Best value LED lights

Why you don’t need a $40 light bulb

The 11-watt LED from Philips hit the market earlier this year, undercutting the average price of LEDs in its class by 40%.

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Photograph by Jennifer Roberts

Photograph by Jennifer Roberts

The clock is quickly ticking down for consumers who have yet to make the switch from old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs to energy-efficient compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) or light-emitting diodes (LEDs). By the end of this year, 40- and 60-watt incandescents will become black market items in Canada, with 75- and 100-watt versions set to be phased out by the end of 2014. The new bulbs will reduce your energy bills, but are expensive when compared with incandescents: CFLs cost about $5 each and longer-lasting LEDs can be $35 or more. Fortunately the 11-watt LED from Philips hit the market earlier this year, undercutting the average price of LEDs in its class by 40%. At $16.98, it’s a bit pricier than most CFLs, but is more efficient. The Philips model uses up to 80% less energy than a traditional bulb. In fact, if you use it three hours a day, you won’t have to change it again for 22 years.

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