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Buying guide for LED light bulbs

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What if the lightbulb you put in your baby’s nursery didn’t have to be replaced until Junior heads off to college? That’s the promise of LEDs, or light-emitting diodes.

These bulbs are claimed to rival the look, dimming ability, and light quality of incandescents, contain no mercury (as compact fluorescent light bulbs do), and last up to five times longer than compact flourescents and 50 times as long as incandescents.

There are a few things you’ll need to know before buying any energy-saving bulb. For starters, Energy Star-qualified bulbs meet high standards for brightness, color, and energy use, and the mercury content is capped in compact fluorescents. Before you shop visit www.dsireusa.org/incentives or www.energystar.gov to find utility rebates, and search online for manufacturer rebates.

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