Posted by: greenpinkies | April 20, 2011

CFL Light bulbs @$3/bulb vs. LED Light bulbs @$25/bulb or “On the Road Again…” Willie Nelson, 1980).

So, are you a nomad or a homebody?  The answer to that question will determine whether you will be saving the environment by using CFL bulbs or LED bulbs in your home.

You see, Lauren did the math. The energy savings for CFL’s and LED’s are essentially the same for the first 8 years. Of course, during that time you will replace the CFL’s four times, causing waste problems with the environment.  Nevertheless, only starting in the 9th year will LEDs begin to “out save” the CFLs in total cost (bulb cost + energy usage).  So now you see why you should ask yourself that initial question.

If you intend to spend 20 years or more in your home then it is totally worth it to pay the $25-30 per bulb and install LEDs.  However, if you intend to move before 8 years, save the initial cash outlay and change to CFLs.

Because incandescent bulbs will be phased out, forcing homeowners to buy CFLs or LEDs, we can now foresee that this light bulb thing will soon cause a major ripple in the Real Estate Sales and Appraisal sectors of our economy.  How so?

Consider the buying and selling of homes:

Suppose the home contains 100 LED light bulbs, initially costing $2,500, which still have 15 years left on their 20 year lifespan.  This begs the question:

 Do the light bulbs convey with the house?


Does the seller remove all his light bulbs and take them with him to the new place?  (This is not unprecedented. In Germany, light fixtures often do not convey with the house, leaving bare wires in the ceiling for the new owner).


Do the buyer and seller adjust the agreed upon sales price of the house according to the amortized cost of the bulbs? (Somewhat like bargaining over how much life is left in the roof)?

Now think about Real Estate Appraisal:

Are comparables now to have the added adjustment of how many LEDs does the comparable house contain and how much is left of their lifespan?

In fact, really, how do you compare and appraise a “green house” anyway? (That will be another blog, later).

But, we had fun thinking about this one. Can you imagine packing up your house and unscrewing and packing all the bulbs too?!

And what happens if your new place already has bulbs?… you have a surplus.

Will Craig’s List or EBay add a used LED bulb section to their site?  Will we start buying, selling and trading used LED bulbs?  Will they have a tamper proof odometer to tell us how many hours they have been in use?

Will this cause a drop in the price of new LEDs?

Will LEDs be the new currency? (pun intended).




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