Please check out this great article on LED bulbs if you are interested in learning more about saving a lot of money and energy while getting the great light quality of my 'personal bulb favorite" ~ the LED!
At Trillium we have been specifying only LED can lights for 5 years now. They just keep getting better. The light quality is great, they turn on to full light capacity right off the bat and they save a ton of energy. Right now almost every non-decorative light fixture in my house is an LED. That is about 20 lights and the vast majority of the lighting in the house. Each of those bulbs cost about $1.00 a year in electricity.
One of the complaints about the bulbs are cost. The most popular/ famous bulb right now is the Philips EnduraLED. These are most of what I have in my house. I have never paid more than $15 for one. There is a comment on the bottom of this article referring to payback times, but that comment quotes the price of the Philips EnduraLED as $25. So cut the payback times in half. The prices are dropping on these bulbs all of the time.
Also none of our residential projects have had the issues with flickering or dimming problems noted in the article. LEDs do not dim 100%. They dim to anywhere form 80-90%. This is getting remedied as the bulbs evolve but so far does not seem to represent a huge problem to the user.
The one issue I have had to adjust to with these bulbs is that they are brighter than you think they will be. We have had to learn to draw in less lighting points into our electrical lighting plans. For instance, instead of putting 6 cans in a kitchen we may only put 4. This actually is a great money saver! But it is a difference to designers. YOu have to learn to think in a slightly new way about creating the 'lighting experience' of the home.
Decorative LEDs are also on the rise and the last LEED home we did used many of these to great effect. The light is a very nice soft white. And its a very white-white...not yellowish-white, not bluish-white like many CFLs.
We highly promote the use of LEDs here at Trillium. If you have any questions about them please feel free to call the office!