LED Christmas and nightlights quickly took over more energy inefficient versions and they cost pennies to operate. Solar LED lights have become very popular because not only do you get the effect you want they only cost the price of the light itself with no further operating costs. Over the past several years we have seen a move away from energy inefficient incandescent light bulbs CFLs and now LEDs for daily household use. A 60W incandescent light bulb can be replaced with a 13W CFL bulb effectively saving 47W of power or an 11W LED bulb saving 49W of power. Unlike CFLs, there is no mercury in LED bulbs and their lifespan is considerably longer (more than double) than CFL bulbs so they really are environmentally friendly. Currently, the main deterrent to switching to LED bulbs is price at $19 to $24 for incandescent style bulbs and $26 for the prong type to replace halogen bulbs.
The new LED bulbs have a few features I really like. The bulb contains no mercury which is a real plus over CFL bulbs. Another plus is the base which does not have a transformer so it will fit any standard light fixture just as an incandescent bulb would. The nice thing is there is no warm up period like there is with a CFL when first turned on. There is no notation that LED bulbs are best in locations where they won't be turned on and off all the time as there is with CFL. LED bulbs contain no toxic substances, they can be disposed in normal household waste but since they last so long, even that is of little concern.
I can't wait for the price to come down on the LED bulbs! I remember when the CFL first came out. The transformer base was big and bulky so the bulbs could only be used in certain fixtures, mainly lamps or to replace a bare ceiling bulb. I think I paid somewhere around $20 for the first CFL. Now, we can buy an 8 pk of 13W CFL for $9 at Sam's Club. As the LED bulbs become more popular, the price will go down. There are less expensive ones already on eBay so I may order a couple of different styles just to try them.
The LED lights have a lot of potential. They can be used indoors or outdoors, in damp locations and at temperatures ranging between -20°C and 40°C (-4°F and 104°F). The energy savings switching from CFL to LED is not the huge difference it is when switching from incandescent to LED but it is still an energy savings. Every watt saved reduces our energy usage as well as our hydro bill so the LED lights do look very promising.