My new house comes with gx24q-3 bases and CFL bulbs everywhere. I read that LEDs are better in every way. I've found some br30 e26 LEDs for only $1.25 each at Costco. Does it make sense for me financially to replace my gx24q-3 base with e26 to use these cheap LEDs?

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    As this is a question involving energy use and payoff timelines, we'd need to know more about your ownership plans. A better question would be "what's the payoff period for X watts of savings for Y number of hours usage per day?" If you're only going to live there a year, it's probably not worth it. – isherwood Jul 7 '17 at 18:42
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    You'll be rewiring the fixture to bypass the CFL ballast as well. It's not too difficult, but it's more involved than just cut one lampholder out and wire in another in its place. Since you mention BR30's you're likely dealing with recessed cans, additionally you need to verify that it's possible to mount a new socket at the correct depth within the fixture. – Tyson Jul 7 '17 at 19:01

Most of the return on investment (ROI) evaluations I have completed have shown a positive ROI within 2 years 2 months for very expensive fixtures. When only changing the lamp the return is much quicker just a few months in some cases. But this is when relamping is needed. To go in and swap good functional lamps still has a positive ROI due to reduced maintenance and lower power consumption but wholesale swap of CFL to LED is not "green" due to the good material that is being disgarded. If new to you,,, not brand new it could be worth it as CFL life curves show less lumens as they age. If you are going to be in your home for at least 2 years it makes financial sence to make the change and after 2 years not having to replace the lamps, instant on at full brightness are additional reasons to change.

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  • I disagree about ROI and wasting still-good CFLs because an important factor is being able to dispose of the CFLs properly. I am concerned that in 5-10 years when those CFLs age out, recycling will no longer be available and you will be landfilling mercury. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jul 7 '17 at 22:33
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    It is a legal requirement that the mfg's pay for consumer based recycling or at least in my state. If you read my answer CFL's have a life curve and it would not be "green" to throw away new lamps at 3 years with residential cfl's being switched on and off several times a day they are close to 50% of there output. The power consumption savings is better with the latest LED's but the whosale waste of new lamps is not enviromentaly friendly at all and I am not an enviromentalist or even close. – Ed Beal Jul 8 '17 at 0:03

Whether it's economical or not depends on how much it costs you to replace the sockets and not just the cost of bulbs... and what time horizon you're looking to recoup your expenditure. (Off the top of my head, I would bother only if you plan to keep the house for 15+ years. CFLs may become difficult to source in the long run.)

There is alas no standard for how sockets attach to fixtures, so it all depends on what you have and what you can source and for how much. Detach one gx24q-3 socket, go with it to a local hardware store and see if you can find an e26 socket that can replace it (same number of screws and distance between them etc.) And indeed as Tyson remarked, the gx24q-3 fixtures have separate ballasts that need to be bypassed if you intend to keep the fixtures.

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  • Many after market retrofits use lamps that require the ballast to be used. Since I have found ballast failure to be a leading cause of problems with electronic ballast units I recommend rewire retrofit lamps but these are slightly tougher to find since many want plug and play led conversions useing the existing ballast. From the fixtures I have updated there is not much of a price difference but as I stated the rewire is required. I do not think I have there has been a failure of led retrofits that have required rewire since I started with these lamps in older fixtures. Several ballast failed. – Ed Beal Jul 9 '17 at 20:49

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