Buy These Bulbs
I tried two types of bulbs. First, I bought a Phillips 13-Watt LED bulb for about $29.99 at Home Depot, although it now costs $19.97 at Amazon. While that bulb emitted soft light, it had a noticeable lag to turn on after hitting the switch. So, I returned it.
The second bulb I tried, which is the one I recommend, is the EcoSmart 9-Watt LED that I bought online at Home Depot. At $49.88 for a four-pack, these bulbs are each about $8 cheaper than the Phillips bulbs. Furthermore, I found that while these bulbs were a little brighter than the Phillips, they had no lag when turning on. I then tested the bulb on existing dimmer switches in the basement and found that the bulbs were indeed dimmable. In the end, they cost me $12.72 each after factoring in tax and the 4% cash back from Mr. Rebates.*
The Numbers: Why They're Worth Purchasing
I targeted 24 of our most frequently used bulbs to replace for a total investment of $305.28. I'm a little nervous about the integrity of my Watts to kWh conversion, but my numbers are in the graphic below.**
|Crunched Numbers: Incandescent vs LED vs CFL Bulbs|
Finally, to get the complete picture, I also ran the comparison against CFL bulbs. Interestingly, the long-term savings are comparable to LEDs since they're a fraction of the cost. However, seeing that CFLs contain mercury and require HAZMAT protocols in the event one breaks, I'd recommend passing. I certainly am.
Assuming my math is correct, replacing your incandescents with LED bulbs is an easy household investment to make with a substantial, long-term positive return. There are some reasons to wait, such as it's possible prices of LED bulbs will decrease and new technology like OLEDs could make them obsolete. However, since new LED bulbs will begin to pay for themselves in a little less than two years, I'd call it a relatively safe investment, especially if the bulbs last the 22 years as advertised.
*For a review on how to use cash back portals, see http://www.ourtipsandtricks.com/2013/08/UseCashBackPortals.html
** Please let me know if my math is off!