The halogen incandescents are only very slightly more efficient than regular incandescents, though, and the GE ones, at least, are also dimmer than the bulbs they're supposed to replace. The 60 W replacements consume 43 W to produce 750 lumens rather than the standard 800 lumens, while the 100 W replacements consume 72 W to produce 1490 lumens rather than the standard 1600 lumens. Meanwhile, I can buy LED light bulbs that consume 9.5 W and produce 850 lumens, or 19 W and produce 1680 lumens. In math terms, they consume a quarter of the power and produce about 15% more light than the energy efficient incandescents.
I've long believed that LEDs were probably the light bulb of the future. They're more efficient than incandescents or CFLs, and last longer--twenty years, by standard measurements (which, unfortunately, don't actually involve waiting twenty years and seeing if they still work).
The problem is that LEDs cost commensurately more. I can buy decent quality 60 W equivalent LED bulbs for $10-20 apiece, or spend $2.50 for an energy efficient incandescent. And as for 100 W bulbs--not that long ago, you couldn't buy 100 W equivalent LED bulbs at any price. That's changed, but they're still expensive: $50 or more usually, though I have found a few available for $30 apiece. 100 W energy efficient incandescents? About $2.50 each for those too. Sure, the LEDs also have a 20 year lifespan, compared to the one year of the incandescents, but then again, LED prices are coming down pretty quickly, so buying incandescents this year and buying LEDs a year from now would probably save money in hardware costs. Not, though, when combined with electricity costs. So my compromise is to replace the bulbs we use the most--kitchen, living room, bedroom, with LEDs, and leave the rest for a little while.
|LEDs in the living room's candelabra|
|The incandescents in the dining room.|
|The one on the left is the old style Cree 60 W, while the one on the right is the Cree TW 60 W.|
I have yet to buy any 100 W bulbs. I bought a 75 W bulb from Sylvania at Amazon, but at $38 it was pretty expensive. Still, it works pretty well, and it appears to be brighter than the 100 W equivalent CFL which it replaced. That may simply be because the light is less omnidirectional, and while it produces only 1100 lumen, more of it is in the direction I want, while the 1600 lumen CFL sends more light up and to the sides. Or it could just be that I didn't wait long enough for the CFL to reach full brightness--but if it takes more than a couple of seconds, that's an advantage for the LEDs.
I think I'll wait a month or so before buying any more LEDs, and then I'll probably buy more of the Feit candelabra bulbs, the Cree 60 W bulb, and the Philips 100 W bulbs.
Update (10/13/2013): I was clearing out my pictures on Google+, and accidentally deleted the pictures I had here. I've replaced most of them, but I've changed the text so it's not as dependent.