If you’ve gone to buy a light bulb in recent years you’ve probably noticed there’s more than one choice and its not just about wattage.

There’s the standard incandescent bulb that’s been around since time immemorial but is in the process of being phased out; the new wave of spiral looking energy saver compact florescent light bulbs (CFLs); and finally the impressive light emitting diode (LEDs).

Of the three, LEDs are the most energy efficient though they still have a way to go in resembling the soft light of incandescent bulbs. (CFLs are very close but often vary regarding the mood they provide.)

Mainly used as the little lights in electronics that flicker on when a switch is flipped or dial turned, LEDs don’t run on the little filaments found in incandescent bulbs that eventually burn out. Instead, they conduct energy through a semiconductor, the light emitting diode, which produces electricity.

What comes out of it is a long lasting bulb that rarely needs replacing but still leaves much to be desired when it comes to regular household use.

That’s why in order to develop better LEDs manufacturers have been working on ways to enhance their performance. The effort is similar to the way fluorescent lights were converted into CFLs making them energy savers for the masses. When they can truly mimic the light of the incandescent LEDs they will likely put CFLs out of business; but that could still be years away.

Until then the big question, however, is does the continued development of LEDs mean purchasing them should be put on hold until the perfect one is released? Should we wait for the next generation or buy them now?

Unfortunately, LEDs are the more expensive option on the market sometimes costing $35 or more for one and when considering the number of bulbs needed in a one family home that’s a hefty price.

But that shouldn’t deter you altogether as LEDs have significant advantages.

• They don’t get hot like incandescent bulbs
• They distribute energy much more evenly
• They don’t take time reaching maximum power
• They don’t contain risky substances like small traces of mercury found in CFLs
• They are dimmable
• They will last, literally, for years.

The bottom line: LEDs have come a long way and in the near future could very well take over the market but for now they have room for improvement. If you are considering them speak to a lighting expert about the intended purpose in your home. For example, if it’s for lighting a main room you may want to stick with one of the other options and wait till LEDs can spread their light in a wider warmer way. If it’s for hard to reach places you may want to consider an LED.

Author's Bio: 

Jakob Barry writes for Networx.com a growing community of homeowners and contractors getting the most from their resources by sharing and monitoring home improvement projects together. He covers various home improvement topics including green gardening and residential electrical installations.