Still letting inefficient incandescent bulbs run up your electricity bill? Just can’t embrace CFL bulbs — due to the spiral shape, light color, or mercury content? Then try this bright alternative to both conundrums — an LED bulb!


If you’re the type of person who never got a CD player, instead going straight from a walkman to an iPod, you might also be a good candidate for trading in your incandescent bulbs for LED bulbs. Though LEDs are not new — these efficient bulbs already light up many holiday trees, stoplights, and commercial buildings — they aren’t yet commonly used in homes.

So I was eager to try the new Pharox 300 LED bulb that Lemnis Lighting sent me for review. Unlike my old CFL bulb which takes a while to “warm up” and give off a good light (not all CFLs require warm-up time; I just happened to have a not-so-great oldie in this lamp), the Pharox 300 instantly lit up to a nice warm white light. The illumination isn’t bright enough to read by — at least not with my eyes — but is a good, flattering light for eating dinner, playing board games, or just hanging out under without looking ghastly or bluish.

As you can see from the photo, the Pharox 300 is shaped like an incandescent bulb — though it’s quite a bit heftier. Its price tag — at $29.99 a bulb — is also rather hefty, putting the bulb out of reach for some.

However, LED bulbs also last an extremely long time. According to Lemnis, the Pharox 300 will last up to 36,500 hours — which translates to 25 years at four hours of use a day — compared to the CFL’s three to 10 years or the incandescent bulb’s one year. Plus, Lemnis says its LED bulbs use less than half the energy of a CFL bulb. That means over the lifetime of the bulb, the LED bulbs can really save you some money.

I’ll let you know in 2035 how my Lemnis bulb is faring. If you’d like to try the 25-year energy savings experiment yourself, you can get the Pharox 300 at Lemnis Lighting’s online store.

Light up with LED bulbs
Don't like CFL bulbs? New LED bulbs can give you double the efficiency and last a lot longer -- but will cost quite a bit more up front.