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2012 LED Light Bulb Discounts for Houston-Area Residents

LED light bulb subsidies in Houston

If you’re a residential electricity customer who lives in the Houston, Texas area, you have a few choices when it comes to the type of light bulb you can buy. You can get the standard incandescent bulb or you can shop for energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), halogen bulbs or ultra-efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs). People buy incandescent bulbs, CFLs and halogen bulbs all the time, but not as many folks invest in LEDs because of their cost.

However, thanks to a money-saving program by Houston–area electricity utility CenterPoint Energy that’s been carried over to 2012, you can actually save some real money off ENERGY STAR–certified LED light bulbs.

The program offers discounts on a variety of LEDs at all Houston–area Home Depot, Lowe's, Sam's Clubs and Costco stores. The great thing is that you won’t get some sort of rebate card or check in the mail. The discount is built in and applied right at the register. (Although the utility’s website still lists information for the 2011 program, we’ve confirmed with them that the 2012 program is, in fact, underway.)

What are the benefits of LEDs?

LEDs, compared with incandescent bulbs, use 80 percent less energy, last 15 times longer, and save $50 in electricity costs over the life of a single bulb. Installing just one LED can save you from $5 to $11 a year in electricity costs. Installing five LEDs can save you $250 over their lifetime.

Which LEDs are part of the discount program?

There are several distinct types of LEDs that qualify for discounts under CenterPoint’s program:

A-line LEDs look most like normal incandescent bulbs and are used to replace typical 40W to 100W incandescent bulbs in cases where the bulb is visible or has a downward-facing socket.

7W decorative LEDs are used for decorative lighting fixtures, such as chandeliers.

Globe LEDs are meant to replace 40W to 60W incandescent globe bulbs in cases where the bulb is visible, like above or around a bathroom vanity mirror, and in downward-facing sockets.

MR16 LEDs replace 20W halogen bulbs, which are typically used for task lighting in things like desk lamps.

PAR38 flood LEDs are used to replace 90W to 120W outdoor floodlights and work equally well with motion sensors or photo cells.

R30 flood LEDs are perfect for replacing 65W to 90W R lamps used in recessed cans.

R40 flood LEDs are for stronger 65 W to 120W R lamps in recessed cans and are great for providing bright lights in bathrooms.

How Do I Shop for LEDs?

Since LEDs use fewer watts than incandescent bulbs — which is why they’re so efficient in the first place — you can’t look to replace your 40W incandescent bulb with a 40W LED. In fact, they don’t even make 40W LEDs. Instead, incandescent bulbs and LEDs are compared by lumens, or the amount of light they produce, rather than watts, or the amount of electricity they use (more on watts vs. lumens here). Here’s a chart to help you compare watts between incandescent bulbs and LEDs:

Incandescent BulbLED Equivalent












CenterPoint Energy, “Advanced Lighting Program — Residential.”

CenterPoint Energy, “Make Your Mark with ENERGY STAR LEDs.”

4/16/2012 1:40:00 PM
in Energy Savings Energy Education