Sometimes I do long term tests on things I don’t cover. The following is the result of an almost two year experiment that ended due to my bulb threshold being exceeded. Due to this being a two year test I’m sure this is now old news and someone’s done it better.

February 19th, 2016 I bought a six pack of TaoTronics branded 60 Watt equivalent bulbs from Amazon for about $20. I liked the light they produced and ordered some more a few days later. July 8th of 2016 I ordered some more and replaced most of the lights in my house with them.

These bulbs came to about $3.50 a pop, or about $2.70 more than I could purchase a similar incandescent for. I averaged out my 18 LED bulbs to be running about two hours a day meaning I was saving let’s say a max of 1.6kW a day but more likely about 1kW.

For these to be more cost efficient than old school bulbs I needed to save $2.70 worth of electricity – I’m not going to factor in heat here because I’ll screw the math up. Let’s say I need to save a buck fifty to make these a cost savings.

The life expectancy on the now-defunct Amazon ordering page was about 10,000 hours or about 13 years based on two hours a day.

Each year one of those LED bulbs saved me 32,850 watts, or about $3.26 in electricity at Nashville’s rate of a little over 10 cents a kilowatt.

At the end of year two I have 12 bulbs which have survived and one more is about to die, so over 1/3rd failure rate in under an estimated 1500 hours of use.

Where does that leave us?

  • LED life stats appear to have been vastly overestimated
  • Each bulb at least paid for itself to the tune of about $1.50-$3 in energy savings before death
  • Most bulb deaths occurred within the one month range of the two year mark
  • Current savings at two years for 18 bulbs $27-54

Worth the switch to LED, yes. Got anywhere near what’s advertised? No.

This TaoTronics specific? No. I have several other bulbs that I manage at work also blowing out about the two year mark.

I didn’t factor in the temperature difference because that’s too much math and not enough coffee for Monday, but you’re also saving on cooling costs by not having extremely hot lights running.

As a side note, I am uncertain if TaoTronics was just a reseller or a manufacturer, but they appear to have gotten out of the A26 bulb business.