This 60-watt equivalent combines a halogen incandescent with a compact fluorescent lamp, eliminating that annoying lag in full brightness typical of many CFLs. As the CFL warms up and comes to full brightness, the halogen capsule inside goes out so the bulb performs mostly as a very efficient CFL. It draws 15 watts and produces light of 2500K, just as warm as a standard incandescent. GE says the bulb should last 8,000 hours, or more than seven years at three hours per day. The bulb is Energy Star–qualified and was named a 2012 Good Housekeeping Very Innovative Product. GE. 203-373-2211. www.ge.com.
These Energy Star–qualified retrofit kits convert recessed light fixtures using incandescent lamps into LED fixtures that consume a fraction of the energy. A gimbaled model for 6-inch fixtures pivots up to 35 degrees for sloped ceilings. LEDs can be dimmed to 20 percent of total light output with compatible dimmers. The RT6 kit produces up to 900 lumens with 14 watts of electricity and has an average rated life of 50,000 hours, or 45 years, according to the company. Kits also are available for 4-inch and 5-inch light fixtures. Osram Sylvania. 800-544-4828. www.sylvania.com.
Because LEDs are “digital appliances,” they can be controlled with digital devices, such as a smart phone or tablet. The Hue system from Philips allows light to be manipulated in several ways by means of a “bridge.” The bridge, which can control as many as 50 bulbs, can change the color of light or turn lights on and off while you’re on vacation on the other side of the country. A starter kit with a bridge and three bulbs is $200. According to the company, bulbs should last 15,000 hours, or roughly 13.5 years when used three hours a day. Philips. 800-937-5483. www.meethue.com.
Philips wanted an LED with a smooth, white design that blended into ceilings cleanly—nothing odd-looking or distracting. Its solution is the Endura LED AirFlux, which is available in two reflector designs, PAR and BR. The PAR-38 is dimmable to 10 percent of full output and draws 19.5 watts to deliver up to 1200 lumens with a color rendering index of 84 and a color temperature of either 2700K or 3000K. The bulbs are instant-on and have an average rated life of 45,000 hours, or about 41 years. They’re also Energy Star qualified. Philips. 800-937-5483. www.usa.lighting.philips.com.
The 60-watt equivalent (800 lumens) Micro Mini CFL uses 13 watts of electricity and produces light with a color temperature of 2700K, just like a conventional incandescent. The company says the lamp’s phosphor formulation generates warm color tones and a color rendering index of 82. The instant-on lamp contains 1.5 mg of mercury, which Osram Sylvania says is the lowest in the industry, and should last 12,000 hours, or 11 years. These CFLs come in spiral, BR lamps, and 3-way models in wattages from 5 to 33. Osram Sylvania. 800-544-4828. www.sylvania.com.