When Little Shop of Stories opened its current location five years ago they installed new light fixtures, mostly using standard spotlight bulbs. The best available alternative at the time was compact florescent lights (CFLs). As CFLs do not emit a full spectrum of light, they are not great in terms of reading .
In the meantime Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) have become more affordable. The quality of light is excellent. Compared to CFLs, LEDs last six times longer and use one-half the electricity for the same amount of lumens. (Compared to incandescents, LEDs last 40 times longer and use 1/10th the electricity.) Unlike CFLs, LEDs contain no mercury.
The downside is the cost. While considerably cheaper than even a year ago, the price of an LED bulb is about five times that of an incandescent.
Little Shop, with the help of Intown Ace Hardware (the Coolest Ace on the Planet), is switching over to LEDs this month. Given the lower electricity use, lower replacement cost, and lower air conditioning use (these LEDs do not emit a lot of heat), they hope to make the investment back within a year. They’ll keep you updated. If their experiment works, you may want to consider these for your home.