The sub-$1 LED light bulb is here – but should you buy it?

It was barely 5 years ago that lighting maker Cree broke the once unthinkable barrier of the $10 LED light bulb. Now, with that milestone still fresh in the minds of many LED enthusiasts, Ikea has quietly started selling an LED bulb for $0.99! This is a price point that would have been unthinkable a decade ago. However, buyer beware: In the case of the Ikea bulb, the current $1 offers an output of just 400-lumens—or about the same as a 35-watt incandescent. But perhaps more importantly, nowhere does Ikea advertise the bulb as being Energy Star-certified. While inexpensive and efficient lighting are laudable goals, it’s important to remember that Energy Star certification verifies additional performance metrics, like bulb lifetime, light uniformity, light quality, and other important criteria. That’s not to say that this Ikea bulb or any others do not meet requirements, just that they don’t offer consumers the same level of product quality guarantee, which is why many utility incentive programs require Energy Star certification (which can be found on a number of bulbs that are just slightly more expensive).

You can see product details of the Ikea bulb here:

And you can watch a product tear-down here: