New LED designs are cheaper, brighter

If you've been hesitating to switch out your incandescent bulbs with LEDs due to the latter's price, you've never had a better opportunity than the present. In 2013, 60-watt LED bulbs went for an average of $10 per bulb, but with recent innovations in production and design, the price has dropped to below $8.

Not only are the new models cheaper, but they are also lighter and slimmer due to improvements in the design of the bulbs. Older model LEDs had to be manufactured with a bulky aluminum "heat sink" attached to draw heat away from the light-emitting diodes themselves and keep the bulb from overheating. Now, the heat sink has been replaced with models that allow air to flow throughout the bulb and over the LEDs and use large flat surfaces to draw heat away from the bulb. These more efficient models, manufactured by companies like Philips and Cree, are also many lumens brighter than old models, and are made with shatterproof plastic instead of glass, making them weigh less than two ounces each. The new models also come in both daylight and "warm light" versions, with the warm light providing a similar light quality to that of incandescents.

However, the main draw of LED bulbs remains their energy efficiency and extra long life — about 20 years, at an energy cost per year per bulb of about $1.30. If you're curious about how you could incorporate LED bulbs and other energy-efficiency improvements into your home, contact Alban Inspections today for a home energy audit. We partner with several sponsored programs that can give you the opportunity to try out these technologies for free or using rebates.