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Incandescents lasted about 1,000 hours. Shape-Shifters There’s more than one way to light up a room Though they don’t look the same, all of these LEDs are for use in lamps and replace a 60- or 75-watt incandescent. Manufacturers are introducing various shapes to improve efficiency and light distribution, help manage heat, and lower costs. The Feit and Philips did well in our tests; the Nanoleaf did not. The others are being tested. 46 OCTOBER 2015 FEIT ELECTRIC, $7 Fins help prevent heat build-up PHILIPS SLIMSTYLE, $7 Flat bulb doesn’t need a heavy heat sink and weighs less CREE 4FLOW, $8 Openings in bulb keep it cooler GE LED BRIGHT STIK, NANOLEAF ONE, $35 $10 FOR 3 Uncovered yellow Slim design aims diodes aim to provide for lower cost more light PHOTOGRAPHS BY JAMES WORRELL P OW E R ST RUG GL E S The Language of Light Energy-saving bulbs come wrapped in lingo.

It ranges from 0 to 100. Halogen, a type of incandescent bulb, is often around the perfect 100. Most LEDs and CFLs we’ve tested are in the 80s, with a few in the low 90s. ” That’s scary, vague, and a way to sell LEDs with less blue light. Studies have shown that exposure to any light at night is associated with an increased risk of sleep problems, and eyes are especially sensitive to blue light, which LEDs emit more of. Bulbs with a light color around 2700 kelvins are a better choice. 83% That’s how much less the top-rated LED (60-watt replacement) costs today compared with the top-rated LED just four years ago.

What about maintenance? I can’t afford to purchase a system. Is leasing cheaper? Initially, yes, but you’re likely to pay more over the life of a 20-year contract than if you buy. Though solar is available in all 50 states, leasing firms don’t operate in all areas. You can often have a system installed free and repay the company through a monthly fee. Leasing contracts usually include an “escalation schedule” that specifies how much your payments will go up over time. So be aware that your fee might not be fixed over the lifetime of the lease, but that should be clearly spelled out in the contract.

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