, co-founder and director of development of the Ecala Group, and adjunct faculty at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He is also an ambassador for the Living Building Challenge and is a frequent speaker at national conferences, trade shows and summits.