Consumer grade LED bulbs vs Commercial grade: What you should know

When you go to Home Depot or Lowe’s today, you can pick up a pack of 6 LED bulbs for around $9. That comes out to about $1.50 per lamp which is pretty cheap! About a year ago I purchased one of these “cheap” and for my bathroom lights. Four months later one of them went out. As you can imagine, I was disappointed considering these were LED bulbs and they didn’t even last as long as a “regular” bulb that costs much less. Unfortunately, I had to buy new ones. At the time I thought, “Ok this is probably just one defective bulb.” But then I started reading the online reviews and it turned out that my experience wasn’t isolated. Many other people also complained that their LED bulbs weren’t lasting as long.

When I purchased the replacement bulbs, I decided to use commercial grade lamps this time. When I received the lamps I did a comparison of them against the cheap ones from the Big Box store. The two most significant differences I saw were that the Big Box ones were NOT Energy Star rated and that their lifetime rating topped out at 10,000 hours. The reason that stood out is that if a lamp achieves an energy star rating that means it has passed independent testing ensuring its energy saving claims. And with the hour rating, the commercial grade options were consistently at 25,000 hours. That is a vast difference and quite frankly nullifies any justification for purchasing an LED bulb. I’ve had those commercial grade options installed throughout my home for almost a year now and they not only have saved me money, but they’re also still operating without any failures.

If you’re going to buy an LED bulb that is consumer grade, then look at the label to ensure you are getting a good quality item. It’s clear that some companies expect us to assume that just because a bulb is LED it will last longer. That’s just not the case, however. The consumer grade bulbs are engineered with lower costs LED chips and drivers, and with LED bulbs those two components are crucial to quality. If you, as a consumer, are going to take the time and effort to save money and do your part with the environment by purchasing an LED bulb then it should be of good quality and meet expectations.

That’s one of the reasons that when LED LYSI was formed Georgetown, Texas, I wanted to include commercial quality LED bulbs and still sell them at affordable prices. If you are interested in upgrading your home to LED and want to be confident in the quality, there are several options available at

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