6 LED lightbulbs for $20


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Why does boing boing promote amazon so much? Don’t you know about the ‘high cost of low prices’ that Amazon (and Wal-Mart) provide?

I mean really… this headline could basically be “look at this environmentally polluting garbage you can buy on amazon for hella cheap!”

Mixed messages…


I just picked up four for $10 at Costco. (There was a power company rebate involved, but still, four for ten!)


Because $$$$$$$$$$$!


It’s not even that cheap in many cases, these bulbs being a prime example. Even after local sales tax I can still get them cheaper at any of half a dozen hardware stores around me.


I’m voting Donald Trump for the same reason. He’s warmer looking.


If you’re planning to use LED bulbs indoors, do yourself a favor and get better bulbs than these.

At a CRI of 80, their Color Rendering is as bad as most compact fluorescents.

The 3000 K. CCT makes it ‘warmer’ than ‘daylight’, but combined with the crappy CRI, they’ll still look fairly ugly.

IMnvHO as a former lighting designer, anyway.

For household use, I recommend CRI > 90 and a CCT of 27-2800 K.

I also suggest looking for warranty terms of longer than three years, and bulbs rated for enclosed fixtures. These tend to indicate quality components rated for higher temps, which vastly improve your odds of reaching the rated lifespan.

Cree’s TW series (CCT 2700K, CRI 93, 10-yr warranty) is excellent, though, naturally, more expensive than these cheapos.

Personally, though, I think the difference in price is worthwhile if you’re buying bulbs you plan to live with for 20 years or so.


For home use I recommend halogen.

IMnvHO as a current lighting designer, anyway.


I wish BoingBoing would post more links about artisinally-made lightbulbs!

And for all those who are implicitly complaining about affiliate links: how many BB t-shirts have you bought, lately?


Are they still available? Last time that I tried looking, the only BB store was the stacksocial one…


Can’t go wrong with the robots.


Don’t know why I couldn’t find that a few weeks ago. Thanks.


In my case, these lasted a little longer than lit matches. But then, I bought them at Target and they were disguised as incandescent light bulbs.


Well, yeah. (-:

Preferably on a dimmer, so you can drop the color temp a bit, especially at night. (-:

(Me, I personally prefer about 2200 K. and rather dim; but I’m weird that way.)

I was just making recommendations above for people who want to save energy with LED bulbs.

Basically, “If you must buy LEDs, don’t buy cheap crappy ones you’ll end up hating.”

(BTW, have you seen the new “28 watts looks like 40” halogens? Fascinating tech - Halogen capsule inside an A19 shell, with multilayer coatings on the halogen capsule that reflect the IR and UV inward, so the filament runs hotter with less power. Plus the filament runs at about 2800K rather than the usual halogen 3200K - it sacrifices the long-life advantage of the halogen redeposition cycle in order to use even less power - which also makes it look more like a standard incandescent in the bargain.)


While, at the same time, meeting energy codes and lasting twice as long since the tungsten filament isn’t depositing itself on the glass anymore but being rejected by the halogens to redeposit itself back on the filament.

Science for the win. Less energy, same light qualities as the incandescent.

If you’re seeing real energy savings in your house from switching to LEDs, I suggest you just do what I do and turn out the lights in the rooms you’re not using instead. I get two-three years from my bulbs, I have no idea what you guys are doing with yours.


As a “current” designer I’d think you’d want to recommend something a bit higher in the current department, perhaps carbon arc lighting? It’s retro, and kind of artisanal - a classic arc lamp requires a skilled operator to keep the carbon arc electrodes adjusted properly. Oh, and there is no envelope for carbon deposits to build up on, just a smoky chimney.



For people living in California, and I think that includes Mark, these non-dimable 80 CRI LED bulbs are not a great deal.

In California, energy company PG&E subsidizes the cost of LED bulbs - cheaper to reduce electricity consumption than to create new generation stations. And California has voluntary guidelines for LED bulb quality, including dimability down to 10%, and a minimum CRI. As a result, I can drop by the nearest Daiso and pick up warm 2700K, dimable, CRI >90 60W equivalent LED bulbs for $2 each. No buying in bulk needed.

At $2 each, I don’t really care if these are some sort of lifetime, mil-spec bulbs. They work well, I can afford them and they save me money on my electric bill over incandescents and compact florescents. They are way better than my compact florescents - they don’t need to slowly warm up to full brightness, they are more compact and fit into all my fixtures, and the compact florescents haven’t really lived up to their stated lifespans - perhaps because they are often sideways or upside base up in the fixtures rather than base down.


I have been buying LED bulbs for home use since 2011 or so and their mortality rate has been… uh… mortifying. Even then ones I bought in 2014, some have died or have gotten super dim. This is across a lot of brands.

LED bulb prices are way down, though, but reliability? Ehhh…

(Also, Ikea has some good LED bulbs for cheap, too.)


I’ve had very bad luck with changing to LED bulbs. The failure rate was much higher than standard bulbs. Even the last boing boing promoted color changing bulb failed after a month. Amazon gave me a credit for it tho…so there is that.


This is a tangent, but – why do people prefer lower-K bulbs over daylight-spectrum bulbs? Is it just because we’re used to low-K incandescents which were in turn invented by people who were used to low-K candle flames? Seems like our eyes evolved in sunshine and therefore should be happiest with sunlight’s spectrum but whenever I install 6500K bulbs in my house people complain about it being ‘harsh’. The plants, also from earth, love it.