Changing Bulbs
Photograph by Tyrone Turner
Follow Up
March 2009
Changing Bulbs

The light-emitting diode (LED) looks like the eco-bulb of the future. With no filament, just a microchip, it uses significantly less energy than an incandescent. But the price is high and reviews are mixed. LED illumination (in photo, center) can range from warm to what technology analyst Michael Kanellos calls "alien autopsy." The bulb casts its light in only one direction, which is fine for recessed lights and for spotlighting a specific area but could be a drawback in lamps or globes. In a few years, expect a cheaper, more versatile LED. Until then, experts recommend compact fluorescents (CFLs) for most home use—with a note of caution. Their mercury content calls for disposal as hazardous waste. —Linda Kulman