- 60 Watt GE frosted incandescent bulb: 820 Lumens (initial)=13.6 lumens/watt; dimmable; 2700 Kelvin (warm white, when dimmed the light is warmer, up to about 2000 Kelvin;) rated to last 1500 hours; $2.20 apiece (1000 bulbs.com)
- 13 watt Philips Lighting spiral CFL (energy star rated): 900 lumens (initial)=69 lumens/watt; not dimmable; 2700 Kelvin (warm white;) rated to last 8000 hours; $5.26 apiece (1000 bulbs.com)
- 12.5 watt Philips EnduraLED (I have one of these and can attest that it is a great bulb so far): 800 lumens (initial)=67 lumens/watt; dimmable; 2700 Kelvin (warm white); rated to last 25,000 hours; $42.89 apiece (1000 bulbs.com)
This quick snapshot reveals that the CFL is the best value, assuming you don’t want to dim the light, this mercury business is a racket, and the light quality is equivalent.
These dimmable CFLs are a bit more pricy. I have never used one so cannot comment:
- 16 watt dimmable CFL (Neptun): 900 Lumens=56 lumens/watt; dimmable; 2750 Kelvin (warm white;) rated to last 8000 hours; $11.93 apiece (1000 bulbs.com)
There is some concern that the mercury in a CFL bulb is dangerous and ends up polluting the environment. The LED bulb might be a better choice for that reason. Another reason to choose the LED over the CFL is if the fixture is hard to reach, the LED bulb should last more than four times as long as the CFL. The incandescent will help heat your house and certainly has the least embodied energy.
In order to make a complete comparison I need more information about the embodied energy of each bulb, the environmental impacts of manufacture and disposal, and how the luminous efficacy degrades over the life of each bulb.
Dimmer switches can save a lot of energy and extend bulb life, although the performance allegedly varies a bit with new technology (LEDs and CFLs.) The aforementioned Philips EnduraLED dims very nicely.