Just a few years ago, LED light bulbs were coming onto the market at around $50 for common household applications. It took a lot to justify this cost when replacing an incandescent bulb. But prices have plummeted ever since, with name brand, long life (25,000+ hours) bulbs falling below $10 in the last two years.
Now we've reach the point where the energy savings of an LED in a frequently used location will typically cover the initial cost of the bulb within a year. And that's with bulbs costing $5 to $10.
But there's been a race for the consumer and small office setting where price is the driver of decisions. To compete in this price war, many companies have imported unknown brands with lower quality components. This has led to bulbs with shorter rated lives (5000 to 10,000 hours -- still 5 to 10 times longer than an incandescent lifespan). And since these generic brands don't have reputations they need to uphold, many of these bulbs have had problems with maintaining brightness and color temperature (visual warmth) as well.
Since we focus on commercial lighting and work with a lot of professional lighting / electrical contractors, quality is paramount to us. This is why we've chosen to be competitive on LEDs, but only on brands we can trust. Brands we believe will stand behind their bulbs because they've been around in our market a long time. After all, we want to be able to take care of our customers in the case of a poor product experience.
So we've let others sell the generic brands and $3 LED bulbs that we would never recommend. But that doesn't mean we haven't continued looking for every way to bring you trusted brands at great prices. And now we've been able to break the $3 barrier on A19 LEDs with the Satco brand, which has been around since 1966 and has a reputation to uphold. The bulbs are sold in a 4-pack.
Like other bulbs at this price level, the warranty is only 3 years and the expected life is only 10,000 hours. So we still recommend longer life bulbs in places that are hard to reach. But unlike most of the bulbs at this price level, they're backed by a reputation.
You can check out our Satco bulbs and other LEDs for home and office here.