The smartest, smartest thing you can do is to go LED.
Now, can LED replace every goddam thing in your home?
To a significant extent, yes.
Can LEDs provide the same kind of lighting that conventional incandescents and the newer CFLs can?
Are LEDs cheap enough for me to go for them instead of CFLs?
No. Well, maybe, Yes.
What do I mean – are LEDs cheaper than conventional light bulbs or not?
LEDs cost more (for the equivalent lighting) compared to conventional bulbs and even CFLs.
But they are costlier only if you look at cost as upfront expense alone.
If you consider the cost per unit of electricity over the lifetime, LEDs are cheaper than conventional bulbs or CFLs – far cheaper.
Why are they cheaper over the lifetime?
One: LEDs have much longer lifetimes than do conventional bulbs and CFLs
Two: LEDs consume far less electricity to provide you with the same amount of lighting.
So, essentially, while you paid a lot more upfront, you save money for every hour you use LEDs, and get these savings for many, many more hours than the alternatives.
Going beyond individual gains, I did a bit of math to figure the difference LEDs could make to the while world.
Here’s a quick look at how the world could if whole lots of us were to go LED:
Lets say a household has in all 20 lights of CFL and conventional combined at an average of 25 W, which adds to about 500 W. If these are on for 5 hours on average, the household spends about 2.5 kWh per day on lighting alone. LEDs can cut this by about 75%, so essentially each house saves about 2 kWh per day. Extend this to about 500 million homes worldwide, and you get a billion kWh saved per day or about 400 billion kWh saved per year – that would be about 1.5% of the total electricity consumed by the world.