Merchant Q&A: EcoSmart LED Bulbs Offer New Options for Saving Energy

The Home Depot / 8 min read

One of the easiest ways to make your home more sustainable is by switching to LED light bulbs. If you’re new to LEDs, you’ve picked a great time to make the switch. LED technology continues to improve and expand so that these energy-efficient bulbs are better, smarter and brighter than ever. That is certainly true of The Home Depot’s EcoSmart brand of LED bulbs. And to help understand all the different choices – including what makes them “eco” and “smart” – we sat down with the EcoSmart team: Stacy Cianciola, Brand Manager; Will Maloney, Associate Merchant; and Bethany Wood, Senior Merchant.

EA: Welcome to Eco Actions, Stacy, Will and Bethany. Can you start us off by explaining the relationship between EcoSmart and The Home Depot?

ES: EcoSmart is an exclusive light bulb brand from The Home Depot. Like Husky, HDX and Hampton Bay, EcoSmart light bulbs are only sold at The Home Depot. With exclusive brands, The Home Depot has greater influence over brand decisions like value, selection and product innovation.

For example, this spring, shoppers will see a new premium line of EcoSmart light bulbs in stores. These light bulbs offer next-level programmable smart features and beautiful design. Think light bulbs that are dimmable, programmable, motion-sensing and dusk-to-dawn sensing, and feature integrated speakers for music, color-changing technology and more. Because we own the brand, we can advocate for more innovative features and greater selection while maintaining the quality and value people expect from EcoSmart and The Home Depot.

EA: Are all EcoSmart bulbs eco-friendly and smart?

ES: Within the EcoSmart brand, we offer a wide assortment of LED and ENERGY STAR-certified light bulbs for energy efficiency. This selection of light bulbs aims to meet all customer needs, from lighting up a room to making your lighting smarter.

We offer different price points of products within the EcoSmart brand. Think of it as trading up: There are good, better and best options within EcoSmart. And it’s worth noting that across the brand, all of our light bulbs have longevity ratings of at least 10 years, or 11,000 hours, while our premium light bulbs have a 10-year money-back guarantee. That’s “smart” in the old-fashioned sense.

EA: Can you explain more about these different price points and how they translate to features and benefits? 

ES: We mentioned the new EcoSmart premium line, so that’s a good place to start. When it comes to price point and features, this is the top-of-the-line EcoSmart. These light bulbs offer the most decorative styles, highest light quality and advanced smart features of the EcoSmart brand.

Think of these as light bulbs that automate, not complicate. One example is dusk-to-dawn automation, where the light bulbs detect sunlight and switch on and off automatically. This allows a homeowner the ability to save energy without thinking about it. The technology is in the light bulb, so there’s no need for special light fixtures, a smart app or electrician fees. It’s as simple as screwing in a light bulb!

The EcoSmart premium light bulbs also deliver more aesthetic performance, as in light quality and decorative bulb styles. As customers trade up, we are able to offer different color temperatures, which affect everything around the light. All of these light bulbs feature a CRI (color rendering index) of 90 or above. This is the quality of the light, which affects the color you see. The higher the CRI, the brighter and more vivid colors will be. It brings out your home’s true colors in the most natural way possible.

We have bulbs that have an integrated switch that allows you to choose from five different color temperatures. These bulbs allow you to essentially dial in your Kelvin temperature, which adjusts the color of the bulb, giving you the opportunity to select the color you prefer in your home. With our bulbs, shoppers can choose between five different color temperatures: a warmer color temperature at 2700K all the way up to 5000K for a day light. The other benefit to this is that a lot of times, people who are shopping for light bulbs at The Home Depot don’t know what color their current light bulbs are in their home. When they get home, they realize they bought the wrong color. No one wants to look around their home at a sea of light bulbs with one that doesn’t match. Customers can leave with confidence knowing they have a color-changing light bulb, and it can save them the time of making a return.

We’ve also been able to offer decorative LED light bulbs in this category, including the classic-style light bulbs, frosted light bulbs and vintage Edison-style light bulbs with a decorative spiral filament. Gone are the days where LED light bulbs were relegated to the basement or only used with a shade to hide behind. When it comes to shape and style, LED light bulbs look just like traditional bulbs except they appear in the garbage can a lot less often.

Longevity is another big benefit in this class of light bulbs as they have a life span of 22 years or 25,000 hours. Remember when light bulbs burned out every few months? Now you can buy a light bulb and forget about it for two decades. It’s incredible when you think of the convenience and sustainability that comes with that progress.

Those shoppers who want the best light bulbs and the most options can look for EcoSmart premium bulbs in the packaging that features a blue-to-black fade.

For shoppers who want a “better” light bulb but don’t need all the premium features, we have the EcoSmart light bulbs in the blue box. The better light bulbs include features designed to bring more simplicity to shoppers’ lives. Consider light bulbs that are dimmable and offer several color temperature options, features which provide variety without complication. These bulbs are available in the widest range of wattages to satisfy shoppers who are looking for a specific match. They are also available in full glass options – frosted and clear – to satisfy a variety of light bulb applications.

And we can’t forget longevity. As customers invest more, they get light bulbs that last longer. The better light bulbs, for example, have a 13-year life span or 15,000 life hours.

EA: How do these different price points differ in terms of sustainability? Is one more sustainable than another?

ES: It’s important to remember that all EcoSmart LED light bulbs are Eco Options-certified. So, when it comes to energy conservation, LED light bulbs last considerably longer than regular light bulbs and use less power. For anyone who doesn’t know just how energy-efficient LED light bulbs are, think about the fact that the same amount of light is produced by an incandescent lamp that uses 60 watts of electricity as an LED light bulb that uses only 10 watts. That’s not just sustainable, it’s money in your pocket.

We’ve already talked a lot about longevity, but it’s worth repeating. EcoSmart LED light bulbs last from 10 to 20 years, offering a great value with energy savings and convenience.

What happens from a sustainability standpoint when you trade up to an EcoSmart premium light bulb is that you achieve more automation and versatility. An example of this would be our EcoSmart Hubspace light bulbs that can be programmed to turn lights on and off whether you’re there or not. That’s energy savings without effort. It’s convenience.

With non-connected features like motion-sensing and daylight-sensing bulbs, lights turn on and off automatically without any programming required. With motion-sensing bulbs, you can stop walking around the house turning lights off after the kids have come through. And with dusk-to-dawn daylight-sensing bulbs, you can stop worrying if you left the patio light on when you left town.

If spending more time at home can be considered sustainable, then we should also mention the non-connected features that are just for fun. These include features like color-changing light bulbs, Bluetooth speaker light bulbs, colored light bulbs and black light bulbs, all of which make life at home more exciting.

With decorative features like frosted and vintage Edison light bulbs, you can add stylish LED light bulbs to more places than ever at home. That means less sustainable, incandescent bulbs can be replaced. At some point, we won’t even be talking about incandescent bulbs, period.

With the introduction of the EcoSmart premium light bulbs, shoppers have access to a new level of convenient, energy-saving and decorative options in LED light bulbs. The lighting aisle at The Home Depot has never been more sustainable or exciting.