The 75 watt incandescent flood lamp above the shower finally gave up the ghost--not bad, considering that it has been service since early 2006. I have not been thrilled with either the lifetime or time to full illumination of the CFLs that the government has been strongly encouraging us to buy, so I thought that I would look at one of the LED replacement bulbs.
Be prepared for some sticker shock. The 75 watt equivalent LED bulb (18 watts consumption) that I bought at Home Depot cost $44.97 plus sales tax. On the plus side, it promises a 50,000 hour lifetime--with a warranty. How long is 50,000 hours? If I ran it continuously, that would be almost 25 years. You might therefore assume that since it gets about fifteen minutes use a day in my shower, my grandchildren will be using this bulb.
The fact is that power surges when you turn a bulb on have something to do with how long an incandescent bulb lasts. I remember an article when I lived the Bay Area about a fire house with a bulb that had been installed early in the 20th century--and was still burning. But that was a 12 volt bulb, and it was never turned off. That makes a difference.
Still, I am hoping to get so many years from this bulb that I will have misplaced the warranty information--and the maker is probably hoping that, too. Still, it is bright, it is white, and uses less electricity than what it replaced. The only potential gotcha is that it is intended for use in a non-wet environment. Fortunately, the flood lamp is in a nine-foot high ceiling, so unless some NBA professionals move in, I don't think there's much to worry about in that area.
One other nice thing about this LED light relative to a CFL: time to full illumination. You can see that it does not turn immediately--there is a perceptible delay of perhaps 1/3 or 1/2 second between power and light, presumably as it charges up a ballast. But once on, it is full lighting--unlike CFLs, that can take many seconds to reach full brightness.