WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- We rely on about 50 light bulbs to illuminate our living space.
So, you may ask, why buy energy efficient bulbs when the old incandescents are going strong.
"Incandescent bulbs are really only cheap if you never turn them on. They cost about $8 a year to power. And, that's compared with only a $1.70 for an LED or CFL," says Celia Kuperszmid Lehrman.
Most CFLs cost under $3. The pricer LEDs are $20 and $30 a bulb.
Lehrman says, "But even at that price, they still save you about $125 over their lifetime on electrical costs, and on the cost of replacing bulbs."
LEDs last for decades, more than twice the life of CFLs. They light instantly.
CFLs can take longer than 30 seconds to reach full brightness. And, many LED bulbs are dimmable, most CFLs are not.
Mark Thielking with the Energy Improvement Corporation switched to LED light bulbs throughout his home.
"The light's great. The turn-on time is very quick, and the fact that I don't have to change bulbs very often is even better," he says.
Consumer Reports' lab tested more than 750 CFLs and LEDs for warm up time, light distribution and how long the bulbs last.
Testers used a sphere to measure brightness and color temperature.
The best LEDs outperform the CFLs on all counts. For 60 watt equivalents, two $20 LED bulbs were named best buys.
The 3-M LED and the Utilitech LED bulb sold at Lowes.
They both produce a white light that's dimmable.