My wife and I have an ongoing light bulb cold war at home!

You may have heard the story about the property we sold last year that we bought 15 years ago. It had the original first-generation CFLs I put in 14 years ago. The light they gave was so crummy they took a full two minutes to really warm up. I had to change those bulbs before anyone would buy that house!

Last night in our new home, my wife was putting regular bulbs in two lamps. She was replacing early edition LEDs I had in them. So I raced to the basement and came back with two current generation CFLs instead. We put them in, turned the lights on, and she actually liked the light the CFLs cast!

I love what Home Depot does with their lighting section that shows you different kinds of light each different bulb casts so you pick what pleases your eye.

Meanwhile, testing done by Consumer Reports shows that the earliest generations of LEDs have been running for 17 years and counting. Many promise 20 or 25 years of life.

Best of all, you get return on the investment of these more expensive bulbs in 3 years. So even if they last 15 years, you save a fortune in electricity!

Image of Clark Howard About the author: Clark Howard

Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. View More Articles

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